NEW YORK (Sep. 4)
Declaring that an “absolutely inaccurate interpretation” was placed upon his announcement that the Unite Jewish War Effort will not participate in securing funds for the purchase of tanks and bombers as a Jewish gift to the Russian Army, which has been proposed by the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in Russia, Dr. Stephen S. Wise today clarified the attitude of the United Jewish War Effort, of which he is the chairman.
In a communication to the World-Telegram, a New York newspaper which he charges with using his name in a fashion which is “contrary to the facts and therefore a distinct disservice to the United Nations, as it is an affront to our brave ally, the Soviet Union,” Dr. Wise says.
“We are not opposing aid to Russia. We are not opposed to sending bombers and tanks to Russia. On the contrary. The United Jewish War Effort is now engaged in a special campaign for aid to Russia.
“When the proposal concerning bombers and tanks for Russia was made, our Committee agreed in principle that, if it were possible for the population of this country to stimulate and increase military assistance to the Soviet Union, then this should be undertaken. We were of the opinion, however, that in the matter of such high moment, consultation with the appropriate authorities in Washington was imperative before any action should or could be taken. For that reason, as indicated in my statement, we consulted both with our State Department and with the Russian authorities. When it became clear that no civilian group could cope with the military needs of the Soviet Union, which are properly the concern of the Lend-Lease authorities, we abandoned our intention to assist in the campaign for bombers and tanks, and are concerning ourselves with other forms of needed assistance to the civilian population of the Soviet Union.
“We believe that the maximum military assistance should be given to Soviet Russia and we believe this is being done, within the limitations of shipping. We believe, moreover, that the population of this country should supplement this military assistance by every other form of assistance required by the civilian population at this point in the struggle of the Soviet Union against Hitlerism. In view of this to have created the impression that the American Jewish Congress or the United Jewish War Effort is opposed to military or other forms of aid to Russia, contravenes the facts and, as already indicated, is a distinct disservice to our common cause.”