840.48 Refugees/5042a: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

A–83. Department was informed on December 29 by British Embassy that information has been received from the British Foreign Office to the effect that it will not be possible to assign numbers to children in Switzerland to permit them to enter Palestine after the war. The Representative of the British Embassy stated that no one knew whether Palestine would continue to be a British mandate or the attitude which would be taken concerning immigration after the war. We mentioned that it was our understanding that the unused numbers would be made available even after the expiration of the White Paper13 [March 31, 1944]. The reply was that this was true but the British do not desire to tie up these numbers when the children might not even wish to proceed to Palestine after the war.

This action may have serious consequences in our attempt to provide refuge for those who have suffered at the hands of the Nazis and may have unfortunate repercussions in this country.

Please discuss this with appropriate British officials and express the hope of this Government that they may reconsider their position and authorize numbers to be allocated permitting children to enter Palestine, within the total allowable under the White Paper.

  1. British Cmd. 6019: Palestine, Statement of Policy, May 1939. For correspondence regarding American interest in the White Paper, see Foreign Relations, 1939, vol. iv, pp. 732 ff.