Question of Palestine home
"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
League of Nations
31 December 1932
by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the
Council of the League of Nations
on the Administration of
Palestine and Trans-Jordan
For the Year 1932
Report by His Majesty's Government in the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
to the Council of the League of Nations on the
Administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan
for the year 1932
Palestine lies on the western edge of the continent of Asia between latitude 30° N. and 33° N., Longitude 34° 30 E. and 35° 30' E.
On the south it is bounded by Egyptian and Saudi Arabian territory, on the east by Trans-Jordan, on the north by the French Mandated Territories of Syria and the Lebanon, and on the west by the Mediterranean.
The boundaries are described as follows:--
--From a point west of Rafa on the Mediterranean to a point two miles west of Aqaba in the Gulf of Aqaba.
--From a point two miles west of Aqaba in the Gulf of Aqaba up the centre of the Wadi Araba, the Dead Sea, and the River Jordan, to the junction of the latter with the River Yarmuk, thence up the centre of the River Yarmuk to the Syrian frontier.
--The northern boundary was laid down by the Anglo-French Convention of the 23rd December, 1920, and its delimitation was ratified in 1923. Stated briefly, the boundary runs from Ras el Naqura on the Mediterranean eastwards to Metulla and across the upper Jordan valley to Banias, thence to Jisr Banat Yaqub, thence along the Jordan to the Lake of Tiberias on to El Hamme station on the Samakh-Deraa railway line.
--The Mediterranean Sea.
Area and Climate.
2. The average length of Palestine from south to north is about 160 miles and its extreme width from east to west is less than 70 miles, the total area being approximately 10,100 square miles inclusive of a water area of 261 square miles (the Dead Sea, Lake Tiberias and Lake Huleh). In size it is therefore comparable to Wales or Belgium.
3. The climate of Palestine, affected by the neighbouring deserts of Arabia and Nubia as well as by nearby temperate zones, is characterized generally by a dry, warm, but not excessively hot summer, and a mild winter with heavy periodical rainfalls accompanied by high cold winds; frost is rare. But the typical climate is varied by the diverse topography of the country. In the south and south-west there are wide expanses of sand dunes and desert. The remainder of the country falls naturally into three longitudinal strips--the maritime plain, the mountainous regions (or central highlands), and the Jordan valley. Each of these strips, which are more closely described below, is climatically distinct.
The climate of the maritime plain is warm but equable; the heat of summer and the cold of winter are both tempered by the westerly winds from the Mediterranean. In the central highlands there is a greater range of temperature both daily and seasonal, and the maximum temperature is a few degrees lower than in the coastal plains. Snow and hail occasionally fall in Jerusalem and Hebron, and the winter storms are accompanied by penetrating winds which necessitate the use of clothing suitable for a cold English climate.
The Jordan valley is tropical. The high air pressure and the excessive heat in summer combine to produce most oppressive conditions, but the winter in this region is warm and balmy.
The maritime plain and the central highlands are both healthy, though the one, on account of greater humidity, is relaxing in its effects, while the other, through sudden changes of temperature, predisposes to chills and respiratory complaints.
4. The following records are typical of the three climatic zones:--
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
69 per cent.
70 per cent.
55 per cent.
68 per cent.
51 per cent.
64 per cent.
5. Rainfall is of vital importance in Palestine and any reduction in its quantity arouses concern for the prospects of agriculture and water conservation generally. The mean volume of annual rainfall is roughly equal to that of the rainfall in the east of
There are two well-marked periods of precipitation; the former rain in October and November is not usually large; during December, January, and February, the rainfall steadily increases, in March it begins to abate, and it is practically ended in April. The characteristic winds are the moist west and south-west of winter and the dry north and north-west of summer. Desert heat is brought by the sirocco from the hot deserts of the south or east generally in April and May and occasionally in September and October.
6. Along the greater part of the western seaboard lies a stretch of fertile plain of sand and sandy loam soil. In the south this plain has an average width of about 20 miles, but it gradually narrows to the north until at Mount Carmel, near Haifa, the hills approach to within a few hundred yards of the sea. Beyond Carmel the plain widens again, but in this area it is marshy and malarial.
The second strip consists of two distinct mountainous regions divided sharply by the plain of Esdraelon. To the north of that plain are the mountains of Galilee extending beyond the Syrian frontier and rising at Jebel Jermak to a height of 3,934 feet above sea-level; to the south are the mountains of Samaria and Judea which in places reach heights little less than those of Galilee. Most of this second strip of country is desolate and stony, but at irregular intervals there occur stretches of fertile land capable of deep
The plain of Esdraelon, which cuts so sharply through the mountain system of Palestine, is roughly triangular in shape. Though the soil is here of a heavier and more clayey texture than that of the coastal plain, Esdraelon is proverbially fertile and is especially suitable for cereal production.
The third and eastern strip of country is the Jordan valley, a natural depression which, starting from sea-level in the extreme north of the country, falls gradually to a depth of 1,300 feet below that level at the Dead Sea about 100 miles to the south.
7. The capital of Palestine is Jerusalem, situated in the midst of the hills of Judea, and the principal towns are Haifa, with its modern harbour, in the north at the entrance to the plain of Esdraelon; Jaffa, a second port which lies some 40 miles west-north-west of Jerusalem; Tel Aviv, which is contiguous to Jaffa; and Nablus, the ancient Sichem, in the hills of Samaria. Jerusalem has a majority of Jewish inhabitants; in Haifa the people are predominantly Arab, though there is a large Jewish element; Tel Aviv is an entirely Jewish township of 120,000 inhabitants. In Jaffa a large majority of the people are Arabs, and in Nablus, apart from a small community of Samaritans, all the people are Arabs.
Other important towns where the population consists of both Arabs and Jews are Hebron, 20 miles to the south of Jerusalem; Tiberias, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee; and Safad, a remote town in mountainous country in the extreme north of Palestine.
Changes in Personnel, 1934.
8. Sir Steuart Spencer Davis, C.M.G., Treasurer to the Palestine Government, vacated that office in August, 1932, on appointment as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the island of St. Helena.
Mr. W. J. Johnson, O.B.E., Deputy Treasurer, has been appointed to succeed him.
Major C. H. Ley, O.B.E., Director of Surveys, retired from the Public Service on grounds of ill-health in April, and Mr. F. J. Salmon, M.C., Surveyor-General in Cyprus, is to take his place.
Mr. L. French, C.I.E., C.B.E., resigned from the office of Director of Development in November for private reasons.
Mr. F. G. Lowick, Settlement Officer, has been appointed Registrar of Co-operative Societies.
Musa Eff. Alami, Assistant Government Advocate, has been appointed to the staff of His Excellency the High Commissioner as Private Secretary.
9. Public security was not endangered during the year and there was no outbreak of racial disorder.
10. The beginning of the year was marked by a recrudescence of agrarian crime, taking the form of the uprooting of trees or wounding of cattle. For the most part, this was the outcome of feuds between Arab villages originating in boundary disputes or family differences; but in Tulkarm sub-district, where this type of wrongdoing is common, certain new Jewish centres were the sufferers. A summary fine upon the offending villagers and the imposition of a punitive police post put a speedy end to the trouble and special steps have been taken to bring the unruly district under closer police surveillance.
11. In a number of cases disputes over pasturage or squatting rights led to clashes between Jewish watchmen or shepherds and Arabs, in which shots and blows were exchanged. Where graver breaches of the peace threatened, action was taken by the District Commissioner under the Land Disputes (Possession) Ordinance to establish one or the other party in undisturbed possession of the disputed area pending a judicial decision as to the conflicting claims to ownership.
12. The revolt of Ibn Rifada against the King of Saudi Arabia caused little excitement in Palestine. In the south, due precautions were taken to prevent the entry of Ibn Rifada's adherents, whether on their way to join his forces or dispersing after his defeat and death.
13. The reorganization of the Intelligence Service of the Department of Police and Prisons is proceeding and there has been a definite improvement in the efficiency of the Service as a result. Separate constabularies maintained by the larger municipalities and by the township of Tel-Aviv have been converted into State Police; the cost to public funds of these additions to the State Force is to be offset by contributions to revenue from the local authorities concerned. This arrangement, combined with certain changes introduced by the Inspector-General in the organization and disposition of the Force under his command, have led to a marked increase in the efficiency of the Force and in its ability to detect crime. Of this improvement the success of the measures adopted to subdue agrarian crime in the Tulkarm sub-district and the decrease in the number of highway robberies in 1932 are notable examples.
14. The policy of His Majesty's Government in Palestine is subject to the provisions of the Mandate. Statements of their policy are contained in the White Paper of 1922, (Cmd. 1700), and in the White Paper of October, 1930 (Cmd. 3692). The Prime Minister's letter to Dr. Weizmann dated the 13th February, 1931, was issued as an authoritative interpretation of the latter on certain points as to which misconceptions and misunderstandings had arisen.
15. The intention of the Mandatory as regards the establishment of a Legislative Council in Palestine remains unchanged from that announced in the 1930 White Paper. It is proposed to take steps towards the formation of the Council when the new Local Government Ordinance, which is at present being considered by the Palestine Government after consultation with the Executive of the Jewish Agency, the Arab Executive, and the various municipalities, has been brought into working order. The proposals for a Legislative Council will necessarily contain definite safeguards so that in no circumstances can the peace or safety and security of Palestine be endangered or the carrying out of the Mandate, which involves the discharge of a two-fold duty towards the Jewish people on the one hand and the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine on the other, be hampered.
16. Meanwhile, the Palestine Government has exerted every effort to bring representatives of all sections of the community into closer association with Government and thus with each other. Moslems, Christians, and Jews serve together on the General Agricultural Council and its various sub-committees, and unofficial members representing the different interests or communities concerned have been appointed to the Railway and Road Boards, to the Labour Legislation Committee, and to the Standing Committee for Commerce and Industry.
17. The Reports of the Director of Development were presented to the High Commissioner early in the year. Copies have been communicated to the Arab Executive and to the Jewish Agency, and no decisions will be taken until the Reports have been considered by His Majesty's Government in the light of the observations of these two bodies and of any comments which the High Commissioner may make when he has received their observations.
18. Up to the 31st December, 1932, the Department of Development had received 3,188 applications for admission to the Register of Landless Arabs from persons claiming that they had been displaced from the lands which they occupied in consequence of those lands passing into Jewish ownership, and that they had not yet obtained other holdings on which they could establish themselves or other equally satisfactory occupation.
19. So far, 542 claims have been accepted, 2,441 have been disallowed, and 205 are still under examination. Each claim has been examined by the Legal Assessor (His Honour Judge H. A. Webb, K.C., President of the District Court, Nablus) and the Jewish Agency has been given an opportunity of testing the claims by reference to its own record of the land transactions concerned.
20. The Palestine Government has acquired 5,740 dunums of irrigated land in the Baisan sub-district at a cost of about £P25,000 on which to resettle the displaced Arabs belonging to the northern section of the Wadi Hawareth tribe. Meanwhile, these Arabs are continuing to cultivate some 3,000 dunums of land in the Wadi Hawareth as sub-tenants of the Government, which is lessee to the Jewish National Fund.
21. An economic survey is being carried out in a number of villages in the coastal plain in order to ascertain what areas in these villages are capable of closer settlement.
In the Negeb, or arid region of Beersheba, experimental drilling is being carried out by means of special plant in the hope of tapping underground water fit for purposes of irrigation. Success here might mean restoring to the plough and habitation a large area at present unproductive and underpopulated. Water has already been reached in considerable quantity, but still of excessive salinity.
22. Work is progressing slowly at Lake Huleh, under the Concession held by the Syro-Ottoman Agricultural Company for the drainage and reclamation of this marshy area. The construction of a new bridge over the Jordan at Jisr Banat Yaqub, which is the preliminary to the deepening of the river channel as the first stage of the drainage plan, was in hand at the end of the year.
23. Reconstruction of the irrigation system at Jericho is bringing about a large increase in the area of intensive cultivation, and the Baisan system has been partially reconstructed with satisfactory results.
24. The registration of co-operative societies, hitherto carried out by an officer of the Legal Department, has been entrusted to a specially trained Registrar whose first task it will be, in association with the Development Officer, to organize co-operative societies among Arab farmers. Judging from the results attending the co-operative movement among Jewish settlers, this should prove an effective means of improving Arab methods of cultivation and of enhancing the fellah's income from the land.
Agriculture and Land.
25. On the recommendations of the Committee to enquire into arrears of taxation (see 1931 Report, page 7, paragraph 18), it was decided to waive the indebtedness of fellahin and farmers to the following extent :--
Mule loans ................................................
Seed loans ................................................
Other loans ...............................................
It was necessary to grant this indulgence in view of the fact that in the overwhelming majority of instances the debtor was genuinely unable to pay, so that to have pressed for collection would have been as unprofitable an expenditure of money, time, and trouble to Government as it would have been an exasperation to the villagers, who were in sore straits owing to a succession of bad agricultural seasons. But this relief was not enough. The misfortunes of the previous years were repeated in 1932 and poor rains brought about a general failure of the winter crops, which yielded less than 50 per cent. of the normal. The summer crops were hardly any better and the situation was aggravated by the scarcity of grazing due to drought, which seemed likely to decimate the villagers' plough oxen where they had not been sold to obtain money for meeting tax and other obligations.
The Palestine Government therefore remitted £P173,000 out of a total assessment of £P246,000 of the commuted tithe, including that payable by tenants of State Domain. This remission represented, in part, a general reduction from 10 to 7 1/2 per cent. in the rate of the tithe and the remainder represented rebates of varying percentages of the balance due, proportioned to the extent of loss or hardship suffered in individual cases.
In addition, funds amounting to £P35,000 were set aside to be distributed in loans to cultivators for the purchase of seed, forage, plough oxen, and other requisites for the winter sowing. The interest payable on these loans is at the rate of 5 per cent. per annum and 9 per cent. on arrears of due instalments.
26. Reference has already been made (see paragraph 11
) to the Land Disputes (Possession) Ordinance. The Protection of Cultivators Ordinance (see 1931 Report, page 6, paragraph 14) remains in force. These two Ordinances have been enacted in view of the special circumstances attending dispossession in Palestine, where absentee landlords sell large estates with little consideration for their tenant-cultivators or for occupiers with customary rights from time immemorial. Occupancy without formal title is a most common form of landholding in Palestine, and frequently rests on nothing more tangible than a verbal undertaking between occupant and owner, or upon recognized and undisturbed practice. If, therefore, cases occur in which land is not vacant for occupation by the person who obtains the title-deeds by purchase, it is the duty of Government to prevent occupancy from passing unless it is satisfied that existing rights have been fully taken into account and that, if dispossession is unavoidable, due provision is being made for the future livelihood of the persons dispossessed.
27. The year has witnessed a considerable extension of the facilities which are provided by Government through its agricultural stations for the improvement of farming practice. The object of the Government Department is to ameliorate the quality of stock, of seed, and of fruit trees throughout the country, and to encourage better methods of husbandry, especially in the hill districts, so that by augmenting his production and minimizing his purchases of foodstuffs the fellah may become as nearly self-supporting as possible. This end will be advanced if olive, fruit, and vegetable growing is combined with the cultivation of cereals.
A further form of agricultural instruction is given by means of school gardens, in rural areas, where the pupils, who are to form the next generation of cultivators, are taught simple farming practice under the supervision of Government instructors.
With the construction of new stations, at Farradiya in the heart of the potentially productive hill district of Safad, and at Majdal to meet the requirements of southern Palestine, the practical and material assistance which the Palestine agriculturist requires for improvement of his plantation, crops, and farm stock will be at his disposal at convenient centres in every important agricultural zone. At each station there are sections for general agriculture, horticulture, poultry, and beekeeping. Farmers are instructed by means of demonstration plots in the different varieties of cereal and leguminous crops; selected seeds are sold at low prices to them as well as chicks and eggs of approved strains; the cleaning of grain is illustrated by special plant; and budwood and seedlings are issued gratis.
At the Acre station there is also a Stock Farm and the pedigree animals are in general demand for grading up the local breeds.
28. The Government has taken steps to acquire land for a citrus demonstration grove in the orange belt near Jaffa and in connection therewith a grant of £P3,000 will be made to the Agricultural Experimental Station of the Jewish Agency at Rehovot to supplement the annual expenditure of £P5,000 by the Agency on experiments and research designed to improve the output and value of what is the most important industry of the country. The Jewish Agency is also being assisted by a grant of £P300 to maintain plots for demonstrating methods of intensive farming and a second grant of the same amount for horticultural experiments in a hillside settlement near Jerusalem. The Government Department is undertaking feeding experiments with oats and vetch and is importing selected bulls from Syria with a view to improving the local breed of plough oxen. Experiments in improving natural pasturage and in growing maize as fodder are also contemplated.
29. A series of 31 observation stations has been established in the coastal plain between Ras el Naqura and Rafa on private and municipal wells, yielding valuable information as to the seasonal fluctuation of the level of the underground water-table. The observation stations are so placed that a check can be kept on subterranean water conditions in their relation to the rapid annual increase in the area under citrus culture.
30. In view of the persistence of black scale infection in the citrus groves of Northern Palestine and its spread into the Jaffa areas, the Government has decided, after a special survey of the situation, to carry out a complete scheme of fumigation next year and thereafter vigorously to enforce a continuous programme of scale control from year to year. This control is properly regarded as a routine operation in the production of citrus fruit and the expenditure on this control as a normal item in the cost of production which must be met by cultivators. No part of the expenditure will therefore be accepted as a charge upon the general taxpayer of Palestine and recovery of any expenses incurred by the Government Entomological Service on behalf of defaulting growers will be effected by legal process. Seedlings will, however, be issued without charge to replace trees cut out as unproductive, and technical advice and assistance will be given freely in budding for the replanting of groves. Some rebate will also be allowed of fumigation charges by way of compensation for the value of trees destroyed in the process.
31. For the protection of the local cereal farmers, as well as in the interests of the milling industry, the import duties on wheat and flour have been so modified that the duty on wheat is high when the local crop is harvested and on the market, and low during the season when no Palestinian wheat is available; and the margin of difference between the duty on wheat and that on flour has been increased.
32. The importation of acid and olive oils is regulated under a system of licences so that, while manufacturers of acid oil soaps can obtain the supply which they need, the market for local olive oil is preserved and the interests and the reputation of the pure olive oil soaps of Palestine are safeguarded.
33. Mr. B. P. Uvarov of the Imperial Institute of Entomology visited Palestine during the year for the purpose of a research on the desert locust which is being conducted by the Institute. There was no appearance this year of locust swarms in Palestine.
34. The Land Department has been busy with the registration of the schedules of rights compiled by Settlement Officers. The production of these schedules has been extremely rapid, thanks to the satisfactory speed with which settlement is proceeding. The
transactions in rural lands have not been many and no large transfers are pending; for the most part dispositions have taken place in the towns, reflecting the intense building activity in the principal centres.
In the course of settlement, steps have been taken to partition undivided village land wherever possible and the benefits of this division as it takes place become visible almost at once in improvement of cultivation under the stimulus of individual effort.
35. The Committee which was appointed in December, 1931, to consider the replacement of the Commuted Tithe and Werko by a single Land Tax (see 1931 Report, Introductory, page 7, paragraph 17), submitted its recommendations, and legislation is being drafted to give effect to the consequential decisions taken by Government.
36. Progress in the fiscal survey was maintained, and lands in 173 villages, covering an area of 2,111,679 metric dunums, were divided into fiscal blocks and the land in each block was valued.
37. The Urban Property Tax was applied to the urbanized villages of Majdal, Petah-Tiqva, Rehovot, and Rishon-le-Tsiyon, where it will come into force on the 1st April, 1933.
38. The Permanent Mandates Commission has asked for particulars of the cession of two northern villages to Palestine in 1930 by Syria and Trans-Jordan, respectively, which was mentioned in paragraph 20 of page 7 in the Report for 1930.
One of these villages consists of 500 dunums of land containing the mineral springs of El Hamme and some few huts and tents occupied by cultivators from a neighbouring settlement in Trans-Jordan. This area was taken over from Trans-Jordan on the ratification of the Agreement between His Majesty's Government and His Highness the Amir of Trans-Jordan and in virtue of Article 2 of that Agreement whereby the boundary between the two countries was declared to be the median line of the Yarmuk River in the area in question.
In the course of this adjustment, it was discovered that a part of the lands of the Syrian frontier village Kafr Harib lay within the territory of Palestine, and this part was consequently included in the tithe lists of the Palestine Government. This is the second of the "villages" in question.
39. The Education Ordinance is to be enacted in January, 1933, and the text is printed in Appendix I to this Report, together with the text of the Regulations which are being made under the Ordinance. The Ordinance has been carefully framed so as to meet the special requirements of non-Government schools conducted by foreign religious and charitable organizations, and the regulations for its application give clear expression to the intention of Government to refrain from all interference in the conduct and management of private schools which is not absolutely necessary for the maintenance of order and good government.
40. A Committee was appointed by the High Commissioner to enquire into the accommodation available in Government town schools and to make recommendations for increasing that accommodation so as to permit of the admission of a larger number of applicants.
As a result of the recommendations of the Committee, the Government is increasing the roll of teachers to supply deficiencies in the staffs of town and village schools and is renting or constructing additional schoolrooms.
Commerce and Industry.
41. The economic and fiscal conditions of Palestine continue to be favourable in comparison with the depression which besets most of the countries of the world at present. There is no abatement in the building activity at Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel-Aviv.
42. The process of consolidation of local industries and the winning of local and neighbouring markets is steadily maintained and the placing of new areas under citrus cultivation proceeds apace. The Palestine orange finds an ever increasing market in Europe.
43. The Post Office again shows a profit on the year's working, and the Railways are slowly regaining some of the traffic which had been diverted to the roads.
44. It is anticipated that the Haifa Harbour will be open to traffic in October, 1933; it is already sufficiently advanced towards completion to be able to accommodate large vessels calling at the port, and consignments of oranges, railed to the quayside, have been shipped on board steamers moored to the lee breakwater. A destroyer flotilla of the Mediterranean Fleet anchored within the harbour in September and October.
45. The pipe line of the `Iraq Petroleum Company has been laid for a considerable distance in Trans-Jordan. The company's headquarters are established at Haifa and its private telephone route has been laid.
46. A trans-desert motor service, organized by an `Iraqi company, has been started from Baghdad via Amman to Jerusalem, and has met with a considerable measure of success. The Palestine Government has granted it the contract for the conveyance of mails and is considering an application for certain Customs facilities.
47. In consultation with the Standing Committee for Commerce and Industry, on which there are three Arab and two Jewish unofficial members, Government has pursued a policy of facilitating the development of local industries either by the exemption of the raw materials from payment of import duty or by levying protective tariffs.
48. The Levant Fair held at Tel-Aviv in the spring of this year attracted a large number of visitors. A considerable amount of business was transacted at it and many trade openings were created. Plans are now being made for an Arab Exhibition to be held at Jaffa in 1933.
49. In view of the large volume of imports and exports at the Port of Jaffa, the Customs staff has been substantially increased so as to accelerate the clearance of goods, and various improvements and enlargements of storage space are being arranged to the same
50. An index of the sound position of the country is the revenue from import duties, which in the twelve months of the year under review amounted to £P1,193,683. The total revenue for the financial year 1932-33 as a whole is expected to exceed the expenditure by £P439,000, leaving a surplus balance at the 31st March, 1933, of approximately £P1,170,000.
51. These favourable circumstances created openings for new employment in the various branches of trade and industry and it was found possible to authorize the admission of 4,200 men and 2,000 women during the year as labour immigrants on the application of the Jewish Agency.
52. An Automobile Association has been formed in Palestine and is affiliated to the International Association of Recognized Automobile Clubs. The Government of Palestine has decided in the first instance to grant a period of six months' franchise from import duty to visiting cars of members of other affiliated automobile clubs and it is hoped that this concession will be the means of attracting tourists to Palestine.
53. The General Council (Vaad Leumi) is still occupied in the organization of its Local Committees and Rabbinical Offices. Its budget for the financial year October, 1931, to September, 1932, amounting to approximately £P6,000, was approved by the High Commissioner in accordance with the Jewish Community Regulations, 1927, but it is experiencing some difficulty in obtaining its due contributions from local communities.
54. By arrangement with the Jewish Agency, the General Council (Vaad Leumi) is to assume responsibility henceforward for the administration of the Hebrew public school system, towards the expenditure upon which the Government makes, at present, an annual contribution of approximately £P20,000. The contribution is to be increased next year, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions, to some £P26,000.
55. During 1932 there has been no development in the affairs of the Zionist Organization or the Jewish Agency calling for comment by His Majesty's Government. The President of the Agency, Mr. Nahum Sokolow, paid a visit to Palestine towards the end of the year.
The differences between the General Zionists and the Revisionist group have not yet been resolved, but the local representatives of Revisionism have shown themselves less irreconcilable and are taking part in the Councils of the Community.
56. The Central Agudath Israel renewed its application to be recognized as a separate community by Government, but it has not been possible to accede to its request.
Rabbi Chaim Sonnenfeld, the religious head of the Central Agudath Israel, died in March, 1932, and a distinguished Rabbi of Czechoslovakia has been chosen to succeed him.
57. The Arab Press continues to attack the policy of the Mandatory and certain leaders of Arab opinion have not hesitated to discuss the possibility of non-co-operation. The two main parties are still those of the Husseini and Nashashibi factions. A third party has been formed under the name of Istiqlal (Independence) Party. The trend of Arab feeling can be gauged from the boycott of the Levant Fair at Tel-Aviv by Arabs and from the
announcement that Jews are not to be invited to participate in the proposed Arab Fair in 1933. Representative Arabs invited to serve as members on a Government Education Committee expressed their inability to accept, and two Arab members appointed to the Road Board resigned shortly after their appointment.
58. There has been some friction between the Moslem and Christian elements, largely related to the preponderance of Christians in the subordinate posts of Government. A bitter campaign was conducted in the Moslem Press against the alleged favouritism enjoyed by the Christian community in obtaining Government appointments and the dispute was pointedly emphasized by a Moslem celebration of the Saracenic victory at the Horns of Hattin over the Crusading Army.
59. The Supreme Moslem Sharia Council relies for its revenue mainly on receipts from assigned waqf tithes, the average collections of which amounted to £P28,000 per annum. As a result of remissions and reductions of the tithe granted in recent years as a measure of relief to cultivators, the revenues of the Council were seriously affected. Actual collections were reduced to approximately £P12,000; a figure at which it was impossible to maintain the services entrusted to the Council under the Order of 1921. It was therefore decided to come to an arrangement with the Supreme Moslem Sharia Council, and it was agreed, in order to stabilize their revenue, to replace the payment of actual collection of assigned waqf tithes, which was previously treated as a refund of revenue, by an annual payment of £P23,000 chargeable to expenditure. The agreement included,
the introduction of certain reforms in the financial system under the advice and guidance of Government, the increase of revenue and the reduction of expenditure of the Sharia Courts and the investigation of the claims of the Waqf Administration to the revenue from certain
additional assigned waqf tithes.
There is some reason to hope that the good will shown by the Government and the Council during the negotiations which resulted in the re-establishment of the finances of the Council will promote relations of mutual confidence between Government and the Moslem Community of Palestine as a whole.
60. The election of an Orthodox Patriarch (see 1931 Report, page 12, paragraph 41) has still to take place.
The application of the Lay Community to the High Court, through the Executive of the Arab Orthodox Congress, for an Order staying the election was granted, the Court holding that the preliminary proceedings had not been taken in accordance with the Fundamental Law of the Orthodox Patriarchate (see Appendix D to the Bertram-Young Report (Oxford University
Press), 1926). The
of the Patriarchate, acting upon the advice of the Holy Synod, did not allow himself to be represented at the hearing of the application, as the Synod challenged the jurisdiction of the Court on the ground that any decisions in regard to matters relating to the Patriarchate had always been given by administrative and not judicial authority. The Court, however, ruled that it had jurisdiction under Section 6 (
) of the Courts Ordinance, 1924. The preliminary difficulties as to the election are to be resolved by legislation.
61. The Labour Legislation Committee (see the 1931 Report, page 14, paragraph 45) has not yet completed its deliberations, but interim reports have already been presented to Government with regard to workmen's compensation, compulsory health insurance, the employment of women and children in industry, and minimum wage fixing machinery. The Palestine Government is now considering these interim reports with a view to the enactment of legislation giving effect to such of the Committee's recommendations as it may be found practicable at this stage to adopt.
62. The High Commissioner has conferred with the Mayors of Palestine for the discussion of municipal affairs and future municipal policy, and met representatives of the Chambers of Commerce and addressed them with regard to a number of outstanding questions which had been the subject of representation to Government by the commercial community.
63. For the first time, the budget of the Government and the Financial Report of the Treasurer have been published for general information.
64. With effect from the 1st April, 1932, the financial and accounting period of the Government, which has been the calendar year since 1928, was altered to the period of 12 months from April to March.
65. On the King's Birthday, the battalion of British infantry stationed at Jerusalem carried out the ceremony of the trooping of the colour in the presence of the High Commissioner and Commander-in-Chief.
66. The hydro-electric station of the Palestine Electric Corporation at Jisr Majamie was formally opened by the High Commissioner in March in the presence of His Highness the Amir Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, and can now supply current to the entire concession area. The fuel stations at Tiberias, Tel-Aviv, and Haifa
are now, for all practical purposes, reserve stations.
I.--JEWISH NATIONAL HOME.
6,730 Jewish immigrants were admitted to Palestine in 1932, of whom 6,200 were working men and women authorized under the Labour Schedules. In addition, some 3,000, already in the country as travellers and otherwise, were registered as immigrants, having shown themselves qualified for registration under one or other category. There has been a considerable immigration of persons of independent means.
Special facilities have been given for the admission of the parents of persons already settled in the country, and 100 young female relatives of such persons were allowed to enter in addition to those for whom individual applications were made in the ordinary way.
A new category of immigrants has been brought into force which permits the entry of persons in possession of capital ranging from £P500 to £P1,000. This is designed to facilitate the immigration of small farmers and independent craftsmen.
Special facilities were provided by Government as regards passport, visa, and quarantine formalities to visitors to the Levant Fair and the Athletic Sports of the Maccabee Organization.
The age limit in respect of Rabbis applying for admission for settlement in Palestine has been removed and immigration certificates are now granted to all Rabbis certified either by the Chief Rabbinate of the Jewish Community or by the Central Agudath Israel to be duly qualified as Rabbis and to be pursuing a religious vocation.
The age limit of 35 which has hitherto been imposed on immigrants applying for admission under the Labour Immigration Schedules authorized from time to time has been raised in selected cases to 45 years.
2. Reference will be found in Section III of this Report to the measures now being devised in order to enable Government to determine what proportion of the labour costs on each public work may properly be assigned to Jewish labour. It is neither possible nor was it intended that the Prime Minister's assurance should be fulfilled by granting to Jews a share of employment on public works fixed solely in relation to the Jewish contribution to revenue. The Prime Minister's undertaking was that with regard to public and municipal works "falling to be financed out of public funds, the claim of Jewish labour to a due share of the employment available, taking into account Jewish contributions to public revenue, shall be taken into consideration".
The Administration will continue its endeavours to satisfy the just claims of Jewish labour. Already in a number of specific cases, contracts have been directly awarded to the General Federation of Jewish Labour, or conditions introduced into contracts to ensure that a fair proportion of Jews should be employed on the works.
3. The only important mixed areas in which the question arises of Jewish employment upon public works carried out by municipalities are Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa. In Jerusalem, one-third of the permanent staff of the Municipality are Jews; and in various
works services, ordinary and special, out of a total of 111,445 man-days worked in 1932, 31,426, or 28 per cent., were worked by Jews. But the percentage amount of the total wages paid to Jews was much higher, probably 50 per cent., as Jewish workmen received the greater share of the skilled labour, while the unskilled labour was largely Arab. On the Jerusalem main drainage scheme, £P10,000 will be spent on wages, and the conditions of the contract secure that about 50 per cent. of that sum will be earned by Jews. A similar apportionment of labour costs has been arranged in two smaller works connected with the Jerusalem water supply and in the construction of a new abattoir and incinerator for the town.
In Jaffa, Jews are usually employed for the more technical part of the works undertaken by the Municipality, to the average extent of 12 per cent. of the total labour engaged.
The Municipality of Haifa expended £P6,300 on works during 1932; of this amount, 77 per cent. went to Arab and 23 per cent. to Jewish labour. In Tiberias, Jewish labour obtained 76 per cent. of the work done by the Municipality.
4. The budget of the General Council (Vaad Leumi) of the Jewish Community was duly approved by Government and the Council was given official assistance in the drawing up of its fiscal proposals and system of internal taxation.
Negotiations have been proceeding between the General Council (Vaad Leumi) and the Government with a view to the amendment of the Jewish Community Regulations in various ways. It was proposed that the arrangements which are laid down in paragraph 18 of the Regulations (see 1927 Report, page 87) in respect of the annual revision of the Register of Adult Jews should be altered so as to provide for the automatic inclusion in the register of every Jew on reaching the age of maturity and of every Jew who has been resident in the country for three years. A second proposal was to alter the provisions as to grant of licences for the baking of unleavened bread, to prohibit its sale without licence, and to limit by licence the number of bakers of independent congregations. Government found itself unable to agree to either of these amendments.
In regard to a third amendment, that the Regulations should provide for the prohibition of slaughter or sale of kosher meat by unlicensed persons, Government is disposed to agree provided that the Central Agudath Israel, representing the independent congregations, accepts the change. But Government did not agree to the proposal to limit by licence the number of ritual slaughterers belonging to independent congregations.
The Vaad Leumi applied for a Government subvention towards the cost of the Rabbinical Offices and the Rabbinical Courts and this matter was still under consideration at the end of the year. The Rabbinical Courts derive their revenue from fees over the scale of which there is no Government control and the upkeep of the Rabbinical Courts is at present provided out of contributions by the Committees of Local Communities.
5. Reference is invited to the summary in Section III of this Report of the various new and increased grants in aid of Jewish services, health, educational, and agricultural, which the Government has decided to make available in the next financial year.
A new Municipal Council was elected in 1932 at Ramallah, consisting of six members and a Mayor, all of them Christian Arabs. At Bait Jala, also a Christian Arab area, a new Mayor was appointed to fill a vacancy caused by death, and the appointment was confirmed by the High Commissioner.
In the mixed Moslem-Christian area of Bait Sahur, a new Local Council, consisting of seven members and a President, was elected. Two of the members are Moslems.
A new Local Council of fourteen members and a President was elected in Tel-Aviv; and new Local Councils were elected in the Jewish villages of Ramat Gan and Petah-Tiqva.
The Local Council of Anebta near Nablus was abolished, having ceased, in the opinion of the District Commissioner, satisfactorily to discharge its functions.
2. An Order was issued by the High Commissioner modifying the boundaries of Ramle municipal area.
3. A number of by-laws were made by Municipalities and Local Councils during the year:--
(i) at Jerusalem, to regulate the parking of public vehicles and prescribing the hours for sale of intoxicating liquors;
(ii) at Acre, Baisan, Haifa, Nazareth, Safad, and Tiberias, prescribing the hours for sale of intoxicating liquors;
(iii) at Jaffa, prescribing routes for omnibuses and regulating the parking of public vehicles;
(iv) at Majdal, regulating the parking of public vehicles;
(v) at Tel-Aviv, for the licensing of bicycles and tricycles; for the protection of plants; for opening and voiding cesspits; prescribing closing hours of shops, restaurants, etc.; prescribing the rules to be observed in abattoirs;
(vi) at Petah-Tiqva, for the pruning of acacia hedges.
4. The Electoral Regulations of the Local Council of Petah-Tiqva were so amended as to give women the right to participate in the election of the Local Council and to be elected as Councillors.
The Order constituting the Local Council of Rama was amended to afford a more equitable distribution of taxes amongst the rate-payers.
5. The Local Government Bill (page 16, paragraph 1, of the 1931 Report) reached a stage when it could be communicated to Municipal and the principal Local Councils for their
observations at the beginning of November. The Mayors met in conference at Jerusalem to discuss the Bill and agreed upon certain general lines of criticism. A small official Committee is now engaged upon the revision of the Bill for publication in the light of the comments made by local authorities and other bodies, which have been consulted.
6. Exemption from Import Duty has been granted in respect of appliances for abattoirs, asphalt sprayers, and chlorinating apparatus for water supplies, in favour of Municipal and Local Councils.
7. The validity of the collection of rates by the Local Council of Tel-Aviv over a period of years was challenged by certain rate-payers and this challenge was upheld by the Courts. Steps were therefore taken by the Palestine Government with a view to enacting legislation validating the collection and thus to secure a very considerable amount of arrears of revenue for the Local Council. Validating legislation was also passed to regularize the elections of members of the Local Council which were held in 1932 with some
A further Ordinance of this character was passed to validate the acts done by the Municipality of Jerusalem in the absence of a statutory quorum following the resignation of the Jewish members of the Municipal Council.
By the instrumentality of the Government Treasurer, the local branch of Barclays Bank has agreed to grant a loan of P20,000 to the Municipality of Nablus on reasonable terms of interest and repayment and without Government guarantee, for the financing of a much-needed water-supply system. It has also agreed to make a loan on similar terms to the Municipality of Gaza for an identical purpose.
In other Sections of this Report will be found references in detail to the consideration which has been given by the Government of Palestine to the possibility of increasing the grants from public funds towards the capital and recurrent costs of various services conducted by the Jewish Agency; and to the efforts which are being made to secure that a due proportion of the employment on public works, taking into account the Jewish contribution to revenue, shall be assigned to Jewish labour.
2. It will be sufficient in this Section to summarize the results of this consideration.
--An increase of the block grant in aid of the Jewish public school system, at present £P20,000, to about £P26,000, account being taken of the cost of educational services rendered by other Departments of Government outside the Education Vote proper, and, generally, of the expenditure which the Government Department of Education would incur if called upon to provide educational services to all Jewish children of school
age in Palestine on the scale provided for Arab schoolchildren.
--A capital grant of £P3,000 for structural improvements of the Hospital of the Workers' Sick Fund at Affula.
A maintenance grant of £P1,700 towards the Hadassah Tuberculosis Hospital at Safad.
A contribution of £P1,500 towards the cost of the School Hygiene and Ophthalmological Service of the Jewish Agency.
A contribution of £P500 towards the cost of its infant welfare service.
--A grant of £P3,000 towards citrus research and experimentation at the Agency's Agricultural Experiment Station at Rehovot.
Grants of £P300 each to experiments in intensive cultivation plots and hillside horticulture at Jewish settlements.
--It is intended to scrutinize the programme of works for 1933-34 so as to determine precisely in what proportions Jews and others shall be employed upon each work, regard being had, as promised by the Prime Minister, to the Jewish contribution to revenue, and to the factors of locality, racial distribution of local population, nature of work, and labour costs.
3. The Jewish Agency has made representations to Government during the year in regard to the draft Immigration (Consolidating) Ordinance, the draft Education Ordinance, the Land Law (Amendment) Bill, and the Land Disputes (Possession) Ordinance; and the Regulations under the Education Ordinance were modified to meet certain of the Agency's criticisms. The Department of Education of the Jewish Agency is in close touch with the Government Department, and has discussed with it questions connected with the conditions of the grant-in-aid to Jewish schools, and with the legislation already mentioned. Officers of the Government Department sit upon the Supervising Educational Committee of the Agency.
A representative of the Hebrew University and an official of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the Agency are members of the General Agricultural Council of Palestine; and the unofficial Jewish members of the Government Standing Committee for Commerce and Industry and the Road Board were selected after consultation with the Agency. The Agency's trade adviser is a member of the Standing Committee. The Jewish member of the
Road Board is the local manager of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association.
4. All applications for inclusion in the Register of Landless Arabs have been referred to the Jewish Agency, so that it might have an opportunity of examining the claims of applicants that they had been dispossessed by reason of their land having passed into Jewish hands. Mention was made in the 1931 Report (page 18, paragraph 8) of the assistance given by the Agency to Government in providing temporarily for the northern section of the Wadi Hawareth Arabs; a member of the Agency served upon the Committee which was formed for the purpose of, and has succeeded in, finding other areas for the permanent resettlement of the tribesmen.
The Agency is represented upon the Committee appointed to draw up the curriculum of the Kadoorie Agricultural School, Mt. Tabor. An official of its Experiment Station at Rehovot has been selected as Principal of the School.
Facilities were obtained by the Jewish Agency from Government for the importation of cattle for Jewish settlements from Holland and Syria.
5. The Agency submitted proposals in April and in October for Labour Immigration Schedules of 3,723 (2,688 men and 1,035 women) and 6,560 (4,380 men and 2,180 women) respectively. After due consultation with representatives of the Agency, the High Commissioner decided to authorize quotas of 2,100 (1,500 men and 600 women) and 4,500 (3,000 men and 1,500 women) respectively. Special permission was given for the entry of selected labour immigrants above the age of 35 years.
6. The Agency also made representations to the Government as to the numbers of Jews in the Palestine Police and in the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force. The Jewish element in the Police Force is shown in Section XI, paragraph 1, of this Report; the percentages are--officers 17 per cent., men 13 per cent.
Steps were taken to enlist additional Jews in the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force, in which the number of Jews is at present 47, and these steps will be continued.
The Agency continued to co-operate, through its special liaison officer, with the District Administration and the Police and Air Force authorities in all matters concerning the arrangements made for the defence of Jewish settlements; and it participated in the
negotiations between the Government and the Township of Tel-Aviv regarding the reorganization of the local constabulary and its absorption into the State Police. Upon the suggestion of the Agency, it was decided to set up a Standing Committee of the Township which should be its instrument of co-operation with Government in Police matters.
7. The General Council (Vaad Leumi) of the Jewish Community assists the Government Probation Officer in taking care of Jewish juvenile offenders.
8. The receipts of the Jewish Agency and affiliated Zionist Institutions showed a decrease, owing to the economic crisis in Europe and America, as well as to the restrictions imposed by various Governments on the export of currency.
9. During the financial year 1st October, 1931, to 30th September, 1932, the Jewish Agency, the Emergency Fund for Palestine, and the Hebrew University expended the sum of half a million pounds. The sources of revenue were as follows:--
Keren Hayesod ...................................................
Hadassah Medical Organization ...................................
Jewish National Fund ............................................
Women's International Zionist Organization ......................
Emergency Fund for Palestine ....................................
Hebrew University ...............................................
Hebrew Technical College ........................................
The expenditure of the Jewish Agency is covered by the Keren Hayesod funds collected throughout the Diaspora, except Russia. The allocation of the expenditure of
P204,600 was as under:--
Agricultural Colonization (including Experimental Station) ......
National and communal institutions ..............................
Investments in land and buildings ...............................
Immigration and Public Works ....................................
Public Health and Sanitation ....................................
Religious and Mizrahi Institutions ..............................
Other expenditure ...............................................
10. During the year 5692, the Jewish National Fund purchased about 8,300 dunums of land, of which 4,700 dunums are located in the Plain of Esdraelon (Emek) and 3,600 dunums in the Maritime Plain. The new land in the Emek was used for enlarging the holdings of existing settlements while that in the Maritime Plain will be utilized in settling workers' and farmers' sons. The total area in the possession of the Fund is now 296,910 metric dunums.
The Fund afforested 6,320 dunums, built 23 houses in two Yemenite settlements, continued drainage works on the Wadi el Hawareth and Haifa Bay tracts, and constructed water-powers and installed water-supplies in various settlements.
The Agency enlarged the area of some of the Emek settlements, carried out deep boring operations, and built wells in several others, equipped a number with modern machinery, and carried out a large building programme in the Kishon Valley, where 43 houses and 342 farm buildings were in the process of construction during 1932. Contracts for the repayment of capital and interest of installation loans were concluded with nineteen settlements.
The "Thousand Families Scheme" provides for the settlement of several contingents of workers out of those employed in the plantation colonies, each approved settler being provided with a cottage and farm buildings, a cow, a poultry run, an irrigated plot of 3 dunums for vegetable growing, and 7 1/2 dunums of irrigated land under citrus. The land has been provided by the Jewish National Fund and credit is being granted for equipment by the Palestine Economic Corporation of America, the Palestine Emergency Fund, and various individuals. All expenditure is to be repaid by the settlers, who contribute to their establishment out of their savings. Over 400 families have so far been approved as settlers under the scheme. Construction began in October, 1932, and by the end of the year 300 buildings were being erected, 888 dunums were planted, and a Water Company had been formed to carry out the irrigation works.
11. The Jewish Agency maintains Palestine offices in all important centres of Jewish immigration to supervise the selection of immigrants under the Labour Schedule and to assist immigrants of other categories, and hostels at Tel-Aviv and Haifa, where immigrants are provided with temporary accommodation pending their transfer to places of employment. In co-operation with the General Federation of Jewish Labour, the Agency regulates the distribution of immigrants between centres of employment and supplies them with beds, tools, and medical assistance during the initial period of establishment. This year, tents were provided by the Jewish Agency for about 1,000 immigrant workers, and permanent dwellings and dining halls were erected with the assistance of the Jewish Agency for camps accommodating 500 workers in the plantation colonies.
12. The Agency has formed an Economic Department for directing investments to Palestine, facilitating the immigration of people of means, and publishing economic information. An Economic Research Committee of experts has been set up to explore the country's resources systematically and to secure reliable economic data; and the activities of various Jewish economic bodies are being co-ordinated.
13. The Hadassah Medical Organization continued to supply medical treatment to most of the Jewish inhabitants of the country. Its four hospitals had a total bed-strength of 423 and admitted 11,674 patients. Its School Hygiene Department had under its care 30,000 pupils.
The Jewish Agency made a grant of P3,000 to the Sick Fund of the General Federation of Jewish Labour which, with a total budget of £P51,000, provided medical services to a paying membership of over 20,000.
14. The school system of the Jewish Agency is now managed by the Executive Education Committee constituted by and responsible to the Vaad Leumi. The Committee consists of five members, one appointed by the Jewish Agency, who acts as Chairman, two by the Vaad Leumi, and one each by the Township of Tel-Aviv and the Parents' Association in the colonies. The schools constituting the system were attended by 23,976 pupils and had a teaching personnel of 930. The expenditure for the Jewish year amounted to £P109,443, towards which the Jewish Agency contributed £P40,000, the rest being covered by the Government grant, tuition fees, and education grants from Local and Village Councils and the Township of Tel-Aviv, where a special education tax is levied. The total expenditure of the Jewish community on elementary education, including private schools and excluding the Government grant-in-aid, exceeded £P180,000.
15. The Central Bank of Co-operative Institutions has now a clientele of 74 co-operative societies; during 1932 it granted £P173,000 in loans for agricultural purposes, planting of orange groves, construction of farm houses and purchase of equipment.
Building loans were granted by the Palestine Mortgage Bank (established by the Keren Hayesod) to a total amount of £P25,700, and by the Palestine Mortgage and Credit Bank, which constructed 160 houses in the workers' suburb of Haifa and 12 houses on the outskirts of Tel-Aviv, all on Jewish National Fund land.
IV.--IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION.
1. The balance of arrivals over departures in 1932 was 15,908. Of this number, 6,730 entered as immigrants on immigration certificates. The remainder consisted of returning residents, tourists, pilgrims, and travellers in transit, including travellers holding visas for stay in Palestine of which the validity was still current at the close of the migration records for 1932.
Apart from movements to and from Trans-Jordan, 30,898 residents of Palestine left during the year, in most cases temporarily, and 30,696 returned to their homes in Palestine. The net balance outwards was 202, but the true number of emigrants was larger than this, for among the returning residents are many who, having lived for long periods abroad, especially in North and South America, have been forced by financial and economic difficulties to abandon their adopted homes.
All emigration countries are closed to the classes of working men, hawkers, and small shopkeepers, to which emigrants from Palestine belong almost without exception. Emigration from Palestine has consequently consisted almost entirely of the return of immigrants of long or short standing to their former homes, for the most part in Europe.
2. Among the recorded immigrants, an increase is noticeable in Category A (i) (persons in possession of £P.1,000 and upwards), the number being 754 as compared with 269 in the year 1931. Some of these were men whose means considerably exceeded the minimum. In many cases the whole of the immigrant's capital was not transferred to Palestine. In others the qualifying capital included long term loans placed at the disposal of the immigrants. With reference to a question put at the Twenty-Second Session of the Permanent Mandates Commission, it is not possible to state even approximately the total amount brought to Palestine by these immigrants nor the extent to which the qualifying capital was not the property of the immigrants. In some cases it may be that the qualifying capital was borrowed for the occasion. Judging, however, from the sums invested in house-building and plantations and also lying idle at the banks awaiting opportunity of investment, the amount of money brought to Palestine by immigrants and that invested here by persons resident abroad who have not yet settled in the country is relatively considerable. A large part of the activities of the population, at any rate of the Jewish section of it, may be said to be financed by this foreign capital.
3. The existing categories of immigrants are the following:--
A (i) Persons in possession of capital amounting to £P.1,000 and upwards, not necessarily in cash;
A (ii) Members of liberal professions possessing capital of £P.500 and upwards;
A (iii) Craftsmen and artisans in possession of capital of £P.250 and upwards;
A (iv) Persons enjoying a secured minimum income of £P.4 a month;
A (v) Persons, not being members of liberal professions, possessing capital of not less than £P.500, not necessarily in cash, provided that the Director of the Department of Immigration is satisfied that (
) the settlement of such person in Palestine will not lead to the creation of undue competition in the pursuit which the proposed immigrant states his intention of entering; (
) his capital is sufficient to assure him a reasonable prospect of success in that pursuit; (
) he is qualified and physically fit to follow that pursuit;
B (i) Orphans whose maintenance is assured;
B (ii) Persons of religious occupation whose maintenance is assured;
B (iii) Students whose maintenance is assured;
C Persons coming with a definite prospect of employment;
D Dependants of permanent residents and immigrants.
4. Of the 6,730 persons who were admitted to Palestine as immigrants during the year, 5,823 were Jews, 805 were Christians and 101 were Moslems. Of the Jews, 2,349 were men, 2,435 women, 539 boys and 500 girls. Among the Christians there were 282 men, 272 women, 135 boys and 116 girls, and among the Moslems 35 men, 24 women, 18 boys and 24 girls.
In addition to these immigrants, 4,559 persons who had entered Palestine during this year and previous years as travellers or without permission and had succeeded in establishing themselves as settlers, were registered as immigrants. Of these, 3,730 were Jews, 719 Christians and 109 Moslems. Among these were 2,826 Jews and 224 non-Jews who were granted registration under the special rule applied in 1931 (
1931 Report, Section IV, paragraph 2).
Of the 9,553 Jews who were thus registered as immigrants in the course of the year, 4,955 claimed to be between the ages of 18 and 35 years; 1,204 described themselves as unskilled labourers, 619 as merchants, manufacturers, shopkeepers, etc., 435 as tailors, seamstresses, milliners, etc., 428 as agriculturists, 304 as clerks and shop assistants, 305 as members of professions and artists, and 728 as skilled in other trades; 727 were registered in Category A (i), one in A (ii), 21 in A (iii), 97 in A (iv), 2 in A (v), 2,271 in C, 3,416 in D (including dependants of immigrants), and 189 were orphans, students and rabbis. The social position which the immigrants occupy does not necessarily correspond to these classifications. For instance, medical practitioners are not confined to Category A (ii) but are to be found also in Category A (i), A (iv), C and even D. Working women appear also in all categories except A (iv), B (i) and B (ii) and perhaps A (iii) and A (v).
5. Of the registered immigrants, 4,228 (4,215 Jews) came from Eastern Europe, 3,833 (3,030 Jews) from oriental lands including North Africa, 745 (741 Jews) from Central Europe, 909 (864 Jews) from the United States of America and 539 (including 128 Jews and 78 British Police) from the British Empire apart from Aden and India.
6. Two Labour Immigration Schedules were approved during the year. That for the period April-September consisted of:--
1,433 men under 35 years of age,
500 unmarried women under 35 years of age,
67 men under 45 years of age,
and that for the period October 1932--March 1933 consisted of:--
2,700 men under 35 years of age,
1,500 unmarried women under 35 years of age,
300 men under 45 years of age.
In all cases, these immigrants may be accompanied by their wives and minor children, and an increasingly large number of young labourers now bring wives with them.
1,789 men and 713 women, apart from dependants, were registered as immigrants under the Schedule quotas.
The full effect of the Second Schedule will not be felt until the first half of the year 1933.
The Schedules are decided by the High Commissioner after the Director of the Department of Immigration has submitted the material on which a decision can be based. This material is collected from all available sources and co-ordinated, tabulated and analysed by a special Unemployment Officer (see 1931 Report, Section XVII, paragraph 3, page 70). Its value is estimated after consultation with representatives of the Jewish Agency and with reference to the proposals which that Agency itself submits, indicative of its anticipations of the extent to which new openings for employment will be created in the period in question. In deciding on the size of a Schedule, Government gives equal consideration to all prospective employment, permanent or temporary. For instance, the immediately prospective needs of housebuilding, which for some labourers is a temporary occupation, are given equal weight with the anticipated requirements of permanent industries and agriculture.
7. 253 prospective immigrants were refused admission, apart from a number of persons who were deported during the year for being in Palestine without permission.
8. In the 1931 Report (Section IV, paragraph 5), it was stated that 31,617 returning residents entered Palestine during the year. These were persons domiciled in Palestine, both Palestinians and foreigners, who returned in the course of 1931 to their homes after having been absent abroad for longer or shorter periods. A few had been away since before the War; the absence of others dates from the years immediately following the War, but most of them had been out of the country for a brief time only. Detailed information is not available as to the nationalities of these returning residents, or the countries from which they have returned; but those countries are mainly South American and Central European. As against the figure of 31,617 returning residents, there should be set a figure of 33,172 residents in Palestine (not travellers and not immigrants) who left the country during the year. Thus, it may be calculated that 1,555 more residents left the country than returned to it in the course of 1931.
9. The Permanent Mandates Commission requested information as to the exodus of Palestinians to Biro-Bedjian.
The movement to settle Jews in this Soviet province was organised shortly after the settlement of Jews in the Crimea, which began in 1928, and was conducted simultaneously with the movement to encourage the settlement of Armenian refugees in Soviet Armenia. The Jewish movement is carried on by the O.Z.E.T. (initials of Russian words meaning Society for the Promotion of Agricultural Work amongst Jews), which is an organization formed for the purpose of assisting the settlement of Jews on the land in Russia generally.
From information in the possession of the Palestine Government, it appears that, while the movement lasted, permission was granted to 115 persons resident in Palestine (including Armenians) to settle in Biro-Bedjian with their families, and sixty-six families are known to have left. Some of them have since returned to their homes in Palestine. With few exceptions, the emigrants were members of or sympathised with the Communist Party in Palestine.
The movement has for the time being been suspended by the Soviet authorities, but it is believed that it will shortly be resumed, and it is understood that permission has been granted to a further party of 84 persons from Palestine to proceed.
The settlers receive 50 per cent. discount in respect of their fares from the Soviet Steamship Agency in Palestine, and those who have no money are allowed a loan.