Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle) to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

Mr. Welles: The Committee for a Jewish Army has been besieging the White House. McIntyre17 eventually sent them to me. They were then thinking of a huge delegation to convince the British that [Page 545] the Jewish Army ought to go forward. They have finally got their suggestions to a point where they wish to send four people, namely:

  • Alfred A. Strelsin of New York;
  • Kenneth Leslie of the “Protestant Digest”;
  • Andrew L. Somers, a Member of Congress, and
  • Peter H. Bergson, a Palestinian expert,

on private passports to England to lay their cases before the British authorities. The chairman of the committee, Strelsin, has been talking at length to Field Marshal Sir John Dill,18 and this is the procedure finally recommended by him.

I see no reason why we should not grant passports with reasonable priority; but the understanding is that they are merely going to state the case as well as they can to the appropriate British authority and try to persuade the British to make up their minds. This Government does not assume any responsibility for them except as it permits their trip. Do you see any objection?

A. A. B[erle], Jr.
  1. Marvin H. McIntyre, Secretary to President Roosevelt.
  2. Ranking British officer on the Combined Chiefs of Staff.