WASHINGTON (Aug. 2)
President Eisenhower said today that the whole problem of refugees in Europe has been one of “great irritation and difficulty” and the U.S. has made efforts to help ease this situation. He said the present Refugee Relief Act is “very restrictive” and “very awkward to administer.” He added that he has tried to get corrections made in the law, but Congress has not taken action.
Meanwhile, it appears that each party is blaming the other for inaction. Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Harley M. Kilgore (D. W. Va. ) said that he had tried to get a bill reported out of his committee to speed immigration under the refugee program, but that meetings which were scheduled failed to produce a quorum.
Sen. Kilgore said that on July 11 action on President Eisenhower’s amendments to the refugee act had been postponed for a week at the request “of a Republican member of the committee.” He added that he had written to the Secretary of State and the President requesting their appearance before his subcommittee, but as yet no definite word as to the time Administrative spokesmen would testify has been received. He charged that the Republican Administration was “ambiguous, unresponsive, and evasive” in answering his inquiries on the whole general field of immigration policy.
On the other hand, Sen. Arthur V. Watkins (R. Utah), sponsor of the Administration’s amendments, yesterday blamed the Democratic leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee for failure to report the bill out. He said “we had the votes in committee to bring the amendments out on the Senate floor, if those in control of the committee had pushed it through.”