The Problem of Political Refugees


    THE conference which opened at Evian on July 6 to discuss the plight of German and Austrian refugees was watched by a great body of opinion in Great Britain in which scientific workers are well represented. A letter welcoming the initiative of the Government of the United States in this matter which was sent to President Roosevelt on May 31 bore the signatures of many eminent men of science among other leaders of intellectual life. The letter urged that co-operation should make it possible to facilitate the transfer of refugees to those countries where their abilities can find most scope, and to provide funds to enable them to make a fresh start, and urged the British Government to play its part both administratively and financially in the support of the great traditions of liberty, tolerance and humanity which it has in common with the United States. A further letter to the chairman of the conference urged the importance of immediate, constructive and practical decisions alike on religious, humane and economic grounds if the great democracies are to retain their ancient traditions of freedom and the right of asylum.

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    The Problem of Political Refugees. Nature 142, 324 (1938).

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