Bucharest (Dec. 28)
The Palestine immigration ships, Pan York and ##n Crescent, carrying more than 15,000 visaless Jews between them, passed through the Bosporus todya after clearance by Turkish port authorities.
The vessels, each of which are 4,570 tons and fly the Panamanian flag, left the Black Sea port of Burgas, Bulgaria, yesterday. The largest transport ever to attempt to break the British blockade of Palestine, the ships sailed despite definite instructions to the contrary from the Jewish Agency, which countermanded the vessels’ sailing orders after the U.N. partition decision.
The vessels arrived at Constanza, Rumania, from the United States early in October and were converted for passenger use. Until the Agency ordered the cancellation of departure, extensive preparations for the migration had been made by Jewish organizations and the individuals concerned. Considering that the migrants, getting ready for the voyage, had sold their belongings, given up their homes and resigned from their jobs, Jewish leaders in Rumania felt that calling off the trip would involve grave problems. They therefore decided to clear the transport, against the Agency’s instructions.
A special train last Wednesday took the migrants to Burgas from Bucharest and from provincial Rumanian towns and villages. The empty vessels had already proceeded to the Bulgarian port from Constanza.
The immigrants had Rumanian travel documents, Bulgaria transit visas and entry ##dsas for South American countries. There were 5,000 Chalutzim, 7,000 deportees, of whom 4,000 were orphans who had been inmates of charitable institutions, and 3,000 workers, members of all Zionist groups. The embarkation went smoothly, with no accidents reported.
(Unconfirmed reports reaching here from Jerusalem tonight said that Dr. Moshe Sneh had resigned his post on the Jewish Agency executive in protest against the Agency’s refusal to sanction the departure of the Pan York and the Pan Crescent. Dr. Sneh was in Rumania last month. Upon his return he addressed the Jewish Journalists Association in Palestine, warning that the British and the Jews would come into conflict on the questions of immigration and security, and urged friendlier relations between the Zionists and the Soviet Union.)