NEW YORK (Mar. 5)
Resolutions calling on the Senate to enact DP immigration legislation to liberalize the present act and appealing to the U.S. Government to pool unused quota numbers for redistribution to would-be immigrants were adopted here today at the HIAS 65th annual meeting.
The conference, attended by Jewish religious, fraternal and labor leaders adopted a budget of $4,230,000 for the organization’s activities in 1950. Other resolutions endorsed the proposed expension of HIAS activities in Israel as well as the body’s present program in the Jewish state, and expressed thanks to the International Refugee Organization, Displaced Persons Commission, American military authorities in Europe, State Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service for their assistance to teh resettlement program of HIAS.
Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York, addressing the meeting, revealed that in the summer of 1948, when the Celler Bill to liberalize existing DP legislation was introduced, “I personally labored earnestly to try to procure the passage of the amendments.” He added that the Kilgors-Ferguson Bill, designed to alleviate the injustices in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s bill, “is a desirable bill.” The Governor charged that the December 22, 1945, out-off date of the present DP Act is “discriminatory.”
Congressman Emanuel Celler attacked the proposed Senate amendments to his bill as having taken “this bill and under the guise of liberalizing it, has perverted it to the use of German expelleos.” The amended measure, he charged, “is cleverly written to leave the impression that it accepts the principles of an increase in the admission of displaced persons in this country, but nothing is further from the truth.”
Samuel Telsey, head of the organization, in his presidential address revealed that HIAS has recently expanded its activities in Israel including the reception and sheltering of some 20,000 Polish Jows whom the Warsaw Government is permitting to go to Israel. He added that HIAS expects to spend about $500,000 in Israel this year.
Rabbi Moses Cyrus Weiler, president of the Jewish Reform Movement of South Africa, urged the HIAS to call a world conference, preferably in Europe, “which would enable representative Jows from all parts of the world to draft a planned economy” for the future work of the group, and elect “a world executive of HIAS.” Rabbi Weiler added “one of the problems that is uppermost in the minds of South African Jewry is that of Jewish homelessness throughout the world.” Other speakers included Israel Asofsky, executive director of HIAS, and Lewis Neikrug, its overseas director.