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Belgian Senate Votes 8,000,000 Francs for Refugee Aid in 1940

The Senate has approved an 8,000,000-franc State grant towards maintenance of refugees in Belgium, provided that it be spent for all emigres irrespective of religion.

The vote of approval was taken after a debate in which Senator Boodt opposed assistance to the Jewish refugees held in special centers. He argued: “Let the wealthy Jews abroad take care of them.” He was opposed by other speakers, especially Socialist Senator M. Rollin, who also protested against certain measures concerning the internment of political refugees.

Replying, the Minister of Justice explained that these measures were necessary in view of the entry of about 100 Jewish refugees weekly into Belgium. The Government, he said, was puzzled over how they succeeded in passing the German Army front and the Belgian frontier.