Washington (Aug. 26)
General Charles de Gaulle, President of the French Provisional Government, who is now in the United States, will issue a public statement shortly on the question of combatting anti-Semitism in France, it was reported here today.
The statement, which will be issued before he leaves the country, will be made as a result of the visit paid to him yesterday by a group of prominent Americans, headed by Secretary of Commerce Wallace, who asked him to accomplish the restoration of confiscated Jewish property, the dissolution of anti-Semitic groups in France and the re-employment of Jewish citizens. It is understood that Gen. de Gaulle assured the delegation that everything is being done to restore Jewish rights and property and that anti-Jewish discrimination will not be tolerated by the French Government.
At a press conference today Gen. De Gaulle was asked what the attitude of France is with regard to the Arab opposition to admitting Jews to Palestine. He replied that since Palestine is a British-mandated territory, he is not in a position to make any public statement on the problem.
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER RECEIVES JEWISH LABOR COMMITTEE DELEGATION
French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, who is accompanying De Gaulle, today assured a delegation of the Jewish Labor Committee, which submitted to him a memorandum on the status of alien and native Jews in France, that he was in sympathy with the committee’s proposals and that questions relating to Jews in France would be handled in the most sympathetic way, in keeping with the democratic traditions of France. He spoke of his pre-war activities in the movement against anti-Semitism and racial intolerance, and of the continuation of this activity during underground days.
Answering a question about a statement by the French Minister of the Interior that Jews coming from enemy countries would not be permitted re-entry into France, the Foreign Minister declared this did not represent the French attitude. He explained that the government is carefully sifting the stream of persons coming into France, classifying them as hailing from enemy or non-enemy countries, but assured the delegation that each case is being studied with an effort to eliminate difficulties for Jews.
The delegation made three requests of the French Government. First, that those Jews who shared with the French the years of German occupation be given the right to live and work in France. Second, that foreign Jews deported from France to the concentration camps of Poland and Germany be allowed to return to France. Third, that Jews forced to flee France because of the menace of Nazi persecution be allowed to return to France and live there if they so desire.
Pointing to the "uncertain condition" of Jews in France, the delegation said "it is very painful to discover that a section of the surviving Jews of France, among them those who have come out of concentration camps and some of whom, during the Nazi occupation, participated in the underground, and fought against France’s invader, should now find themselves in an uncertain condition, without being guaranteed rights to live and work in peace, as has been the tradition of France for centuries, to be the mother of liberty, equality, and brotherliness, in Europe."