Haifa (May. 18)
An estimated 1,500 visaless refugees who arrived here yesterday aboard the former U.S. vessel Trade Winds were en route to Cyprus today aboard British deportation vessels as unconfirmed reports received here said that eight blockade runners were approaching the Holy Land. One vessel is said to be nearing Palestine territorial waters.
The unloading of the refugees from the Trade Winds, renamed the Hatikvah, was done without incident and the entire operation was one of the quietest in re##cent months. The government denied tonight that any Americans were among those arrested when the 1,200-ton vessel docked under destroyer escort. They are believed to have been members of the crew.
When the vessel was first sighted by British naval patrols, the refugees came up on deck and rushed to one side causing it to list. However, they returned to the hold when ordered to do so by officers commanding the destroyers. During the boarding operation, a large hole was stove in the side of the Hatikvah, but none of the passengers were injured. Many pregnant women and infants were aboard.
IRGUN AGREES TO TNUCE IF GOVERNMENT WILL CEASE REPRESSIVE MEASURES
In a broadcast on its underground radio tonight, the Irgun Zvai Leumi replied to the appeal for a truce issued by the U.N. General Assembly–the text of which was published in all newspapers at the orders of the government–by stating that if the government ceases to “deport visaless immigrants, hold Jews in illegal internment and murder Hebrew prisoners,” it will agree to a truce. The broadcast pointed out that the U.N. appeal was directed not only to the underground groups, but to the British Government as well. A similar statement was issued last night by the Stern Group.
(The mystery of what happened to the memorandum sent by the Irgun last week to the United Nations was cleared up yesterday. Although the appeal was made public in Jerusalem and in Washington, by Rep. Andrew Somers, it was never released by the U.N. Secretariat. An investigation at Lake Success elicited the information that a copy of the Irgun letter which accompanied the memorandum was circulated to all delegations, but the text was not released, since under U.N. rules communications from non-governmental organizations are not circulated unless a delegation requests that this be done.)