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Palestine Has Labor Excess, Ormsby-gore Says in Reply on Entry Quota

June 17, 1937
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The new Palestine labor immigration schedule was hotly debated in Commons today, forcing William G.A. Ormsby-Gore, Colonial Secretary, to plead that there was considerable Jewish and Arab unemployment.

In reply to a cross-fire of questions regarding the schedule limiting to 770 the total number of Jewish labor immigration certificates issued for the four-month period ending July 31, Mr. Ormsby-Gore declared that there was an excess, not a shortage of labor in Palestine.

David Adams, Laborite, insisted that the schedule bore no relation to the absorptive capacity of the country. He asked what steps the Government proposed to prevent any check on the expansion of Palestine’s industry and investment of capital.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore would not accept the implication that the schedule was not related to Palestine’s absorptive capacity.

“Is the Minister satisfied that we are not exceeding the mandate?” Mr. Adams asked.

“Absolutely,” was the reply.

A.T. Lennox Boyd, Conservative, took up the Arab case, claiming that measures to safeguard the interests of Arab labor received over-whelming support in England.

Replying to a question by Geoffrey LeM. Mander, Liberal, Mr. Ormsby-Gore stated that the United Kingdom, since it held the mandate, was solely responsible for deciding on Palestine policies, but admitted that the Dominions and India should be kept informed of all developments of policy which Britain proposed to adopt.

“Will the Minister take General Smuts’ views into consideration?” asked Mr. Mander. (General Jan Smuts, South African Minister of Justice, is a strong advocate of the Jewish national home in Palestine).

“General Smuts and General Hertzog (J.M.B. Hertzog, Premier of South Africa) have frequently communicated with me,” said Mr. Ormsby-Gore.

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