London (Jul. 31)
The British Cabinet has decided to transport to a British tropical colony the 4,500 Jewish refugees refusing to disembark in France from three British deportation ships, it was reported here today, following an afternoon Cabinet meeting.
The report said that if the refugees persisted in their refusal to leave the deportation transports, they would either be taken directly to a new place of internment, or perhaps held in the British zone of Germany temporarily until accomodations could be prepared at their ultimate destination. Under no circumstances would they be returned to Palestine or sent to Cyprus, informed quarters said.
A Foreign Office spokesman said last night that “where the refugees are now is the nearest point to Palestine they can hope to get.” He pointed out that transfer to any place of internment will inevitably involve physical hardships, which could be avoided if they agreed to land in France and wait for a U.N. decision.
(The French National Assembly today unanimously passed a resolution approving the government’s humanitarian treatment of the refugees and urging it to press Britain for a speedy solution “according to the dictates of humanity.”
(Premier Paul Ramadier told the Assembly that “in collaboration with our British friends all measures in conformity with the principles of humanity have been taken.” The newspaper Figar, which frequently reflects the views of Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, said today that Anglo-French relations had not been so tense since 1945 when British troops marched into Syria.)