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Roosevelt Establishes Refugee Rescue Board; Jewish Leaders Hail Measure

Jewish leaders today hailed the Executive Ordered issued by President Roosevelt yesterday late in the afternoon, under which the President set up a War Refugee Board consisting of Secretary Stimson, Secretary Hull and Secretary Morgenthau, to take action for the immediate rescue from the Nazis of as many Jews and other persecuted minorities of Europe as possible.

The order was issued parallel with a statement from the White House emphasizing that “it was urgent that action be taken at once to forestall the plan of the Nazis to exterminate all the Jews and other persecuted minorities in Europe.” The President’s order said that the functions of the new board “shall include, without limitation, the development of plans and programs and the inauguration of effective measures for (a) the rescue, transportation, maintenance and relief of the victims of enemy oppression, and (b) the establishment of havens of temporary refuge for such victims.”

DIPLOMATIC STATUS BE GIVEN TO SPECIAL ATTACHES ABROAD

President Roosevelt also instructed the State Department to appoint “special attaches with diplomatic status” on the recommendations of the board, and that these shall be “stationed abroad in places where it is likely that assistance can be rendered war refugees.” The President also directed that “the board and the State, Treasury in War Departments are authorized to accept the services or contributions of any private persons, private organizations, State agencies or agencies of foreign governments in carrying out the purposes of this order.”

The board, the President announced, will have a full-time executive director to arrange for the prompt execution of the plans and programs developed and the measures initiated to effect the rescues. Mr. Roosevelt added that he expected to obtain the cooperation of all members of the United Nations and other foreign governments “in carrying out this difficult but important task.”

In establishing the new board, which will function directly under him, the President declared in the executive order that “it is the policy of this government to take all measures within its power to rescue the victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of death, and otherwise to afford such victims all possible relief and assistance consistent with the successful prosecution of the war.” He added that the board will be charged with direct responsibility to him in seeing that the an announced policy is carried out.

In delegating Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War; Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, and Henry Morgenthau, Jr., to take concrete action to save what he termed civilian victims of enemy savagery,” the President said that they will cooperate in this work with the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee, which in recent months has been tribune, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and other intermitted international organizations.

THE FULL TEXT OF PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER

The full text of the Executive Order issued by President Roosevelt establishing the War Refugee Board reads as follows: “Whereas it is the policy of this Government to take all measures within its power to rescue the victims of enemy oppression who

“Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of the United States as President of the United States and as commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, and in order to effectual with all possible speed the rescue and relief of such victims of enemy oppression, it is hereby ordered as allows:

“1. There is established in the Executive Office of the President, a war refugee board. The Board shall consist of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of War. The board may request the heads of other agencies or departments to participate in its deliberations whenever matters specially affected such agencies or departments are under consideration.

“2. The board shall be charged with the responsibility for seeing that the policy of the Government, as stated in the preamble, is carried out. The functions of the board shall include, without limitation, the development of plans and programs and the inauguration of effective measures for the rescue, transportation and maintenance and relief of the victims of enemy oppression, and the establishment of havens as temporary refuge for such victims. To this and the board through appropriate channels, shall take the necessary steps to steps to enlist the cooperation of foreign governments and obtain their participation in the execution of such plans and programs.

BOARD AUTHORIZED TO OBTAIN SHIPPING FACILITIES

“3. It shall be the duty of the State, Treasury and War Departments within their respective spheres, to execute at the request of the board, the plans and programs so developed and the measures so inaugurated. It shall be the duty of the heads of all agencies and departments to supply or obtain for the board such information and to extend to the board such supplies, shipping and other specified assistance and facilities, as the board may require in carrying out the provisions of this order. The State department shall appoint special attaches with diplomatic status, on the recommendation of the board, to be stationed abroad in places where it is likely that assistance can be rendered to war refugees, the duties and responsibilities of such attaches to be defined by the board in consultation with the State Department.

“4. The board and the State, Treasury and War Departments are authorized to accept the services or contributions of any private persons, private organizations, state agencies, or agencies of foreign governments in carrying out the purposes of this order. The board shall cooperate with all existing and future international organizations concerned with the problems of refugee rescue, maintenance, transportation, relief, rehabilitation and resettlement.

“5. To the extent possible the board shall utilize the personnel, supplies, facilities and services of the State, Treasury and War Departments. In addition the board, within the limits of funds which may be made available, may employ necessary personnel without regard for the Civil Service laws and regulations and the classification act of 1923 as amended, and make provisions for supplies, facilities and services is necessary to discharge its responsibilities. The board shall appoint an executive director who shall serve as its principle executive officer. It shall be the duty of the executive director to arrange for the prompt execution of the plans and programs developed and the measures inaugurated by the board, to supervise the activities of the special attaches and to submit frequent reports to the board on the steps taken for the rescue and relief of war refugees.

“6. The board shall be directly responsible to the President in carrying out the policy of this Government, as stated in the the preamble, and the board shall report to him at frequent intervals concerning the steps taken for the rescue and relief of refugees and shall make such recommendation as the board may deem appropriate for further action to overcome any difficulties encountered in the rescue and relief of the refugees.”

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