Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development
(The Hope-Simpson Report)
London, 22 August 1930
In this Report the subjects of Land Settlement, Development and Immigration have been examined in that order as it is evident that the question of Immigration depends on the action taken in respect of the first two. It now remains to make a resumé of the facts which have been established in the course of this enquiry.
Land available for settlement. (Chapter II.)
It has emerged quite definitely that there is at the present time and with the present methods of Arab cultivation no margin of land available for agricultural settlement by new immigrants, with the exception of such undeveloped land as the various Jewish Agencies hold in reserve.
Government Lands. (Chapter I. Section (iii).)
The most important of lands, the property of the Government at the time the Mandate was given, were the Beisan area and the Huleh Basin. Of these the Beisan area was settled, in accordance with the terms of the Mudawwara Agreement of 1921, with the Arabs already in occupation or who had claims to possession. The Huleh Basin was subject to a concession already granted by the Ottoman Government which was confirmed by the Palestine Government. Of other considerable areas the Kabbara Swamp, the Caesarea Sand-dunes and a portion of the lands of Athlit, an area in the neighbourhood of 39,000 dunams, were ceded to the P.I.C.A. [Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association]. It is an error to imagine that the Government is in possession of large areas of vacant lands which could be made available for Jewish settlement. In fact free areas are negligible in extent. The Government claims considerable areas which are occupied and cultivated by Arabs. Even were the title of the Government admitted, and it is in many cases disputed, it would not be feasible to make those areas available for settlement in view of the impossibility of finding other lands on which to place the Arab cultivators.
The provision of a margin depends on material progress in the development of the land already included in holdings. It has been shown that the area of cultivable land in Palestine (excluding the Beersheba region) is 6,544,000 duname, considerably less than has hitherto been estimated. It has also been shown that, while an area of at least 130 dunams is required to maintain a fellah family in a decent standard of life in the unirrigated tracts, the whole of the cultivable land not already in the hands of the Jews would not afford an average lot in excess of 90 dunams, were it divided among the existing Arab cultivators. (Chapter Ill.) For an average holding of 130 dunams, about eight million dunams of cultivable land would be required. It also appears that of the 86,980 rural Arab families in the villages, 29.4 per cent are landless. It is not known how many of these are families who previously cultivated and have since lost their land. This is a matter which should be ascertained in the course of the Census which is to take place next year.
Present agricultural policy. – The condition of the Arab fellah is little if at all superior to what it was under the Turkish regime. No definite policy of agricultural development of the country held by the Arabs has been adopted. The sole agencies which have pursued such a consistent policy have been the Jewish Colonisation Departments, public and private. With this exception agricultural progress of any kind has been haphazard and of small extent or value.
Jewish and Arab advantages and disadvantages. (Chapter V.) – The Jewish settlers have had every advantage that capital, science and organization could give them. To these and to the energy of the settlers themselves their remarkable progress is due.
(Chapter VI.) – The Arab has had none of these advantages and has received practically no help to improve his cultivation or his standard of life. The Arab population has increased with great rapidity and the land available for its sustenance has meanwhile decreased by about a million metric dunams which have passed into the hands of the Jews.
Compensation of Beduin for loss of grazing rights. (Chapter V l.) – The problem of the Beduin requires careful investigation, in order that their rights may be ascertained. Where those rights conflict with the requirements of the State for agricultural development, the Beduin should be compensated, if those rights are annulled.
Alterations of terms under which Jewish National Fund purchases and leases land. (Chapter V. Section (iii).) – Reference has been made to the terms on which the Jewish National Fund purchases and leases its land. It is there recorded that those terms are objectionable and should be radically altered.
Government's duty under the Mandate. – It is the duty of the Administration, under the Mandate, to ensure that the position of the Arabs is not prejudiced by Jewish immigration. It is also its duty under the Mandate to encourage the close settlement of the Jews on the land, subject always to the former condition. It is only possible to reconcile these apparently conflicting duties by an active policy of agricultural development, having as its object close settlement on the land and intensive cultivation by both Arabs and Jews. To this end drastic action is necessary.
Agricultural Development Scheme. (Chapter VII.) – A methodical scheme of agricultural development should be thought out and undertaken, which will ensure the use of the land of the country to better purpose than has been the case hitherto. This development should have two distinct aims:-
Improvement of the Fellah’s methods. (Chapter VII.) – ln the first place, to improve the method of cultivation of the Arab fellah in the dry tracts, and also to extend irrigation wherever that is possible, so that the fellah will be able to gain a reasonable livelihood from a smaller area of land than that which has been essential hitherto.
Re-arrangement of holdings. – In the second place so to rearrange holdings of land, that there will be a margin for further settlement in accordance with the terms of Article 6 of the Mandate.
Development of irrigation. – If such development is undertaken in accordance with a definite plan and the cultivable land of the Plains of Palestine improved, as in many places it can be improved, by the provision of water for irrigation, there will unquestionably be sufficient land both for Arabs and for additional Jewish settlement. The results. desired will not be obtained except by years of work.
Jewish reserves of land. – It is for this reason peculiarly fortunate that the Jewish organizations are in possession of a large reserve of land not yet settled or developed. Their operations can continue without a break while the general scheme of development is being worked out and brought into operation.
Control of disposition of land. – Until the scheme is worked out the control of all disposition of land must of necessity rest with the authority in charge of the development. Transfers should only be permitted in so far as they do not interfere with that scheme.
Powers for Government purchase of land. – In order that any scheme of development should be a success, the authority controlling the development must be able to obtain the land which it is intended to develop. It may be possible that arrangements to this end can be concluded amicably between the Government and the owner of land required. In such cases naturally the Government would buy the land. It should also have the power to purchase at a valuation all land for sale in the market. On the other hand in any case in which the Government refuses to sanction a sale of land, the would-be vendor should have the right tc demand that the Government take over that land at a valuation.
It may be however that the Government will not be able to acquire the land it needs by private arrangement or by purchase, at a valuation. In such a case it already has the power to act under the Expropriation of Land Ordinance No. 28 of 1926, and to acquire the land at a valuation, as being required for a public purpose.
Development Commission. – The development of the land could best be ensured by the appointment of a Development Commission, invested with the necessary powers.
It is desirable that there should be a Chairman of British nationality, one Arab Commissioner and one Jewish Commissioner.
Responsibilities of the Development Commission. – The Commission would not only undertake the development of the land but would also be responsible for its colonisation, both by Arab and by Jew. Until the survey is finished and the census is taken next year, it is impossible to say what the actual area available for cultivation may be and the number of Arab families whom it may be necessary to displace.
Available areas in the plains. – The Jewish Agency has made a calculation which indicates that there is room for 54,900 additional families in three of the five plains, namely, the Maritime Plain, the Huleh Plain, and the Jordan Valley, including Beisan. This is the result of a careful and detailed examination of the cultivable area and of the possibilities of development. It is true that the figures adopted in this calculation differ from those of the Director of Surveys in certain areas, and it would not be possible to accept the estimate as strictly accurate. It is at the same time certain that a large number of additional families can be provided with improved holdings in these areas.
It is impossible to give anything like a reliable estimate of the number of families who could be accommodated in Palestine, if the whole country were adequately developed. The development of 100,000 dunams in certain areas of the Maritime Plain might perhaps provide sufficient land for the settlement of 5,000 to 6,500 families. Accommodation would probably be thus provided in such an area for the families already on the spot, together with 2,000 families of Arabs from the congested areas in the Hills and 2,000 families of Jewish settlers. A similar area in Beisan would accommodate possibly only one-half or two-thirds of the number of new families. Everything depends on water for irrigation and markets for the produce. But there can be no doubt that systematic and methodical development over a series of years will change the whole aspect of agricultural Palestine, and admit of a largely increased population.
Co-ordination of Development Schemes. – Any scheme of development should provide for the settlement both of Jews and of Arabs on the developed area, and should take into consideration the plans of colonisation of the Jewish agencies, in order that development by those agencies and by the Commission might be co-ordinated. It might well prove possible to combine two schemes of development in certain areas with mutual advantage and with considerable economy.
Cost of settling a family. – It is assumed that the average expenditure on settling one Arab family will be about £60. This does not provide for anything luxurious in the way of settlement. The Arab builds his own house. It costs him £10 per room. If he builds a house of two rooms, £40 will remain, which will be sufficient to provide him with a good cow, an iron plough and a harrow. The family will already have cattle and implements and it will not be necessary to provide maintenance. Though the standard of life of Arab and Jew differ materially, no difference could be made either in the size of holding allotted or in the amount granted for settlement. If the Jew desires a more liberal settlement, and he will desire it, clearly he must obtain its cost elsewhere than from the Development Commission.
Distribution of developed land. – The distribution of the developed land should be made to Jews whose names are borne on lists supplied to the Commission by the Jewish Agency, and to Arabs named by the District Commissioners. The claim of would-be settlers of both sections of the population should be considered simultaneously, and the Commission must have the final decision on the claims.
Co-operation between Jewish agencies and the Development Commission. – The scheme proposed depends for its success on loyal co-operation of the Jewish Colonisation Agencies with the Development Commission. The Commission should be in constant touch with those agencies, and their schemes of development, though intended for Jewish settlement alone, must be so framed as to fall in with the scheme for the development of the country as a whole. This is the only way in which the provisions of Article 6 of the Mandate can be observed and close settlement of Jews on the land encouraged while the position of the other sections of the population is not prejudiced. There will doubtless be difficulties at the commencement in co-ordinating Jewish plans with those of the Commission, but with goodwill on either side and a realization of the common object those difficulties should be capable of resolution.
Artificial inflation of land values. – It is also only by co-operation that artificial inflation of the price of the land will be prevented. At the present time, the price of land in Palestine has risen to an exaggerated height, owing to the determination of the various Jewish purchasing agencies to buy, at all hazards and at any price, land which comes into the market, and the fact that the owner knows that if he only holds, he can get his price. As the price of the land, or an adequate percentage on that price in the form of rent must be collected from the population to be settled, the scheme will fail if the land is bought at an unreasonable price, such as the present price. It is thus an essential condition of success that the land should be bought at a reasonable price. This is only possible either by agreement between the Government and the Jewish purchasing agencies, or by Government control over dispositions of land. The object desired might be attained by a “gentleman’s agreement” between the Jewish Agency and the Commission. Control, however, would be essential in any case in order to prevent the incursion of third parties desirous of speculating in land.
Ascertainment of the number of landless Arabs. – The forthcoming census should be used in order to ascertain the number of Arabs who have become landless. It would also be well if the number of fellahin who have not a holding on which they are able to maintain a reasonable standard of life could be ascertained through the Area and District Officers. These two classes are dealt with by Mr. Snell in his Note of Reservations to the report of the Commission on the Disturbances. He says on page 177 – “.... The Arab, on the other hand, should be secured in the possession of sufficient land to provide him with a decent standard of life ...” and on p. 181, “... If there are still Arabs who are landless through the failure of the Palestine Government to apply administratively the provisions of the Land Laws in force in that country, steps should be taken by the Government to settle them on the land at the public expense ...”
Migration: Its difficulties. – The task of a Development Commission will not be easy. It will involve, among other problems, that of migration. Evidently it will not be possible to increase the size of a fellah's holding in the Hills, except by arrangement which will involve the transfer of some other fellah from the Hills elsewhere and the use of the latter's holding to increase that of the former in the attempt to create a “lot viable.”
“The process of migration involves many difficulties... of which not the least is the understandable objections of the occupiers in the neighbourhood of the new holding to immigrants being given land to which they consider they and their families have a prior claim. Much tact and foresight are necessary in planning migration schemes and inducing holders to migrate to a part of the country where the local associations... would be strange to them... Though migration formed a definite part of the policy of the late Congested Districts Board in dealing with their Estates… the inherent difficulties... prevented a development of the policy on a very extensive scale… The now almost universal scope of land purchase in Saorstat Eireann makes it possible to effect more extensive schemes of migration.”
The above is a quotation from the Report of the Irish Land Commissioners for the year ending 31st March, 1929. There is no doubt that similar difficulties will be encountered in any policy of development which entails migration as a consequence. In the case of the fellah, however, the conditions under which he lives are so unbearable that the difficulty of migration is not likely to be presented to the same degree. He is always migrating, even at the present time. He goes to any spot where he thinks he can find work. Many have left the country altogether. Emigration of a similar nature is understood to be common both in Syria. and in ‘Iraq.
Relations with the Department of Agriculture. – The relations between a Development Commission and the existing Department of Agriculture will require determination and definition. There is danger both of jealousy and of overlapping. Both of these dangers are evitable. The object of the two agencies is identical, namely, the improvement of the condition of the smallholder. If the relations between the Commission and the High Commissioner are close and cordial, as must be the case if the scheme is to have full success, those between the Commission and the Department should not fail to be satisfactory.
Spheres of action of the Development Commission and Department of Agriculture. – The broad principle of division between the two agencies is the following :-It is the duty of the Development Commission to improve the land for the cultivator; to introduce irrigation if possible, to regulate the size of the holding so that it shall be appropriate, and to arrange for its occupation either by migration of Arabs already in the country, or by the settlement of Jews who have immigrated under the auspices of the Jewish organizations. It is the duty of the Department of Agriculture to look after the technical side of the cultivator’s life, to provide him with education and, if possible, training, to render him more capable than he is at present to use the improved land to the best advantage when it is made available for him by the Development Commission.
There will be border-line cases. For instance, it is conceivable that the Development Commission may establish nurseries to provide trees for the improved land. The Department of Agriculture may also have nurseries to provide trees for the cultivators generally. But by the application of ordinary common-sense, there should in practice be no difficulty in arranging the spheres of action of the two authorities.
Hydrographic Survey. – It has been recommended that the Government should institute a hydrographic survey of Palestine. This is essential to satisfactory development of the country and to methodical development of irrigation. Meanwhile one of the first tasks of a Development Commission will be the examination of the available water resources, in order that development may commence where there is the most immediate likelihood of success. They will require the services of the irrigation engineer of the Government for this purpose.
Urgency of Irrigation Legislation (Chapter Vll). – The contemplated legislation to regulate irrigation and to render it more efficient should be passed as soon as possible. The control of all irrigable water should remain with the Government, and all surplus water above that on which rights have been or may be established should be its property. It is regrettable that the Government has in one case parted with the irrigation rights in an important source to a concessionaire, and steps should be taken to ensure that in that case satisfactory arrangements are made for a supply of water for irrigation at an early date.
Formation of an Irrigation Department. – lt is not desirable that the irrigation services should be a branch of the Agricultural Department and subject to the Director of that Department. They should be constituted a separate service with a Department dealing only with irrigation.
Occupancy Right. – The question of the creation of occupancy right of the agricultural tenant is discussed. No measure short of such right will suffice to secure the tenant against ejectment or the imposition of an excessive rental. The bestowal of the right will, it is true, reduce the market value of the property on which the tenant is settled, but it is essential that his tenure should be rendered more secure than it is at the present time. Legislation should be introduced as soon as is possible to confer on the tenant in Palestine that right, which exists all over India. This legislation should also secure. the tenant against increases in his rent except under the orders or with the sanction of a Court. A register of all tenancies should be compiled in the course of the settlement now in progress.
Partition of Mesha'a (Chapter IV). – The tenure in common known as mesha'a which prevails in nearly half of the Arab villages of Palestine has been described and discussed, and it has been recorded that this system is a great obstacle to any agricultural development of the country. It is essential that steps should be taken to partition the mesha'a villages as expeditiously as possible.
Acceleration of land settlement (Chapter IV). – It has been pointed out that the maintenance of the record of rights which is now being prepared, and of a register of tenancies, is a necessary condition of good administration of the agricultural tracts. The work of the settlement, which is extremely complicated, is proceeding very slowly, and should be accelerated, if that is possible. If the delay is due to the expense of the settlement, and the inadequacy of the Settlement Budget, that Budget should be increased. The work is so important to the Government for its general purposes, and so essential to activities of a Development Commission, that no avoidable delay should be tolerated.
Abolition of imprisonment for debt (Chapter Vl). – Imprisonment for debt is an anachronism and should be abolished.
Redistribution and reduction of taxation (Chapter VI). – Agricultural taxation is excessive in Palestine at the present time. The Tithe is based on prices of produce which have fallen by about 50 per cent. since the Tithe was commuted. Until arrangements can be made so to redistribute the burden of taxation that it will fall more fairly in accordance with the financial ability of the taxpayer, the Tithe should, if possible, be suspended. If that is not possible, ii should vary with the average market price of produce.
Registration fees – Reduction of fees. – The fees at present charged for the registration of dispositions of land, especially those on sale, mortgage and succession, are so high as to prevent the registration of changes in title consequent thereon. It is desirable, in the interests of the maintenance of an accurate record of rights, that these fees should be reduced.
Co-ordination of Agricultural Scientific Services (Chapter VII, Section A). – It is urgently necessary that steps should be taken to prevent overlapping between the scientific establishments of the Government, of the Jewish Agency and of the Hebrew University. It is preferable, and would be more economical, that the Government, rather than duplicate such services, should grant a subvention or should ma.ke payments for services rendered,
Increase of Department of Agriculture's Budget (Chapter VII). – It is a question whether the Agricultural Department should maintain certain minor Services, as, for instance, the Fisheries Service and the Sericultural Service, with its present limited Budget. The existing Budget is insufficient for the work which the Agricultural Department should perform. It should be increased.
Demonstration plots (Chapter VII). – Of all the agencies of an agricultural department in a country of small-holders none is more valuable than the Demonstration Plot. It is also one of the most economical methods of bringing practical and practicable improvements to the notice of the peasant cultivator. It is suggested that this method might well be adopted by the Agricultural Department in Palestine.
Distribution of trees (Chapter VII). – Another valuable agency for improvement of the holding of the peasant is the distribution of trees either at cost price or below it.
Separation of the Forest Service (Chapter VII). – The Forest Service is not one which should be attached to the Agricultural Department. It should be constituted as an independent service.
Increase of Budget of Department of Education. – The educational budget is by far too small for the requirements of the country, and it is recommended that it should be increased.
Agricultural course for Schoolmasters (Chapter VII). – Agricultural development is dependent on the spread of elementary education. It is desirable that all village schoolmasters should be given a six months' course at an agricultural school, and that the curriculum of the village school should include elementary instruction in agriculture. Each village school should have a small plot of land which will serve as a school garden and demonstration plot. There should be close co-operation between the Departments of Education and of Agriculture.
Encouragement of co-operation between Arab and Jew in Orange Industry. (Chapter VII, Section D.) – The Jewish Communities are very well served by a series of efficient Co-operative Societies. It would be to the general advantage of the country if these societies or such of them as are suitable for the purpose, could be made available to Arab members. It would be of special value if the orange grading and packing Society “Pardess” could enlist Arab orange-growers into its membership.
Constitution of Co-operative Credit Societies. – The constitution of Co-operative Credit Societies among the fellahin is an essential preliminary to their advancement. The whole question is being examined at the present time, by Mr. Strickland, on behalf of the Palestine Government.
Government acquisition of the Huleh Concession. (Chapters I and VII, Section C.) – If the Huleh Concession falls in, the land should be retained by the Government for development purposes. This area is one of the most fertile in the whole of Palestine and provision could be made for a large number of families on a comparatively small developed area.
Limitation of orange cultivation. (Chapter VIII, Section (a).) – The area under the orange is increasing with very great rapidity. It appears doubtful whether the market will be able to digest the amount of fruit which will be produced at the end of the next five years, when all groves now planted will be in bearing. Generally there is an optimistic spirit among the growers, but it would seem to be the path of wisdom to await the result of the recent rapid extension before further increasing the area.
Development of other fruit crops. (Chapter VIII, Sections (b), (c), (e), (f).) – Attempts should be made to encourage the cultivation· of other fruits and valuable crops, rather than to depend entirely on one crop. The grape fruit offers good prospects. The Palestine fruit is excellent and it grows in soil which is too heavy for the orange. The prospects for the banana do not appear bright, but attempts should be made to develop the markets in Eastern Europe.
Import duty on melons in Egypt. (Chapter VIII, Section (d).) – The Egyptian Government has placed an import duty on Palestinian melons which is likely to restrict the trade. The Damascus Municipality has imposed an octroi duty on the same fruit.
Improvement of grades of tobacco. (Chapter VIII, Section (g).) – Efforts should be made to foster the cultivation of a better grade of tobacco, experts in manipulation and in packing being employed to teach the cultivators. There is every prospect that high quality tobacco could be grown in Palestine. It is probably advisable that, at least for the present, the cultivation of tobacco should be restricted to the northern part of the country, where the better qualities of leaf can be grown.
Amendment of minimum area of tobacco. (Chapter VIII.) – There is no good reason for the present rule, which prevents the cultivation of tobacco on an area of less than two dunams. It would be sufficient if the area were restricted to a minimum of half dunam. The interest of the cultivators should be considered, as well as that of the manufacturer, in framing legislation governing the cultivation of tobacco.
Improvement of quality of olive oil and pruning of trees. (Chapter VIII, Section (h).) – Steps should be taken to teach the cultivator the method of producing olive oil of better quality than that now manufactured by the small grower. It would also be an advantage that instructors in pruning olive trees should be employed to tour the country and to teach the peasant the correct method of pruning their trees.
Steps to revive the barley export trade. (Chapter VIII, Section. (7).) – The question of the export trade in barley deserves consideration. That trade, which was of a certain importance before the war, has not revived since the Armistice. The reason for its failure to revive should be examined, and the purchase of a cleaning plant, again be considered.
Encouragement of sericulture and production of honey. (Chapter VIII, Section (k).) – If serious efforts are contemplated to this end it is necessary to make a more adequate provision in the budget on their account than is done at present.
Possibility of a canning industry for dairy produce. (Chapter VIII, Section (l).) – The market for dairy products is circumscribed and it will soon be impossible locally to dispose of the dairy products of the country. Prices are already falling. It is necessary that an attempt should be made to cultivate the foreign market for dairy produce. The possibility of a canning industry for dairy products, and of the manufacture of cheese for export should be examined.
Palestinian industry. (Chapter IX .) – The larger manufacturing industries are dependent on the protection afforded by the import tariff. It is questionable whether in certain cases the protective tariff is justified by the results. In the case of the cement industry, the tariff appears to have been raised unnecessarily.
Reduction of excise on wines. (Chapters VIII, Section(f), and IX.) – The wine-industry is very heavily taxed in licence fees and Excise duty, which are passed on to the grape growers. These already pay the ordinary agricultural taxes, tithe and werko. In view of the present agricultural depression it would be advantageous, if possible, to reduce these taxes.
The smaller manufacturing industries are succeeding in many cases. This type of industry seems specially suited to the country.
Position of industries. (Chapter IX.) – There is not any reason to believe that Palestine offers special attractions to large industrial concerns. The industries likely to succeed are those that are based on local products or, being based on imported products, show special vitality. It would be a speculation dangerous to the economic future of the country, if an attempt were made to start a textile industry in Palestine on a large scale.
Encouragement of Arab industries. (Chapter IX.) – Indigenous Arab industries exist and should be encouraged.
Preparation of Labour Immigration Schedules. (Chapter X.) – It is recommended that in the future the Labour Immigration Schedules should be prepared by the representatives of the Jewish Agency and of the Immigration Department in consultation, with the help of non-official persons acquainted with the economic position of Palestine, as, for instance, leading bankers.
Immigration officer at towns abroad. (Chapter X.) – It is suggested that a representative of the Immigration Department should be stationed at each of the towns whence immigration to Palestine is most common.
Expulsion of illicit immigrants. (Chapter X.) – Proposals are made, that in the case of illicit entry into Palestine, the entrant should invariably be returned to the country whence he came, and that in the case of " pseudo-travellers " unless there are reasons to the contrary, the same procedure should follow detection.
Registration of Unemployment and Labour Exchanges. (Chapter X.) – The whole question of Arab unemployment should form the subject of study and steps should be taken to create a machinery for the registration of Arab unemployment. Government Employment Exchanges should be created, without which determination of the number of Arab unemployed is not possible.
If there are Arab workmen unemployed it is not right that Jewish workmen from foreign countries should be imported to fill existing vacant posts.
Constitution of a separate Department of Immigration, Travel and Labour. – The Immigration Office, which is now a section of the Police Department, should be constituted a separate Department.
Part of expenditure of Development Commission recoverable. – Both the expenditure necessary for the purchase of land in connection with a Development Commission, and the expenditure of the Commission itself are largely in the nature of outlay which will in time be repaid. This outlay is in fact reproductive expenditure. Of the advances for development, 85 per cent. to 90 per cent. should prove recoverable.
Intensive development. of rural Palestine essential. – In closing this Report I desire to record my opinion that the observance of the Articles of the Mandate, and specially of Article 6 of the Mandate, presents extraordinary difficulty. The sole way in which the Mandate can be carried out is by the intensive development of rural Palestine. It will not be sufficient to develop a small portion. The unique condition of success is the development of the whole, which, as has been said before, is a task requiring not only years of work, but also material expenditure. There exists no easy method of carrying out the provisions of the Mandate. Development is the only way. Without development, there is not room for a single additional settler, if the standard of life of the fellahin is to remain at its present level. With development that standard could be raised so that it would permit reasonable conditions of livelihood to that backward class of the community and a margin of land could at the same time be provided for additional colonisation.
The introduction of settlers possible if development carried out. – It is my personal belief, founded on the enquiries which I have made and on my inspections, that with thorough development of the country there will be room, not only for all the present agricultural population on a higher standard of life than it at present enjoys, but for not less than 20,000 families of settlers from outside.
Necessity of joint endeavour. – Any scheme for development presents serious difficulties. Unless such a scheme is accepted by both Jew and Arab it may very well fail. Of both it will require the support if it is to have the desired result, namely, the advancement of a neglected but historic country in the path of modern efficiency, by the joint endeavour of the two great sections of its population, with the assistance of the Mandatory Power.
Source: John Hope Simpson. Palestine: Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1930.