Intergovernmental Committee Cannot Have Direct Dealings with Germany on Refugees

Patrick Malin, American vice-director of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the committee is not empowered to initiated any direct dealings with Germany on rescuing Jews from German-held territory.

Mr. Malin took issue with the interpretation given in Washington by Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long to the expanded mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee. He denied that this mandate can be interpreted to mean, as Mr. Long said, that the Intergovernmental Committee has been given the authority to do whatever it can “within and without Germany and the occupied territories.” He termed the Assistant Secretary of States’s quotation from the mandate, during his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “inexact” and pointed out that the mandated was extended specifically with respect to persons and not to countries.

To support his interpretation, Mr. Malin quoted a section of the mandate which reads: “It is now proposed to extend the mandate so as to include as far as practical those persons, wherever they may be, who as result of events in Europe may have to leave their countries of residence because of danger to their lives and liberties on account of race, religion or political beliefs.” (Assistant Secretary Long, in reading a section of the mandate to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stressed the part which reads: “The operation of the Committee shall extend to all countries from which the refugees come, as a result of the war in Europe, or in which they may find refuge.

In emphasizing that the Intergovernmental Committee cannot engage in direct negotiations with Germany, Mr. Malin declared that this does not preclude all possibility of approaching Germany. “It must be clearly understood, however, that such an approach would be possible only through a neutral intermediary,” he said.

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