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Source: Secretary-General
24 July 1947
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

Press Release PAL/76
24 July 1947


The Secretary-General has received replies to his letter of 29 May 1947 from ten more governments regarding illegal immigration of Jews into Palestine containing the following remarks.

Argentine - "The Argentine Government wishes to state, in this connection, that they have never interfered with the internal problems of Palestine, maintaining vis-a-vis this arduous problem a policy of absolute precision."

Australia - "I have been instructed to inform you that the Australian Government grants facilities for travel to Palestine only in cases where it is clear that applicants are eligible to enter that country in accordance with Palestinian immigration regulations. In cases of doubt it is the invariable rule to make prior reference to the Commissioner for Immigration in Jerusalem and to withhold the granting of passport facilities unless and until advice is received from that official that an intended traveller will be permitted to land."

Belgium - "The only means at the disposal of the Belgian Government to prevent this illegal Jewish immigration are the following:

"1. Any foreigner, in order to embark from a Belgian port or airport, must possess necessary papers, namely a valid passport with a transit visa or a Belgian exit permit, as well as a visa for the country of destination.

"Embarkments are only authorized in ports and airports where there are customs, that is those furnished with establishments for the control of identification papers.

"2. Transit visa is only given to persons who have in their possession a valid passport, with a duly issued visa for the country of their destination.

"3. Likewise, exit permit from Belgium is only given on the same conditions stated in 2. above.

"4. A most rigid control is exercised on the frontier to prevent, in general, any secret exit from Belgium."

France - "The French Government, during the last few months has undertaken an exchange of views with the British Government on the subject of Jewish immigration and on the measures of control that have been taken by the French authorities."

Greece - "It will be noted that Monsieur Tsaldaris refers to various legislative and administrative measures which are already in force in Greece or which have been submitted to Parliament for approval, and I should be glad to supply you with fuller particulars, if these are desired."

Honduras - "My Government has taken note of the contents of the letter submitted by the British Representative and in this respect, I can inform His Excellency that through the efforts of the British Minister at Honduras, this Government has already addressed the Consul from Honduras in New York various times, advising him to cancel the rights of ships flying the Flag of Honduras throughout the zone between Marseilles and Palestine or which might be engaged in the illegal traffic of Jewish immigrants.

"In this respect, our Ministry confirmed this decision to the British Minister by Note No. 3393 of 8 May 1947, as follows:

"This Government does not object to the interception in high seas by the British authorities of any vessel which is suspected of carrying an illegal traffic of Jewish immigrants and if such vessel is guilty on this ground, its rights would be automatically cancelled. This applies to all ships registered under the Government of Honduras."

New Zealand - "The New Zealand Government already fulfils the request made by the United Kingdom Government. All applications for travel to the Middle East are subjected to particularly careful scrutiny, and no persons, except Palestinian Citizens holding valid passports, have been granted travel facilities without reference to the Department of Migration in Palestine. In addition, no person is permitted to leave New Zealand unless he is in possession of a valid exit permit."

Union of South Africa - "The Government of the Union of South Africa has instructed that we advise you that all stops possible will be taken to avoid illegal emigration from South Africa into Palestine."

Venezuela - "I wish to express my sincere thanks for this information which I have submitted to my Government in order to pursue the strictest vigilance on the transit and exit of Jews."

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(Note: For previous replies, see Press Releases PAL/62, PAL/53, PAL/46, PAL/39.)

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