Wells Assails Policy on Refugees As Drive to ‘sabotage War Effort’

H.G. Wells, the noted author, charged today that internment of refugees here was part of a deliberate campaign to sabotage the war effort.

Writing in the Labor Party and cooperative movement organ Reynolds News, Wells alleged that a “deliberate and systematic intimidation of liberal-minded foreigners is going on.”

The writer asserted that “people in positions of authority and advantage are allowing the collection, internment and ill-treatment of all those disaffected subjects of our enemies who would be most willing and able to organize internal resistance in their own countries in our behalf.”

Wells warned that the officials responsible for the internment were doing everything possible to convince their victims that their best prospect of safety was for them to make peace with the enemies of Britain. He said it was not a case of administrative stupidity, but a “case of doing Goebbels’ work and of enemy activity entrenched in our midst.”

The author demanded a reversal of the internment policy, which he described as a policy of “senseless rejection and intimidation of the most valuable helpers.” He asserted that “the future of our war, the honor of our people and the confidence of mankind at large can only be saved by public eradication, in the sight of all the world, of this plague spot at the heart of our affairs.”

Intervention by the Jewish community on behalf of refugees was revealed at today’s meeting of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. After welcoming Home Secretary John Anderson’s announcement of changes in the attitude adopted toward refugees, Prof. Selig Brodetsky, president of the Board, criticized the internment of Jews from former Austrian held Galicia.

A report of the executive committee of the Board disclosed that representatives of the Board had urged the Home Office to approve a general principle providing that persons of proven loyalty should not be interned. They also raised the question of treatment of internees and deportees and the exemption of natives of Galicia.

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