548.G1/80a: Telegram

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

2. For Dodds, Lucas, Blum [Bloom]. Reference Department’s 83, April 20, 7 p.m. Department has been of the opinion that the Executive Committee and the body of the Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees is the ready-made logical and natural instrument through which the United Nations and the neutral nations could cooperate for the purposes of refugee relief. There are several reasons for Department’s opinion:

First, governments which are already members of this Committee, and there are 32 such members, may not now escape the fact of their membership in that Intergovernmental Committee nor escape the assumption of partial responsibility for reaching the objectives. In case it should be attempted to organize a new committee some governments might find a valid reason for declining membership on it or for assuming further responsibility for the work to be undertaken as a result of the recommendations which the Bermuda conferees will make. Department feels further that it may not be blithely assumed that a new committee may be created overnight or even in a reasonable length of time to undertake a work which is of emergent importance if it is to be performed—and we think it should be performed. Consequently, it seems only reasonable to use the organization at hand rather than try to fashion a new one.

Second, it is very desirable to have the cooperation of the neutral states for we will have to rely upon some of them to help us achieve some of the objectives. It seems illusory to hope for the collaboration of any neutral states in a new movement headed by two important members of the United Nations if those neutral states will be required to align themselves with that new movement under the leadership of the United States and Great Britain on one side and against Germany and Italy on the other side. Consequently, it seems to the [Page 157] Department infinitely preferable to continue to use the organization with which the neutral nations are already associated.

Third, the Intergovernmental Committee is the result of President Roosevelt’s thought and a development out of his original policy and it seems appropriate that in view of his present and continuing interest in the same objective that this product of his thought should be used as the agency.

While the Department is convinced of the soundness of its views in this respect and while it feels that these considerations outweigh arguments which may be made in support of the plan to create another agency, the Department does not desire to be dogmatic or obstructive and would be glad to consider any plan which you may care to present which would seem to you to embody any better hope of attaining the objective, which is our principal concern.