Lehman Sends Representative to Study Refugee Problem in North Africa
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Lehman Sends Representative to Study Refugee Problem in North Africa

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A representative of former Governor Lehman’s Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation will soon visit North Africa to study the situation of refugees there who have escaped from the Nazis as well as those who have been liberated from the camps in the Sahara desert since the landing of the American forces in Morocco and Algeria, it was disclosed here today by Sir Herbert Emerson, High Commissioner for Refugees and Director of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Refugees.

“About 100 refugees are still crossing daily from Nazi-held France into Spain,” Sir Herbert disclosed. He stressed the fact that the Spanish Government is not returning them to France despite the fact that they enter Spain illegally. The acute food shortage in Spain and the high cost of living there make it difficult, however, for the refugees to subsist. At least three dollars a day is needed for bare necessities by each of these refugees, the High Commissioner stated.

Sir Herbert estimated that there are now about 300 Jewish refugee children in Spain who can emigrate to the United States. “Their parents are willing to part with them.” he said, “and the U.S. Government is prepared to give them special consideration within the existing immigration laws for refugees. I hope it will be possible to speed their departure. I also hope that some of them will be able to emigrate to Palestine,” he declared.


“Various proposals exist for the emigration of the refugees from Spain and Portugal, as well as for aiding those in North Africa,” Sir Herbert continued, “but it is impossible to speak of these proposals before the governments concerned have reached a decision on them. He emphasized that the situation of the refugees in Portugal is less acute than in Spain because of the liberal attitude taken by the Portuguese authorities.

Referring to the possibilities of saving the thousands of Jewish refugee children in France, whom countries on the American continent are willing to admit, Sir Herbert stated that ” while the prospects of securing exit visas for these children are uncertain, hope that such visas may eventually be issued has not been entirely abandoned.”

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