Women of prominence from every part of the country, led by a committee of ten headed by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, in a petition made public yesterday requested President Franklin D. Roosevelt to give assurance that restrictive rules be administered by consular officers abroad with utmost consideration in the cases of political, racial and religious refugees.
Aimed primarily for the relief of German refugees, the message to the Chief Executive states that since July the total number of those admitted from Germany, including all races and creeds, has not yet reached 600. It is contended in the letter that a more liberal admission would not result in the refugees becoming public charges, as friends and relatives are ready to render assistance and prevent further aggravation of America’s unemployment problem.
Attached to the petition is a booklet, “Asylum for Refugees Under Our Immigration Laws.” It states the views of former Governor Alfred E. Smith, Professor Raymond Moley, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and a number of foreign statesmen and leaders. United States statutes relative to the subject and some important earlier calls in favor of asylum are cited.
The letter reads as follows.
“Hon. Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The White House
“Washington, D. C.
“Dear Mr. President:
“The undersigned are informed that a serious handicap to the successful disposition of some of the German refugees in whom the International Committees organized for that purpose are interested, is the executive order of President Hoover, issued as a news release in September, 1930, which authorized the State Department to warn American Consular Officers to require definite proof that an alien applying for an immigration visa will not become a public charge in this country and thus add to our unemployment problem.
“That order has been so strenuously enforced that immigration has almost ceased. Under the immigration law the German quota is 25,957. That number is far from being filled. According to the figures given by the High Commissioner, James G. McDonald, there are about 25,000 German emigres in France, 20,000 being in Paris; Holland is caring for 5,000 refugees; Switzerland 2,500; Czecho Slovakia 5,000; Poland 6,000; England 3,000; Belgium 2,500; Palestine 6,500. The United States, always proud of its hallowed principle of the right of asylum for political and religious refugees, ought certainly to do its share. The total number of refugees from Germany of all races and creeds admitted to the United States, since July, amounts to less than 600. The admission of a fraction of the German quota cannot materially affect the economic conditions of this country, particularly as the bulk of those admitted will be made up of young children, aged persons and men and women in the professions and in the arts and sciences who have a cultural contribution to make to this country. Friends and relatives are ready to give active guarantee that these people, for whom we plead, if admitted, will not become public charges.
“The Committee of Ten has had prepared the enclosed pamphlet, “Asylum for Refugees Under Our Immigration Laws,” containing the views of distinguished contemporaries on this timely subject.
“In view of the desperate plight of many of these religious and political refugees who might find asylum in the United States, we urge that the American Consuls should be advised to regard such cases as calling for sympathetic treatment, notwithstanding the above described executive order.”
The letter was signed by Mrs. Catt for the committee of ten, which chose her as chairman.
The other members are Miss Mary Dreier, Mrs. Kendall Emerson, Mrs. John H. Finley, Mrs. Alexander Kohut, Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw, Mrs. Jacob A. Riis and Mrs. F. Louis Slade, all of New York, and Miss Elizabeth Eastman and Mrs. Charles Cary Rumsey, of Washington.
Signers of the petition include the following:
Mrs. Harold Abrams, Dallas, Tex.; Miss Cornelia S. Adair, Richmond, Va.; Mrs. Gridley Adams, New Rochelle, N. Y.; Jane Addams, Chicago; Mrs. James R. Arneil, Denver; Mrs. Helen Tufts Bailte. Cambridge, Mass.; Mrs. Margaret Culkin Banning, Duluth, Minn.; Mrs. Knud S. Bay, Allington, N. J.; Mrs. Frederic Beggs, Wyckoff, N. J.; Mrs. William C. Belman, Hammond, Ind.; Miss Fay Bentley, Washington; Mrs. James Kingsley Blake, New Haven, Conn.; Nettie Rankin Holland, Portland, Ore.; Mrs. Ella A. Boole, Brooklyn; Mrs. John D. Bowers, Gary, Ind.
Mrs. James Bowron, Birmingham, Ala.; Mrs. J. K. Bowman, Richmond, Va.; Mrs. S. F. Boykin, Atlanta; Mary Davison Bradford, Kenosha, Wis.; Mrs. George G. Bray, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Miss Jeannette Calkins, Portland, Ore.; Mrs. Elbert L. Carpenter, Minneapolis, Minn.; Mrs. F. D. Carpenter, Burlington, Vt.; Dr. Mollie Ray Carroll, Chicago; Mildred Chadsey, Cleveland; Mrs. Walston Chubb, St. Louis; Mrs. Edith Valet Cook, New Haven, Conn.; Mrs. Edward Cornish, Little Rock, Ark.; Mrs. Norvell Cullom, Birmingham, Ala.
Gratia A. Countryman, Minneapolis, Minn.; Mrs. W. L. Darby, Washington; Mrs. Robert C. Dexter, Belmont, Mass.; Mrs. Paul E. du Pont, Montchanin, Del.; Mrs. William P. Earle, Jr., Brooklyn; Mrs. Win. Seigman Ehrich, Evansville, Ind.; Mrs. Charles E. Ellicott, Baltimore; Miss Lillie R. Ernest, St. Louis; Elizabeth L. Fackt, Denver; Mrs. Valentine B. Fischer, Boulder, Col.; Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Arlington, Vt.; Mrs. L. Henry Fradkin, Montclair, N. J.; Mrs. Joseph Frauenthal, Conway, N. J.
Zona Gale, Portage, Wis.; Mrs. Joseph Gavit, Albany, Mrs. George Gellhorn, St. Louis; Ellen Glasgow Richmond. Va.; Mrs. E. R. Godfrey, Bangor, Me.; Edna E. M. Goodwin, Seattle; Mrs. Henry L. Greene, Atlanta; Alice Griffith, San Francisco; Mrs. E. M. Grossman, St. Louis; Mrs. Oliver J. Haller, Pittsburgh; Mrs. E. H. Heller, Louisville, Ky.; Mrs. Samuel C. Henning, Louisville, Ky.; Mrs. W. B. Herbert, Nashville, Tenn.; Mrs. Charles L. Horne, Shreveport, La.; Mrs. C. H. Huvelle, Dallas, Tex.; Mrs. James Johns, Pendelton, Ore.
Mrs. Florence L. C. Kitchelt, New Haven, Conn.; Mrs. Blanche La Du, St. Paul, Minn.; Isabel Bacon La Follette, Madison, Wis.; Mrs. Bertha K. Landis, Settle; Mrs. A. Haines Lippincott, Camden, N. J.; Mrs. Henry C. Lockett, Phoenix, Ario.; Mrs. Linville K. Martin, Winston-Salem, N. C.; Mrs. Malcolm L. McBride, Cleveland; Margaret Hill McCarter, Topeka, Kan.; Mrs. John Watt Meiklejohn, Pawtuckett, R. I.; Mrs. Harold T. Miller, Detroit; Mrs. W. L. Murdock, Birmingham, Ala.; Miss Clara Nolen, Atlanta; Mrs. George B. Ogden, Utica, N. Y.; Mrs. Maud Wood Park, Portland, Me.; Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker, Austin, Tex.
Elizabeth Perry. Westerly, R. I.; Mrs. Willard Pope, Detroit; Rosalie Pollock, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mrs. Walter. W. Post, Rochester, N. Y.; Mrs. Charles H. Prescott, Cleveland; Mrs. Max Rodman. Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mrs. Howard E. Rondthaler, Winston-Salem, N. C.; Amelia Sears, Chicago; Anna Hubbuch Settle, Louisville, Ky.; Mrs. Henry B. Shaw, Burlington, Vt.; Mrs. Edwin R. Shelion, San Francisco; Belle Sherwin, Washington; Isabelle J. Sims, Newark, N. J.; Mrs. Reba Barrett Smith, Alexandria, Va.; Lutie E. Stearns, Milwaukee, Wis.; Mrs. Volney W. Taylor, Brownsville, Tex.
Miss Lillian D. Wald, New York City; Mrs. Percy T. Walden, New Haven, Conn.; Mrs. Elmer G. Waldron, Seattle; Mrs. Thomas W. Watson, Winston-Salem, N. C.; Fannie Dixon Welch, Columbia, Conn.; Roberta Welford, Charlottsville, Va.; Mrs. Eva Whiting White, Boston; Mrs. Henry A. Whitmarsh, Providence, R. I.; Mrs. F. B. Wilkinson, Phoenix, Arizo.; Mabel Walker Willeorandt. Washington; Beatrice Winser Newark, N. J.; Elizabeth Upham Yates, Providence, R. I.