840.48 Refugees/5260: Telegram
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 25—2:20 p.m.]
1554. Randall, Foreign Office Counselor, has personally approached Bucknell34 to discuss problems raised by an anticipated debate in House Commons Wednesday, March 1st on Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees and to ask for any suggestions which Department and War Refugee Board may have.[Page 995]
Debate is in connection with estimates and will give ample time for adverse critics to air views. Richard Law35 will probably make part of reply for Government. From statements by interested organisations Foreign Office expects there will be effort to show a rift between United States and British Governments on refugee policy and believes that one question will be whether American Government has approved a plan for large scale (ten million dollars) relief of Jews in enemy occupied areas which has been blocked by British. Foreign Office has in mind replying that such is not the case, that British and American Governments have machinery for acting together in refugee matters including membership on the part of both in the Intergovernmental Committee, that relief and assistance must of necessity be comprised of such actions as are consistent with successful prosecution of the war as was stated by the President in establishing War Refugee Board, that several joint agencies including economic policy agencies of course given consideration to relief proposals in connection with problems of successful prosecution of war, and that consideration of several proposals is currently pending.
Foreign Office would like to have an understanding with Department that British Government, if challenged as anticipated, might reply along foregoing lines with Department’s approval. Embassy agrees with Foreign Office in foreseeing danger if impression would be given that two Governments are drifting apart in refugee policy.
Foreign Office has instructed all Missions abroad to consult with United States colleagues with a view to seeing what further measures can be adopted for helping forward refugees along lines of President’s executive order.