Washington (Jun. 3)
There has been one suicide at the Fort Ontario refugee shalter at Ontario, N. Y., and four residents have been transferred to mental institutions since its establishment last August, it was revealed here by Dillon Myer, director of the War Relocation Authority which operates the shelter.
Mr. Myer’s statement was issued in commenting on a petition of the Oswego Citizens’ Advisory Committee urging that the 984 refugees be allowed to become American citizens, if they so desire, or be given an opportunity to return to their homelands as soon as possible. The petition, which will probably be presented to Congress tomorrow, made the following recommendations.
“1.” The refugees who would, except for their present peculiar circumstances, be sligible under our existing immigration quotas should be permitted, should they so desire, to become citizens of the United States.”
“2. Those who desire to return to their homeland, or any portion of the world, should be given the opportunity as soon as conditions permit.”
Acknowledging that the refugees had agreed to return to their native countries after the war, the committee said, “it does not seem fair to enforce commitments which are inhumane and which are accepted only in desperation. Regardles of what they signed,” the committee continued, “they cannot all go back to their homelands, for, in some cases, these have been destroyed and approximately one-third have been deprived of citizenship in the countries of their origin.”