Provisional Summary Record of the Two Hundred and Fifty-eighth Meeting Held at Lake Success, New York, on Wednesday, 9 November 1949, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. Carlos E. STOLK Venezuela
Rapporteur: Mr. Frantisek VRBA Czechoslovakia
Any corrections to this record should be submitted in triplicate in one of the working languages (English, French or Spanish), within two working days, to the Director, Official Records Division, Room F-520, Lake Success. Corrections should bear the appropriate symbol number and be enclosed in an envelope marked "URGENT". Corrections can be dealt with more speedily if delegations will be good enough to incorporate them in a mimeographed copy of the record.
REFUGEES AND STATELESS PERSONS: QUESTIONS PROPOSED BY THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (A/971, A/1,059, A/C.3/527, A/C.3/527/Corr.1, A/C.3/528, A/C.3/529) (continued)
1. Mr. VALENZUELA (Chile) congratulated the French delegation on its draft resolution (A/C.3/529). Subject to certain points of detail, already raised by the representative of Brazil, he would vote for it.
2. In his opinion, the question before the Committee should be studied in the light of historical precedent and of the international conventions on the transfer of populations concluded in the past.
3. In that matter four different periods must be distinguished. The first had begun in 1817, when England had concluded an agreement with Turkey on the population of the town of Marga, and had ended on the eve of the First World War. During that period various international conventions of the kind had affected the fate of 98,957 persons. During the second period, which had begun after the First World War and lasted until 1 December 1938, 671,028 persons had been expelled from their countries or repatriated against their will. The third period covered the Second World War. Between September 1939 and December 1942 the fate of 930,000 persons had been affected. The last period, through which the world was still passing, was under study by the Committee.
4. States which carried out transfers of population were motivated either by a desire to get rid of an ethnic minority or by a desire to increase their human potential by repatriating groups which they considered to be related to their population. The expulsion of the Greek minority from Asia Minor in 1933, and the transfer of the German-speaking population of the Italian Tyrol in 1939, were illustrations of the first tendency. The Convention between Romania and Turkey of 4 November 1946, and a series of agreements between Germany and the USSR during the first phase of the last war, were examples of the second tendency.
5. The series of agreements concluded between Germany and the USSR deserved to be studied because it threw a singular light on the conception of forced repatriation current in totalitarian countries.
6. After partitioning Poland, the Third Reich and the USSR had signed an agreement on 16 November 1939 involving the transfer to Germany of the inhabitants of Volhynia, Galicia and Narew who were of German ethnic origin. The two contracting parties had undertaken to carry out the transfer "in the friendly spirit which characterizes present relations between Germany and the USSR." Under the agreement in question, any Polish citizen of German ethnic origin was to be transferred to the Reich accompanied by his wife, children, parents and minors dependent on him as well as by any person who, without forming part of his family, lived under the same roof. Obviously, a number of persons who did not have a drop of German blood had been forced to leave the country under that agreement.
7. On 28 June 1940, Romania had been obliged to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the USSR. On 5 September of the same year the USSR Government had signed an agreement with Germany providing for the transfer to Germany of those inhabitants of the two provinces in question who were of German ethnic origin. That agreement had contained the following two innovations: (1) the list of persons subject to transfer were no longer drawn up jointly by the representatives of the two contracting parties, as had been done in the case of the inhabitants of the Polish territories occupied by the USSR, but by the German authorities alone; (2) In Romania any woman of German origin was liable to transfer to Germany with her husband, even when the latter was not of the same ethnic origin.
8. After the occupation of the Baltic countries, the USSR and Germany had signed an agreement on 10 June 1941 at Kaunas and another at Riga on transfers of population affecting the countries in question. Under those agreements, 50,904 Lithuanians of German origin and 16,244 inhabitants of the two other Baltic countries had been transferred to the Reich, and 12,000 Lithuanians and 9,000 Russians living in the territories of Memel and Suwalki had been transferred to the territories which had been placed under the authority of the USSR. At the same time the German and USSR plenipotentiaries had signed an agreement on 10 January 1941 at Moscow by which the Soviet Union paid Germany a sum of 200,000,000 Reichsmarks, representing the exchange value of the property of the persons who had left the Baltic countries, and Germany paid the USSR 50,000,000 Reichsmarks for the property of the persons who had been evacuated to USSR territory.
9. The Soviet Union had thus complacently reached an understanding with the leaders of Nazi Germany in order to decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of human beings by a single stroke of the pen. In the face of the will of an all-powerful State, the rights of the individual had no longer counted for anything.
10. Mr. Valenzuela had been a member of his country's diplomatic mission in Moscow and had therefore had the opportunity to see the fate of the Spanish children detained in the USSR. General Franco was not interested in those children. Their parents, Spanish Republicans living in Latin America, had requested the USSR authorities to let the children come to them in Chile, Colombia, or the other countries which had granted them entry visas. They had not received any reply. Two Spaniards who had tried to leave the USSR secretly with the assistance of the diplomatic representatives of a Latin-American country had been caught in the act and arrested; nothing further was known of their fate.
11. The Polish children in Canada could be interviewed by any person who wished to find out their true feelings. The same could not be said of the Spanish children detained in the USSR, who were deprived of all contact with their families and with Spanish culture.
12. The behaviour of the USSR towards them and towards the persons who had been forcibly transferred to Germany during the war should enlighten the Committee as to what the representatives of that country and the other countries of Eastern Europe meant when they spoke of the repatriation of displaced persons.
13. Mr. BOKHARI (Pakistan) praised the French draft resolution, and also congratulated Mrs. Roosevelt for her clear and lucid statement during the previous meeting, which had placed the problem in its proper light.
14 . There were, however, a few questions which should be clarified before a definitive decision on the problem of refugees and stateless persons was taken.
15. Mrs. Roosevelt had said that the task of the IRO was to repatriate and resettle displaced persons, to ensure their maintenance and to give them the necessary legal protection. According to Mrs. Roosevelt, the IRO had already successfully fulfilled three of those tasks; the majority of displaced person had been repatriated or resettled and only the question of legal protection remained to be solved. If that were so, why could the IRO not complete that last task, which was relatively simple? Why should it be entrusted at that time to the United Nations? Such a change in procedure might entail supplementary expenses for the Members of the Organization which did not belong to the IRO and the Committee should decide whether or not that was justified.
16. Secondly, if it were agreed that the United Nations itself should assume the functions of the IRO, the duration of that arrangement should be specified. Neither the representative of France nor Mrs. Roosevelt had indicated the duration of the new international organization for refugees. That was incompatible with the assertion that the essential part of the question of refugees had already been settled.
17. Thirdly, it was not certain that the problem of the material assistance to be given to the persons concerned had already been solved. It was apparent from the Secretary-General's report that approximately 20,000 refugees in Germany and Austria would have to be hospitalized for an indefinite length of time and it would therefore be necessary to ensure their maintenance.
18. Fourthly, if it was decided to establish an organ to ensure the maintenance of refugees, financed by the United Nations, the definition of the term "refugee" should be revised, as the French representative had suggested. As defined in the Constitution of the IRO, that term only applied to victims of events which had occurred during the Second World War in Europe. After the end of hostilities, however, other events had taken place in other parts of the world. If the United Nations was to be entrusted with that problem, it should consider it on a world-wide basis. For example, a year and a half earlier, Pakistan had been compelled to receive from 6 to 7 million refugees coming from various parts of India. More recently it had had to give asylum to 500,000 or 600,000 fugitives from Kashmir.
19. In conclusion, Mr. Bokhari hoped either that representatives who proposed to offer draft resolutions on the question would take the points he had just raised into account, or that the representative of France himself would agree to amend his draft. He was not submitting a draft resolution himself because his country was not a member of the IRO. But he assured the Committee that Pakistan would be happy to collaborate in any satisfactory solution of the problem.
20. Mr. KATZNELSON (Israel) said it was not surprising that France should have discovered in its humanitarian tradition the inspiration for the draft resolution it had presented to the Committee. The Israel delegation supported the following proposals, contained in the draft in question and in the report of the Secretary-General (A/C.3/527):
21. A) "The creation of a High Commissioner's Office under United Nations control to deal with the problem of refugees after the IRO ceases its operations shall be decided upon at the present session of the General Assembly."
22. b) "The definition of refugees entitled to the protection and assistance of the new service shall be at least for the time being in accordance with the existing rules of the Constitution of the IRO."
23. c) "The problem of material assistance to certain categories of refugees shall be considered at the fifth Session of the General Assembly in the light of the results achieved by IRO during the coming operational year."
24. d) "In order to secure the closest co-operation with the governments concerned and with a view to bringing non-Member States interested in the refugee problem into association with the work of the United Nations for refugees and stateless persons, an intergovernmental Advisory Council shall be attached to the High Commissioner's Office."
25. The representative of Israel pointed out that the problem of refugees was not new. History had recorded many examples of mass migrations and deportations as a result of wars, revolutions, and racial, religious or political persecutions.
26 Few generations, however, had had so many occasions as the present generation to witness so many tragic happenings of the kind, from the First World War and the Civil War in Russia to the appearance of Nazism, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. All those upheavals had dispersed throughout Europe and Asia innumerable masses of human beings uprooted from their homes. For the first time in history, however, mankind had recognized the international scope of the problem of refugees, as was indicated by the creation of the High Commissioner's Office which the great explorer and philanthropist Fridtjof Nansen had directed under the auspices of the League of Nations.
27. The history of the Jewish people had been marked by a whole series of forced migrations. It had been given to the present generation to recognize that the special problem of that people without a country was also international in scope. The creation of the Jewish Nations Home in Palestine had been a great step towards the solution of the problem. In spite of the restrictions on immigration, Palestine under the Mandate had been able to absorb some 400,000 Jews fleeing the persecution or discriminatory measures imposed by many countries. After it was established the State of Israel had opened its doors to 310,000 new immigrants of whom a hundred thousand had come from displaced persons' camps in Europe.
28. The people of Israel were grateful to the IRO, which had defrayed the cost of the maintenance of those immigrants and of their transportation to Israel.
29. The refugee problem was too complex for it to be said with reason that repatriation was the only solution. There was no single solution which would fit all categories of refugees. It would be as useless as it would be unjust to attempt to repatriate European Jews to the countries where they had experienced the evils of racial and religious persecution instead of allowing them freely to go to the country on which they had fixed all their hopes and which extended them a hearty welcome. In the circumstances it could be said that the resettlement of the Jews in Israel was the true repatriation of men who had finally found the promised land. It would not occur to anyone, moreover, to force the Armenians who had entered the USSR of their own free will to return to Turkey, whence they had fled at the time of the Ottoman persecutions. The Spanish Republicans were another example of refugees whom it would be inhuman to force to return to a country whose regime they detested.
30. The large majority of refugees in need of international protection was composed of those very persons who refused to return to their country of origin for considerations of a similar nature.
31 After the cessation of the IRO's work, the experience acquired by that organization could serve as a guide to the high commissioner. The Israel delegation particularly hoped that assistance would be granted refugees in accordance with the rules of the Constitution of the IRO, so as to avoid permitting quislings and war criminals to benefit from unmerited protection.
32. The Israel representative drew the Committee's attention to the case of approximately 150,000 refugees whom it had been impossible to resettle because they did not fulfil the requirements of age, health or occupation laid down by countries to which they wished to emigrate. In that connexion, he quoted the example of his own country, which had recently concluded an agreement with the IRO on the immigration of all Jews in that category of refugees. under that agreement the General Council of the IRO had voted a credit of 2,500,000 dollars for the transportation of 1,600 persons with their dependents, that is to say, a total of 3,000. As Mr. Kingsley, Director-General of the IRO, had said, on that occasion, "No Jewish refugee ever has been found too sick, too poor or too helpless for admission and a warm welcome by Israel."
33. It was to be hoped that, with the goodwill of all, it would be possible to end the suffering of all refugees in that category.
34. Mr. DEMCHENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) recalled that the refugee problem had arisen after the Second World War, and that it was still unsolved in spite of the fact that hostilities had ended four and a half years before. Hundreds of thousands of refugees, among them 100,000 Ukrainians, were still in displaced persons' camps in Germany and Western Austria.
35. There was no doubt that the United Kingdom, the United States and French Governments, which had violated their agreements on repatriation with the USSR and the relevant resolution of the General Assembly, were to blame for that abnormal situation. Far from encouraging repatriation, those countries had introduced a whole system of measures to prevent the persons concerned from returning to their countries of origin.
36. The Allied authorities had put refugee and displaced persons' camps in charge of war criminal and quislings, who carried on fanatical propaganda against repatriation. United Kingdom, United States and French representatives had not denied the facts which had been quoted on that matter.
37. Secondly, the authorities of the three countries had allowed all sorts of committees and organizations to be set up in the camps and to engage in a slanderous campaign against the countries of origin of the displaced persons. Moreover, the leaders of displaced persons' camps and organizations acted on the instructions of the three Governments.
38. Thirdly, the United Kingdom, United States and French occupation authorities did all in their power to prevent USSR repatriation officers making contact with the refugees. On the rare occasions when such officers were given permission to enter the camps, they were allowed to speak only to groups of quislings and traitors carefully selected for that purpose, while honest refugees were absent, as if by accident.
39. Finally, pamphlets and newspapers informing refugees of the true situation in their countries were systematically destroyed by the authorities instead of being distributed to the persons concerned as required by the General Assembly resolution.
40. It was vain for the United Kingdom representative to say that his country's authorities had difficulty in persuading refugees to return to their homes; in actual fact, British military authorities were not making the slightest effort to achieve that end. In that connexion Mr. Demchenko quoted the testimony of a certain Martinenko who had escaped from the Hanover camp and who had stated that the British authorities in that camp resorted to falsification and even terror in order to prevent the repatriation of refugees in their charge. Another Ukrainian, by the name of Panchenko, camp leader at Lade, had related the following incident which had occurred in 1947: on the arrival of a USSR repatriation mission at the assembly centre in Meuden, a British Major Campbell, who was in charge of displaced persons, had called together the leaders of the six camps in the area and had instructed them to tell the USSR officers that neither they nor their men wished to return home because they disapproved of the political regime in their country. He had told them also to distribute Ukrainian newspapers to the Balts, and Baltic newspapers to the Ukrainians, so as to prevent displaced persons finding out what the true situation was in their countries. Furthermore, he had advised them to destroy the papers as soon as they arrived in the camps. Finally, he had instructed them to keep under observation all those who wished to speak to the USSR officers so that steps could be taken against them.
41. Mrs. Castle had accused the USSR representatives of quoting only individual cases. The last example showed that it was not a matter of isolated cases, but of a prevailing policy.
42. The countries which sabotaged repatriation had invariably opposed the USSR proposals to admit USSR officers to the camps, to forbid all propaganda against repatriation, to disband existing committees and organizations in displaced persons' camps, to stop recruiting displaced persons into military and semi-military formations and, finally, freely to circulate information from the countries of origin of the refugees.
43. Why had those countries done that? It was primarily because they were preparing for war and hoped to use those refugees for their own political and military ends. Moreover, and that too was an important argument, they needed a reserve of cheap labour.
" In support of his argument, a notice published on 28 August 1949 in the Ukrainian newspaper Resurrection in Munich inviting Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic refugees under the age of 44 to volunteer for service and transportation units of the United States Army. The notice stated that refugees might volunteer for a period of from one to six years. Mr. Demchenko also stated that, in the Western Zones of Germany and Austria, there were dozens of camps where quislings and war criminals were maintained at the expense of the IRO. Although the existence of such camps was kept secret, it was known that those in them were given an intensive military training. Camps of the kind existed at Pforzheim, Munich, Diggendorf and Asten in the American Zones of Germany and Austria, and at Hanover, Pathorn and other places, in the British Zone. The Ukrainians there were mostly ex-members of the SS "Galizien" Division, which had committed the worst atrocities in the Ukraine.
He further stated that many fascist agents, fugitives from justice in their own countries, had been given refuge by the Allied occupation authorities and granted the status of displaced persons. Among them, he named the Ukrainian nationalist leaders Bandura and Melnik, who had been in the service of the Nazi Government and who were now exercising their authority over some Ukrainian camps in Germany under the auspices of the Allied intelligence services.
47. That was the primary aim of the Western Powers. As already pointed out, the second was that of using refugees as cheap manpower. A good deal had been said about the humanitarian character of the IRO. Nevertheless, instead of helping the old and infirm as it ought to have done, that organization had made the export of strong and healthy workers its first concern. As early as May 1948, the Director-General of the IRO had himself admitted that the refugees were considered as merchandise and that immigration countries would accept only strong and healthy workers, while the sick were condemned to poverty. At the moment, there were still 150,000 whom no country would accept. All that showed that the United Kingdom, the United States and France had transformed the IRO into a slave-trading agency.
48. After having withdrawn from the refugee camps all the manpower which could be of use to them, those countries were proposing to lay the responsibility for caring for the sick on the United Nations Organization.
49. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic had refused to join the IRO for the reasons stated above, and could not accept the new proposal either.
50. The French draft resolution would perpetuate the refugee problem, render the General Assembly's decisions on repatriation void, and throw the responsibilities and financial burdens assumed by the IRO, the United Kingdom, the United States and France back on the United Nations. Further, it laid it down that the General Assembly should again take up the question of providing funds for the help of refugees at its fifth session. The implication was that the United Nations would be obliged to make itself responsible for maintaining persons who were collaborating with the intelligence services of the countries in question. That was clearly the idea behind the French proposal to apply the term "refugee" to all those who voluntarily renounced their nationality.
51. The Ukrainian delegation therefore opposed the draft resolution and maintained that the only means of settling the refugee problem was to invite all the governments concerned to abide by the resolution on repatriation adopted by the General Assembly in 1946.
52. In conclusion, Mr. Demchenko wished to reply briefly to the representative of Chile.
53. He was amazed to learn that a Chilean diplomat in Moscow should have had to concern himself with Spanish children, and deduced that, if Mr. Malenzuela had kept an eye on Spanish anti-fascists, he could only have done so on the instructions of the Franco Government.
54. Speaking of the repatriation agreements to which Mr. Valenzuela had referred, Mr. Demchenko stated that repatriation could only be carried out on the basis of bilateral agreements, and that the agreements in question were of just such a nature. No one had ever been repatriated against his will.
55. Referring to the attempt made by two Spaniards to escape from the Soviet Union in the Chilean diplomatic bag, Mr. Demchenko expressed his surprise that diplomatic representatives of Chile should have lent themselves to an episode of the kind.
56. To sum up, he thought that a country such as Chile, where progressive organizations had been dissolved, where strikes were illegal, and where troops were used against the workers, was hardly in a position to take up the defence of human rights.
57. Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) reserved the right to reply later to the various delegations which had requested explanations of the precise scope of the draft resolution submitted by his delegation. Although he did not intend to begin a polemical discussion, he felt it his duty to protest very strongly against certain assertions made during the debate with regard to an alleged sabotage of the repatriation policy by the Allied Governments and the IRO, as well as with regard to the humanitarian nature of the French draft.
58. He wished to give some specific explanations of the manner in which the French occupation authorities had dealt with the problem of the repatriation of refugees. It had been alleged that France had refused repatriation missions access to camps for displaced person. But a USSR repatriation mission had existed in the French Zone of Austria since August 1945. That mission had been headed successively by five chiefs, and had a large staff. Its officers moved about freely and had paid 147 and 137 visits respectively to the two principal camps in the French Zone. To obtain authorization to visit a camp, they merely had to give twenty-four hours' notice. A French officer accompanied members of the mission on their visits.
59. The French administration organized many cinema shows in the camps at its own expenses, and newsreels and films from the USSR were shown. Similar performances were arranged for the displaced persons living in the camps. Radio Innsbrück broadcast a programme for displaced persons on Saturday mornings which contained appeals in favour of repatriation. Unfortunately, the broadcasts had often had to be cut because of the attacks against the authorities of the neighbouring occupation zones in the appeals.
60. USSR newspapers were distributed regularly in the camps for displaced persons. Five daily newspapers and over ten reviews were circulated. Preliminary censorship was practically impossible, owing to the large number of those publications. Nevertheless, certain remarks had had to be made, in view of the violent criticism of the French and Allied Governments in some articles.
61. Furthermore, announcements were published regularly in the newspapers of the occupation zone. All announcements made by the USSR mission were duly inserted.
62. With regard to repatriation properly so-called, all displaced persons who had expressed the wish to return to the USSR had been dispatched within three days at most, after the USSR mission had given its consent. 1,278 persons had been repatriated in that manner since August 1945.
63. In 1946 and 1947 all displaced persons in the French Zone, whether they were Russians, Ukrainian, Poles or Balts, had appeared before a joint Franco-Soviet Commission instructed to determine their precise nationality and to persuade them to return to their countries of origin. In May 1948, another Commission, in which the USSR mission had refused to participate, had re-investigated the cases of 409 persons who had refused to leave. All, with one exception, had reiterated their refusal to be repatriated.
64. Since 1 January 1949, the USSR mission had intensified its activities, with increasingly poor results. After 130 visits had been paid to the French camps in Austria, 19 persons had agreed to return to their countries. The camps in the zone still contained 151 USSR citizens and 53 "Volksdeutsche" from the USSR, who had submitted written refusals to return to that country. Furthermore, there were 2,460 Ukrainians and Poles and 574 Balts, whom the USSR considered as its own nationals, but who also refused to leave.
65. In view of those explanations, it was difficult to speak of sabotage.
66. He himself would also like to ask a few questions of those who questioned the good faith and humanitarian feelings of his country. In particular, he wished to know what principles should guide France in her treatment of the Spanish Republicans, large numbers of whom she had received and continued to receive in her territory. Was the French Government to turn back at the frontier those refugees who, nevertheless, enjoyed the protection of the IRO? What political principles was France following in offering them refuge in its territory? The motive was certainly not that of training subversive reactionary brigades.
67. France had been accused of placing the problem on a non-humanitarian plane. France's whole traditional policy towards refugees was proof to the contrary. Between 1920 and 1930, France had received 270,000 refugees, 3,000 of whom had had to be hospitalized and 10,000 to be cared for at home. Since 1933, it had opened its doors to 31,000 Israelites and political refugees from Germany and Austria, and in 1937 to 250,000 Spanish Republicans, 50,000 of whom had remained in its territory. The two-month sojourn of 200,000 Spaniards had cost the French Government 5 milliard francs. The maintenance of the sick and wounded among the 50,000 others had amounted to 45 milliard francs in the three years between 1937 and 1940. France had spent 62 milliard francs between 1920 and 1940 on the maintenance of refugees unable to work. By the end of the 1947, 300,000 refugees, including 9,000 unable to work, remained in France. The maintenance of that 9,000 cost 12 milliard francs over five years. Since March 1945, France had welcomed fresh contingents of refugees, the cost of whose maintenance amounted to approximately 14 milliard francs. The total expenditure on the assistance given by the French Government to refugees between 1920 and 1949 had amounted to 100 milliard francs - a great part of which was not in devalued francs - or an average of 4 milliard francs per year over a period of twenty-five years.
68. Mr. Rochefort regretted that he had been obliged to go into such grim detail. But that had been necessary in order to prove that France considered the problem of refugees only from a humanitarian point of view and would not allow itself to be guided by considerations of politics or profit. If the contrary had been the case, the French delegation would certainly not have taken the initiative in submitting a draft resolution for the establishment of international control.
69. Mrs. ROOSEVELT (United States of America) recalled that she had participated in the Committee's work since its first session. She therefor felt that she could speak with authority on the problem of refugees, with which the General Assembly had been dealing for a long time, and that she was entitled to correct the meaning that certain delegation were now attributing to the resolution on the refugee question adopted by the General Assembly on 12 February 1946. Although that resolution provided that "the main task concerning displaced persons is to encourage and assist in every way possible their early return to their countries of origin", it was none the less true that the United Nations had also accepted the frequently reiterated principle that no one should be repatriated against his will; and neither Mr. Arutiunian in the Third Committee nor Mr. Vyshinsky in the General Assembly had questioned it.
70. It had been alleged during the debate that only traitors and Quislings were refusing repatriation. She wished to refute that assertion. During the upheavals of the war and the post-war period, territories had changed masters and ideologies, and it was, therefore, easy to understand that certain persons might hesitate to return to a country that was no longer ruled by the governments which they considered to be their own. That state of affairs had to be taken into consideration.
71. She regretted that the debate had assumed a tone that was not likely to create the atmosphere necessary to a fruitful discussion. In particular she deplored the Ukrainian representative's statement. He had made remarks which would justify the preparations for war he had unnecessarily denounced, but to which provocations such as his might finally give rise. She gave the Ukrainian representative formal assurance that her country was not preparing, and had no intention of preparing, for an aggressive war against any country whatsoever.
72. On behalf of her people, which she knew thoroughly, she stated that they in no way lagged behind the people of the USSR in their wish for peace and in their desire to alleviate human suffering.
73. She considered the allegation that the United States was trying to procure slave labour to be ridiculous. In that connexion, she pointed out that the difficulties confronting the United States Government with regard to the refugee question arose out of the fact that there was no place for cheap labour in the United Sates. Any one who made such fantastic accusations could only be motivated by a feeling of fear. On the other hand, those who had faith in democracy and respected its fundamental principles had no reason to fear either the impact of ideas or the power of others. As the American people were secure in that knowledge and were profoundly peace-loving, it would indeed require much provocation to lead them to force their Government to alter its policy of peace.
74. Furthermore, she did not see how it could be said that the International Refugee Organization had been established in order to promote slave traffic. Such an assertion did no credit to its author and could not fail to discourage goodwill.
75. She appealed to members of the Committee to refrain once and for all from stressing their political differences and to devote their efforts primarily to solving the question before them solely in the interests of the refugees. She hoped that the Committee would thenceforward conduct the debate in an atmosphere of harmonious co-operation.
The meeting rose at 5.30 p.m.