861.48 Refugees 67/85

The Ambassador in Turkey (Grew) to the Secretary of State

No. 684

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Instruction No. 111 of January 7 [2], 1929 concerning the evacuation of the Russian refugees now in Constantinople. The Department requests that I report promptly by telegram any extension of the time limit set by the Turkish Government for the evacuation of these refugees. In this connection reference is made to my despatch No. 639 of January 16, 1929, reporting my interview with the Minister for Foreign Affairs relative to the Russian refugees in Constantinople and to my telegram No. 9 of February 3, 1 p.m.,72 in which it was stated:

“Press has reported that it learns from an authoritative source that period for evacuation for Russian refugees will again be prolonged beyond February 6 with the exception of certain individual cases. I have not been able to confirm this report in Angora but believe that it is probably authentic as it has not been denied.”

It has not been possible to obtain definite information concerning the intentions of the Turkish Government with regard to the remaining Russian refugees in Constantinople. According to press rumors and information from other unofficial sources and in view of the fact that no action was taken on February 6, 1929, the date of the expiration of the delay granted, it is believed by those interested that no action will be taken by the Turkish Government concerning the Russian refugees as a whole, but that a small number of undesirable refugees will, from time to time, be asked to leave or will be expelled from Turkey.

With regard to the desire of the Department to be informed of the present number of Russian refugees in Constantinople awaiting evacuation and of the likelihood, if any, that refugees who are awaiting quota numbers as emigrants to the United States will be permitted to remain in Turkey after February 6, 1929, and until visas are available [Page 988]for them, I beg to inform the Department that it seemed inadvisable to make further inquiries of the Turkish Government particularly in view of the fact that the Turkish Government took no action to enforce its decision upon the expiration of the time limit set for the evacuation of the Russian refugees and also owing to the general belief that no action will be taken, at least for the present.

The information obtained from the Consulate General at Constantinople relative to the demand against the Russian quota and the allotment of Russian quota numbers made by the Russian quota control office at Riga is as follows:

Demand on the Russian Quota at Constantinople on February 26, 1929

Preference Preference Preference Non-Preference
Relatives of Citizens Skilled Agriculturists Relatives of Aliens
11 11 61* 1343*

The total number of applicants on February 26, 1929 for the second half of the Russian quota year was 1404. Of this number 200 have not been interviewed and reclassified as second preference or non-preference applicants. When these persons comply with the Consulate General’s invitation to call, the information that they submit concerning their relatives in the United States will automatically change the starred totals.

Russian Quota Numbers Allotted to Constantinople During the Present Quota Year

Preference Preference Preference Non-Preference
Relatives of Citizens Skilled Agriculturists Relatives of Aliens
4 5 1 0

As will be seen from the above tabulation, the Russian quota numbers allotted to the Constantinople Consulate General totals only 10. These numbers have already been granted to applicants.

The Advisory Committee for the Evacuation of Russian Refugees from Constantinople has sent Mr. Stokes a telegram informing him that the situation with regard to the remaining refugees is tranquil but that it is deemed necessary for the Committee to continue the work of evacuation.

The Committee furthermore informs me that due to some technical reasons the evacuation of 129 Jews to Palestine expected to take place in January has been temporarily delayed. During the month of January about 58 refugees were evacuated and in the course of the present month 50 more people have been likewise evacuated. The Committee hopes to be able to evacuate 200 refugees during the month of March, which number will include the 129 Jews to be sent to Palestine.

I have [etc.]

Joseph C. Grew
  1. Not printed.