WASHINGTON (Jun. 25)
With “very great reluctance,” President Truman late today signed the displaced persons bill that will admit 205,000 DP’s to this country during the next two years and which Jewish organizations have assailed as highly discriminatory to Jewish refugees.
“If the Congress were still in session, “the President said in a long statement, “I would return this bill without my approval and urge that a fairer, more a humane bill ha passed” He emphasized that the bill “discriminates in callous fashion against displaced persons of the Jewish faith.”
The President stated that the December 22, 1945, cut-off date, which determines eligibility for admission, excludes “more than 90 percent of the remaining Jewish displaced persons” and that the remaining 10 percent who are eligible “are beset by numerous additional restrictions written into the bill.
“It is inexplicable, except upon the abhorrent ground of intolerance, that this date should have been chosen instead of April 21, 1947, the date on which General Clay closed the displaced persons camps to further admissions,” he said. “For all practical purposes, it must be frankly recognized, therefore, that this bill excludes Jewish displaced persons, rather than accepting a fair proportion of them along with other faiths. “
Earlier, President Truman received James G. McDonal, newly-appointed special U.S. representative to Israel, who, upon leaving the White House, told newsmen that “close and friendly relations between our country–one of the oldest republics–and Israel, the youngest republic, will contribute not only to the advancement of the new state, but also to progress in the Middle East.”