Menu JTA Search

Britain Does Not Plan Unilateral Financial Aid for Refugees, Winterton Tells Commons

A warning that the British Government does not contemplate unilateral action in the matter of financial assistance for overseas refugee settlement projects was voiced in the House of Commons today by Lord Winterton, chairman of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee.

Speaking for the Government in a debate on the refugee question prior to adjournment of Commons, Lord Winterton cited hostility of public opinion toward single-handed British financial aid for refugee. (At the last session of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee, Lord Winterton had announced the British Government’s readiness to extend financial assistance provided other member states of the committee took similar action.)

The Government spokesman expressed the hope that the Coordinating Foundation recently set up by private groups to facilitate emigration of refugees from Germany, would be generously supported by private subscription.

Earlier, Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald disclosed that he intends to establish a special department in the Colonial Office to deal with refugee settlement in the Empire as soon as the British Guiana experimental project involving 500 persons in under way. Mr. MacDonald expressed the hope that the first groups of refugees would be established in the British colony by October. He said the Government may agree to permit bringing over of colonization experts from Palestine to Guiana for a short time, since that is considered desirable by interested groups.

Meanwhile, a plan for establishment of a Guiana colonization corporation has been drawn up. According to the plan, the corporations will be organized as a company without capital but with the right to raise funds and with the duty of managing the settlements in Guiana. The corporation will have a board composed of delegates from various interested Jewish and non-Jewish groups. A Government representative many be attached to the board either a member or an observer. The projected corporation will have no connection with the Coordinating Foundation, it was pointed out, but both will have no connection with the Coordinating Foundation, it was pointed out, but both will naturally cooperate.

The Daily Herald, meanwhile, reports that Germany is making strenuous efforts to take over the organization the British created in Prague to evacuate Czech refugees. So seriously is the situation viewed here by officials of the Trustee E.G. Culpin are going to Prague shortly to investigate conditions. According to the Herald, the action was taken as a result of consultations with Beatrice Wellington, Prague representative of the Baldwin Fund since last April.