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Western Australia Backs Jewish Settlement in Kimberley

August 30, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The State Government today officially approved, in principle, Jewish settlement in the Kimberley region and expressed willingness to negotiate the details, subject to approval of the Commonwealth Government and certain safeguarding precautions in selection of migrants.

Warm support for a Jewish settlement scheme in the Kimberleys was forthcoming recently from the leader of the Opposition, Mr. Latham, in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia.

Mr. Latham contended that if certain people overseas were prepared to rest the potentialities of the Kimberleys by investing their money there, they should be welcomed. He believed that if the flats along the Ord River could be irrigated, there was no knowing what was not possible in the way of development. He warned the Government, however, that care was needed to prevent any settlers under the scheme from coming south to compete in an overcrowded labor market. An agreement was necessary, he urged, whereby if the newcomers left their settlement in the Kimberleys, they would have to return overseas.

An informal luncheon was given to Dr. S. Steinberg, representative of the Jewish Freeland League for Territorial Colonization, in Parliament House here. The luncheon was arranged by George Miles, member for the Northern Province in the Legislative Council of Western Australia, to enable Dr. Steinberg to meet members of the Commonwealth Parliament.

After the luncheon Dr. Steinberg was invited to speak on the Kimberley scheme, and those present appeared to be favorably impressed by his remarks on the suitability of the Kimbeleys for settlement by Jewish enterprise. Dr. Steinberg later told the J.T.A. representative here that he was well pleased with the individual response to the scheme. He was particularly gratified with a resolution in favor of the Kimberley project which was passed by the Perth Chamber of Commerce. Articles and letters in favor of the Kimberley settlement scheme appear in the local press almost daily.

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