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500 Young Refugefs Set to Sail for San Domingo Under British Convoy

July 3, 1940
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Five hundred young refugees from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, of an average age of 16, will leave England immediately for the Dominican Republic, with 500 more to follow as soon as funds and transportation can be provided, Stephen V.C. Morris, secretary of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, announced today.

It is hoped the first contingent will leave England within ten days. While details of their journey are held secret, since Germany has not guaranteed safe conduct for refugees, it is believed they will proceed on a British liner under convoy. Sir Herbert Emerson, director of the Intergovernmental Committee, is supervising selection of the youngsters in London.

The second group will be selected while the first is en route. Whether this group will be able to sail depends on the immediate raising of funds totalling $250,000. The refugees will be settled on the 24,000-acre Sosua tract donated by Generalissimo Rafael L. Trujillo, ex-President of the Dominican Republic.

Plans for evacuation of the refugees were completed today at meetings of officials of three governments and the Dominican Republic Settlement Association. Participating were British Ambassador Lord Lothian, Dominican Minister Andres Pastoriza, State Department and Intergovernmental Committee officials and James N. Rosenberg, New York, and Leon Falk Jr., Pittsburgh, of the D.R.S.A.

Permission for the children and young men and women to enter the Dominican Republic under the aegis of the settlement association was given by the Dominican Government. British-born children are not necessarily excluded from this opportunity.

Whereabouts of a “lost battalion” of refugees who were in Italy when that nation went to war and who were preparing to sail on the Italian steamship Neptunia for the Dominican Republic still remains a mystery, Morris said. Hope that they will ever reach the Dominican Republic has all but been abandoned, he said.

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