840.48 Refugees/12–2148: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai ( Cabot ) to the Secretary of State

2851. I am increasingly disturbed at difficulties IRO is meeting in trying to remove White Russians, Jewish refugees and other similar persons from Shanghai area. It now appears probable that 1772 Jewish refugees will be taken out on ships to Palestine, thereby somewhat relieving pressure in that sector (total number of Jewish refugees estimated to be 6,000). So far as I am aware nothing has as yet actually been accomplished despite all efforts to remove White Russians from this area, even though they are obviously in greater personal danger than Jewish refugees. Principal stumbling block appears to find an intermediate haven until permanent new homes can be found for these people. Best specific prospects such as Saipan and Argentina now appear definitely blocked.

On other hand, we in Consulate General have been disturbed at prospect of removing to an area under our control or of recommending to other nations reception of thousands of refugees among whom many would doubtless be Communist agents or otherwise undesirable.

We believe that we can largely avoid this difficulty and do at least something to ease this problem by agreeing to take a limited number, say 2500 refugees (Russian, Jewish, Polish, Austrian, Ukranian, Baltic, et cetera), to some nearby area under our control, for example Okinawa or Saipan. We would include among these many persons already processed and approved by the Consulate General and merely waiting quota numbers, White Russian police employed by army which is now unable to do anything for them and such other people as we know to be generally eligible under our immigration laws or are so determined as result of a preliminary screening. We feel that such an offer would place us in a far stronger moral position than we are today vis-à-vis other nations we are asking to help and people in these groups who have some claim on us without on our part running any particular risks whatever might develop.

Should Department view this suggestion favorably, I recommend that it urgently make arrangements for such intermediate refuge with other departments concerned. Would appreciate instructions at earliest practicable moment.

Sent Department, repeated Nanking 2139.