The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Harry S. Truman
Statement by the President Concerning the Transportation of Refugees to the United States.
December 19, 1946

DURING the Christmas season a year ago, on December 22, 1945, I issued a directive to a number of Executive agencies designed to facilitate the immigration of refugees and displaced persons up to the full limit provided by the immigration law. 1

1 See 1945 volume, this series, p. 572.

Up to October 21, 1946, only 4,767 persons were provided for under these arrangements. At the present time, foreseeable sailings in 1946 will provide for only 683 more persons.

These delays have caused a serious situation among displaced persons who hold immigration visas for the United States and are waiting for shipping. At Bremerhaven, for example, 2100 persons, including 177 orphaned children, are crowded into an embarkation center designed to accommodate only transients.

Mindful of the bleak Christmas ahead for these people who have already suffered so much, I have taken up this matter with the Maritime Commission and can hold out hope of early improvement.

The S.S. Ernie Pyle will sail from New York on December 20, and will arrive in Bremerhaven on New Year's Day. The S.S. Marine Marlin will sail from New York on December 27 and will arrive in Bremerhaven on January 6, 1947. The S.S. Marine Flasher will arrive in Bremerhaven on January 8.

In addition, the S.S. Marine Falcon, now in the Pacific, will arrive in Bremerhaven during the latter part of January.

Each of these vessels has facilities to transport approximately 900 passengers. They will be kept in this service until the situation has been fully relieved.

Citation: Harry S. Truman: "Statement by the President Concerning the Transportation of Refugees to the United States.", December 19, 1946. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=12564.
 
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