A strong fight for the right of Jews to settle in Transjordania was put up at the last session of the League of Nation’s Mandates Commission, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today, although minutes of the session will not officially appear before September. The fight was conducted mainly by the Dutch representative, D. Van Rees, vice-chairman of the Mandates Commission, who demanded an explanation of the British Government’s opposition to Jewish settlement of Transjordania.
Van Rees emphasized that the mandate does not exclude Jewish immigration in the Transjordan area, and he indicated that the population of Transjordania is in favor of Jewish settlement there. Van Rees pointed out that Transjordania is double the size of Palestine, but has only 300,000 inhabitants at present, while Palestine has 1,000,000.
LAND SALE PROHIBITION
“Besides, why prohibit sale of land there to Jews when the Emir Abdullah of Transjordania desires it?” he asked.
He also pointed out that many Jews living in Palestine at present are not Palestinians, but are still subjects or citizens of countries belonging to the League of Nations. Considering the principle of equality for the citizens or subjects of all countries which are members of the League, it would be impossible to prevent these persons from settling in Transjordania, Van Rees stated.
The British representative, Mark Aicheson Young, former secretary of the Palestine Administration, replied to Van Rees by stating that the British Government is not prepared at present to permit Jews to settle in the Transjordan territory. There is a general feeling in that country that settlement at present is impracticable for reasons of security, he contended.
LARGE DESERT AREAS
The British representative stated that though it is true that Transjordania is much bigger than Palestine it does not contain as much cultivable land, consisting largely of desert areas. The cultivable parts of Transjordania are as densely populated as the larger part of Palestine, Mr. Young declared.
Lord Lugard, British member of the Mandates Commission, asked Mr. Young to define his Government’s attitude toward Arabs from Palestine settling in Transjordania with the assistance of Jews in Palestine. Mr. Young replied that the British Government would not object to this so long as the number of Arabs immigrating falls within the absorbtive capacity of Transjordania. He claimed that the Transjordan area does not contain large unoccupied tracts of land suitable to support a big wave of immigration.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.