840.48 Refugees/3566

The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to the American Representative on the Intergovernmental Committe on Political Refugees (Taylor)

My Dear Mr. Taylor: I have your letter of January 13, 19438 and its enclosures regarding the problem of the refugees from France who are now in Spain.

The British Ambassador9 has also approached me on this subject.

The American Embassy at Madrid is giving attention to this problem and has arranged to afford some relief to those who are interned. Governor Lehman has taken up the tasks involved.

With reference to the migration of the refugees in Spain, I have been informed that General Eisenhower has a representative at Madrid, [Page 254] who may accept those who may be found to qualify for war work in Africa. Advisory approval has been given under the war-time visa procedure for the issuance of visas to several hundred, who may be able to come to the United States. We have sent a message to London10 regarding the proposal of the President’s Advisory Committee that 1,000 be taken to Palestine and from 500 to 1,000 to a relief camp in Jamaica. I shall also speak to the British Ambassador about this.

I perceive no objection to the proposal of the President’s Advisory Committee to approach the Netherlands authorities regarding a possible place of refuge in Surinam for these refugees for the duration of the war.

The lack of available shipping facilities complicates the problem.

Sincerely yours,

Sumner Welles
  1. Not printed.
  2. Viscount Halifax.
  3. Infra.