840.48 Refugees/374a: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy)14

Department’s circular, May 7, 2 p.m. Please inform the Government to which you are accredited that we propose the following agenda for the meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Political Refugees which is to convene at Evian on July 6th.

  • “1. To consider what steps can be taken to facilitate the settlement in other countries of political refugees from Germany (including Austria). The term ‘political refugees’ for the purposes of the present meeting, is intended to include persons who desire to leave Germany as well as those who have already done so. The conference would of course take due account of the work now being done by other agencies in this field and would seek means of supplementing the work done by them.
  • 2. To consider what immediate steps can be taken, within the existing immigration laws and regulations of the receiving countries, to assist the most urgent cases. It is anticipated that this would involve each participating government furnishing, in so far as may be practicable, for the strictly confidential information of the Committee, a statement of its immigration laws and practices and its present policy regarding the reception of immigrants. It would be helpful tor the committee to have a general statement from each participating government of the number and type of immigrants it is now prepared to receive or that it might consider receiving.
  • 3. To consider a system of documentation, acceptable to the participating states, for those refugees who are unable to obtain requisite documents from other sources.
  • 4. To consider the establishment of a continuing body of governmental representatives, to be set up in some European capital, to formulate and to carry out, in cooperation with existing agencies, a long range program looking toward the solution or alleviation of the problem in the larger sense.
  • 5. To prepare a Resolution making recommendations to the participating governments with regard to the subjects enumerated above and with regard to such other subjects as may be brought for consideration before the intergovernmental meeting.”

Please add that it is the earnest hope of the American Government that the Government to which you are accredited will find it possible [Page 749] to give its representative at Evian full instructions on the points covered in the agenda in order that the meeting may reach decisions with a minimum of delay.

You may also state that the American representative at the intergovernmental meeting is being instructed to propose at the opening session that the meeting convey an invitation to Sir Neill Malcolm, League High Commissioner for Refugees coming from Germany, to attend its sessions. It has not been considered necessary to propose that a similar invitation be conveyed to the President of the International Office for Refugees inasmuch as Judge Hansson, the head of that office, will attend the meeting as the representative of Norway.

Please notify Sir Neill Malcolm informally of the proposal to invite him to attend the meeting at Evian.

Same telegram (omitting final paragraph ) is to be sent to the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela.

  1. Missions in countries to which the same instruction was sent are listed at the end of the telegram.