SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
VERBATIM RECORD OF THE SIXTH MEETING (PRIVATE)
Held at the Y.M.C.A. Building, Jerusalem
Monday, 16 June 1947, at 4:00 p.m.
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
Hearing of the Representatives of the Palestine Government.
The Chairman introduced the Chief Secretary of the Palestine Government, Sir Henry Gurney, and Mr. D.C. MacGillivray, and invited them to be seated. The Chairman said that the intention of the meeting was to seek further information concerning the material presented in A Survey of Palestine, and he asked Sir Henry Gurney to give an outline of the administration of Palestine.
Sir Henry Gurney, after welcoming the members of the Committee, described how the administration of Palestine was constituted and drew the Committee’s attention to the distinction made in the text of the Mandate between the United Kingdom Government, the Mandatory Power, and the administration of Palestine, the latter being constituted by the Palestine Order in Council of 1922.
Sir Henry Gurney then referred briefly to the main provisions of the Order in Council of 1922, making special reference to the Legislative Council, the Courts, including the military tribunals, the structure of the Government, the administrative areas into which the country is divided, and produced maps to illustrate the administrative divisions of Palestine.
Members of the Committee then sought information from Sir Henry Gurney and Mr. MacGillivray on points arising from the Chief Secretary’s statement and on other aspects of the Palestine Administration.
Discussion opened on the position of Gaza which Sir Henry Gurney had described as almost entirely an Arab district.
In accordance with the request of members of the Committee for a full record of the information obtained, the questions and answers during this part of the meeting are reproduced for the most part in extenso as follows:
MR. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): What is the population?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The district population is given on Page 13 of the Supplementary Volume under Gaza District. Gaza Sub-district has a settled population of 150,000, but in addition, there are some 90,000 nomad Bedouins,
MR. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): .What is the extent of the district in square miles? How large is it?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: 13,689 square kilometres:
CHAIRMAN: What is considered to be the Negeb?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The Negeb is not an administrative area. There are differences of view as to what the Negeb precisely is. The word Negeb simply means “south”.
MR. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): Is this population contained within both Negeb and Gaza?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes.
MR. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): So the 13,689 square kilometres refers to Gaza and Negeb?
SIR, HENRY. GURNEY: That is the Gaza District, including Negeb. But the northern boundary is not determined by any legal instrument and is very often a matter of opinion.
MR. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): Do you know if the population is concentrated in the northern part, or is there a population in the southern part of Negeb?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: No, there is no population in the southern part.
MR. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): So Negeb is more or less deserted.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The Gaza District is divided into two sub-districts, the Gaza Sub-district end the Beersheba Sub-district. The Gaza Sub-district is shown on the map along the coast. It runs el on the coastal belt. The population of that Sub-district is rill-lost entirely settled end amounts to about 150,000. The population of the Beersheba Sub-district is predominantly Bedouin and amounts to about 90,000 Bedouins and 7,000 settled inhabitants. Most of the settled population are in the town of Beersheba. The density of the Beersheba Sub-district ranges from 1 per square kilometre in the south, to 30 per square kilometre in the northwest. The bulk of the population is in the northwest.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): In the Gaza Sub-district, what is the density?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: I am afraid I do not have those figures.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): But it is much more?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Very much more.
MR. RAND (Canada): Those details are contained in these volumes?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Yes. They are. The density, figures are not given in the Survey. I am afraid they have to be worked out from the figures of the population end the figures given elsewhere of the areas, but we shall provide the density figures in writing for each Sub-district.
CHAIRMAN: We might ask later that it be pointed out in a graphic way on a map. Do you think that is possible?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is another map, number 5, the population map, which does show the density of the population.
CHAIRMAN: When was this map drawn up?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: 1944, but there have been changes since.
CHAIRMAN: I see the number of nomads is given here as 60,000.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: You will find in the Survey a figure of 67,000 for nomads. The nomads are very difficult people to estimate accurately and we would prefer that the Committee take 90,000 rather than 67,000 for these Bedouin nomads.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Now since 1931, and for purposes of official population, the figure of the census in 1931 has always been taken for the Bedouin population, but the preliminary results of a survey which was undertaken last year, or less than a year ago, showed that the Bedouin population has increased, and the figure we now put forward in the Beersheba Sub-district is 91,000.
CHAIRMAN: May I ask if the Sub-district is the lowest administrative unit?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes. There are sixteen Sub-districts. Galilee has five sub-districts, Gaza has two, Haifa has one. They are all shown on the map.
CHAIRMAN: And the head of the administration in the District is the District Commissioner?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, he is assisted by an assistant District Commissioner and District Officers. The administrative staff consists of six district commissioners, three deputy district commissioners, 39 assistant district commissioners, 53 district officers. That is shown on Page 31 of the Estimates.
CHAIRMAN: What is the administrative organization in the Sub-district?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The assistant district commissioner is in charge of the Sub-district and he has under him the district officers. The number depends upon the size of the population.
CHAIRMAN: Is there any kind of local self-government?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes. The local councils and the village councils are all listed in Volume I of the Survey, Page 130. There are a large number of municipal councils, local councils. All of these are local authorities exercising their powers, making rates, legislating. These are elected bodies insofer as they have been able to carry out elections, but in some cases where the local conditions have been so acute, end the disputes have been so violent that it has been impossible to create an elected body, then we have had to put in a commission. But these do represent the government’s attempt to build up autonomy.
CHAIRMAN: Who constitute the electoral body?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: You mean the voters?
CHAIRMAN: Yes. Who votes in the elections?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Anybody who fulfills the requirements of the Municipal Corporations Ordinances, in the case of municipalities. In Tel Aviv and Fetah Tiqva, the only all-Jewish municipalities, all males and females over the age of 21, whether or not of Palestinian citizenship, are entitled to vote.
CHAIRMAN: Where is that in the Survey?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Page 132, Volume 1.
CHAIRMAN: Otherwise, Jews and Arabs take part in these elections in different cases? Is there a census or list of voters?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is a voters’ roll. Both Jews and Arabs are enrolled as voters. They both vote; there is no separate roll. They vote on a common roll for the ward.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: There are in fact only four mixed municipalities, mixed Arab and Jew. There are no mixed local councils or village councils. They are either all Arab or all Jew.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): What are these mixed councils?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The four mixed municipal councils are: Haifa, Jerusalem, Tiberia and Safad.
MR. BLOM (Netherlands): Who are considered as Jews?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is no legal definition of Jew.
MR. BLOM (Netherlands): If a Jewish woman is married to a non-Jew, is she considered Jewish or not, in the legal sense?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I do not know. The word Jew is not defined in any law.
MR. RAND (Canada): What, for instance, would be the municipal jurisdiction, what matters would be looked after in the municipal council?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Roads, electricity, sanitation, education.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): Local police?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: No.
MR. RAND (Canada): Well, it would have powers of taxation?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Building —
MR. RAND (Canada): And taxation for carrying out those services only?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, very much so. The municipal budget for Jerusalem for the present year is over five hundred thousand pounds.
CHAIRMAN: In these mixed councils, I suppose that Jews and Arabs sit together in the council and work together?
CHAIRMAN: And may I ask what the experience is as regards this collaboration?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Well, it is only in these four councils.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, I mean that,
SIR HENRY GURNEY: In Haifa, I think you will see for yourself that it is working very well. In Jerusalem, the system broke down a few years ago because the Arab mayor died and there was a dispute over his successor. Ever since then, it has been impossible to obtain an elected council for Jerusalem. We have had to carry on with a commission.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): The Arab mayor?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The chairman is called a mayor.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: He is called a. mayor of an elected council; of a municipal commission, he is called chairman.
CHAIRMAN: In the municipalities where there is only an Arab or a Jewish council, the opposite group of the population has a right to vote, I suppose?
CHAIRMAN: So it means only that the majority uses its power to exclude Council members from the other side.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Well, there are no municipalities other than the four we have mentioned which have any appreciable minority. Gaza has no Jews. Jaffa has no Jews. Tel Aviv has no Arabs.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): But for Jaffa, for instance, you will see that there is quite a large sector of Jewish population.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: That is the exception.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The Jaffa administrative area includes two Jewish wards which border on Tel Aviv and which Tel Aviv, in fact, looks after. It is a very acute problem of long standing.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): So really there are two Jewish wards of Jaffa administered by the municipality of Tel Aviv.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Certain services are provided for.
MR. ENTEZAM (Iran): I would like to ask the following question. With regard to the electoral laws under which elections are conducted by the population, are those laws promulgated by the population or by the government? There is, of course, a difference in the electoral procedure as between Arabs and Jews. For example, we know that in the case of Jews, men and women over twenty-one are allowed to vote. That is different, apparently, from the procedure for Arab elections. Now, how does that procedure become reconciled in mixed districts? Is one method used or another?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: In answer to the first question, to whether the law is made by the local authorities or by government, it is made by the government, and these provisions are contained in schedules which are attached to the Municipal Corporations Ordinance of 1934.
CHAIRMAN: Is it in the Survey?
Mr. MCGILLIVRAY: The law is not quoted in the Survey. A reference to it is given.
MR. MCGILLIVRAY: It is in the Volume of Laws for 1934, Municipal Corporations Ordinance. As to the second question, in the mixed municipalities, they do follow the same formula as in the Arab municipality.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): Even for the Jews?
MCCGILLIVRAY: For the whole population.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): There is equality.
MR. MCGILLIVRAY: It is the same.
MR. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): Do women vote?
MR. MCGILLIVRAY: No, women do not vote, except in Tel Aviv and Fetah Tiqva.
CHAIRMAN: One more question. To what extent are Jews in the Government service? Are they used in the Government service, the Jews and Arabs?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes. The Government employs, altogether, 45,000. Of those, 67.5 per cent are Arabs, 20.7 are Jews, 9.7 are British, and 2.1 per cent classified as “other”. This is as of December 1945. The table giving details is on page 89 of the Supplementary Volume. The proportion of Arabs may appear higher. One of the reasons for that is that Jewish health and education services, although subsidized by the government, are staffed by people who are not government employees; whereas, in the education service, almost all Arab education is done by government offices. That is one of the reasons why the proportion of Arabs is higher than the proportion of Jews. But the earnings of the Jews are proportionately higher than the earnings of the Arabs because they tend to occupy more senior positions than the Arabs.
MR. MCGILLIVRAY: As seen by the table on Page 89, the earnings of the Jews come to 24.4 per cent but if to the amount from which that figure has been calculated is added the grants made to the Jewish community for .education and for health, that figure would come up to 29.5 per cent of the total.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Out of these employees who are Jews or Arabs, how many of them are in the higher posts? How many are district commissioners or higher? How many of these are Arabs; how many of these are Jews; how many of these are British? I am speaking of numbers. Are there any Arabs or Jews in the Advisory Council?
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Secretaries to the government? Are there any?
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): How many Jews? How many Arabs?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: We don’t work under the system of secretaries of the government. You will remember that the 1939 White Paper did charge the administration with bringing in Palestinians to occupy higher posts in the service. We have been constantly endeavouring to carry that out, but there are certain conditions here which do not arise elsewhere, because there are areas within the administration where you cannot post an Arab to a Jewish area, or a Jewish officer to an Arab area, and where you have a mixed area, you cannot have either and you have to have a British officer. That is one of the difficulties which has prevented us from having any Jew or Arab as district commissioner. We have two assistant district commissioners and two or three more coming along, we hope, very soon. There are a number acting as assistants.
CHAIRMAN: Are they Arabs or Jews?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: They are both Jews and Arabs.
MR. MCGILLIVRAY: Of the two, one is an Arab and one is a Jew; but there are quite a number of others who have been acting for some time, both Jews and Arabs.
CHAIRMAN: Otherwise, can one say, in general, whether the Jews or the Arabs are prevailing in the top ranks.
MR. MGGILLIVRAY: I think that some indication of that can be seen from the table on Page 90 of the Supplement which is headed Numbers and Emoluments of Government Officers, by Salary Scale and Community, December 1945. You take the courts, the judges.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): I am coming to courts later. There are a number of questions I wish to put in that connection, and I am trying to divide them. I am just trying to take the administration first.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: So far as the administration is concerned, we only have two assistant district commissioners.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Out of how many?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Out of 39.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): I am just trying to find out how much the British Government has been able to do in the last thirty years. I am trying to find out from the results what has been done toward fulfilment of the Mandate given to the Mandatory Power.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Well the facts are all on Page 91.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Would you mind telling me how many judges of the high court you have?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: We have one chief justice, seven judges, five presidents of district courts.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): I am only asking for the high courts.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Seven superior court judges.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Has there ever been a Palestinian as Chief Justice?
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): How many judges, normally speaking, have been Palestinians out of these seven?
MR. MCGILLIVRAY: We had the figure a year ago. There were then four judges, of whom two were British and two Palestinians.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): There were only four out of these seven posts. Are they all filled up?
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): How many are filled?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I think the majority are Palestinians. I do not want to give the impression; but I think the majority of the judges is Palestinian.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Those who have been practising in Palestine or promoted from the ranks?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Arabs and Jews.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): How many of them are British?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I cannot tell you out of four or five.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Out of four or five, you think perhaps three are Palestinians?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, but that is a little outside my own field.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): All right. Have you any universities here, Jewish or Arab?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is the Hebrew University.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): When did it come into existence?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: It is not a Government university. It is a private university founded in 1926.
SIR ABDUR.RAHMAN (India): Then there has been no Government university until now?
CHAIRMAN: Where do the Arab lawyers, for instance, get their degrees?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Many of them go to Beirut; many go to France; many go to England.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): How many Arab colleges are there here in Palestine?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Government colleges?
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): I am making a distinction between colleges and schools.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: One government Arab college. You will find it fully described in the Survey. All these colleges will be found in the chapter on education.
CHAIRMAN: May I ask for my information if these colleges are what we in my country call secondary schools?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Well, I am not quite clear what you mean.
CHAIRMAN: I mean that people, in general, are educated in primary schools and then those who want to get a further education go to secondary schools and then they go to college.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Is there any college to which a person goes after he has finished his secondary school education?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is no college in between a secondary school and a university in our system, but the secondary school is extended to the intermediate stage, which means carrying on beyond the sixth form.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): After the intermediate school, there is no Government institution for getting an education?
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Is there a medical college here?
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Is there any teachers’ college?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is a teachers training section of the college itself. It has now been extended.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): When was that extended?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: About 1928, when the college was founded.
CHAIRMAN: Where do the Arabs go for their higher education in these other fields mentioned by Sir Abdur?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: They go to the American University at Beirut, to the Sorbonne and to England to the provincial universities there. Very few, I should say, go.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): The bulk go to Beirut to the American University?
MR. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): How many Arabs go to the Jewish University?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Practically none. There are one or two.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Now many schools have been established by the government, elementary schools? I do not want exact numbers.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is a long chapter on education in Volume 2 (Chapter 16). May I answer your question by referring to table 5 on page 643. There are now 504 Arab country schools with 90,000 pupils, as compared with 171 public schools and 10,000 pupils in 1920.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Will you kindly tell me if it is a fact that hundreds or thousands of Arab students cannot get into schools, although they are clamoring for it? Is it true or not?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: We are very short of schools.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Arabs have been trying to put their boys in schools and cannot because you are short of schools.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Quite true.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): What percentage of revenue have you been spending on the education of the population itself?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Not as much as we should have liked.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): How much?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Any year?
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): ‘46 or ‘45 — any year.
MR. MCGILLIVRAY: With regard to applications, there is a table on Page 648 of Volume 2 which shows the applications to the public town schools and the number of those who are admitted. In 1944, the percentage of admissions was 54 per cent.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): How many?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: 8,716. That is in 1944, but the table gives the figures for the whole period 1932 to 1944.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The allocation for education for the present year is 1,565,000 pounds.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): How much did you spend, actually, last year? Not what you hope to spend.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: In 1946-1947, 1,416,000 pounds.
CHAIRMAN: Where do you have that figure?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Page 7 of the Estimates. There is a column there entitled Estimated Expenditure 1946/47.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): What is the amount spent in public defense, that is, in army and police?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: We do not spend anything on the army at all. The amount spent on the police last year was 6,052,000 pounds, and this year, 7,010,000 pounds.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Compared with 1,000,000 pounds approximately for education. That figure does not contain what you spend on maintaining the Army?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The Palestine Government spends nothing on the army.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): I know, but who does?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The United Kingdom.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Could you give us an idea of how much money has been spent on the Army in 1946-1947?
CHAIRMAN: We will come back more fully later in the budget question.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Is there a school of architecture in Palestine?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: No Government school.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): How is the police composed?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The establishment of police is given on Page 3 of the Supplement which gives you all the details. Although the actual figure is approximately 4,000, 5,271 is the authorized establishment.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The total strength on 31 March last was 25,500. The total strength of the whole police force or 31 March was 21,500, but that includes temporary additional police as well as the regular force.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: That includes the Jewish settlement police, too. They are recruited and are used almost entirely as guards. They are given a short training and are used for guard duties only. In fact it is rather an exaggeration to term temporary policemen part of the police.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): Are they used in their own locality, or elsewhere?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is no rule about that; they are used either in their home towns or they may be transferred to others.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): Did you say 21,000 or 31,000?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: 21,000.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): How is it that your figures do not correspond with the figures in the Supplement?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The present establishment is 21,000. I was talking of the actual strength of the establishment which was provided for in the estimates: it is not recruited up to, that strength.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): Will they be recruited to that strength?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Not necessarily, but they may be recruited to that figure.
MR. FABREGAT (Uruguay): What is the percentage of illiteracy among Jews and Arabs in the population of Palestine?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The proportion of illiteracy among the Jews is either l% or 2%. I do not think we have arrived at the existing percentage among the Arabs. I might advise you of that in writing.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: I think all the figures we have are the figures of the Arab children, who received some education. In the urban areas 85% of the boys received some education, and 60% of the girls; in the rural areas, 63% of the boys, and 7.50% of the girls. As regards the adults, I do not think there is any figure. Those figures, I think, are given in the last census of 1931; there has been no opportunity of taking another census since that time.
MR. FABREGAT (Uruguay): How many teachers are there in Palestine Government High Schools?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There are 302 teachers for Grade III, 1603 for Grade IV. These are education officers. There are 226 supernumerary teachers. A total of nearly 2,200.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): I am afraid this question of my colleague from Uruguay was not answered about the illiteracy in the Arab country.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: We have not got those figures. The last census was in 1931.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I should like to reply to that question in writing.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): That is the percentage of revenue spent on health?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: In 1946-47, 923,000 pounds out of a total of 21,000,000 pounds that is to say, a little under 5%.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): Is that only for the Arab community?
SIR.HENRY.GURNEY: It includes grants to hospitals. Both health and education expenditures are distributed between the two communities according to formulae designed to give, equality of treatment in proportion to the population.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): Do you mind repeating the figures for education?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Education last year, €1,416,000; health €923,000; police last year €6,052,000.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The percentages for 1944-45 might be of interest. On health the percentage was 3% of the total Government expenditure. It is on Page 630 of Volume 2. The table there gives the percentage each year since 1920. In regard to education a similar table is given on Page 641. The percentage for 1944-45 was 3.91% of the total expenditure.
MR. FABREGAT (Uruguay): What is the rate of infant mortality in Palestine? In the Arab and Jewish communities?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The figures for the year 1946 on infant deaths per 1,000 live births are in the Monthly Bulletin of Current Statistics for May, 1947: Moslems, 90.7; Jews 31.5; Christians 56.4. The Bulletin is a monthly production of the Department of Statistics. I believe copies of this are available in your Library.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Could you tell me the number of military in Palestine in 1946-47?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I am afraid I. cannot.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Will you be able to let me know later?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: That question should not be addressed to me: it should be addressed to the representative of the Mandatory.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Could you tell me whether the Palestine Government have granted concessions to any particular community in the last five years? And if so, in what connection, and to whom? When I say, anybody, it may mean one man or a group.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: During the last decade, none. I refer you to the terms of the Mandate, which say that the Mandatory Power shall see that there is no discrimination in Palestine against the nationals of any State. The concessions which have been granted by the Government of Palestine were granted before ten years ago and they constitute mainly three concessions. One is to the Palestine Electric Corporation to generate electric power, and to distribute and supply it. Another is to the Palestine Potash Company to develop the potash resources of the Dead Sea. The third concession is to the Jerusalem Electric and Public Services Corporation.
There was also the concession which is described in the Peel Commission Report and which was granted by the Turkish Government and taken over by the Mandatory Power as a concession to drain and reclaim the marshes around Lake Huleh, which are north of the Sea of Galilee, on the River Jordan.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): To whom were the three concessions first granted?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: They were granted to companies.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Companies composed of Arabs, Jews and Christians?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The Jerusalem Electric and Public Services Corporation is a British company. The Palestine Corporation you could call, I suppose, a Jewish company. The Palestine Potash Company is also partly Jewish, partly British. The Huleh concession was originally Greek but is now been purchased for what it was worth by the Jews and is held by a Jewish company, the Palestine Development Company.
The Jewish electric concession was also taken over from the Greeks. There are those four concessions. Three of them are working; the Huleh concession is not working.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: There are in addition a number of concessions of some importance: The Tiberias Hot Springs, the Hami Mineral Springs, a Warehouse concession, and a Lighthouse concession. They are of lesser importance. They are all referred to in a chapter on concessions on page 969 of Volume 2 of the survey.
There are in addition certain oil concessions, also referred to in the SURVEY. One of those concessions has been within the last ten years — the Trans-Arab Survey.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): I should like to go back to the budget question. You said the budget for 1946 was 21,000,000 pounds. On Page 3, it states that total expenditure for 1945-46 was 16,000,000 pounds.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I am taking the revised estimated expenditure for 1946-47, which you can take as equivalent to actual 1946 figures. You have them on Page 7.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): What is the difference between “Security” and “War Services”?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: “War Services” are the survival of supply and control services which were set up during the war, including price control, subsidization of the central commodities, import and export control, road transport control, and custodian of enemy property. They have nothing to do with actual war expenditures at all.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Have you been able to introduce any laws regarding minimum wages or maximum wages in Palestine?
THE CHAIRMAN: We shall .come to that when we review the standard of living. May we go to the second point upon which I shall want some information: the question of the distribution of the population.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The total population of Palestine, excluding the nomads, was 1,887,000 at the end of June. Four towns in Palestine contain nearly one third of the population. Tel Aviv has 184,000 Jews only; Jerusalem 165,000; Haifa 175,000 (about half and half Jews and Arabs); Jaffa has 102,000 (mainly Arabs). Including the nomads, the population of Palestine is in found figures today 2,000,000, including 625,000 Jews, On Page 10 of the Supplement there is a table comparing the present population with the 1922 population, and taking 100 for the year 1922, the Jews now are equivalent to 726, and Moslems 221, Christians 203. It might be useful to mention that, in Section 1 of Volume 3, which is the Volume we are making available to you but not presenting, there is a chapter stating the basis of the calculations of population.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): I know the difficulty you have in dealing with two things. One is that ignorant people are very difficult when it is a matter of taking a census. They do not want to give exact figures. Secondly, they are helping certain Jewish immigrants that were not accounted for by the United Kingdom Government because they came through some other channels. I should like to know if these figures are accurate or if it is just a rough estimate.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The Jewish figures are accurate.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The basis of assessment is a complicated calculation and it is explained, I think in Section 1 of Volume 3 to which the Chief Secretary has referred.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): I understand the Arabs resent very much our coming and in some villages they did not accept, when a census was taken, the officers who were taking it. The figures are just estimates given by the local Arab chieftain. I should like to know if that is true.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Are you talking of the census of 1931?.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): Yes.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: These figures are calculated on birth and death rates. During the war years the experience was that any estimate of figures of the Arab population, particularly in the rural areas, were rather inclined to be swelled by the desire to obtain more rations and I think during the war years are far from being on the low side and may be a bit on the high side.
THE CHAIRMAN: I may answer the question by saying that the 1931 census is, in our opinion, reasonably accurate. The method of calculation and the basis of the census as explained in Section 1 of Volume 3, are, of counsel open to argument.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I may answer the question by saying that the total population is distributed in the country between Jews and Arabs.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: I have some figures for the distribution between the rural and the urban areas which would be interesting. They are not contained in the printed material. 49% of the total population is urban. 74% of the Jewish population is urban, and 36% of the Arab population is urban.
THE CHAIRMAN: Can we have described the areas where the Jewish population is centralized.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The maps show in colors where the Jewish population is concentrated. The red shows the Jewish population; the blue the Moslem; the yellow the Christian; and the green the Druses. It will be seen that the bulk of the Jewish population is in the coastal plain and also in the big towns of Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv.
THE CHAIRMAN: There are certain Jewish settlements on the Eastern frontier and in Tiberias.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Yes, around Lake Tiberias. With regard to the density, it will be seen from this map that the areas in which there is the less population are those areas in the south and in the Beersheba district and in the areas between the Jordan valley and the Lintan, roughly from Jerusalem to Hebron.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are those figures somewhere in the SURVEY?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: No, they are not.
THE CHAIRMAN: Then we shall ask to have them. Can anything be said about trends in the population such as the growth of the Arab population, or shall we first take the immigration figures.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I think the population figures are all set out here, the birth rates and trends.
THE CHAIRMAN: And the immigration, figures?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The immigration figures are brought up to date on page 17 of the Supplement, where you have a table showing the sources of Jewish immigration and the number of persons registered as immigrants in the last six years.
THE CHAIRMAN: Does that include also what is called by the Palestine Government illegal immigration?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: They do not include that.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: There is a special section for illegal immigration on page 23. There is a tendency towards an increase in the urban population over the rural. I believe the Government statistician’s figure for the approximate percentage of immigrants in urban areas is 80%.
THE CHAIRMAN: Does that keep pace with the development of industry? I suppose for the immigrants to settle in towns to that extent would mean a means of living in a town. I think that is balanced by the development of industry.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: There are no appreciable signs of unemployment.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: When you asked whether these figures included illegal immigration, they include them of course as soon as they become legal. As soon as they come under the quota, they are included, but the figures do not include those who entered illegally.
THE CHAIRMAN: There has been, as far as I understand it, a steady increase in the Arab population. Can we find out from which source that increase is coming? Is it immigration, or is it a natural increase?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: It is by natural increase, not by immigration.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Is there any possibility of finding out whether the immigrants who would be described as illegal still retain the nationality of the places they came from?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I think I must ask you, in your own interests, to stick to the statistics. I should prefer that you do that in this meeting. The representative of India was asking about the nationality of immigrants which is not a statistical point.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are there statistics on this point?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: There are the statistics of the countries of origin.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): The question is whether they have retained the nationality of the countries they have come from.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Some have and some have not.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): What does the Palestine Government understand by illegal immigration? Are they those who enter contrary to the provisions of the White Paper of the United Kingdom Government, or those who entered in contravention of the mandate given to the United Kingdom Government by the by the League of Nations which we understand binds the United Kingdom Government?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: We, like every other country, control immigration.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): The United Kingdom Government has a Mandate from the League of Nations. Are illegal immigrants those who enter in contravention of the Mandate?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The Mandate is not a law. The Mandate is a document.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): There was Covenant. Is it illegal to violate the Covenant?
THE CHAIRMAN: What do you understand by an illegal immigrant?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: They are people who attempt to enter Palestine contrary to the laws of Palestine, and the laws of Palestine are made under the Council which set up the Government to administer Palestine in execution of the Mandate.
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): I understood that the mandate, instead of forbidding immigration, tried to encourage it.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have got the answer. It is immigration which takes place against the laws of Palestine.
MR. BLOM (Netherlands): In the immigration figures for 1946, there are 2,300 neither Jews nor Arabs but classified as “others” on Page 17 of the Supplement.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Those are Armenians, Greeks, Egyptians, British, French, Americans.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): Temporarily?
MR. BLOM (Netherlands): What is the policy in giving certificates for immigration? I mean, have the Jews any priority over Greeks or any other nations?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The policy is that a monthly quota is fixed by the Government under the immigration laws, and the monthly quota at the moment is 1700, of which 1500 certificates go to Jews and 200 to others, including Arabs, Americans, British, etc. There are 200 permanent immigration certificates open to everybody.
THE CHAIRMAN: We read that there were 1,439 in 1945 and 2,800 in 1946 classified as “others”. That is above the figure of 200 just mentioned.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I am talking about the present rate.
MR. HOOD (Australia): May I ask if there is any significant migration from Palestine and are there any figures?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There are figures but there is no significant emigration from Palestine. There has not been for many years.
MR. HOOD (Australia): Could we have the figures?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, but I have not got them in my head.
THE CHAIRMAN: There is a useful index at the end of the second Volume. In 1927 only 2,713 entered the country, while 5,071 departed.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: 1927 was the last year in which Jewish emigration exceeded Jewish immigration. There were then 3,000 more Jews who went out than came in.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Can you give me the reason as to why it began to increase after 1927.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I prefer to stick to the statistics. I do not know whether copies of the Peel Commission Report are available to each member of the Committee. The Peel Commission sets up facts in a way in which no other document has done up to 1936. One may not agree with the conclusions, but it is a classic exposition of Palestine which in as true today a when it was written.
MR. FABREGAT (Uruguay): May I ask a question about social conditions in Palestine?
THE CHAIRMAN: We come to that under the next heading. I want now to go into the question of the population and the different activities of the population. I suppose there is something in the SURVEY about that.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: I think the best statement of that is in another publication called the National League of Palestine 1944 of which copies are available. On page 15 there is a summary for 1944.
THE CHAIRMAN: That answers my question on this point have moreover heard that there is practically no unemployment.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: It is difficult in the absence of a general system of a general system of labor exchanges to give any firm figures of unemployment. Some conclusion can be drawn from the fact that the wage levels have remained very high, and also to the fact that the demobilization of 21,000 Palestine soldiers has not presented a serious unemployment problem.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): It may not have been because of unemployment or their being employed, but because of the price of foodstuffs being high. It might have remained at a. higher level for that reason, also.
THE CHAIRMAN: We will speak first on the rate of wages. Are they set out in some way?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The latest figures are given in the supplement, pages 91 to 95. Much fuller material was in the original copy.
THE CHAIRMAN: Wages have been rising, I understand. Is there any indication as to what extent they have risen?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Yes; the figures are given here in comparison between 1939 and 1946.
THE CHAIRMAN: Can you give a general formula for those figures — a percentage?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: It might help the Committee to know that the by cost of living index of Palestine was 277 in 1939.
CHAIRMAN: Can you give corresponding figures for the salaries — 1939 wage rates?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: They are given on Page 735 going back to 1939, for Arabs and Jews.
CHAIRMAN: So it seems that the wages for Arab labor could have risen in the same proportion?’
CHAIRMAN: 272 against 277 for the cost of living?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Almost the same.
CHAIRMAN: And the trend has continued rising?
SIR HENRY ‘GURNEY: It has just reached its peak. It rose up to 281 and it is now 277, slightly down.
CHAIRMAN: To what do you attribute this rise?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Partly to the war, which has resulted in shortages of consumers goods and military expenditures —
CHAIRMAN: And that has caused the rise of wages?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Those are the main causes of the rise of the cost of living.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): The standard of living had nothing to do with it?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes it has, over 25 years.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): I mean between 1939 and 1946.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: I doubt it — not appreciably.
CHAIRMAN: We spoke a little while ago about unemployment. Now, I should like to put the opposite question. Is there any shortage of labor?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is a shortage of labor in certain skilled trades. Building, as in every other country, is in need of skilled labor. The building industry here could use an appreciable number of labor. However, I think it is true to say that their capacities are confined to the building industry. It is a matter of opinion. The fact that we have been able to demobilize 21,000 soldiers recently and find employment for them all except 700, I think, is significant.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: There are only 700 now who are in need of transitional financial assistance. You asked just now in regard to the causes of the increase in the cost of living. Now, I must draw attention to a very brief appreciation of those causes in this document called “The National Income of Palestine”, Page 15. It also showed towards the end the effect of military expenditure on the cost of living
CHAIRMAN: Now, I think the right moment has come to ask about the standard of living.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): The answer is that appreciably it has not risen between 1939 and 1944.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, but I think we could put the question in general and perhaps come also to the different groups of the population.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: That is principally in Chapter 16 of the Social Services, and there is a special section there on the standard of living of the Palestine Arabs. That is Chapter 16, Volume 2 of the SURVEY. It is Page 697 of Volume 2—Standard of Living of Palestine Arabs.
CHAIRMAN: Can we ask if there is a marked difference between the standard of living between the Arabs and Jews.
There is a marked difference in the mode of life, of course. They are quite different people. In comparing, standards of living I think the Arabs do not necessarily want to live like the Jews, nor the Jews like the Arabs. Therefore if you are comparing standards of living you haven’t really got a common criteria.
CHAIRMAN: We might perhaps have asked beforehand whether there is a difference in wages for Jews and Arab labor?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The answer is yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there a big difference?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Yes.
MR. RAND (CANADA): Is there any tendency towards a change in the living conditions of the Arabs?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Well, you will see that for yourselves. But, over the 25 years, it is a fact that the Arab’s standard of living has risen.
MR. RAND (CANADA): In what respect?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: In respect of housing, standard of housing, standard of hygiene, nutrition, education.
MR. RAND (CANADA): Those standards apply to the other groups as well, don’t they?
CHAIRMAN: But the health conditions, I understand, are rather different in the two groups. We have had quoted mortality rates which show worse living conditions among the Arabs than among the Jews; isn’t this right?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, that is so. The standards of housing among the Arabs is considerably worse. But it is much better than it was.
CHAIRMAN: It might also depend upon their way of
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, that is so.
MR. RAND (CANADA): Well, is the improvement in housing tending to affect the mode of life? If they improve their housing conditions, in what direction is the improvement?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Coupled, with education.
MR. RAND (CANADA): Is it towards a general improvement of housing? Are they aiming at the same ends in the Jewish area?
CHAIRMAN: I think we will see that when we travel through the country.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Having been affected by a western civilization, there is a tendency to depart from the old Arab type of housing and to have much larger types of houses. Actually a number of Arabs have hired Jewish architects to make their houses for them.
MR. RAND (CANADA): For modern sanitary improvements?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Is that true for educational methods and
MR. RAND (CANADA): Yes. In the schools they are given a curriculum which includes hygiene, especially in the girls’ school.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Have laws about inoculation been introduced?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Certainly. Under the Health Laws the Director of Medical Services may, I think, insist on certain health measures.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is a provision for compulsory inoculation.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: But only at his discretion. They are not provided in the law.
CHAIRMAN: I suppose the nomadic population stick more to their traditional habits?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: To agriculture.
MR. ENTEZAM (IRAN): Before going into the question of nomads, I would like to ask whether the raising of import tariffs and duties to protect local industries has had an effect on the rising cost of living and has affected the standard of living of the population.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: That is a little outside the examination statistics which, I understand, are under discussion.
CHAIRMAN: Then we should not the question in a statistical way.
MR. ENTEZAM (Iran): I think you have not answered my question.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The import duties and excise duties have not been increased recently.
CHAIRMAN: I think we will see many things when we go out into the country.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: This year we have had the worst drought for many years and I think in the Negeb there are only some thirty percent of the normal Bedouin population, because they had no crops at all this year. The rains failed completely and I therefore think in visiting that area it would be wise to bear that in mind.
CHAIRMAN: Have you supplied them with foodstuff on Government expenditure?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: We are importing now fodder for the animals and food for the population and providing relief work. The total cost of these special relief measures is 600,000 pounds in this area.
CHAIRMAN: Are these 600,000 pounds included in the war expenditure?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: No. It is supplementary.
CHAIRMAN: Shall we leave the question of standards of living? We shall get the answer to many of the questions while we make the inspection tour. There have been considerable questions about the expenditures. I think we will find the answer to these questions in the SURVEY.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, in Volume 2 and on Pages 72 to 79 of the Supplement.
CHAIRMAN: I should like know to go on to the foreign trade figures.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The total imports for Palestine for 1946 is 70 million pounds value, and exports 24 1/2 million pounds value. You will find that information on Pages 4 to 46 of the Supplement. The first table on Page 41 gives you the trade figures.
CHAIRMAN: And there we have also tables showing imports and exports. In countries of origin and destination?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, in the following page.
CHAIRMAN: Is there anyone who wishes to put some questions concerning this matter?
CHAIRMAN: What are the main industries of Palestine?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The main export industry in value is the citrus industry; we hope to export this year some twelve million cases. When I say this year, the season doesn’t open until November, but November to April is the export season, and we estimate to export some twelve million cases. Next comes potash, which is reduced by the potash concessions to which we referred. Third there is the diamond cutting industry.
CHAIRMAN: Is that a new industry?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Fairly new. It really started in 1939. This industry has grown up partly as a. result of the invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. 1946 production value is 5 ½ million pounds.
CHAIRMAN: Where have you got any figures about the potash industry?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: There is a chapter on industry, at the end of Volume 1 of the SURVEY, page 497. If we looked at Page 526, the potash industry is not just potash; it is a chemical industry operating two parts of the Dead Sea — one is the north and the other is the south. The main products are potash, bromine, chlorine, chlorate of potash, caustic soda, and caustic potash. There is a very considerable chemical industry. The value of gross output is about 1 1/2 million pounds a year.
CHAIRMAN: That was in 1942?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: 1942. It is about the same now.
CHAIRMAN: Are all the industries which are in this table on Page 526 export industries; or are they import industries?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The others are for local consumption. They are not export industries.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (INDIA): Is potash an important industry?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: It is.
CHAIRMAN: Now I must confess ignorance. To what purpose is potash used I don’t know, is it a fertilizer?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, a phosphate fertilizer.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (INDIA): How much of it is being used by Palestine itself, and how much is going out?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: As much as Palestine wants to get.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: There is just one figure that is of interest in the principal industries and it is given on Page 37 of the Supplement. There are two tables there showing the citrus groves under Arab and Jewish ownership. The total shows that the area in Arab and Jewish ownership is almost the same. The Arab ownership is slightly more than the Jewish 127,377 dunums Arab ownership, as against 120,897 dunums Jewish ownership.
MR. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): Do they have both the same production?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: It does not give production. I do not think it gives the quality of the groves. It sets it up in classes Class 1, 2 and 3 quality groves.
CHAIRMAN: What are the main imports?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The main imports — the largest in value is oil. Palestine having no wood or coal uses oil for everything, heating, cooking, power.
CHAIRMAN: Have you got a table these imports?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: They are all on Page 44, and Page 45 of the Supplement.
MR. ENTEZAM (IRAN): On Page 47 it shows that imports as between 1945 and 1946 have almost doubled. I wonder what the reason is?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: It is the taking up of the slack towards the end of the war, taken together with a large influx of capital.
CHAIRMAN: Have the exports increased at the same rate?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Not at the same rate, no. The exports were 24 million in 1946 and 20 million in 1945, a very small increase, comparatively, leaving a deficit of 46 million in 1916.
CHAIRMAN: Does somebody want to ask some more questions on these economic matters?
MR. LISICKY (CZECHOSLOVAKIA): I would like to ask a question about the ports and the possibilities of development?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The main port is Haifa, which is government controlled. It is run by the railways. The port’s authority is the railway. The second best port is Jaffa, which is the ancient Arab port of Palestine. Tel-Aviv, next door, has developed its own port under a Marine Trust. Tel-Aviv and Jaffa are operating, as far as Government machinery is concerned as just one port. There is no other port in Palestine, and the possibilities are not very good.
CHAIRMAN: Have you got the figure of the tonnages handled in the different ports?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Page 857 of the Second Volume gives them up to 1944. The Haifa figures are very big. The latest figures are given on Page 112 of they Supplement.
CHAIRMAN: Is there a tendency for some of the ports to go ahead leaving the others behind? Would you say that the shipping would tend to go to a certain port?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: The shipping tends to go to Haifa where the facilities are much better. Haifa is a deep water harbour. Jaffa and Tel-Aviv are both light water ports.
CHAIRMAN: You have, as I understand, in Volume 3, Page 1272 a chapter regarding the economic separation of the groups of population. What does this chapter show?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Volume 3 was originally written in response to requests by the Anglo-American Committee for chapters on particular subjects. This would never have been written had it not been asked for.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, but if we are going to read that chapter, what will it show us? I only want to know if the separateness of the different groups of population in economic matters means that they have each their own enterprises and that they are not connected economically.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: It tends to show that Jews tend to employ Jews and Arabs employ Arabs. There is at the moment a movement in Palestine: an Arab boycott of Jewish goods.
CHAIRMAN: Is that an effective boycott?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Well, whether it is fully effective is another matter, but it certainly has effects.
SIR ABDUR RAHMAN (INDIA): When did it start?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: In 1945.
CHAIRMAN: Has this boycott had the effect of lowering the output of the Jewish industry?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: No, I don’t think so.
CHAIRMAN: Talking about the industry, I think we ought to have made clear the distribution of the industry on both sides. Isn’t there a considerable Arab industry?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: No, the main manufacturing industries are Jewish. There is a comparatively recent Arab textile industry, and there is an Arab cement industry which is about to open up. But the majority of industries at the moment are Jewish.
CHAIRMAN: Do the Jewish industries employ to a great extent Arab labor?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: No, it does not.
CHAIRMAN: It employs Jewish labor?
MR. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): Does Jewish agriculture employ Arab labor?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: In agriculture, yes, but we are talking about industry now.
MR. BLOM (NETHERLANDS): I would like to ask a few questions. First, is oil part of the Palestine economic system? Has the oil that is imported and refined here and then exported anything to do with the Palestine economic system? Is it mentioned in the statistics of exports or not?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: I cannot answer your question. I will make a note of that.
MR. BLOM (NETHLRLANDS): One other point, Mr. Chairman. I am not an expert and it is not clear to me how there can be trade balance with an import figure of 70 million pounds and an export figure of 20 million. How is that financed?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Well, very largely by imported capital — Jewish capital.
MR. LISICKY (CZECHOSLOVAKIA): Imported by the immigrants?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Not by the immigrants.
CHAIRMAN: By the Jewish organisations?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes. In fact, money which has no corresponding export at all. It is simply money coming into the country for capital goods.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: There is an interesting table on Page 65 of the Supplement.
MR. BLOM (NETHERLANDS): Are there any reliable figures of the amount of Jewish capital coming into this country?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Page 65. Transfers to Jewish National Institutions and religious and charitable (Jewish and non-Jewish) institutions.
MR. ENTEZAM (IRAN): This difference is also quite evident in other countries between imports and exports and it is compensated in many cases by such items as expenses of tourists, for example. I am wondering whether such elements do not exist in Palestine, also. I mean tourists, for example and also the export of refined petroleum products since there are refineries in the country. Such elements might balance the scale — otherwise the difference seems to be very large — so large that one wonders it can be compensated for.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Well, so far as the tourist element goes it showed a debit in 1946 of 1.1/2 million pounds. The answer is, of course, the import of capital goods which are not paid for. There is no money going out. There is no trade on the other side to balance it. Military expenditure accounts for 23.1/2 million. That is money paid by the British Government.
CHAIRMAN: 23.1/2 Million in 1946 — that is about half the difference.
MR. BLOM (NETHLRLANDS): I do not know whether my question is within the scope of this item or not. Who is the owner of publicly owned property and buildings? Is that the property of Palestine, or are there any public properties here owned by the United Kingdom?
SIR .HENRY GURNEY: There are no properties owned by the United kingdom apart from one or two military camp sites, but they are negligible here. The Government of Palestine took over from the Turkish Administration what was state domain — it belonged to the sovereignty of Turkey. I think the present area of State domain is just over a million dunums. There are four dunums to an acre, approximately. There are about a quarter of a million acres of Palestine of what you might call Government land. There are very few government buildings. In fact the only Government buildings in Jerusalem are Government houses themselves and post offices. The Government has never built offices for itself here because it always felt that possibly before the buildings might be built they might not be.
CHAIRMAN: Have you got this recorded in the Survey?
CHAIRMAN: Can we get the pages, perhaps?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Not in regards to the buildings.
CHAIRMAN: For the land?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The latest land figures are in the Supplement on Page 31.
MR. BLOM (NETHERLANDS): Are the harbor installations owned by Palestine?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: They are owned by the Government of Palestine at Haifa. The Tel-Aviv port belongs to the Marine Trust. It is a private company.
MR. RAND (CANADA): Was the railway built before or after the Mandate?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Before. It was taken over.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Part of the railway was built by the British Military Administration when they came into Palestine. The part that existed before was Turkish property.
CHAIRMAN: Can we leave these economic matters, now? There are two questions which I think we can deal with in a very summarized way. I had thought to ask some questions about trade unions and cooperatives, but it seems this is very fully set out in the survey.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes, regarding trade unions the Jewish position is on Page 757.
CHAIRMAN: Are the figures of membership up to date?
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Not quite up-to-date.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: You will find the figures for Arabs on Page 142 in the Supplement.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: Also on Page 763 of the Second Volume.
CHAIRMAN: As for the cooperatives, is that in the same volume?
MR. MAGILLIVRAY: Vol. I, Chapter 9, Section 5(b), Page 357.
CHAIRMAN: Is that also approximately up-to-date? Has nothing essentially changed?
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Not at all.
CHAIRMAN: As I understand we will find religious and political organisations in Volume 2, Chap.22 and 23.
SIR HENRY GURNEY: Yes. The religious position is set out shortly and concisely in the Supplement. We have rewritten the religious affairs on Page 120 of the Supplement, which is a concise account of the holy places in the religious history of Palestine and its religious bodies.
MR. MACGILLIVRAY: The Arab High Committee and the Jewish Colonies are brought up-to-date in the last section of the Supplement on page 137.
CHAIRMAN: It is become so late that we have to end the meeting. I want to thank you Sir Henry and Mr. MacGillivray for the very amenable information and assistance you have given us in the study of the volumes we have received.
(The meeting adjourned at 7 p.m.)
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