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Adenauer’s Offer to Jews Viewed with Cautious Reserve in Britain

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West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer is anxious to begin conversations on Jewish restitutution as soon as possible, Dr. Abraham Cohen, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said at a meeting of the board yesterday. He added that Dr. Adenauer’s statement on German willingness to discuss restitution with representatives of the Jewish people and the State of Israel must be received with cautious reserve. “Its worth will be assessed by the criterion of deeds,” he declared.

Dr. Cohen stressed that a major question facing the Jews is who shall represent the Jewish claimants who are not citizens of Israel. He expressed the opinion that Jewish non-governmental consultative bodies are most suitable for this purpose and said that he feels that the final decision should be taken by the meeting of Jewish groups from all parts of the world which has been called by the Jewish Agency. The Board voted to accept the invitation of the Jewish Agency to participate in the conference to be held in New York at the end of this month.

A new influx of anti-Semitic literature emanating from Sweden was reported by the Board’s defense committee. The Board decided to bring the matter to the attention of the Swedish Legation and the British authorities in an attempt to end “this recurring nuisance.”

A sub-committee of the Board, appointed earlier this year to examine the status of aliens resident in Britain, reported to the Board that no great hardship existed for these aliens although it expressed doubt as to the desirability of continuing the principle that the Home Secretary should have the sole power to order the deportation of aliens without trial. The Board also heard a report that a plan for collection of food in this country under its sponsorship for shipment to Israel for distribution to needy persons was under way.

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