Washington (Jul. 10)
UNRRA Director-General Fiorello La Guardia today made public a letter he sent to Secretary of State Byrnes on June 26 in which he expressed the hope that if the U.S. took the lead in admitting immigrants, Britain would reconsider its decisions, “as recently expressed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernest Bevin,” in regard to the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine.
Asked at a press conference today how many displaced Jews from Europe should go to Palestine, he replied: “If you’re trying to get me to say 100,000, I say that 100,000 of them should go to Palestine forthwith. I say that as an American.”
In his letter to Byrnes, La Guardia also proposed that the United States pool all unused immigration quotas from all countries and use them for any DP’s who wished to enter the United States, regardless of their country of origin. He said today that he did not believe his plan would in any way disrupt the quota system, and suggested that Congress give President Truman authority to pool quotas for a limited period.
He said that the plan was already being worked on by the War Department and that he had “splendid cooperation” from Secretary of War Patterson and the army in Germany.
La Guardia mentioned Brazil, Venezuela, and Bolivia as countries which had already shown their interest in the plan and suggested that Canada would be inclined to consider such a plan.