840.48 Refugees/4529

The British Chargé (Campbell) to the Secretary of State

Ref: 608/14/43

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I write to let you know that His Majesty’s Government recently decided that in future all Jews, whether adults or children, who may succeed in escaping to Turkey from enemy-controlled territory since the closing of the Bulgarian-Turkish frontier in May last, will be eligible (after a preliminary security check in Turkey) for onward transport to Palestine, where they will be placed in camps, go through a further security check and if found satisfactory will be gradually released as legal immigrants into Palestine against the current half-yearly immigration quotas. By “onward transport” is meant such transport by sea or rail as may be arranged by His Majesty’s Government in cooperation with the appropriate diplomatic mission.

This policy will also apply to Jews who manage to escape to other neutral countries, but where they have escaped to countries in which they are safe they will normally remain there. Thus the Jews at present in Mauritius, Cyprus and Spain would remain there (unless, as is hoped, arrangements can be made in the case of Spain to remove them for the duration of hostilities to Allied territory in North Africa) and only in very special cases and for very special reasons would authority be given for any onward transport to Palestine.

The numbers to be admitted under these new proposals will not entail any increase in the total number of immigrants permissible for the period ending the 31st March, 1944.

I have been asked to emphasize the confidential nature of this letter, as secrecy is essential in the interests of the refugees themselves and His Majesty’s Government intend to make no public announcement of the policy described above. They are, however, informing the Jewish Agency for Palestine in confidence of what is proposed.

I am writing a similar letter to Mr. Myron Taylor.

Very sincerely yours

R. I. Campbell