Washington (Dec. 28)
The office of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees in London, which maintains that it has not been empowered by the Bermuda Conference to enter into direct negotiations with Germany concerning the rescue of Jews in occupied territory, will soon be “set right” on this subject, it was learned here today.
The State Department seems to agree with the view expressed by its Assistant Secretary, Breckinridge Long, who told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that under the extended mandate of the Bermuda Conference, the Intergovernmental Committee was given “plenary authority to do whatever it can, within and without Germany and the occupied territories.”
It was also learned here today that the military authorities still object to any proposal to send food to the people of occupied Europe through the Allied blockade. They also object to the proposal made by certain Jewish groups that an exchange of refugees or potential refugees for Axis prisoners be negotiated. These two proposals were rejected at Bermuda as not being within the scope of the conference.
With regard to the extended mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee, attention was drawn here today to the fact that the new mandate was approved at Bermuda by the Governments of Britain and the United States, but that the Committee also includes neutrals as well as other United Nations.