548.G1/47: Telegram

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

129. The following observations are submitted in connection with the British proposal regarding the establishment of temporary places of refuge in North Africa. The objections made then by the American delegates to this proposal have already been transmitted to the Department in a previous telegram. It is believed that these objections represent the point of view of the American military authorities. However, there are other factors which must be given earnest attention.

Concrete action in regard to the refugee situation in Spain would constitute one of the few definitely affirmative steps possible for [Page 161] this Conference. It would appear to be essential to empty Spain as rapidly as possible. This would allay some of the criticism presently directed against the British and American Governments for their inability to handle a situation which is not unreasonably difficult. It would also be of direct assistance to the refugees in occupied Europe since it would create vacancies which they could fill and would encourage attempts on their part to escape from German rule.

The American position is dependent entirely [apparent omission] considerations. Otherwise North Africa is one logical step towards the solution of this problem. The British proposal takes cognizance of this fact and places the British in an advantageous position so far as the record is concerned.

The American delegation believes that the favorable considerations outweigh the unfavorable and recommends affirmative action. Immediate reply desired.

Above from Dodds for Long.