U.S. Consul in Azores Ordered to Investigate Mysterious B-17, State Department Reveals

The U.S. consul at Ponta del Gada, in the Azores, has been ordered to proceed to Santa Maria, southernmost island in the group, to investigate the landing of a B-17 which took off from Halifax, Nova Scotia, yesterday ostensibly en route to the United States, a State Department spokesman revealed here today at a press conference. Press reports about the “mystery” plane have indicated for the past week that the B-17′s pilot is attempting to fly her to Israel. The Santa Maria airfield director is holding the plane at the State Department’s request.

Purportedly carrying nine passengers, including pilot Irving Schindler, the plane left a Westchester (N.Y.) field last week on a “training cruise.” The craft, which was suspected of being en route to Israel, was forced down by engine trouble in Halifax where the crew was fined for entering Canada without permission.

Replying to a question, State Department press officer Lincoln White said that to date no protests have been made against American officials in Lebanon by the 41 U.S. citizens detained last month by the Lebanese Government in a concentration camp after they were forcibly removed from an Israel-bound vessel. Rep. Arthur Klein, in a letter to Secretary of State George C. Marshall, has demanded an immediate investigation of John B. Faust, U.S. consul in Beirut, who, he said, “made strongly anti-Semitic statements” when he was asked by the detainees to intervene in their behalf.

Sen. H. Alexander Smith, New Jersey Republican, announced today that he would introduce a displaced persons bill in the forthcoming special session of Congress designed to eliminate discriminatory features of the present law. “I firmly believe that it is most important that the Congress erase from the statute books the unfortunate provisions of the displaced persons act which bar most of the Jewish and many of the Catholic DP’s from eligibility,” he said.

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