Tate Dept. Advocates Admission of 400,000 Dp’s at House Hearing on Stratton Bill
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Tate Dept. Advocates Admission of 400,000 Dp’s at House Hearing on Stratton Bill

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Assistant Secretary of State John Hilldring, ?estifying today in behalf of the State Department before the House Sub-Committee on ?migration, advocated the admission to this country of 400,000 displaced persons##thin the next four years and emphasized that the United States should take the leader soIving the DP problem. He spoke in support of the Stratton Bill now before ##ongress.The Government of the United States, Hilldring declared, will not lessen its ##fforts “to obtain a just solution of the Palestine problem which may enable a large ##mber of displaced Jews to enter the Holy Land.” He added that this government will also continue its efforts to secure resettlement of as many displaced persons as posible in Europe and Latin America. “But,” he pointed out, “we cannot pursue these offorts with any degree of success if we curselves are not willing to help relieve purselves of our own problem.”Hilldring said that since the U.S. has the largest number of displaced persons in the American zones of Germany and Austria, “this country must set the example and would then find little difficulty in getting other countries to do something.” Rep. Chelf, Democrat, of Kentucky, asked sharply: “And by the same token get Britain to do something about Palestine?” After some hesitation, Hilldring replied that he thought it would have considerable effect on the solution of the Palestine problem.

Rep. Emanuel Celler asked Hilldring if American policy will insist upon fulfillment of the terms of the Balfour Declaration and the terms of the Palestine Mandate. Hilldring answered that the Palestine question is a most involved one, and that before discussing it, he would wish to consult with the State Department officers specifically concerned with it.


In a carefully reasoned and presented statement, Hilldring answered numerous charges that displaced persons would not make desirable citizens. He particularly stressed, from his long experience with the problem as Director of the Civil Affairs Division of the War Department, and as Assistant Secretary of State, his unequivocal conviction that DP’s “are made of the stuff of which good American citizens are made.”

He said that the U.S. had miscalculated the willingness of the displaced persons to return to their homelands after the war, and pointed to the “cataclysmic extermination of six million Jews.” The DP’s, he declared are “sturned by the insidious results of some of Hitler’s indoctrination in the countries where they formerly lived.”

Hilldring assailed the “misinformation” circulated regarding the alleged unwillingness of the displaced persons to work. He declared that, on the contrary, “they have established a remarkable record for themselves in their attitude toward work.”

He emphasized that it was “natural” for DP’s expecting to leave Germany not ## adapt themselves immediately to employment, or to expect that their former ##ppressors should perform much of the menial work they had done.

Rep. Fellows, chairman of the sub-committee, asked Hilldring about the number {SPAN}##of{/SPAN} displaced persons who could pass the immigration law screening requirements. Hillding said he could not estimate the number, but pointed out that for two years the{SPAN}##isplaced persons have been under “constant observation” of American authorities ##ho had an excellent opportunity to watch them under “unnatural and very trying ##ircumstances,” and that their conduct gives “as good a guarantee as is humanly possible to get.”{/SPAN}Hilldring emphasized that “because the Jews were singled out by the Nazis for{SPAN}##articularly brutal treatment, it is understandable that they have no wish to work for or under the Germans.” He added that, as in the case of other DP’s “some Jews are now less averse to taking temporary jobs in the German economy.”{/SPAN}Declaring that the responsibility for a solution of the DP problem “now rests squarely with the Congress,” Hilldring urged passage of the Stratton Bill, as {SPAN}##{/SPAN} step toward the most preferable solution, that of resettlement. As alternatives the listed forcible repatriation, abandonment to the German economy, or indefinite {SPAN}##maintenance in camps, but emphasized that the State Department wholeheartedly endorses the aims of the Stratton Bill.{/SPAN}Rep. Noah M. Mason, Republican, of Illinois, supported the bill because of the reduced cost to the U.S. of caring for displaced persons, and because, he told the committee, “it will bring into this country the kind of people, by and large, that we need as citizens.” He said that the bill is a temporary measure and sets no precedent for further immigration. He attacked President Truman’s executive order of December, 1945, giving pricrity to DP immigrants as circumventing the immigration law in preventing the entrance of regular applicants with families already here.


Captain John B. Trevor, president of the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies, lengthily attacked the Bill on the grounds that it “would accentuate and gravely embitter Internal racial dissension,” and called for suspension of all immigration into the U.S.

Rep. Celler challenged Trevor, before he began his prepared testimony, by asking him if the American Coalition was not named in a Federal Grand Jury indictment of 26 alleged seditionists which charged conspiracy to impair the loyalty of the armed forces. Trevor denied that the Coalition was involved, and said that his organization was used by those under indictment. He said the Stratton Bill would permit the executive branch of the government “to favor the entry of would-be immigrants of some races and adversely discriminate against potential immigrants of other races.”

Rep. Gossett, of Texas, asked Trevor “isnt this supposed to be an Anglo-Saxon country?” and then remarked that he was not referring to New York City, which he said is foreigu, and where “they don”t speak English.” Second-generation Americans, Gossett said, are more devoted to American traditions than first-generation ones.

The Rev. Samuel McCrea Cavert, general secretary of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, said that the displaced persons problem is not that “of any one racial or religious group.” Their fate, he declared, “rests heavily on the Christian conscience,” and of “all the tragic victims of World War II there are none who have a greater claim on our sympathy and help than the DP’s.”

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