840.48 Refugees/513: Telegram

The Chairman of the American Delegation (Taylor) to the Secretary of State

21. We have been negotiating individually and in groups with the delegations with a view to reaching agreement on the text of a resolution which would be acceptable to all. After making changes in order to meet the views of various governments, we considered the resolution in a meeting of chiefs of delegations this morning, and reached agreement on the text.

The main objectors have been many of the Latin Americans who have told us in great frankness that the pressure brought upon them by Germany through compensation agreements and other commercial arrangements was such that they did not dare join in any action which might seem to be even in the smallest respect critical. Notable in putting forward this view were the delegations of Colombia, Venezuela, the Central American countries, Uruguay and Chile. They [Page 755] told me frankly after the meeting this morning that unless I could find some formula which would seem to release them from any obligation in this matter they would have to vote against the resolution. I should like to say in this general connection that the delegate of Brazil, Lobo, has been most extraordinarily helpful in bringing his Latin American colleagues to a reasonable point of view and that Ambassador Le Breton of the Argentine has given me the full benefit of his wise support.

Herewith is the text of the resolution as approved in final form by the meeting this morning;

“(1) Considering that the question of involuntary emigration has assumed major proportions and that the fate of the unfortunate people affected has become a problem for intergovernmental deliberation;

(2) Aware that the involuntary emigration of large numbers of people of different creeds, economic conditions, professions and trades, from the country or countries where they have been established is disturbing to the general economy, since these persons are obliged to seek refuge, either temporarily or permanently, in other countries at a time when there is serious unemployment; that in consequence countries of refuge and settlement are faced with problems not only of an economic and social nature but also of public order, and that there is a severe strain on the administrative facilities and absorptive capacities of the receiving countries;

(3) Aware, moreover, that the involuntary emigration of peoples in large numbers has become so great that it renders racial and religious problems more acute; increases international unrest; and may hinder seriously the processes of appeasement in international relations;

(4) Believing that it is essential that a long range program should be envisaged, whereby assistance to involuntary emigrants, actual and potential, may be coordinated within the framework of existing migration laws and practices of governments;

(5) Considering that if countries of refuge or settlement are to cooperate in finding an orderly solution of the problem before the Committee they should have the collaboration of the country of origin and are therefore persuaded that it will make its contribution by enabling involuntary emigrants to take with them their property and possessions and emigrate in an orderly manner;

(6) Welcoming heartily the initiative taken by the President of the United States of America in calling the intergovernmental meeting at Evian for the primary purpose of facilitating involuntary emigration from Germany including Austria, and expressing profound appreciation to the French Government for its courtesy in receiving the intergovernmental meeting at Evian;

(7) Bearing in mind the resolution adopted by the Council of the League of Nations on May 14, 1938 concerning international assistance to refugees;


(8) (a) That the persons coming within the scope of the activity of the Intergovernmental Committee shall be (1) persons who have not already left their country of origin (Germany including Austria), [Page 756] but who must emigrate on account of their political opinions, religious beliefs, or racial origin and (2) persons as defined in (1) who have already left their country of origin and who have not yet established themselves permanently elsewhere;

(b) That the governments participating in the Intergovernmental Committee shall continue to furnish the Committee, for its strictly confidential information, with (1) details regarding such immigrants which each government is prepared to receive under its existing laws and practices and (2) details of these laws and practices;

(c) That in view of the fact that the countries of refuge and settlement are entitled to take into account the economic and social adaptability of immigrants, these should in many cases be required to accept at least for a time changed conditions of living in the countries of settlement;

(d) That the governments of the countries of refuge and settlement should not assume any obligations for the financing of involuntary emigration;

(e) That, with regard to the documents required by the countries of refuge and settlement, the governments represented on the Intergovernmental Committee should consider the adoption of the following provision:

In those individual immigration cases in which the usually required documents emanating from foreign official sources are found not to be available, there should be accepted such other documents serving the purpose of the requirements of law, as may be available to the immigrant.

And that, as regards the document which may be issued to an involuntary emigrant by the country of his foreign residence to serve the purpose of a passport, note be taken of the several international agreements providing for the issue of a travel document serving the purpose of a passport, and of the advantage of their wide application.

(f) That there should meet at London an intergovernmental committee consisting of such representatives as the governments participating in the Evian meeting may desire to designate.

This committee shall continue and develop the work of the intergovernmental meeting at Evian and shall be constituted and shall function in the following manner:

There shall be a chairman of this committee and four vice-chairmen.

There shall be a director of authority, appointed by the intergovernmental committee, who shall be guided by it in his actions. He shall undertake negotiations to improve the present conditions of exodus and to replace them with conditions of orderly emigration. He shall approach the governments of the countries of refuge with a view to developing opportunities for permanent settlement.

The intergovernmental committee, recognizing the value of the work of the existing refugee services of the League of Nations and of the studies of migration made by the International Labor Office, shall cooperate fully with these services, and the intergovernmental committee at London shall consider the means by which the cooperation of the committee and the director with these services shall be established.

The intergovernmental committee at its forthcoming meeting at London will consider the scale on which its expenses shall be apportioned among the participating governments.

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(9) That the intergovernmental committee in its continued form shall hold a first meeting at London on August 3, 1938.[”]