840.48 Refugees/4–1745

The Adviser, War Areas Economic Division (Gilpatric), and the Adviser on Refugees and Displaced Persons (Warren) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Acheson)

At the Anglo-American Conference on Refugees in Bermuda in April 1943, the British and United States Governments agreed that operational expenses of the IGC would be jointly underwritten until such time as the needs of refugees in Europe could be clarified and a master budget submitted to all the member governments for contributions. The British Government has already agreed to contribute $4,010,000 at this time.
Stateless and non-repatriable persons were clearly established as the responsibility of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees by the action of the member governments thereof, before the organization of UNRRA. Consequently in adopting its basic resolutions at Atlantic City, UNRRA assumed the functions of caring for and repatriating those who can be repatriated. Anticipating a situation however in post-war Europe in which UNRRA might find non-repatriables in desperate need in the areas served, it was provided that UNRRA might care for non-repatriables for a temporary period until the IGC could assume its recognized responsibility for them.
Under UNRRA resolutions the Administration can only assist the so-called non-paying governments which request its assistance. It is the adopted policy of this government to support this policy of UNRRA as established by the resolutions in view of the limited funds available to UNRRA in comparison with the vast needs which must be met. The United States Government cannot request the western European Governments to ask UNRRA assistance. To do so would constitute a reversal of the foregoing policy and would have the effect of relieving this Government of an obligation assumed jointly with the British Government prior to the organization of UNRRA.
Most of the non-repatriables are now in the territories of the western European Governments, the paying governments, and will later be found in Germany. The paying governments have not requested UNRRA to provide assistance within their territories. They have requested UNRRA to assist the military authorities in the repatriation of their nationals and former residents from Germany.
Since UNRRA will conduct no substantial operations in western Europe and since there is need for assistance to stateless persons in this area, it seems essential that the IGC be given funds promptly to begin to assist such persons as fall within its mandate. This plan is administratively practicable and the IGC would from the beginning concern itself with non-repatriables until their resettlement.
In the EAC17 directive on displaced persons, approved by the State, War and Navy Departments,18 it is provided that the EAC shall determine the manner in which both UNRRA and the IGC are to assist the occupying powers in caring for all categories of displaced persons in Germany. SHAEF has already invited the IGC to provide a Liaison Officer at SHAEF headquarters to plan the implementation of its responsibilities during the period of hostilities.
Your approval of the foregoing argument is requested.19
  1. European Advisory Commission, set up by the Moscow Conference of the Foreign Ministers of the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States (October 18–November 1, 1943) for the purpose of examining questions arising as the European war developed and to make joint recommendations to the three Governments; for documentation on U.S. participation in the European Advisory Commission, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  2. EAC Directive (45)39 was approved by the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee on March 26, 1945; for text, see section III of annex to memorandum by the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee, March 24, 1945, ibid., p. 474. The directive was circulated on April 17, 1945.
  3. In a letter to the Bureau of the Budget, April 21, 1945, Mr. Acheson expressed his approval of the above outlined statements (840.48 Refugees/4–1745).