The Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees was established in the waning hours of the failed 1938 Evian Conference. Its purpose was to contact various governments to explore their willingness to accept European Jewish refugees for settlement. The Philippine Islands, a United States Commonwealth, responded to the committee's inquiry with a proposal to allow ten thousand Jewish refugees to immigrate as agricultural settlers. Negotiations to settle Jewish refugees on the large island of Mindanao progressed over the next three years, but the "Mindanao Plan" ultimately failed because its architects underestimated the extent of local opposition and the complexity of land acquisition in the Philippines. The United States' entry into the war in December 1941 ended all further efforts on the settlement project. This article examines Philippine President Manuel Quezon's key role in this process, as well as the often skeptical positions of U.S. State Department officials and the surprisingly supportive stance of Paul McNutt, the U.S. High Commissioner for the Philippines.


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pp. 410-436
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