New York (Feb. 25)
Civilization must redress the wrongs perpetrated against the Jewish people – the greatest of which has been the “betrayal of the promise to make Palestine a safe, free and self-governing homeland,” Senator Robert F. Wagner declared last night addressing a dinner in his honor tendered by the labor division of the American ORT Federation.
“That betrayal,” Sen. Wagner continued, “was no credit to the Government guilty of the perpetration. It was no credit to any other Government, including our own, which acquiesced when it might have expressed its protest. In the Senate and outside the Senate, I intend to continue my campaign against the infamous White Paper of 1939. In the present complex state of national and world affairs, most legislation of a fundamental character does not have easy sailing. But despite temporary ups and downs, I detect a trend toward liberalism in the country and in the Congress. That liberal trend assures the attainment of justice on the Palestine question. We must all press for that justice at the earliest possible moment. The White Paper can and shall be undone.” Sen. Wagner also paid tribute to the activities of the ORT as an important aid in the reconstruction of war-devastated Jewry.
William Green, President of the American Federation of Labor, also lauded the work of the ORT, but pointed out that a basic solution of the problems of the Jews in Europe requires free immigration into Palestine. The A. F. of L., Mr. Green said, believes that immigration barriers to Palestine must be removed at once so that it may become a haven for the tortured Jews of Europe. “And when the war is over,” he continued, “it is our determined purpose to press for the establishment of Palestine as the Jewish national homeland.”
In a wire received by Samuel Shore, chairman of the dinner committee, from President Roosevelt the President said he gladly embraced the opportunity to be associated with the labor division of ORT in honoring “so outstanding a statesman,” “The people of this country owe Bob Wagner a debt impossible to pay,” the President declared.