Senate Defeats Measure to Admit Jewish Dp’s on Same Basis As Other National Groups
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Senate Defeats Measure to Admit Jewish Dp’s on Same Basis As Other National Groups

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The Senate today defeated, by a vote of 40-31, an amendment to the proposed Wiley DP immigration bill providing for the admission of 200,000 DP’s to this country on a “proportional basis”–with Jews being admitted in the same proportion that they now hold in relation to the total DP population.

The final vote followed a statement by Sen. Chapman Revercomb that the proposal is “a very grave amendment which would endanger the entire bill. This amendment would benefit not DP’s but emigrants,” he added.

Sen. Wayne Morse of Oregon, who opened the debate on the amendment offered by himself and five other Senators, reviewed his experiences in DP camps in Berlin and Vienna and insisted that the Jews “should receive proportional entry to the U.S. as do other national groups. This displaced persons problem is nor a Jewish problem nor a Polish or Czechoslovak problem, but confront all people who have fled persecuted areas,” Morse declared.

“It is characteristic that Jews make adaption to the mores and customs of the countries they exist in,” he stated. “As I watched the displaced persons, I recognized the great possibilities and culture of the Jewish people, and the Jews as suitable immigrants. Jews must come in the same proportions as other nationalities.”

The text of the amendment, which, was also supported by Sens. Homer Ferguson, J. Howard McGrath, Leverett Saltonstall, John S. Cooper and Alexander Smith, provides that “visas issued pursuant to this act, shall, insofar as possible, be made available to each element or group among the displaced persons, as such elements or groups were segregated or designated for the purpose of being cared for by the International Refugee Organization as of January 1, 1948 in the proportion that the number of displaced persons in such element or group bears to the total number of displaced persons, it being the purpose of this provision to insure, insofar as possible, that no discrimination in favor of or against any such element or group among the eligible displaced persons shall occur.”


Earlier, Sen. William Langer offered two changes to the Wiley Bill–which will bring the total number of amendments pending to 25. Langer’s move would extend DP statue to persona who were born in other countries but who now reside in Germany and Austria–such as Sudeten Germans. It would grant them German or Austrian birthrights where U.S. immigration laws are concerned.

Late today Sen. James Eastland of Mississippi opposed the bill, claiming it would aid “enemies who fought against us in the war, left home voluntarily, and entered DP camps only to be able to enter the U.S. These people are not entitled to special consideration from the Congress,” he declared. “Some people in the DP camps are overfed inmates with servants and automobiles.”

While the Senate debate continued, Emanuel Celler of New York introduced a bill in the House of Representatives which would classify 5,000 Europeans in Shanghai as displaced persona and allow them permanent residence in the United States as no quota immigrants to be admitted up to June 30, 1950.

The bill provides for their admission irrespective of nationality and “in addition to persons admissible under other laws.” The immigration of these persons would be according to rules prescribed by the Secretary of State on the recommendation of the Attorney General. The I.R.0. definition of DP would be used as a measuring stick in determining admissibility of the refugees. Celler said the refugees were victims of persecution from Poland, Germany and other areas who have been stranded in Shanghai since 1938.

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