Jerusalem (Dec. 11)
Four-hundred and eighty-eight shipwrecked Jews were removed from the island of Sirini today by a British destroyer and, together with the 254 rescued last night, are being transported to Suda Bay, Crete, en route to Cyprus, it was officially announced here. Sixteen wounded and sick persons are on their way to a hospital in Rhodes.
Following a conference this morning between leaders of the Jewish Agency and Palestine Chief Secretary H.L. Gurney, the government announced that it was ready to admit the sick and the women and children among the shipwrecked Jews directly to Palestine. The Jewish leaders are continuing their efforts to gain admission for the men on the 350-ton vessel which foundered Saturday.
A Jewish Agency spokesman voiced disappointment at the government’s failure to admit all the Sirini refugees. He stressed that “the Palestine Jewish community had hoped that the government would recognize the Sirini case as a special case similar to the Patria.” In 1937 the Patria sank in Haifa harbor with a loss of 200 lives. The remaining Jews were admitted to Palestine as a humanitarian gesture.)
“We were sure the government would display the same humanity and kindness as the RAF,” he said. “The disappointment is greater since it will certainly not contribute to calming down the country. The Agency does not regard the matter as closed, more representations will be made here and in London for the early admission of the Jews to Palestine,” he concluded.