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Problem of National Minorities in Latvia Becomes Acute

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The problem of the National Minorities in Latvia became more acute with the coming into power of the new government which was formed by the parties of the Right.

No mention is made, in the statement of the new government to parliament, of the National Minorities in the Republic.

Deputy Professor Lasersohn, representing the Zeirei Zion and Rabbi Nurok, representing the Mizrachi, declared their opposition to the Government. Deputy Dubin, representing the Agudas Israel refrained from making any statement on the matter.

The problem of the National Minorities in Latvia has recently become graver in view of the ordinance issued by the government that on new passports issued to citizens, the nationality of the bearer must be given. His own statement is not considered sufficient; it must be supported by two witnesses belonging to another nationality.

The situation in the Latvian parliament, consisting of one hundred members, is such that the Right and the Left parties are equally divided and the fifteen representatives of the National Minorities, six of whom are Jewish, play the part of the fulcrum during the voting. Recently, Deputy Wirzbicki, representing the Polish National Minority in Latvia was charged with treason on account of his activities with regard to the rights of the Polish minority.

The question of the National Minorities in Latvia was a subject of discussion before the Council of the League of Nations in July 1923, but it was removed from the agenda in view of the fact that Latvia did not sign the International Minority treaty and her adherence to the principle of National Minority rights was voluntary.

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