London (Jul. 21)
The British Foreign Office confirmed tonight that the Exodus refugees were being returned to France.
A brief announcement said that “this action was taken in accordance with normal international procedure and with the agreement of the French Government.” It added that the deportees were travelling in three ships, each of which had a greater capacity than the Exodus, which, the statement said, was unfit to carry such a large number.
A Colonial Office spokesman had disclosed the destination of the refugees earlier in the day in conversations with Prof. Selig Brodetsky, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and a member of the Jewish Agency executive, who called at the Colonial Office to protest the secrecy which has shrouded the whereabouts of the deportees.
Brodetsky formally voiced the Agency’s protests against “this change in policy,” declaring that it meant sending back to despair thousands of survivors of German massacres. He also pointed out that it would heighten tension in Palestine.
The Colonial Office spokesman said he had no information as to what would be done with the refugees when they reached France.