New York (Dec. 26)
There are encouraging indications that rescue measures which were demanded by Jewish agencies from the Bermuda Conference, and which apparently were rejected then, are now being undertaken, the American Jewish Conference announced today.
The statement issued by the Conference calls for “acceleration and intensification” of efforts to rescue the Jews of Europe. The statement is critical of Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long’s report to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on measures since the Bermuda Conference. It declares that from Mr. Long’s testimony and subsequent dispatches from London it was apparent that there was “inexcusable” confusion over the powers of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, and adds “the American Jewish Conference demands early clarification.” The analysis of Mr. Long’s testimony, issued by the Conference, also asserted that:
1) The country has been given an exaggerated impression of the number of Jewish refugees admitted into the United States.
2) The State Department is continuing to restrict immigration “to a figure far below that permitted by law, adhering to policies and procedures which cannot be defends.”
3) Officials of the State Department, Mr. Long among them, still “purport, publicly at least, that the plight of the Jews in Hitler-occupied Europe is indistinguishable from the plight of all other peoples;-notwithstanding Hitler’s ruthless determination to exterminate all the Jews within his grasp.”
“Mr. Long’s testimony,” the statement said, “can be read only with mixed feelings in which bewilderment and regret predominate over satisfaction. The figures given by Mr. Long, that 580,000 visas had been issued since the advent of Hitler, has resulted in the impression that this was the total number of Jews admitted. According to official figures of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in this period, the total number of Jews admitted was 166,843 under national quotas, and some 43,089 on emergency visas. Some of those are included in the earlier figure and not all of them were refugees.” Mr. Long’s contention that lack of shipping facilities was responsible for barring immigration was also challenged.