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New York Congressmen Criticize Eisenhower for Refugee Act Failure

Sixteen New York Democratic Congressmen charged today in a joint statement submitted to a Senate subcommittee that President Eisenhower must bear “some blame” for the operational failure of the 1951 Refugee Relief Act. The statement called for revision of the legislation and dismissal of State Department security chief Scott McLeod as administrator of the act.

“We cannot refrain,” said the group, “from attaching some blame to the President for this state of affairs. The President has expressed dissatisfaction with the operation of the act, but has shown no leadership in converting his words into deeds.”

The Democrats urged committees of the House and Senate having jurisdiction over the act to “proceed with all dispatch to amend the delaying provisions and strictures.” They refuted the Administration’s excuse that the lack of assurances is “entirely to blame for the slow issuance of visas.” The Congressmen said “the number of visas issued lags far behind the number the assurances cover.”

Signatories of the joint statement were: Emanuel Celler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Victor L. Anfuso, Charles A. Buckicy, Irwin D. Davidson, James J. Delaney, Isidore Dollinger, James G. Donovan, Sidney A. Fine, Lester Holtzman, Edna F. Kelly, Eugene J. Keogh, Arthur G. Klein, Abraham J. Multer, Leo W. O’Brien, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Herbert Zelenko.

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