Vienna (Feb. 19)
A rigid censorship was clamped down today on the proceedings of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine as Co-Chairman Sir John Singleton publicly rebuked Bartley Crum and Sir Frederick Leggett for the views they expressed to the press following their tour of the American zone in Germany.
(Crum said last week that his sub-committee had found that the overwhelming majority of the Jews it had seen desired to go to Palestine. He also expressed the opinion that 100,000 Jews should be admitted to Palestine immediately, and warned that there would be mass suicides in the camps, if the displaced Jews were barred from the Holy Land.)
The rebuke to Crum and Leggett was administered at a press conference here today. In fact, at one point Singleton halted Crum when he attempted to reply to a correspondent’s question concerning a statement he made last Sunday, that 60 percent of the Jews in Slovakia want to emigrate to Palestine. A moment later Crum was allowed to point out that these figures had been given at a public hearing in Prague, to which the press had been invited.
It is understood that the entire procedure of public hearings in the U. S. zone was endorsed by four American generals, who said that it was customary for correspondents to be informed on everything going on there, and to have full access to information. It is believed that the whole question of such hearings will be reopened when the three American members, James MacDonald, Frank Aydelotte and William Phillips, arrive here.
CORRESPONDENTS BARRED FROM HEARING RELIEF OFFICIALS, GOVT. SPOKESMEN
Correspondents were excluded yesterday from hearings at which representatives of the JDC, UNRRA and the Red Cross testified, and were barred today from hearing Austrian Government officials, although it was pointed out that the press had been admitted to the hearings in London and Washington, where various government officials had testified.
Correspondents also questioned Singleton today as to why the inquiry committee had, so far, only seen representatives of 250,000 Jews in Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia, and had not seen spokesmen for the nearly 1,000,000 Jews in Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece and Western Europe.
Singleton replied that while the committee was not planning to go to Hungary, and it was doubtful that it would go to Rumania, an invitation to representatives from those countries was still “under consideration.” As far as Western Europe was concerned, he added, there were no persecuted Jews there.
Regarding the issuance of an interim report, on the Jews in Europe, Singleton said that it would be issued “if it was necessary.”