NEW YORK (Aug. 28)
The pioneer group of 50 settlers in the Sosua region of the Dominican Republic have adjusted themselves to the sub-tropical conditions and are already “earning their bread,” a press luncheon was told this afternoon by Dr. Joseph A Rosen, vice-president of the Dominican Republic Settlement Association, who has just returned from a stay of four months on the Caribbean island.
The adjustment has taken place in the space of little more than three months, Dr. Rosen said, during which period the group, augmented from an original 36 settlers, has established a herd of about 300 head of cattle, planted a substantial acreage of food crops, started a banana plantation, laid the foundations for plantations that will produce essential oils from various native grasses, and for fruit, forestation and plant nurseries.
None of the settlers, Dr. Rosen emphasized, has suffered from any disease or discomfort during the three months. In this connection Dr. Rosen denounced what he described as a “whispering campaign” directed against the project and aimed at discrediting it through rumors that the country was disease-ridden.
Dr. Rosen cited as encouraging factors in development of the project the whole-hearted cooperation of both the Dominican and American governments, both of which were extending expert advice and diplomatic facilities “in our efforts to overcome th thousand and one obstacles in getting the prospective immigrants out of European countries.”
The Dominican Government, Dr. Rosen revealed, has issued more than 2,000 immigration visas at the Association’s request and the number “can be multiplied many times depending on our ability to take care of the people.”
Asserting there was room enough in the Republic for 100,000 refugee immigrants and that the country needed and wanted them, Dr. Rosen said the greatest drawback at the present was the difficulty in arranging transportation and transit visas for the prospective settlers, trainees and children from their countries of residence. Groups of prospective settlers were waiting in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, England and France for transportation, Dr. Rosen said, adding that in the past few days the Association had received encouraging messages from its European contacts indicating that several groups would be able to sail for the Dominican Republic in the near future.
Dr. Rosen made public a letter from the Reichsvereinigung in Berlin which declared that organization had received word from the pioneer settlers expressing their happiness in their new surroundings. Alexander Kahn, vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, presided at the luncheon.