Geneva (May. 23)
(By our Geneva Correspondent)
The Advisory Committee on Refugees which is attached to the International Labor Office held its meeting here yesterday under the chairmanship of M. Albert Thomas, the Director of the International Labor Office. The High Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. Nansen, was represented by the Assistant High Commissioner, Mr. Johnson. There was also present at the meeting Captain Childs who recently returned from a mission on behalf of the International Labor Office in South America to investigate the possibilities of transferring the refugees to South America. Captain Childs submitted to the meeting a detailed report on his enquiry.
The Jewish roganizations were represented at the meeting by Lucien Wolf, on behalf of the Jewish Colonization Associaton (Ica) and the Joint Foreign Committee of the Board of Deputies of the British Jews and the Anglo-Jewish Association, Mr. Z. Aberson, on behalf of the Emigdirekt, and Dr. Pines, on behalf of the Federation of Russian Jews in Germany.
The Committe formulated a number of recommendations relating to measures to be taken for improving the legal position of the Russian and Armenian refugees. 8th recommendations will be submitted to a diplomatic conference which is to be held at the end of next month.
The Committee has also taken note of the various projects which have been drawn up on the subject of the refugees and it has expressed its wish that the evacuation of the Russian Refugees still in Constantinople should be speeded up. There were at one time about three thousand refugees in Constantinople, including about 700 Jews. Part of these have already been evacuated and it is intended to transfer a large part of the remainder to South America and France.
In an interview with the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mr. Wolf said that he was very satisfied with the results of the co-operation of the Jewish organizations with the International Labor Office in the field of refugee aid.
M. Tcherniak took part in the work of the Constantinople Advisory Committee on behalf of the Ica and the Joint. In the work of evacuation of the Jewish refugees, the High Commissariat in Constantinople had always given attention to those candidates who were put forward by the Jewish representative. whose requests in general were always treated with the utmost consideration. It was to be assumed that a large part of the 700 Jews who had been living for a long time in Turkey would be able to remain in the country, but it would not be advisable to be too optimistic, because that might have bad results.
Of the sum of $100,000 which had been received from the United States for refugee work, $3,000 came from the Joint Distribution Committee.
Captain Childs, who had been visiting South America, spoke warmly of the Jewish colonies there which he regarded as model colonies.
Forty-five Russian Jewish refugees left Constantinople on board the S.S. "Lamartien" for Marseilles in order to proceed to Uruguay and Brazil, it was reported here. They are the first group of the Russian Jewish refugees in Constantinople, numbering about 700, who are to be evacuated through the medium of the International Labour Office of the League of Nations. The Turkish Government has ordered that all the Russian refugees must leave the country by February 7th, 1929. An appeal made in the United States of America resulted in the raising of a sum of $100,000 for their evacuation. Not all of these Jews, however, are refugees. Many of them have resided in Turkey for more than 20 years, but since they neglected to become naturalized citizens and still hold their old Russian passports they are compelled to leave the country.
A considerable number of Russian refugees have gone to France and Jugoslavia, but these include very few Jews. The travelling expenses of the refugees are met out of the $100,000 fund which is administered by a Committe of the International Labor Office, on which S. Tcherniak, the representative of the Ica in Constantinople, is the Jewish member.