WASHINGTON (Jul. 27)
President Truman told a joint cession of Congress today that the discriminatory features of the Displaced Persons Act of 1948 must. be eliminated "if we are to prove to the world" that we mean what we say about freedom, humanity, and international cooperation for peace and prosperity.
"The Displaced Persons Act in its present form discriminates unfairly against some displaced persons because of their religion, land of origin or occupation, "the President said. "These provisions are contrary to all American ideals. This Act should be promptly amended to wipe out these discriminations."
The President also criticized the small number of displaced persons to be admitted to this country under the present law and the provision that charges them against future quotas instead of admitting them outside the quotas. "I believe strongly," he said, "that the Act should provide for the entry of 400,000 persons over a four-year period, and they should be outside the normal immigration quotas. The Act can and should be amended promptly," he declared.
The President also urged the enactment of civil rights legislation "in order to make the guarantees of the Constitution real and vital. I believe they are necessary to carry out our American ideals of liberty and justice for all," he said.
After the President’s address, Congressman Frank Fellows, chairman of the House immigration Sub-committee, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he felt then was little or no chance that Congress would act to amend the bill during this session Senator H. Alexander Smith, New Jersey Republican, however, said he would introduce an amendment to mate Jews who fled persecution in Poland eligible for admission under the program.