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The Custodian of Enemy Property in Palestine before 1948 (Nakba),British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine: Volume II - Page 992. Chapter XXVI: War Economic Measures

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British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine


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despite uninformed public criticism, the Council has accepted the view of its own import prices committee that the Government surcharge policy should be retained as an essential part of the scheme for the subsidisation of essential foodstuffs.

19. It has not been possible to exclude altogether racial and political feeling from the debates of the Council, but in general this has been kept well in the background and both parties have worked together for the common good. Unfortunately, in November, 1945, the four Arab members of the Council resigned on the "parity" issue. Originally they bad agreed to serve on the Council with an equal number of Jewish members on the understanding that Government would not use this parity of numbers as a political precedent; subsequently they alleged that this undertaking had been violated by the proposed formation of a Social Welfare Board and the appointment of a Central Transport Board on which there were equal numbers of Jewish and Arab members. Government ruled that the resignation of the Arab members should not deprive The Jewish community of the benefits of the Council and that the Council should continue to function with a reduced membership. The future composition is now under consideration.

Section 3.


20. At the outbreak of the war in 1939 a Custodian of Enemy Property was appointed in Palestine. His duties are governed by the Trading with the Enemy Ordinance," 1939 and the Trading with the Enemy (Custodian) Order,** 1939. The Custodian's main duty in Palestine is to take over all property of enemies as defined in the Trading with the Enemy Ordinance. These properties include :-

(a) immovable property such as residential buildings;

(b) agricultural properties, which consist principally of citrus


(c) unoccupied land, building plots, etc;
(d) bank balances and other monies; (e) securities of various sorts;

(d) debts due by residents of Palestine to enemies; and (g) chattels (furniture, etc.)
* Kautrovitch, Vol. III, page 322.

** Laws of 1939, Vol. III, page 1201.