PARIS (Jan. 22)
Foreign governments hoping to unload allegedly “surplus” Jewish populations in four colonies offered last week by France for possible Jewish settlement were today officially disillusioned.
Colonial Undersecretary Bouteille issued the following statement:
“The Quai D’Orsay has been informed that some foreign governments believe Colonial Minister Marius Moutet’s project will help their plans to evacuate their Jews. Such hopes are entirely without foundation.
M. Bouteille, who together with Gaston Joseph, head of the Colonial Ministry’s political department, has been entrusted with working out details of the colonization project, added that Jewish refugees now living in France would be the first to be admitted to the colonies included in the plan–Madagascar, French Guiana, the New Hebrides and New Caledonia.
That the colonization project will proceed on an extremely modest scale was made apparent by M. Bouteille in an interview with Mark Yarblum, member of the executive of the World Jewish Congress.
According to M. Bouteille, present plans call for settlement of only ten Jewish families in 1937, thirty in 1938 and fifty the following year.
Beyond that, M. Bouteille indicated, there is no question of vast colonization efforts, but simply settlement of Jewish refugees already in France. He said the prospective settlers would include mostly specialists, farmers and a few physicians with limited capital. Artisans and merchants would be excluded.
The French Government, M. Bouteille stated, is ready to accord administrative facilities and sanitary help and assign modest tracts of land, with other expenses incidental to colonization to be guaranteed by Jewish organizations.