Lausanne (Dec. 6)
Settlement of the problem created by the presence of thousands of political and religious refugees from Germany is a task involving all the principles of civilization and requires measures of a permanent nature, Lord Robert Cecil, famous British statesman and temporary chairman of the autonomous governing body created by the League of Nations to cope with the problem, declared today in opening the commission’s second day of deliberations.
Members of the governing body heard Dr. Chaim Weizmann, chairman of the Zionist drive to settle German Jewish refugees in Palestine, describe the capabilities of that country to absorb a large number of refugees, as well as the migration possibilities open in other countries.
Representatives of Jewish relief organizations which have been active in refugee aid, addressed the session pledging support to the governing body.
Pointing out that the “whole civilized world is interested in the solution of the refugee problem,” Lord Cecil declared it could not be disposed of by barring the gates of countries to the refugees. Such a course would be incompatible with Christian civilization, he stated. Relief measures, the statesman warned, were only a temporary measure.
“The only way is to make the refugees self-supporting, which must be done through absorption in existing communities and establishment in various parts of the world of new communities through colonization,” he advised. “The task is of vital importance, concerning all the principles of civilization.”
Dr. Weizmann, in a one-hour address before the commission, recommended that an advisory committee composed of representatives of Jewish organizations and communities be appointed by the governing body. He recalled that this proposal had been made by the London conference for the relief of German Jews, at which practically every large Jewish agency in the world had been represented.
Describing the tasks that must be accomplished, Dr. Weizmann said they were:
“Firstly, the amelioration of the position of Jews staying in Germany, who are outside the scope of the High Commissioner and concern only Jewish bodies.
“Secondly, for absorption of refugees, re-training and re-adaptation, especially of the youth, is necessary.”
He warned that “a new wave of refugees may make an already difficult problem utterly unmanageable.”
Referring to the immigration possibilities of the various countries, Dr. Weizmann declared there were some openings in the United States, the British Dominions, the French dependencies and some of the mandated territories, some of the South American countries and, to a considerable extent, in Palestine.
“A new wave of anti-Semitism sweeping the world makes patent that the peculiar economic and social structure of Jewry cannot be maintained in the face of a changing world,” Dr. Weizmann declared. “The success of Palestine is based on the determination of the Jews to found their lives on a normal, productive basis.
“Palestine,” the noted Zionist leader told the governing body, “is the only country where the Jew comes not on sufferance as in other countries. The governing body may help in the realization of these strivings, fulfilling, perhaps, the last hope of the Jews.”
The plight of the intellectual elements forced from Germany was described to the governing body by Professor William Rappard, of Switzerland. He asked that they be given consideration and facilities for utilization of their capabilities.
Dr. Nahum Goldman, chairman of the Committee of Jewish Delegations, speaking in behalf of that body and the American Jewish Congress, declared that both organizations, representing large masses, have always been convinced that the Jewish question is international in scope. He expressed the hope that the governing body would accept the London relief conference’s suggestion regarding the inclusion of Jewish organizations in an advisory body.
Joseph C. Hyman, of New York, secretary of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, also addressed the governing body. Louis Unger, director of the Jewish Colonization Association, expressed the willingness of his organization to cooperate with the governing body. A cablegram from the American Jewish Committee, in New York, was read to the assembly by High Commissioner James G. McDonald.
The governing body met during the afternoon in private session.
The permanent executive committee of the autonomous body will consist of representatives of Great Britain, France, United States, Italy and Uruguay. Alberto Guani, of Uruguay, is to be chairman of the body, it is reported, replacing Lord Cecil who will retire.
Tomorrow’s meeting will be held in private, but on Friday, it is expected, there will be a public session. Declarations by the various governments are also expected on Friday.