Washington (Nov. 5)
President Roosevelt, at his press conference today, indicated that the U.S. Government is definitely interested in the fate of the Jews in occupied Europe. The problems of rescuing them and of sending them immediate relief are merely questions of ways and means, he said.
The President was asked whether anything had been decided at the tripartite conference in Moscow about the Jews in Nazi Europe. He replied that he would not know until the return of Secretary of State Cordell Hull. He hoped Hull would be back soon.
The heart is in the right place, President Roosevelt remarked, but it is a question of ways and means. He added that the same is true of sending relief.
It was pointed cut today that the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, which will meet Wednesday at Atlantic City for its organizing session, cannot take up the question of relief in enemy-controlled territory. Under the agreement to be signed, the UNRRA will distribute relief “in any area under the control of the United Nations.” Other areas are excluded by implication.
There is a chance that an amendment to the agreement will be sought by some of the Governments-in-Exile, which ex-President Herbert Hoover said yesterday are deeply concerned that relief be sent now. But this chance is not considered great unless considerable support develops behind the Senate resolution that Hoover’s testimony was supporting. Opposition to sending relief through the blockade of Europe comes from British officials strongly opposed to helping the German food supply, directly or indirectly, in amounts however small.
A Senate subcommittee headed by Senator Elbert D. Thomas, Utah Democrat, heard additional testimony today in favor of the resolution, which urges cooperation between the democracies and European neutrals to feed the hungriest civilians of Europe. Those who spoke for the measure included Dr. Oswald P. Barnes, Associate General Secretary of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ; Mrs. Elizabeth Smart of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union; James Wood Johnson of the Feed the Children Committee; and Dorothy Detzer of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.