Paraguay, Ecuador Offer Land for Refugee Settlement
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Paraguay, Ecuador Offer Land for Refugee Settlement

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It was reliably learned today that representatives of the Paraguayan and Ecuadoran governments have approached Sir Herbert Emerson, League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and director of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee, with offers to admit ten thousand refugee families to Ecuador and 5,000 to Paraguay. Both governments have declared they would welcome commissions of experts to investigate the territories available, which they assert have healthy climates.

Emphasizing its need for a $3,000,000 loan for public works, the Paraguayan Government offers Government-owned land for colonization of up to 5,000 families “without discrimination as to race or religion.”

Each family is to pay in full $1,000, for which it will receive 50 hectares (about 125 acres) of land. The land will become full property of the family when it has been worked for ten years. The settlers must obtain citizenship five years after settling on the land. The Government undertakes to secure unhindered passage through Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

The Ecuadoran Government offers to admit 10,000 families within five years, of whom 9,000 must settle as agriculturists and the remainder work in industries that do not compete with existing enterprises. A visa charge of $10 per settler is provided. The colonists will be free of all taxes for a period of 20 years. Those admitted for agricultural work are liable to expulsion if they abandon the work within 10 years. The Government also agrees to give each agricultural settler from 50 to 100 hectares of land free of charge. Additional land, it declares, will be made available at two dollars per hectare. Settlers are to be selected from various countries of refuge as well as from Germany, with the stipulation that only 25 per cent of them may be Jews. It is understood, however, that negotiations may bring this percentage up to 50.

Two Ecuadoran representatives, Mathias Espinoza and F. Votteler, who have been negotiating on a previous Ecuador offer to settle 500 refugees on Government land, may go to the United States to confer on the project with George L.Warren, executive secretary of the President’s Advisory Committee on Refugees.

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