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Great Britian & the Holocaust: Newspapers Applaud Rejection of Call for Admission of Refugees

(March 1938)

The following are excerpts from various British newspapers applauding the House of Commons' rejection of the motion filed by Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, MP, calling for the wholesale admission and naturalization of refugees from mainland Europe.

The Scotsman (March 23, 1938)

“…The policy of the fully open door is not practicable, and it is important that oppressed minorities should not assume that admission into this country is to be offered to all and sundry… The problem has an international character, and it is clearly impossible for this country alone to provide the necessary refuge."

Daily Telegraph (March 23, 1938)

“[The Government is] bound to qualify sympathy with practical and prudential considerations…”

Daily Mail (March 23, 1938)

“To be ruled by the misguided sentimentalism of those who think with Colonel Wedgwood would be disastrous… once it was known that Britain offered sanctuary to all who cared to come, the floodgates would be opened, and we should be inundated by thousands seeking a home…”

Daily Express (March 24, 1938)

"Shall All Come In?

We need to ask, for there is a powerful agitation here to admit all Jewish refugees without question or discrimination. It would be unwise to overload the basket like that. It would stir up the elements here that fatten on anti-Semitic propaganda. They would point to the fresh tide of foreigners, almost all belonging to the extreme Left. They would ask: What if Poland, Hungary, Rumania also expel their Jewish citizens? Must we admit them too? Because we DON'T want anti-Jewish uproar we DO need to show common sense in not admitting all applicants."

Sources: A.J. Sherman, "Island Refuge: Britain and Refugees from the Third Reich 1933-1939," Elek Books, 1973, pp. 94-95; Yad Vashem