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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1938. General
(1938)

Meeting at Evian, France, to form an inter-governmental committee for assistance of political refugees from Germany including Austria,   pp. 740-886 PDF (54.6 MB)


Page 858

858 FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1938, VOLUME I
840.48 Refugees/1071b: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United
Kingdom (Kennedy)
WASHINGTON, December 7, 1938—1 p. in.
 760. For Taylor and Rublee. The President has asked Ambassador Phillips
on his return from leave to take up personally with Mussolini certain aspects
of the refugee problem and endeavor to secure his interest. He would appreciate
your asking Pell to meet Mr. Phillips in Rome on December 22nd for a conference.
His trip, if any question should arise, could be explained by a wish to spend
part of the holidays in Italy.
WELLES
840.48 Refugees/1077a
President Roosevelt to the Chief of the Italian Government
(Mussolini)82
WASHINGTON, December 7, 1938.
 Mr DI~R SIGNOR MUSSOLINI: The decisive action which you took last September,83
which was so powerful a factor in assuring the avoidance of hostilities,
is recognized everywhere as an historic service to the cause of world peace.
The results of your efforts have provided a practical demonstration that
even grave international crises can be resolved by negotiation without resort
to armed force.
 It is with this recollection in mind that I write to you today.
 The problem of finding new homes for the masses of individuals of many faiths
who are no longer permitted to reside freely in their native lands, and are
obliged through force of circumstances to find refuge abroad, is one of immediate
urgency. Both for those governments which desire to bring about the emigration
of such individuals, as well as for those governments whose peoples feel
it their duty and their desire to help so far as they may be able in the
task of resettlement, the problem presented is one of grave complexity. Unless
there is effective international collaboration, the prospect of a successful
solution is not hopeful. And unless a solution based on justice and humanity
can be found, and found promptly, I fear that international relations will
be further embittered, and the cause of peace still further prejudiced.
 I have, of course, given earnest thought to this matter and certain projects
have occurred to me in which the United States could well
 ' ~ Draft copy unsigned. The American Ambassador in Italy delivered the
President's letter personally on January 3, 1939, to the Chief of the Italian
Government.
 "In connection with the Munich Conference; see pp. 566 if.


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