548.G1/40: Telegram

The Consul General at Hamilton (Beck) to the Secretary of State

123. For Long. Conference met today in morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session was devoted to a general discussion of some of the more radical proposals made by interested organizations. These specifically included the proposal for negotiations with Germany for the release of the Jewish population, the proposal for the exchange of German nationals for Jews and the proposal to lift the blockade for the persecuted people of Europe. It was agreed that these subjects were both impossible and outside of the scope of the Conference.

The shipping question was then considered in complete agreement as the fact that there is at present no possibilities of releasing or diverting any United Nation shipping for the transportation of refugees. The question of the possible charter or use of neutral shipping particularly Portuguese and Spanish was then explored. It was agreed that the possibilities in this connection were very limited but that every effort should be made by the Intergovernmental Committee to secure such ships as may be available.

The afternoon session was devoted to the consideration of the problems presented by the Polish refugees in Iran and the Greek refugees mainly centered in Cyprus. It appears that, after present programs for the evacuation of the Polish refugees from Iran are completed, there will be a balance of approximately 5,000 refugees. The question of these refugees will be referred to the Intergovernmental Committee. In answer to a question as to the availability of Madagascar for these Polish refugees the British delegation raised the point that any approach by the Intergovernmental Committee to General de Gaulle29 would immediately raise the question of France’s representation upon the Committee. De Gaulle has so far agreed to accept 200 Polish families.

It was stated that the problem of Greek refugees at Cyprus was not immediately pressing because of the changed military situation, but [Page 156] that if possible at least 1,000 of the 5,000 now there should be removed in order provide for future contingencies and to make room for further refugees. The British delegation state that the military authorities object to the idea of bringing these people to Cyrenaica. However, Mr. Law agreed that the matter might be investigated by the Committee. It will also be recommended to the Committee that the possibilities of settlement near Dire Dawa in Abyssinia be investigated.

Tomorrow the Spanish situation will be surveyed at length.

  1. Gen. Charles de Gaulle, President of the French National Committee.