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Churchill Rejects Demand for Immediate Repatriation of Jewish Refugees in Britain

Prime Minister Churchill today rejected a demand that Jewish refugees now in Britain be immediately repatriated. Replying to a statement by Austin Hopkinson, a “Nationalist” member, Mr. Churchill said that, aside from all other consideration, there are marked practical difficulties in the way of returning refugees to their homelands.

Although confirming that the government’s policy, in principle, was to secure rapid repatriation of refugees, the Prime Minister expressed agreement with a statement by Samuel S. Silverman, Laborite, who said that it would be inconceivably cruel to forcibly return people who had lost homes, relatives and children, to the scene of these crimes.

Mr. Churchill told Commons that the government did not plan to differentiate between Jews and non-Jews in deciding the cases of refugees because that might create anti-Semitism, but added that “having regard for the altogether exceptional brutality and horrible inflictions imposed upon the Jewish people, I would not go so far as to say that special efforts will not be made to meet hard cases.”