Senate Body to Discuss Restitution Claims of Naturalized Citizens

The Senate Judiciary Committee may take up tomorrow an amendment to the Trading With the Enemy Act authorizing the U.S. Government to pursue restitution claims for American naturalized citizens as is the practice in other Western countries. At present, the Government does not pursue claims of naturalized citizens. Practically all Nazi victims in this country are naturalized citizens.

The amendment was introduced by Senator Kenneth Keating of New York. He also introduced another amendment which provides for a bulk settlement of $500,000 for existing claims of survivors of Nazi persecution. The House of Representatives has already acted on this amendment.

The sum of $500,000 was agreed upon between the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization and the Office of Alien Property of the Department of Justice as a “reasonable settlement.” The Budget Bureau, however, suggested that the $500,000 sum should be cut in half. Although this suggestion was rejected by the House as wholly unjustified, a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee reported out the bill “without recommendation.”

The bill is scheduled for consideration tomorrow by the full Senate Judiciary Committee, and there is hope that the Senate will approve the measure with the entire $500,000 as voted by the house.

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