LONDON (Dec. 2)
Senator Henry Berenger told an emergency session of the Inter-governmental Refugee Committee’s directorate today that France was willing to admit 10,000 refugees to her colonies provided the United States and Great Britain made a comparable contribution to solution of the pressing refugee problem. The directorate, to which a sixth power, the Argentine, was elected this morning, decided to convene a full meeting of the committee in the middle of January.
Ambassador Le Breton, newly-named Argentine vice-chairman, and Helio Lobo, Brazilian delegate, informed the conference this afternoon of the conditions under which the refugees would be admitted. Lord Winterton, who presided, gave a more detailed report of the British Government’s proposal for settlement of refugees in British Guiana and Tanganyika, and also discussed some of the financial aspects involved in the project.
Today’s meeting, called to consider the latest developments in the German situation and to discuss future plans, was devoted largely to American insistence that the committee consider measures to meet the immediate situation. No decision was taken on the Polish Government’s demarche for consideration of the Polish-Jewish emigration question, particularly that of the 12,000 deportees from Germany.
The opening session this morning heard reports by Director George Rublee, American Vice-Chairman Myron C. Taylor and French Vice-Chairman Berenger. Ambassador Le Breton of the Argentine was elected a fifth vice-chairman of the committee, to serve with Mr. Taylor, Senator Berenger, Helio Lobo of Brazil and Beucker Andrea of the Netherlands.
Mr. Rublee, Washington attorney and friend of President Roosevelt, reported at length on the two principal phases of his work — efforts to reach an agreement with the German Government permitting emigrants to take with them a reasonable portion of their capital, and negotiations with other countries for admission of the refugees.
Mr. Rublee was understood to have reported that while no invitation had yet been received from Berlin, he still had hopes the German authorities would invite him to the capital for a discussion of the emigration question. He also reported on the progress of the Refugee Bureau in obtaining places of settlement for the refugees and on the status of pending negotiations with several countries, including the Dominican Republic and Canada.
It was understood that Mr. Andrea was to outline to the conference proposals by the Netherlands Government to give immediate temporary asylum to Jews who could no longer remain in Germany and to seek extension of the scheme to other countries bordering the Reich.
Prior to the opening session, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Rublee and Robert Pell, assistant director, conferred at length with Daniel Wolf, Netherlands Jewish banker and philanthropist who recently founded the International Jewish Colonization Society with the aim of coordinating projects for the evacuation and resettlement of German Jewry.
Mr. Wolf today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his organization proposed to establish a trust foundation to finance the colonization and settlement of any suitable territories which may be available. He said the foundation would be administered by a committee of 50 distinguished Jews and non-Jews of all countries. Mr. Wolf’s plans envisage the issuance of bonds, proceeds of which will be used to finance the foundation, with the entire project eventually becoming self-supporting and refunding the original capital. The banker stressed the predominance of Palestine in the scheme and pointed out that other territorial settlements would be complementary to the Palestine work. He also conferred yesterday with a number of Jewish and non-Jewish personalities and was scheduled to go to Paris today to continue discussions on the project.
Central Jewish organizations received the news of the Hague conference of the Wolf organization with surprise, since they had not been invited nor were they represented. While welcoming any project which aims to aid the refugees on a large scale, the Joint Distribution Committee was understood to have indicated to Mr. Wolf that American Jewish contributions for relief and colonization would be made through American Jewish organizations and coordination of American activities with the new organization would depend largely on definite plans that may be produced by it.
Ten thousand persons crowded Albert Hall last night in a great national demonstration against religious and racial persecution, with speakers including the Archbishop of York, Cardinal Hinsley, Archbishop of Westminister, Dr. James Bond, Moderator of the Free Churches, Chief Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz, Herbert Morrison, Col. Leopold C. Amery, Archibald Sinclair, Lady Violet Bonham-Carter and many others. The following resolution, proposed by Lord Sankey, chairman, was adopted: “This great meeting of British citizens, representatives of all religious bodies and all schools of political thought, strongly protests against the religious and racial persecution in Germany and pledges itself to support every legitimate action to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of persecution.”
In introducing the resolution, Lord Sankey said: “The destitute, afflicted, tormented German Jews, most of them entirely innocent, have been deprived of their property, beaten in the streets, driven from their homes, their liberty restricted if not entirely taken away and their sacred buildings and houses destroyed by fire and their property stolen. Why?”
Lord Sankey asserted the present campaign in Germany was the result of a carefully devised system of political propaganda arousing the primeval passions of men. Dr. Hertz expressed the deep appreciation of Anglo-Jewry for the nation-wide sympathy for the German Jews. Pointing out that 520 synagogues had been destroyed during the “orgy of sacrilege,” Dr. Hertz stated: “The brown Bolshevism of Berlin, just as the red variety of Moscow, is the determined enemy of religion. It is the negation of God erected into a system.”
The Times editorially today welcomed the Australian Government’s decision to admit 15,000 refugees during the next three years and expressed the hope that it would be followed by similar action in other countries.
Raising of an international loan by England, France and the United States for the immediate aid of German Jewry was suggested last night at Leeds by Prof. Selig Brodetsky, member of the Jewish Agency’s executive committee, who said that repayment of the loan should be guaranteed by the Jewish people. Declaring he knew that a large part of the German population was disgusted at the treatment of the Jews, prof. Brodetsky said tragedies far more terrible than those of the last few weeks could be expected within the next few months.