LONDON (Jul. 11)
The question of emigration of Jews from Poland will be on the agenda of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee for the first time, it was reliably learned today, when the committee convenes in plenary session here on July 19 to consider the growing refugee tragedy and the fate of the Jews still within the Reich. The committee may also hear for the first time that the refugee problem has reached the point where private relief organizations are no longer able to cope with it.
The session, which will be held behind closed doors on the premises of the Foreign Office, will be attended by the accredited representatives of 32 governments. The United States will be represented by Myron C. Taylor, committee vice-chairman.
Discussion of the Polish emigration question will mark the successful climax of hitherto futile efforts by the Polish Government to have the committee broaden the scope of its work to include emigration from countries other than from Greater Germany. Rumania has joined Poland in these efforts.
Marking the first anniversary of its existence, the committee which was formed at Evians-les-Bains, France, at the instance of President Roosevelt, will hear an extensive report by its director, League Refugee Commissioner Sir Herbert Emerson.
Sir Herbert will review the Jewish situation in Greater Germany and the plight of refugees in various countries. He will report on the many steamers plying the high seas with cargoes of refugees in search of a haven, on the thousands marooned in no-man’s-land areas between Germany and Poland, and on the findings of the various commissions which surveyed possible colonization territories.
It is estimated that 170,000 Jewish refugees are scattered throughout Europe, the majority of them requiring relief, while private funds are near exhaustion. Even the Council for German Jewry, the richest Jewish relief organization in Europe, revealed at a meeting last night that it has found it difficult to meet the requirements of local refugee relief committees in Belgium, Poland, Switzerland and other countries where thousands of refugees are concentrated. Similarly, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is faced with a situation where allocations for refugee work in the various European countries mount weekly, reaching dimensions which only Government treasuries can cover.
One of the new problems to come before the committee is the fate of 772 Jewish refugees from the Panamanian steamer Rim, which burned off the Island of Rhodes last week. The Rim’s passengers were landed at Rhodes after having been rescued by an Italian liner. Rhodes refugees, according to an appeal received today by Morris C. Troper, European director of the J.D.C., from Rhodes. The refugees were landed without their clothes and in a state of exhaustion. In view of the necessity of sending a boatload of clothes and food, the J.D.C. has dispatched a first instalment of $5,000 to the Central Refugee Committee at Milan, which has been taking care of other refugees at Rhodes.
The appeal discloses that the Rhodes refugees include 332 Austrians, 250 Czechs, 60 Germans, 30 Hungarians and 100 of doubtful nationality. Among them are 380 men, 332 women and 60 children. Landing permission was granted with the understanding that they could stay only a short time.