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Simpson Survey Urges Creation of Temporary “refugee Pool” with International Aid

August 15, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sir John Hope Simpson’s brochure, brochure, “Refugees,” just issued by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, drew editorial comment today in the Daily Telegraph and The Times.

Declaring that no fully developed country in Europe can offer a permanent home for more than a fraction of the exiles, the Telegraph asserted that large scale settlement in “comparatively empty lands overseas is the only way to their reestablishment as prosperous, contented citizens.” The White House conference scheduled for next month, the newspaper said, “should lead to effective cooperation” toward realization of larger settlement schemes.

The Times agreed with Sir John’s conclusion that both the rescue and settlement of refugees were beyond the resources of private organizations. “But the rescue work,” the editorial added. “will not wait. As Simpson says, continued adherence to the principle of dealing with the refugees case by case means that the victim some day will be in a concentration camp or in his grave.”

In his brochure, which traces growth of the refugee problem since the international crisis last September, Sir John declares that a provisional refuge for some 100,000 new refugees from central Europe, the settlement of about 50,000 central European refugees now in western European countries and the emigration of 50,000 temporary residents are the most urgent problems requiring speedy solution at the present time.

Sir John, who is director of the Institute’s Refugee Survey, recommends examination of the possibility of creating on an international basis, a pool, or pools, into which refugees provided with simple identification papers, can be poured merely to save their lives or their reason until they can be dealt with on the “case system.” The cost of these camps, he points out, would have to be borne in part by Government funds, which might be subscribed in some agreed proportion to population and wealth of cooperating countries.

As regards the problem of settlement. Sir John again emphasizes the fact that no colonization schemes on a large scale are possible without Government loans. He particularly advocates the following steps to bring about an improvement in the settlement situation.

(1) Adequate provision for temporary refuge, which would abolish the conditions which drive refugees to seek illegal entry by sea and land; (2) an extension of the careful studies now being made into the possibilities of overseas countries of immigration; (3) a radical change in the point of view with regard to involuntary migrants, i. e. an approach on normal economic lines to the problem of settlement; (4) the establishment of a clearing office for the redistribution of skill and labor; (5) the creation of an International Corporation or institution to provide bona fide settlers with sufficient advances for settlement on a reasonable basis of deferred payments on the Revolving Fund system; (6) creation of a Settlement Corporation to make and execute the arrangements for large scale settlement imperative under present conditions

Sir John further urges the absorption by Great Britain of the child refugees who are at present receiving training in the country. He advocates the dropping of the terms “immigrants” and “refugees.” He urges that, as regards infiltration, “there is need of general clearing offices for labor and skill of all kinds, so that special kinds of ability and training can be utilised where they are most needed.” Furthermore, in cooperation with any clearing house established there should be a body able to finance the emigration and settlement of individuals, and to recoup from them in due time the expenditure incurred.

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