Roosevelt Receives Proskauer and Plaustein; Discusses Post-war Jewish Probleis
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Roosevelt Receives Proskauer and Plaustein; Discusses Post-war Jewish Probleis

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President Rocsevelt today received Judge Joseph N. Proskauer, president and Jacob Blaustein, chairman of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee, who presented to him a program containing suggestions on the treatment of the post-war problems of world Jewry as part of the entire peace structure.

The program, drawn up by a distinguished group of historians, jurists, educators and rabbis, advocates among other things, the creation of a commission, under the structure to be devised at the San Francisco Conference, to formulate an International Bill of Rights providing for human rights, racial equality, religious liberty and fundamental freedoms. This commission should have charge of a course of procedure for the implementation and enforcement of the Bill of Rights.

President Roosevelt, after his conference with Judge Proskauer and Mr. Blaustein, authorized them to state that he was “prof cundly interested in the establishment of an International Bill of Rights, as well as in the other suggestions contained in the interim report of the American Jewish Committee” submitted to him. The President said that he considers that “this report indicates a sericus endeavor to implement the Dumbarton Oaks program,” and added that the report would receive his “most gerious consideration.”

Pointing out that the Jews, in addition to the general suffering caused by the holocaust of war, have been the principal victims of the persecution that has sprung from Hitler tyranny, the interim report of the American Jewish Committee proceeds on the basis or recommending special treatment for the Jews only insofar as necessary to meet their special situation. The report states that every recommendation made is consistent with the primary objective of aiding in the establishment of a world order that is just to every human being, irrespective of race, creed or nationality.

The Committee informed the President of its strong interest in and approval of the creation of a General International Organization in accordance with the Dumbarton Oaks proposals. It expressed gratification over the resolution adopted at the Inter-American Conference in Mexico City which called upon American States to favor a system of international protection of the rights of man, and expressed the hope that at the San Francisco Conference, the United Nations will act in that spirits


The Committee envisaged the possibility that the scope of the San Francisco Conference might include the question of mandates created by the League of Nations Covenent. Insofar as this action might affect the situation of Palestine, the Committee stated that whatever the ultimate decision as to its political status,

The Committee called to the President’s attention the armistice agreements with the former satellite countries and particularly Article V of the agreement recently sigued with Hungary by Marshal Voroshilov, on behalf of the United Nations, which provided that the Government of Hungry will immediately release, regardless of citizenship and nationality, all persons held in confinement in connection with their activitics in faver of the United Nations or for racial or religious reasons, and will repeal all discriminatory legislation and disabilities arising there from, and take the necessary measures to insure that all displaced persons, including Jews and stateloss persons, are accorded at least the same measures of treatment as its own nationals. The Committee urged that this clause be incorperated as a fundamental clement in international action insofar as applicable.


The President was informed that the American Jewish Committee was making a further sutdy of the complicated question of indemnification and similar problems. A further statement on the subject of repatriation was presented to the President. The report of the Committee with respect to migration was also laid before him. It was suggested that the volume and need for migration is largely contingent on the rapidity and effectiveness of recontruction and that therefore every encourgement should be given to increasing the retentive capacity of the old countries; that migration was a matter of vital international interest; and that the basic principle of any migration policy should be non-discrimination between racial, religious and ethnic groups.

The Committee urged that the San Francisco Conference provide for a Commission on Migration under the Economic and Social Council of the General International Organization, Which should work for the adoption and ratification of an International Migration Convontion. The report submitted also called attention to the great hazards involved in the existence of statelessness and in the practice of donetionalization, and declared that state lessness is a condition injurious to the existence of the national state, to the human community and to the dignity of the human personality.

It urged that in furtherance of the Dumbarton Oaks proposal to “achieve international cooperation in the selution of international economic, social and other humanitarian problems,” a Convention on Statelessness should be adopted by the United Nations and that a Commission on Statelessness should be set up as an intornational authority to protect the rights and be concerned with the welfaro of the stateless. The report further contained suggestions as to the details of this project.


Messrs, Proskauer and Blaustein, at a press conference following their discussion with the President, said that copies of the Committee’s recommendations would be put in the hands of all the U. S. delegates to the United Nations San Francisco Conference.

Blaustein stressed that the proposed international Bill of Rights should not be interpreted as providing for “Minority, Groups” inasmuch as such groups were always set apart within nations. The Bill of Rights, said Blaustein, should funstion like the U. S. Bill of Rights which is based on the freedom of the individual not of the group.

The two delegates said a further study was being made of the complicated subject of indemnifications and reparations and a report on that subject would be added to the material to be presented at San Francisco. Judge Proskauer said “all my talk with the President was directed toward the position we will take at the San Francisco Conference.”

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