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Britain Agrees to Establish a “free Port” for Refugees in Libya, Stettinius Announces

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Under-Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. today announced that the British Government has agreed to the establishment of a new haven of refuge in one of the former Italian colonies in Libya for refugees escaping from the German-held part of Italy and from Yugoslavia. “This act of mercy, like that of our own country a few weeks ago, will lead to similar acts by other nations in opening their doors to peoples who would otherwise perish under Nazi brutality,” he declared.

The announcement was made by Mr. Stettinius in the course of an address at a dinner tendered to Rep. Sol Bloom by the Palestine Grove Representation Committee at the Hotel Commodore. He said that Bloom “has been an outstanding leader in the struggle to aid and rescue the persecuted people of Europe.”

The Under-Secretary of State emphasized that the State Department acting in close cooperation with the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees and with the War Refugee Board, “has labored constantly to assist the escape of refugees from Europe and to find for them places of refuge.”

“Much of the story of assistance to the refugees of Europe cannot now be told without seriously endangering our future efforts,” he said. “Escape from Europe is not easy. Savage retaliation by the Nazis follows quickly upon any mistake or ill-planned actions, but in a thousand different ways, in many different lands, the work goes on night and day. When the full story can be told it will be one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of human freedom.”

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