London (Jan. 9)
Britain has ceased issuing visas for Palestine to Jewish refugees arriving in Turkey from the Balkans, a Foreign Office spokesman said last night, but he denied that this meant any change in British policy toward Palestine immigration.
Asked to explain a statement by Turkey that it could no longer grant transit visas to Jews from the Balkans because Britain had stopped issuing Palestine immigration certificates, the official spokesman said that while the Balkans were still in the hands of the Nazis, it had been agreed to issue Palestine visas in Istanbul to any refugees reaching there. However, since those countries are now liberated, an emergency situation no longer exists and visas will not be issued by the British consulate in Turkey.
Normal visas will continue to be issued, under the limitations of the White Paper, by British authorities in the countries in which the prospective emigrants now reside, he said, adding that this procedure had been discussed with the Jewish Agency. He pointed out that 640 Jews who left Rumania after the issuance of emergency visas had been suspended, and who were consequently held up in Bulgaria, have been given visas. This group arrived in Turkey during the week-end.