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Spanish Authorities Order 1,000 Refugees Imprisoned; New Policy Seen

Spanish authorities have ordered the re-imprisonment of a large number of refugees previously released from Miranda de Ebro, it was learned here today. No explanation of the action was immediately available.

Up to 1,000 refugees of all nationalities, including a proportion of “stateless” exiles, are being transferred from assigned residences at Caldas de Malavella and Gerona to the great prison at Miranda. They are believed to comprise the same group once before imprisoned at Miranda, where they had been cared for and released through the efforts of American relief organizations.

The Spanish measure, regarded as a drastic reversal of policy, will impose added burdens on the relief organizations, since the prisoners have to be fed by friends, relatives or interested groups while under detention. One interpretation of the move offered here was that Dictator Franco wished to have all anti-Fascist elements in custody in the event of an Allied invasion of the Continent. Another was that the Spanish government was bringing pressure on relief groups to expedite the transfer of all refugees from Spanish soil.