Melbourne, Australia (Jul. 31)
Recent reports that the Australian Government has ceased issuing landing permits to Jewish immigrants have proven unfounded. Jewish immigrants who qualify under the various occupational requirements continue to arrive.
Saul Symonds, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jews, revealed that officials of the Immigration Office are going to various European centers to choose persons eligible for admission under the Australian laws.
There is a widespread reaction to Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell’s recent agreement with the International Refugee Organization to admit 4,000 DP’s this year and continue to accept them at the rate of 1,000 a month thereafter. On the whole the reaction is favorable with large sections of the press applauding the government’s action.
Former UNRRA officials are almost unanimous in their support of the program. Indicative of their attitude is a statement by Robert Hodges, one-time director of supplies for DP’s in Vienna, who declared that anyone opposing the entrance of the refugees is doing Australia a disservice.
The major opposition comes from some veterans’ quarters, aided by a small section of the press. Ken Bolton, president of the Returned Serviceman’s League, attacked the government’s policy, asserting: “This is a business which should make every Australian hold his breath not only with indignation, but with fear of what Australia will eventually become.” Last February Bolton charged the government was admitting too many Jewish refugees as immigrants.