Jews seen debarking voluntarily
Stars and Stripes September 7, 1947
HAMBURG Sept. 6 — A British spokesman expressed confidence tonight that the Exodus 1947 Jewish refugees would disembark without incident in this port tomorrow morning.
He said conversations at the Baltic seaport of Cuxhaven with the commander of the British convoy shepherding the refugees indicated there was "a reasonable chance" they would land quietly — "without loss of life or limb to anyone."
This statement came as the British made last minute preparations to receive the 4,400 Jews in two camps near Lubeck, and drastically curtailed press coverage of the disembarkation.
All photographers were barred from the docks. Five newsmen selected to board the three refugee vessels at Cuxhaven as representatives of the world press had this privilege revoked after it had been approved, and correspondents were told they would be allowed on the docks only after the disembarkation had begun.
The first ship, the Ocean Vigour, is due to dock at 5 a.m. but newsmen will not be admitted to the port until 7 a.m.
Even this belated entry might be postponed or canceled if there is disorder threatening the newspapermens' safety, Col. J. A. Lamont told a press conference.
Lamont said these rules would be enforced because the refugees "give every indication they will come ashore without disorder if there is no loss of publicity value to their cause."
Lamont, British chief of public relations, expressed the opinion the presence of photographers at any time and newsmen at the beginning of the disembarkation would excite the refugees.
He said that when the Ocean Vigour docked, only soldiers working as dock hands would be present, and the refugees would see no display of interest from the shore. He said they would be invited to disembark by their own convoy commanders and not by shore commanders.
He said if this invitation was mot accepted "some degree of force" would be used.
Lamont said press restrictions would be reconsidered after the Ocean Vigour's landing. It was believed here that if tomorrow's landing is orderly, the restrictions would be lifted for the arrival of the Empire Valour Tuesday morning and the Runnymede Park Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.