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Intergovernmental Committee Opposes Compulsory Repatriation of Refugees

Refugees must not be forced against their will to return to their homelands, in the opinion of Sir Herbert Emerson, director of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees.

In a press interview today Sir Herbert said that it was not a “practical proposition from the political or human standpoint” to compel refugees who have started life anew to go back. He estimated that there were 1,000,000 racial, religious and political refugees scattered about Europe. Their eventual disposition, he predicted, will be decided by the employment situation after the war.

“Many refugees will certainly return to their own countries,” Sir Herbert states,” if conditions make it possible for them to live there as free citizens; even a certain number of Jews are likely to return to Austria. Others will be absorbed in the countries of asylum. Many refugees create employment by bringing capital and industrial techniques in from their own lands.

“Some refugees in Britain will go to Palestine, America and South Africa after the war, while a considerable number will want to remain if allowed,” he added. Individual emigration would account for a great many persons, he predicted.

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