WASHINGTON (Feb. 24)
President Truman today recommended that Congress authorize United States participation in the International Refugee Organization and urged establishment of the organization “as soon as possible.”
“It would indeed be serious if it were not in a position to begin operations on July 2 of this year,” the President said. Operations of UNRRA, which has cared for displaced persons, will cease June 30.
In a special message to Congress calling for “the full support of the United States,” the President pointed out that almost two-thirds of the one million DP’s in Germany, Austria and Italy are under United States care and control. “It is not unreasonable,” he declared, “that many of the other potential members of the IRO should watch closely the attitude of the United States before making their own definite commitments.
Sen. Warren Austin, the United States representative to the U.N., had, subject to subsequent Congressional approval, signed the draft constitution of the IRO which was adopted by the Gerneral Assembly last December. The constitution, in the words of the President, “represents an earnest effort, by the United Nations to solve one of the most poignant and difficult problems left in the wake of the war.”
The President praised “the excellent record of performance” of the United States army in caring for those DP’s in American areas of occupation. “The army from the first recognized the need for making the maximum use of international civilian agencies, and has done so,” he said. With the forthcoming termination of the supply of civilian personnel from other organizations now used in the care and supply of displaced persons, I believe that it is of the utmost importance that the IRO be established as soon as possible.