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Harry Truman Administration: Statement Concerning U.S. Assistance to Palestine Refugees

(December 7, 1948)

THE PRESIDENT, following adoption by the United Nations General Assembly on November 19 of a resolution for assistance to Palestine refugees, will recommend to Congress that the United States contribute 50 percent of the amount provided for in this resolution, but in no case more than a total of $16 million as the share of the United States.

The resolution of the General Assembly, adopted at its 163d Plenary meeting on November 19, 1948, considered that a sum of approximately $29 1/2 million will be required to provide relief for 500,000 refugees for a period of 9 months from December 1, 1948, to August 31, 1949, and that an additional amount of approximately $2 1/2 million will be required for administrative and local operational expenses.

The recommendation of the President to Congress for an amount not to exceed $16 million will be made in the earnest hope that other countries will meet the remainder of the total required.

The American Delegation to the United Nations Assembly has emphasized that in accordance with constitutional requirements the President's recommendation for an appropriation of $16 million for Palestinian refugee relief must be accepted by the Congress before any funds become available. The final decision rests with it. The recommendation will be transmitted to the Congress after it convenes in January.

Sources: Public Papers of the President