Following the receipt of information from various
sources regarding the distressing situation of the Jewish victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution in Europe, I wrote
to Mr. Attlee on August 31 bringing to his attention the suggestion
in a report of Mr. Earl G. Harrison that the granting of an additional 100,000 certificates
for the immigration of Jews into Palestine would alleviate the situation. A copy of my letter to Mr. Attlee is
being made available to the press. I continue to adhere to the views
expressed in that letter.
I was advised by the British Government that because
of conditions in Palestine it was not in a position to adopt the policy
recommended, but that it was deeply concerned with the situation of
the Jews in Europe. During the course of subsequent discussions between
the two Governments, it suggested the establishment of a joint Anglo-American
Committee of Inquiry, under a rotating chairmanship, to examine the
whole question and to make a further review of the Palestine problem
in the light of that examination and other relevant considerations.
In view of our intense interest in this matter and
of our belief that such a committee will be of aid in finding a solution
which will be both humane and just, we have acceded to the British suggestion.
The terms of reference of this committee as agreed
upon between the two Governments are as follows:
1. To examine political, economic and social conditions
in Palestine as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and
settlement therein and the well-being of the peoples now living therein.
2. To examine the position of the Jews in those countries
in Europe where they have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution,
and the practical measures taken or contemplated to be taken in those
countries to enable them to live free from discrimination and oppression
and to make estimates of those who wish or will be impelled by their
conditions to migrate to Palestine or other countries outside Europe.
3. To hear the views of competent witnesses and to
consult representative Arabs and Jews on the problems of Palestine as
such problems are affected by conditions subject to examination under
paragraphs 1 and 2 above and by other relevant facts and circumstances,
and to make recommendations to His Majesty's Government and the Government
of the United States for ad interim handling of these problems as well
as for their permanent solution.
4. To make such other recommendations to His Majesty's
Government and the Government of the United States as may be necessary
to meet the immediate needs arising from conditions subject to examination
under paragraph 2 above, by remedial action in the European countries
in question or by the provision of facilities for emigration to and
settlement in countries outside Europe.
It will be observed that among the important duties
of this committee will be the task of examining conditions in Palestine
as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration. The establishment
of this Committee will make possible a prompt review of the unfortunate
plight of the Jews in those countries in Europe where they have been
subjected to persecution, and a prompt examination of questions related
to the rate of current immigration into Palestine and the absorptive
capacity of the country.
The situation faced by displaced Jews in Europe during
the coming winter allows no delay in this matter. I hope the Committee
will be able to accomplish its important task with the greatest speed.