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JTA Correspondent Barred from Exodus Refugees Camps by British Authorities

Robert Gary, Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent assigned to the two camps where the Exodus refugees are confined, was yesterday barred from both installations. Also barred was Maurice Pearlman, correspondent for the New York newspaper PM.

Camp authorities refused to give Gary an explanation, stating that the decision came from “higher headquarters.” Air Vice Marshall Champion de Crespigny, regional commissioner for Schleswig-Holstein, to whom Gary appealed the ban, said today that he considered the incident closed and that no explanation would be given. An appeal is being made to U.S. headquarters in Berlin, since Gary is accredited to the U.S. zone.

The ban came after weeks of hostility, both overt and covert, during which various British authorities voiced anger at the stories filed by Gary. The JTA correspondent was the first to expose the sub-standard conditions in the camps and the fact that the refugees were only getting 1,800 calories daily, instead of the 2,800 originally promised.

The fact that Gary and Pearlman were the only correspondents still assigned to the story, and had remained at the camps, aroused the authorities, who charged that they “were snooping about too much.” Official escorts were assigned to the two newsmen several days ago and other obstacles placed in their way in an attempt to discourage their visits to the camps.

The French consul at Hamburg announced today that he probably will not reappear at the camps, since none of the refugees have registered for transportation to France, although the consul has been on duty for the past four days.

Screening operations, although due to be resumed, are not proceeding. There is a persistent rumor that the British will introduce the 1,500-calory daily diet immediately, instead of waiting until expiration of the ultimatum next week, if the deportees do not agree to screening.

During the past week there has been a sharp drop in the temperature and heavy persistent rains have added to the discomfort. Jewish organizations have distributed some food and clothing and are attempting to bring in more.

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