Doubts Whether Peru Has Yet Taken Official Action on Jewish Colonization Plan

Doubt whether the plan reported from Berlin to colonize Jews in Peru has reached the stage of serious consideration or at least whether the Peruvian government has yet taken official action upon it was expressed by Senor L. Alvarez de Buenavista, Charge de Affaires of the Peruvian Legation, in the absence of Ambassador Velarde, in response to inquiries here today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

No information whatever concerning the plan described in a Berlin dispatch to the New York “Forward” has been received by the Peruvian Embassy here, Senor de Buenavista stated, adding that if the project had received the official sanction of the Peruvian government some announcement to this effect would undoubtedly have been been published in the Peruvian newspapers, which, however, as yet have carried no reference whatever to the subject.

This, however, does not necessarily imply that the report regarding the plan has no basis in fact. Senor Buenavista indicated that the Embassy did not intend to send an inquiry to the Peruvian government, inasmuch as the matter was beyond the sphere of the Embassy. Since the report emanated from Berlin, he declared that perhaps the Peruvian Embassy in Berlin had some information on the matter.

Walter Miller, director of the Foreign Service division of the Department of Commerce, yesterday admitted that his department had recently received two communications from H. Lawrence Groves, American commercial attache in Berlin (mentioned in the “Forward’s” story as being interested in the Peruvian project), reporting that two gentlemen, whose names the Department of Commerce declined to make public, had called to see him regarding the scheme for Jewish colonization in East Peru.

The commercial attache reported that the plan seemed to be very well thought of in Peru and was progressing but that they (the two gentlemen) indicated that additional funds were needed and they inquired whether the U. S. Department of Commerce could enlist the support of philanthropists in the United States.

To Mr. Groves’ report the Department of Commerce replied that although the plan was interesting and seemed practical, the Department obviously could not accede to the request, especially as it did not involve American citizens. Mr. Miller said that nothing was known of any plans of American capitalists to build a railroad in Peru in connection with this colonization scheme nor was this mentioned in the correspondence.

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