WASHINGTON (Sep. 29)
Secretary of State Cordell Hull suggested today that some 400 American medical students whose studies in Scottish schools were interrupted by the American Government’s restrictions on travel abroad be admitted to American universities for the duration of the war.
In a letter to Governor Herbert H. Lehman, who had written the State Department for an explanation of the ban on passports for the students, Secretary Hull expressed the belief that “there is a solution of the matter without jeopardizing the lives of these young men and the possibility of creating a bad international situation.”
The 400 students are among approximately 1,000 a considerable number of them Jewish, who annually go abroad to study medicine in foreign universities, most of them because they were not admitted to American medical schools. This situation was commented on this week by Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen, authors of a syndicated Washington column, who said the students were obliged to obtain their medical educations abroad because American schools were quietly limiting Jewish students to certain quotas.
Secretary Hull’s letter to Governor Lehman follows:
“I have received your letter of Sept. 12 and its enclosures regarding a group of about 400 students who have been attending medical schools in Scotland and who desire to return to that country for the purpose of continuing their studies.
“As you are doubtless aware, because of the present situation in Europe regulations have recently been promulgated restricting the granting of passport facilities for Europe to those persons whose travel to that continent is imperative. This policy was adopted because of the danger of travel to and from Europe and the hazards which may be encountered in residing in belligerent countries.
“The Department has received many requests that exceptions be made to its policy with respect to persons who have been studying medicine in Europe and who desire to continue their work at educational institutions on that continent. The Department has given very careful and sympathetic consideration to this matter but has concluded that the situation is so grave and the hazards involved so great as to render it inadvisable for the students to go abroad at this time. Accordingly, pasport facilities for Europe are being de to medical students as well as to all other students.
“I believe that the situation of this group is so unfortunate that energetic stops should be taken to make arrangements for American universities to open their doors to small groups of them in order that they might continue their studies while the present conflict continues in Europe. I believe that a committee of experienced and interested persons should make every effort to work out with the American Medical Association and the Bureau of Education, and any other similar bodies who could be helpful, a plan whereby these young men may not be denied the completion of their careers. I have suggested this to several persons who have taken the matter up with me and have expressed my deep sympathy with any such efforts and the hope that they will be successful. I believe there is a solution of the matter without jeopardizing the lives of these young men and the possibility of creating a bad international situation.”