840.48 Refugees/3913

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The British Ambassador called to see me this morning at my request.

I raised with the Ambassador the need for action in getting Jewish refugees out of Bulgaria. I said that the Jewish organizations in this country were very fearful that if further delay took place none of these refugees would be permitted to leave Bulgaria and that I felt that in such event the United Nations could very properly be held responsible for the situation which would then develop. The Ambassador said that he had spoken with Mr. Myron Taylor recently concerning this matter and asked if any definite word had yet been received with regard to the construction of concentration camps in North Africa for refugees from Europe. I reminded the Ambassador that there seemed to be some discrepancy of views as to what the status of this situation was since the President had given Mr. Churchill a memorandum on the subject which the latter had said he would discuss with his Cabinet in London, whereas Mr. Churchill apparently was maintaining that the President had not discussed the matter with him at all. The Ambassador asked if I would at least ascertain whether our highest military authorities were agreeable to the construction of these concentration camps in North Africa. I said I would be glad to confirm my understanding of this situation.

S[umner] W[elles]