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Bermuda Conference Closes; Decisions Remain Confidential; General Statement Issued

The Anglo-American refugee conference, concluding a 10-day meeting, issued a joint declaration today announcing that recommendations had been made to the governments of Great Britain and the United States “Which will lead to the relief of a substantial number of refugees of all races and nationalities.”

The recommendations must remain “confidential,” the declaration explained, since they “necessarily concern governments other than those represented at the Bermuda conference and involve military considerations.” Recommendations were included for a “flexible” intergovernmental organization to deal with the refugee problem in the period ahead. The text of the joint declaration reads:

“The United States and the United Kingdom delegations examined the refugee problem in all its aspects, including the position of those potential refugees who are still in the grip of the Axis powers without any immediate prospect of escape. Nothing was excluded from their analysis, and everything that held out any possibility, however remote, of a solution of the problem was carefully investigated and thoroughly discussed.

EXPLAINS WHY SOME PROPOSALS REJECTED

“From the outset it was realized that any recommendation that the delegates could make to their governments must pass two tests: Would any recommendation submitted interfere with or delay the war effort of the United Nations? And was the recommendation capable of accomplishment under war conditions? The delegates at Bermuda felt bound to reject certain proposals which were not capable of meeting these tests.

“The delegates were able to agree on a number of concrete recommendations which they are jointly submitting to their governments and which, it is felt, will pass the tests set forth above, and which will lead to the relief of a substantial number of refugees of all races and nationalities. Since the recommendations necessarily concern governments other than those represented at the Bermuda conference and involve military considerations, they must remain confidential. It may be said; however, that in the course of discussion the refugee problem was broken down into its main elements.

“Questions of shipping, food and supply were fully investigated. The delegates also agreed on recommendations regarding the form of intergovernmental organization which was best fitted in their opinion to handle the problem in the future. This organization would have to be flexible enough to permit it to consider without prejudice any new factors that might come to its attention.

“In each of these fields the delegates were able to submit agreed proposals for the consideration of their respective governments.”

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