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Quote Hanan Replybullet Posted: 21 September 2006 at 5:30pm

*The figures in this column include refugee as well as native Jews.

a In 1937, the Jewish population of Austria was approximately 192,000. By the outbreak of the war, the emigration of over 100,000, together with persecution and deportations had reduced the number to some 60,000.

b The figure refers to the Jewish population within pre-Munich boundaries, when the Jews of Czechoslovakia numbered about 360,000. By September 1939, due mainly to emigration, the number had fallen to approximately 315,000.

c Does not include such Jewish survivors as have remained in the Carpatho-Ukraine, the territory now in the Soviet Union.

d According to the census of June 1933 the Jewish population of Germany totaled 499,682. By September 1939 the emigration of something over 200,000, Persecution and natural population decline had reduced the number to around 215,000.

e The figure refers to the Jewish population within pre-Munich boundaries.

f These figures do not include an estimated 15,000 prisoners of war now in the Soviet Union who are expected ultimately to be repatriated.

g These figures do not include an estimated 150,000 Polish Jews in the Soviet Union, to whom the option of repatriation has been made available.

h Inclusive of the Jewish population of Bessarabia and Bukovina, which are now in the Soviet Union.

i Does not Include an estimated 40-45,000 survivors of Bessarabia and Bukovina. The pre-war Jewish population within present Rumanian boundaries was approximately 520,000. Included in the 1916 figure of 335,000 are 40,000 formerly residing in the two ceded provinces.

j Includes the 1939 Jewish population of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, estimated at about 250,000.

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Quote Hanan Replybullet Posted: 21 September 2006 at 5:38pm

Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry - Chapter III

The Political Situation in Palestine *

1. The Peel Commission declared in one of the final chapters of its Report: "Neither Arab nor Jew has any sense of service to a single State . . . The conflict is primarily political, though the fear of economic subjection to the Jews is also in Arab minds . . . The conflict, indeed, is as much about the future as about the present. Every intelligent Arab and Jew is forced to ask the question, 'Who in the end will govern Palestine ?' . . . for internal and external reasons it seems probable that the situation, bad as it now is, will grow worse. The conflict will go on, the gulf between Arabs and Jews will widen." The Report concluded with a reference to "strife and bloodshed in a thrice hallowed land."

2. It is nine years since the Peel Commission made its report. The recommendations were unfulfilled, but the analysis of political conditions remains valid and impressive. The gulf between the Arabs of Palestine and the Arab world on the one side, and the Jews of Palestine and elsewhere on the other has widened still further. Neither side seems at all disposed at the present to make any sincere effort to reconcile either their superficial or their fundamental differences. The Arabs view the Mandatory Government with misgivings and anger. It is not only condemned verbally, but attacked with bombs and firearms by organized bands of Jewish terrorists. The Palestine Administration appears to be powerless to keep the situation under control except by the display use of very large forces. Even if-the total manpower in police and defense services were only half what it is reputed to be, the political implications would still be deeply disturbing. It reflects the honest fear of experienced officials that tomorrow may produce circumstances in which military operations will be necessary.

3. Official data imply the gravity of the menacing problem. They show that, apart from those convicted of terrorist activity, the number of Jews held on suspicion averaged 450 during most of the year 1945 and was 554 at the end of the year. The aggregate of persons in the whole-time police and prisons service of Palestine in 1945 was about 15,000.

4. The financial tables provide additional evidence of the extent to which the energies and money of the Government are devoted to the protection of life and property. About L.P. 4,600,000* ($18,400,000) was spent on "law and order" during the financial year 1944-45 as against L.P. 550,000 ($2,200,000) in health and L.P. 700,000 ($2,800,000) on education. Thus even from a budgetary point of view Palestine has developed into a semi-military or police state. But, pending a substantial change in the relations between the Government and the Jews and the Arabs, the prospect of the kind of budget which characterizes a settled, civilized, nongarrisoned and prosperous community is dark.

5. Arab political leadership is still in the hands of the small number of families which were prominent in Ottoman times, of which the most notable are the Husseinis. This family controls the most important of the Arab political parties, the Palestine Arab Party, which was formally organized in 1935. The objectives of this and of all Arab parties in Palestine are the immediate stoppage of Jewish immigration, the immediate prohibition of the sale of land to Jews, and the concession of independence to a State in which the Arab majority would be dominant.

6. There has been no evidence that the Arab notables who appeared before the Committee, and whom the Committee visited in several countries, did not reflect accurately the views of their followers. The Arabic press, for example, protests as vehemently as Arab spokesmen against a Jewish influx of any kind, even if the certificates for admission were confined to old men and women and to children rescued from German death camps. In short, absolute, unqualified refusal of the Arabs to acquiesce in the admission of a single Jew to Palestine is the outstanding feature of Arab politics today; and the newly formed parties of the Left, based on the embryonic trade-union movement, display as intransigent a nationalism as the old leaders.

7. An additional reason for the insistence of the Palestinian Arabs on immediate independence is their desire for full membership in the newly formed Arab League. The Arabs of Palestine believe themselves to be as fitted for self-government as are their neighbors in Syria and Lebanon who obtained their independence during the Second World War, and in Trans-Jordan which has since become an independent State. The formation of the Arab League has given Arab leaders in Palestine a greater confidence. They feel that the support of the whole Arab world for their cause has now. been mobilized. Furthermore, the presence in the United Nations of five Arab States, one of which is a member of the Security Council, insures that the Arab case will not go by default when the issue of Palestine is brought before the United Nations.

8. Just as the Arab political parties are unalterably opposed to Jewish immigration, the various Jewish parties, even though some criticize the idea of a Jewish State, are all united in their advocacy of unlimited immigration, of the abolition of restrictions on the sale of land and of the abrogation of the 1939 White Paper.

9. These parties accept the authority of the Jewish Agency which is recognized by Great Britain, according to the terms of the Mandate; as the instrument of Jews throughout the world. Article 4 authorizes the Agency as follows:

"An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.

"The Zionist Organisation, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home." *

10. At first the Agency gave the Palestine Government effective cooperation. With its large revenue, its able administrators, advisers and stay, and its manifold activities, the Agency became finally and still remains the most potent nongovernmental authority in Palestine and indeed in the Middle East. The Peel Commission described it as "a Government existing side by side with the Mandatory Government". The description is even more accurate today. The Agency is now generally believed to have unofficial, but nonetheless powerful, influence over Haganah-the so-called Jewish Army-the strength of which is estimated as over 60,000. The Jews credit the Agency with most of the improvements in Palestine since the First World War. Unquestionably it has been a tremendous power for good and has been indispensable to their protection and progress.

11. But the Agency has become so powerful and its prestige has been so far enhanced by its accomplishments, that its firm refusal to cooperate in carrying out the White Paper has caused the Government now to regard it as a distinctly dangerous influence. Viewed from the standpoint of the Palestine Government, it appears as a force for disunity, partly for reasons outside the Agency's control, partly by reason of its own activities. It has been a party to activities calculated to lead to estrangement between the Yishuv on the one hand and the Palestine Government and the Mandatory on the other, and to the consolidation of active resistance by the Yishuv to the Government's authority. These activities have undermined the authority of the Administration.

12. Many criticisms of the Jewish Agency have been made before the Committee in open and closed sessions, by Arabs and officials of the Palestine Government as well as by Agudath Israel and some individual Jews. The Agency's customary functions, which are centered on the establishment, maintenance and growth of a National Home for the Jews, were not condemned. That is easily explainable, for it has been one of the most successful colonizing instruments in history. But the present relations between the Government and the Jewish Agency must be corrected if the general welfare is to be promoted and the cause of peace in that crucial area of the world is to be protected. Unless this is achieved, Palestine might well be plunged into a civil war, involving the whole Middle East.

13. Neither Jews nor Arabs have been included in the highest ranks of the Administration. British officials hold all the important positions. They exercise as much authority as in a country where the mass of the inhabitants are in a primitive stage of civilization. District and local officials, Arab and Jew alike, bear only limited discretion and responsibility, even in their own communities. The Palestine Administration is blamed by Arabs and Jews alike for this situation.

14. In consequence of these conditions, the Holy Land is scarred by shocking incongruities. Army tents, tanks, a grim fort and barracks overlook the waters of the Sea of Galilee. Blockhouses, road barriers manned by soldiers, barbed wire entanglements, tanks in the streets, peremptory searches, seizures and arrests on suspicion, bombings by gangsters and shots in the night are now characteristic. A curfew is enforced, and the press of Palestine is subject to censorship. Palestine has become a garrisoned but restive land, and there is little probability that the tranquility dear to people of good will, Jews, Moslems, and (Christians alike, will be restored until vastly better relations are established among the principal elements of the community, including the Administration. With that assured, the various groups could be united on the basis of those fundamentals which are common to civilized people who wish to live their own lives, undeterred and unterrified by the possibility that first one faction and then another will rise in open or covert rebellion against one another, or against the Government itself.


* During our visit to Palestine and in the preparation of this Report, we were greatly assisted by the two volumes of the Survey of Palestine which the Government compiled at short notice for our use, and which contain a great deal of new statistical and other information.

*A Palestine pound is equivalent to a pound sterling.

* The Jewish Agency for Palestine was recognized in 1930 in lieu of the Zionist Organization as the appropriate Jewish agency under the terms of the Mandate.

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Quote Hanan Replybullet Posted: 21 September 2006 at 5:40pm

Where were you when I was doing my Israel/Palestine paper????

Either working or snoozing, that's all I ever do


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Quote Hanan Replybullet Posted: 21 September 2006 at 5:52pm

Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry - Chapter IV

CHAPTER IV Geography and Economics


1. Palestine, about the size of Wales or the State of Vermont, is geographically an integral part of Syria, having no natural frontier on the north. A marked natural division within the country separates the rich soil of the coastal strip and the plain of Esdraelon from the rocky mountain areas, parched for a large part of the year, and from the southern deserts. In the wide coastal plain there are thriving towns-Acre, Haifa, Tel-Aviv, Jaffa and Gaza-with ports and a variety of industries. Here, moreover, is to be found intensive cultivation, by Arab and Jew alike, with attention concentrated on the old and profitable pursuit of citrus growing. The mountains contain not only desolate areas of barren rock and deforested hillside, but also fertile valleys and basins where cereals are grown; in addition remarkable results have been achieved in the cultivation of olives, vines and fruit trees on tiny terraced strips constructed and maintained with great patience and skill. In summer the hills are dry. In winter heavy rains tear away soil from every hillside that is not adequately protected by terracing or forest cover, and constant warfare has to be carried on against erosion.

2. Nearly all the Jews of Palestine and almost half the Arabs live in the plains, though these contain less than one-seventh of the total area of Palestine, while the mountains and the southern deserts are populated, apart from scattered Jewish colonies, exclusively by Arabs. Both Arab and Jew put forward historical and cultural claims to the whole of Palestine, and even the great deserts to the south, almost rainless and with more rock than soil, are not uncontested. With a small, semi-nomadic or nomadic Arab population, their emptiness appears to the Jews as a challenge to their powers of colonization; and, despite the unpromising outlook on any economic test, the Arabs regard proposals for Jewish settlement as yet further evidence of the well-planned "creeping conquest". Geography, indeed, partly explains the intransigent claims of both sides to the whole country. The plains are too small and the mountains too poor to subsist as independent economies.

3. The significance of Palestine in international affairs, apart from its possible strategic importance, derives largely from the fact that it lies across natural lines of communication. Major railway and road communications pass through the country. It is on the route between two great centers of Arab culture, Cairo and Damascus; between Egypt, the administrative centre of the Arab League, and other member States; and between Iraq and the newly independent State of Trans-Jordan and their outlets to the Mediterranean; and it has great potential importance in the air traffic of the future. Palestine is also deeply involved in the business and politics of the international trade in oil; for, although there are no wells in the country, a pipe-line delivers a stream of crude oil to the great refineries at Haifa;and from there tankers deliver it to countries around and beyond the Mediterranean. The American concession in Saudi Arabia may produce another stream converging on much the same point of distribution.


4. According to official estimates, the population of Palestine grew from 750,000 at the census of 1922 to 1,765,000 at the end of 1944. In this period the Jewish part of the population rose from 84,000 to 554,000, and from 13 to 31 percent of the whole. Three-fourths of this expansion of the Jewish community was accounted for by immigration. Meanwhile the Arabs, though their proportion of the total population was falling, had increased by an even greater number-the Moslems alone from 589,000 to 1,061,000.* Of this Moslem growth by 472,000, only 19,000 was accounted for by immigration. The expansion of the Arab community by natural increase has been in fact one of the most striking features of Palestine's social history under the Mandate.

5. The present density of population in Palestine is officially estimated at 179 per square mile. If the largely desert sub-district of Beersheba is excluded from the calculation, the figure is 336.

6. The Committee obtained estimates of the probable future growth of Palestine's population from Professor Notestein, Director of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, from Dr. D. V. Glass, Research Secretary of the Population Investigation Committee in London, and in Palestine from the Commissioner for Migration and Statistics and the Government Statistician. The estimates for the non-Jewish population made by the last-named, on various hypotheses but with the constant assumption that there would be no non-Jewish immigration or emigration, ranged from 1,652,000 to 1,767,000 at the end of 1959. Professor Notestein, also assuming the absence of non-Jewish migration, extended his calculations to 1970 and arrived at a figure of 1,876,000.

The Commissioner for Migration predicted an Arab population of 1,565,000 in 1960 and 1,820,000 in 1970. The highest estimates were those of Dr. Glass, who anticipated a settled Moslem population (i. e. excluding the Christian Arabs) of 1,636,000 in 1961 and 2,204,000 in 1971. For the probable Jewish population at the end of 1959, on the supposition that no immigration occurred in the interval, the Government Statistician put forward the figure of 664,000.

7. The Jewish community, in the absence of immigration, would form a steadily diminishing proportion of the total population. This is clear from the comparative rates of natural increase, shown in the table below:


Years Moslems Jews Christians
1922/25 28.27 20.44 20.18
1928/30 26.19 22.70 20.00
1931/35 24.97 20.91 20.85
1936/40 27.68 17.75 20.77
1941/44 30.71 17.83 18.89

The high Arab rate of natural increase is accounted for by a fertility which is among the highest recorded in the world, and by the disappearance under the Mandate of such counter-balancing factors as conscription for the Ottoman army and a high incidence of malaria. The fact that the rate is still rising seems to be due principally to declining mortality, particularly infant mortality.

Economic Contrasts

8. On the economic side Palestine is a country of marked contrasts. While the Arabs have remained preponderantly rural, in the Jewish sector, along with the "close settlement on the land" which had been laid down as a guiding principle of Jewish colonization, there has been, particularly in later years, a remarkable industrial development. Moreover, the new Jewish colonization has assumed more and more the character of a socialist experiment. For though at many points it retains, particularly in urban industry and trade, the form of private enterprise, it is everywhere guided and supported-in finance, technical advice and other matters-by the great complex of Jewish undertakings which co-operate in the building of the National Home.

9. The passage of years has only sharpened the contrast in structure between the two economies. On the Arab side, notwithstanding some development in co-operation and trade unionism, individualism is still characteristic. In agriculture small-scale peasant farming, still largely on the subsistence principle, remains predominant; and the many signs now visible of enterprise and expansion in Arab industry conform to the same pattern of strong individualism. In the Jewish economy, on the other hand, is to be found a nexus of centralized control. Thus the Jewish Agency, besides being a landowner on a large scale, is a promoter and financier of agricultural settlement, and has large and varied participations in industrial and other enterprises. Histadruth, which is closely associated with the Agency, is by no means simply a federation of workers' unions. It is, in addition, a vast consumers' co-operative organization; it operates large contributory social services, including unemployment insurance, and it has latterly become a capitalist employer, being the sole or controlling owner of a wide and ever increasing range of industrial, nonstructural, financial and service undertakings. There have occurred lately several instances of members of Histadruth, as a trade union, striking in a wage dispute against Histadruth as owner of the employing business.

10. Not to over-emphasize the cleavage, it should be noted that there are points of contact between the Arab and Jewish economies, as in the Palestine Potash Works. There is indeed some limited interdependence, where for example the Jewish housewife buys vegetables from an Arab grower. But there can be few instances of so small a country being so sharply divided in its economic, let alone social and political, basis. Only in citriculture which before the war provided the staple export of Palestine, do we find association between the two sectors. It is shared about equally between the two communities, and many Jewish citrus groves employ some irregular Arab labor. Individualism is the characteristic form of enterprise in both sectors of the industry, though war-time difficulties have called for special measures of Government assistance, which in turn have tended to bring the two together in co-operative protective measures.

11. Everywhere is to be seen a marked disparity between the standards of living, however measured, of the Arab and Jewish communities. Jewish wage rates are consistently higher than Arab, those for unskilled labor being more than twice as high. There is only a limited range of competition between them; and therefore a minimum of natural pressure towards equalization. Habits of consumption, the degree of reliance on the market, whether for supplies or income, housing standards and so forth, differ widely, and in general the social services available to the Arab are extremely limited. The war has done little, if anything, to weaken the division.

Wartime Economic Developments

12. In recent years, the war and changes due to the war have been the main influences governing the standard of living and economic prosperity of both sectors. Though the margin between Jewish and Arab wage rates underwent in general little change, the incidence of taxation and rationing, together with subsidies in aid of the cost of living, tended to depress the higher Jewish standard of living more than the Arab.

Another result of the war was that the Jewish sector of the economy became increasingly urban and industrial, while the Arab sector, notwithstanding the fuller utilization of its limited industrial capacity, remained overwhelmingly agricultural. In both sectors, the Government took an increasingly active part in determining the shape and direction of economic effort.

13. The closing of the Mediterranean to Allied shipping cut Palestine off from the chief market for her citrus fruits and the chief source of her imported supplies. The spread of the war zone to the Middle East converted Palestine into a base as well as an arsenal. Large numbers of troops had to be quartered there. Supplies of food and other necessities of life and of war materials had to be provided locally or imported where possible from neighboring Middle East countries, themselves subjected by the same combination of causes to severe economic pressure. Existing industries were, as far and as fast as possible, redirected into war production. Established undertakings were enlarged and new ones were set up, with Government support, in order to contribute to the needs of the military campaign and build up a higher degree of self-sufficiency. In this development the variety of manufactures was broadened to include a number of more complicated mechanical and chemical processes.

14. Thus Palestine became an important source of supply of manufactured goods not only for military purposes throughout the area but for civilian needs in surrounding countries. The skill and inventiveness of the Jewish immigrants of prewar years proved an invaluable asset, and the directed effort was supported by the Jewish Agency and the other established organs of Jewish settlement. Notwithstanding the necessity of maximum food supply, the Jewish economy became still more concentrated upon industrial activity, and "close settlement upon the land" was forced further into the background as the ruling principle of expansion.

15. The war had yet another distorting effect, which sprang from financial transactions. Vast military expenditure in Palestine for both goods and civilian services, along with shortage of shipping and potential inward cargoes, brought about a stringency in supplies and in labor. This resulted in rising prices, rising wage rates and still more rapidly rising earnings, large profits and a rapid growth of money-wealth (including bank deposits and hoarded currency), shared by both the Jews and Arabs. Taxation was increased; but taxation and voluntary saving went only a small part of the way in draining of the flow of unspendable incomes. Rationing, so far as it was applied, failed to check with sufficient promptitude the effects of competitive buying. Subsidies in aid of the cost of living were only successful in keeping a few bare essentials within the range of the poorest peoples' resources. By allocating raw materials and by close costing of industrial processes, the Government kept a brake on the rise in prices of a wide range of military stores and essential civilian goods. But in general the inflationary trend was restrained only to an extent that made Palestine's experience less alarming than that of surrounding countries.

16. As to external finances, whereas Palestine had been hitherto nominally a debtor country-"nominally" in the sense that her debtorship on capital account did not entail the normal current remittances on account of interest and amortization-the war changed her status to that of a creditor. The bulk of her overseas assets, however, being confined within the sterling area, cannot be converted into goods until Great Britain is once more able to resume a full flow of exports or to release sterling for transmutation at will into "hard currencies".

Postwar Prospects

17. At the time of the Committee's investigations in Palestine, it could by no means be said that even the more transitory resets of war pressures upon the economy had passed away. The pattern of the post-war economy is still undetermined, and this without allowing for the omnipresent uncertainty concerning the political future of the country. Even before the war ended, war orders had fallen off somewhat; but the continued shortage of imported supplies has afforded a natural protection to industry in shifting the flow of its products into the civilian market. The Arab boycott of Palestine Jewish products had had, when the Committee was in the country, little effect thus far on the general economic situation. No obvious unemployment had appeared, but some concealed unemployment was said to exist, and earnings of factory labor had probably diminished. The cost of living and wage rates remain obstinately high.

18. House-building is slowly getting under way after the long interval-resulting in shocking congestion-which began with the disturbances of 1936-9 and continued throughout the war, when all constructional activity was concentrated upon military works. There is, however, some natural hesitation in undertaking a large building programme while costs remain so high. Quite apart from the value of land, which has risen inordinately in recent years, building materials are extremely expensive, while timber, nearly all of which has to be imported, is scarce. As a result of the shortage of skilled artisans, some building operatives are earning up to L. P. 8 a day, and, within recent times, have secured additional benefits such as three weeks' paid holiday and a pension scheme. Building costs, therefore, are found to be roughly L. P. 20 a cubic metre-far higher than in Great Britain.

19. The situation is, indeed, replete with elements of uncertainty. There is for one thing the question, debatable on pre-war experience, how far the consolidation and further growth of Jewish industry and trade are dependent upon maintenance of the momentum provided by continuing immigration. It is a matter of conjecture whether the market as a whole is likely to shrink if more peaceful conditions in the Middle East, or a change in political status, result in a large withdrawal of British forces, including police and civilian residents, and a consequent reduction of incomes provided from abroad, though more peaceful conditions would on the other hand induce a fuller flow of tourists. Arising again from wartime growth of industry is the question whether the high costs of production, and inferior quality of some products' in Jewish industry will permit the establishment of a firm position in the home market without inordinate protection. There is the related question - how far external markets can be retained-even allowing for special advantages in the new diamond cutting industry and the fashion and women's specialty trades which together are thought to have outstanding prospects for yielding revenue from abroad-in the face of competition- from advanced industrial countries and possible continuation of the boycott of Jewish products in neighboring Arab States. Again, even though internal conditions might become fully adjusted to the inflated structure of prices and costs, the gross overvaluation of the Palestinian pound in relation to the pound sterling presents a further impediment to successful competition in export markets and an added inducement to competitive imports.

20. It is sometimes claimed that the wage structure in Palestine is far more elastic than elsewhere, so that reductions in wage-costs and prices might proceed smoothly and concurrently once the process had begun; but the wartime wage increases have been by no means wholly in the form of cost-of-living bonuses-basic rises have been widespread and substantial. The Committee could not but observe that at the time of its visit the cost-of-living index number still stood above 250 as compared with a pre-war figure of 100; that limited supplies of sometimes inferior butter were selling at the equivalent of 1 1/2 a pound, and that, in one of the factories visited, workers already receiving L.P. 12 a week were putting in 60 instead of the standard 48 hours in order to make ends meet. It remains to be seen whether the claim of elasticity will be falsified by widespread resistance to downward adjustment of wage rates. Some take the view that increased immigration and a free flow of imported supplies will "automatically" precipitate such a fall in wages and prices as will substantially reduce costs of production and bring the cost of living down to something like the British level. Others complain that the Government does nothing to reduce the cost of living, without being quite sure what the Government ought to do about it. Meanwhile political and other causes hinder the transformation of liquid savings into long-term investment, and the pressure of large unused or unusable money resources, poured out in the process of financing the war, is substantially unrelieved.

Economic Expansion and Immigration

21. Leaving aside these uncertainties of the moment, there can be little doubt that, given some central direction, more co-operative effort, and a peaceful political atmosphere, Palestine could be made to provide further opportunities for prosperous settlement, concurrently with an improvement in the living standards of its present population. Some progress towards central direction was made under stress of war, and arrangements are in hand to provide for its continuance. The War Supply Board, under which the capacity of local industry was enlarged and directed to war production, is shortly to be transformed into a full-fledged Department of Commerce and Industry. The War Economic Advisory Council, notwithstanding the withdrawal of the Arab members, is to carry on its consultative work in the shaping and application of official policy. The Government of Palestine itself has brought to an advanced stage a programme of post-war development covering land reclamation, forestation and other soil conservation measures and irrigation.

22. In addition, the expansion of Palestine's economy has engaged a great deal of attention on the part of non-ollloial bodies. Some witnesses have been severely critical of the Administration for lack of vision and unreadiness to give positive support to proposals for expansion. Others have expressed the view that monetary independence would clear the way to more vigorous public and private enterprise. Opinion has been almost unanimous as to the cramping effects of Article 18 of the Mandate, which restricts the exercise of tariff-making and bargaining powers in the interests of the mandated territory Conflicting views are held on the question whether the citrus industry will be able to regain, or even possibly to expand, its pre-war markets. Some see Palestine's future in the establishment of the coastal fringe as the industrial workshop of the Middle East; some stress the need of an expansion nicely balanced between agriculture and industry.

23. Any forecast of Palestine's long-term prospects must necessarily be viewed against the background of the country's natural resources. These are extremely limited, making Palestine peculiarly dependent on foreign trade for raw materials and supplies of many finished goods. Even the exploitation of the natural asset comprised in a good soil irradiated by long hours of bright sunshine is limited by the availability of water. Despite an abundant winter rainfall in many parts, Palestine is an arid country. In the words of the Palestine Government, "there are few countries nowadays which can say that 'their water resources are of such little concern to their people that legislation to control their use is unnecessary"'; yet the Government of this arid country has no statutory authority to control the exploitation of its water resources, and no authority even to ascertain the extent of such water resources as exist.

24. The Commission on Palestine Surveys, an American financed organization, submitted proposals, conceived on bold and imaginative lines, and worked out in considerable detail by American engineers of the highest standing, for a "Jordan Valley Authority". The general design is to bring water from the sources of the Jordan to the fertile Esdraelon and coastal plaint to irrigate the lower Jordan Valley, and to utilize the waters both of the Jordan River and of the Mediterranean Sea for the generation of electric power. It is claimed for the scheme that, whether carried to full completion or adopted in part-it is subdivided into stages each standing on its own merits- it would bring a bountiful supply of water at an economic cost to large areas of fertile land now yielding only one crop a year. Very large sums of money would be required, but these, the Committee were informed, would be available from external sources.

25. Such bold long-term planning presupposes willing co-operation, or at least interested neutrality, between all sections of the population and the Government. Moreover, it can have little or no bearing on the capacity of Palestine to provide an immediate haven of refuge for homeless Jews from Europe.

26. We have in this immediate context another example of the manner in which Jewish zeal and energy are ready to outrun economic caution of the ordinary Western pattern. Full recognition of the weak points in the Jewish economy and its immediate prospects does not in the least deter the insistence upon providing a home for the homeless If this should entail an all-round cut in standards of living the present Jewish population, so be it. There is much to admire in this demonstration of brotherhood carried, if need be, to the point of sacrifice. But it is conceivable that the passionate expansion of an economic structure, upon a dubious basis of natural resources, might lead to over-development on such a scale as to render it top-heavy to the point of collapse. The argument thus returns to the need for Systematic improvement of the country's basic resources, for which, as already indicated, orderly progress in an atmosphere of peaceful collaboration is a sine qua non.


*It is difficult to estimate the Arab population precisely, as the official statistics are compiled on a religious basis and a small proportion of the Christian population is not Arab. At the end of 1944 the Christians numbered 136.000.

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