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500 Exodus Deportees Will Refuse to Disembark; France Says It is British Problem

Haganah circles here today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the 4,500 Jewish refugees now being returned to France from Palestine will refuse to disembark when the three British deportation ships on which they are being transported reach France.

A Haganah spokesman said that the Ministry of the Interior had given assurances that the refugees would not be disembarked forcibly. He quoted the Ministry as stating that the problem was solely a British one.

The press officer at the French Foreign Office disclosed tonight that an urgent inter-ministerial conference was studying France’s position in reference to the deportees. The only official decision reached so far was to permit the deportation ressels to touch at Ville Franche” to refuel,” he added.

The Colombian Embassy here disclosed that it had communicated with its government in Bogota, requesting instructions concerning the deportees, who are reported to hold either a collective Colombian visa or individual Colombian visas. A spokesman said that no reply was expected for at least 48 hours.