Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt

Information has reached us that the Zionists intend to ask you to endorse the so-called Lowdermilk project for the development of Palestine. This project, which is described in a recent book entitled Palestine, Land of Promise by Dr. Walter Clay Lowdermilk of the United States Department of Agriculture, proposes the establishment of a Jordan Valley Authority on the model of the TVA,2 with the object of making it possible for Palestine to absorb at least four million Jewish refugees. The author, who is Assistant Chief of the Soil Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture, has made it plain that his plan represents his own personal views and does not have the backing of the Government. The project has, however, been heartily endorsed by the Zionists, who have not failed to stress the fact that the author is prominent in our own Government’s reclamation work.

Quite apart from the foreign policy implications, we have some interesting comments regarding the Lowdermilk project, based on the view of scientists resident in Palestine, from one of our officers in the field, showing that from a purely technical standpoint there are serious obstacles to the plan. I thought that you would want to know this.

E. R. Stettinius, Jr.
  1. Tennessee Valley Authority.