Washington (Sep. 10)
The United States Government urged the British Government to reconsider its decision to send the 4,400 “Exodus 1947” refugees to Hamburg, but was told by the British that there was no place other than Germany to house them, Secretary of State George C. Marshall told a press conference today. Marshall declined to say whether this Government was satisfied with the answer given by the British Government with regard to the matter.
The United States Government, Marshall said, was keenly aware of the unfortunate results that would follow the British decision to return the refugees to Germany and asked the British to change their plans. Marshall pointed out that the French offer to receive some of the refugees is still open so that they do not necessarily have to remain in Germany.
(A British Foreign Office spokesman tonight refused to comment on Secretary Marshall’s disclosure. “We are not inclined to enter into any controversy with Mr. Marshall on the subject,” the spokesman said in London.)
Asked about United States reaction to the UNSCOP report, Marshall said he had no comment other than that it was a very lengthy, detailed report. He said he had read it and that department experts were analyzing it, but added that he would not discuss the report until he received their analysis.
Joseph C. Saltherwaite, acting director of the Office of Near East and African Affairs, today received a delegation of the American Jewish Labor Council, with whom he discussed the Exodus case. When the brutality of the British troops at Hamburg was mentioned, Saltherwaite told the delegation that it “isn’t all clear” that the brutality was all on one side. He quoted a newspaper report, which said that the refugees had attached razor blades to the end of poles to make weapons for use against the British.
Saltherwaite, who was joined in the interview by Gordon Marriam, chief of the Near East Division, said that no announcement concerning the U.S. attitude on the UNSCOP report would be made until the American delegation at the General Assembly was ready to discuss the report.