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Transfer of $20,000,000 Czech Fund to British Refugee Bodies Nears Nears Consummation

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Negotiations for the transfer to British relief organizations of the balance of the $20,000,000 free gift by the British Government to former Czecho-Slovakia, to aid in financing emigration, are being successfully concluded between the National Coordinating Committee for Refugees, under the chairmanship of Lord Hailey, and the Government, it was learned today.

It has been agreed, it is understood, to place the fund at the disposal of the organization concerned with Czech refugees, which will be expanded to aid both Jewish and non-Jewish refugees from Bohemia and Moravia. Full details, however, have not yet been worked out.

Developments in the conquered areas are being closely watched here by refugee agencies, which anticipate a huge involuntary emigration along the lines of that from Germany. It is believed likely that the May session of the League of Nations Council will be asked to approve inclusion of the Czech refugees within the scope of the High Commission for Refugees in the same way as were the exiles from the Sudetenland. It is also possible that the members of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee will be asked to extend the committee’s competence to include them. The question may also arise whether the Wohlthat memorandum for orderly emigration of Jews from Germany will be extended to the Czechs.

Meanwhile, the position of 5,000 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria who were caught in Czech territory by the German invasion is reported to be most precarious. Grave concern is also manifested for refugees from the Sudetenland who include 14,500 Jews. According to reports reaching London, Marie Schmolka, who headed all refugee work in Prague, has been sent to a concentration camp and her 47 assistants have been arrested.

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