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Inquiry Committee Hears Evidence on Palestine Industry at Brief Session in Jerusalem

March 22, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A sub-committee of the Anglo-American inquiry committee heard evidence on Jewish commercial, colonization and medical activities at a brief session here today. The witnesses were Marc Jaffe, chairman of the Palestine Economic Corporation; Harry Wolfson of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association; and Dr. T. Canan, president of the Arab Medical Association.

Although he asked that his evidence covering Jewish economic relations with Arabs be given in closed session to protect Arabs dealing with Jews from intimidation, Jaffe stated publicly that the Arab boycott of Jewish goods would be ineffective if increased immigration were permitted, because the local population could then consume the entire output of Jewish enterprises. Citing Jewish industrial activity, he said that the diamond industry last year exported $24,000,000 worth of polished stones.

Mr. Wolfson reviewed the activities of Baron Edmond de Rothschild and the PICA in Palestine. He asserted that Arabs living near PICA colonies had benefited greatly from improved agricultural methods, and were very friendly to the Jews. He denied that Arab opposition to the Jews had been aroused through the purchase of Arab land, declaring that “Arab antagonism to Jews exists only among politically conscious groups and not among Arab peasants and agriculturists.”

Dr. Canan paid tribute to the contributions of Zionists to the improvement of public health in the country, but denied that the rise in the Arab birth rate and the decline in infant mortality was attributable to Jewish efforts. He charged that Arabs were forced to pay high fees in Jewish hospitals and said that there were too many doctors in Palestine.

The committee, which consisted of Judge Joseph C. Hutcheson and Lord Morrison, then adjourned until Saturday.

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