Washington (Jul. 30)
A warning to the neutral nations not to give asylum to Axis leaders and other war criminals and reiteration of his pledge that the persons responsible for the extermination of millions of Jews and other civilians in Europe will be punished ware voiced today by President Roosevelt.
In a statement released at his press conference, the President said: “On August 21, 1942, I issued a statement to the press in which, after referring to the crimes against innocent people committed by the Axis powers, I stated:
“‘The United Nations are going to win this war. When victory has been achieved, it is the purpose of the Government of the United States, as I know it is the purpose of each of the United Nations, to make appropriate use of the information and evidence in respect to the barbaric crimes of the invaders, in Europe and in Asia. It seems only fair that they should have this warning that the time will come when they shall have to stand in courts of law in the very countries which they are now oppressing and answer for their acts.’
“On October 7, 1942, I stated that it was ‘the intention of this Government that the successful close of the war shall include provisions for the surrender to the United Nations of war criminals.’ The wheels of justice have turned constantly since those statements were issued and are still turning. There are now rumors that Mussolini and members of his Fascist gang may attempt to take refuge in neutral territory. One day Hitler and his gang and Tojo and his gang will be trying to escape from their countries. I find it difficult to believe that any neutral country would give asylum or extend protection to any of them.
“I can only say that the Government of the United States would regard the action of a neutral government in affording asylum to Axis leaders or their tools as inconsistent with the principles for which the United Nations are fighting and that the United States Government hopes that no neutral government will permit its territory to be used as a place of refuge or otherwise assist such persons in any effort to escape their just deserts.”