Montreal (Dec. 17)
(By Our Montreal Correspondent, A. Rhinewine)
The settling of the misunderstandings between the Jewish Immigrant Society of Canada and the Ica, achieved at the meeting here last Sunday of the National Executive of the Jewish Immigrant Society, is of more than ordinary significance. Since the number of Jewish immigrants to the United States has been so tremendously lessened by the quota laws, the importance of Canada as a haven even if only for a limited number of Jewish immigrants each year has risen proportionately, and hence too the establishment of good relations between the two above-named organizations is bound to have far reaching effects.
In fact, the favorable results of the new unity are making themselves felt already. Where hitherto there was separate and often conflicting action by the two organizations there is now cooperation and unity of action, as evidenced in the case of the delegation, with representatives of both bodies, which on Dec. 14, only two days after the understanding had been arrived at, called on the Minister of Immigration, Robert Forke, in Ottawa, and presented a request that the government grant the Jews of this country a new concession for the admission of relatives of Canadian Jews. The delegation, headed by S. W. Jacobs, A. Heaps, Rabbi Isserman and Lyon Cohen, was given a very cordial hearing by the Minister, and there is no doubt that their plea was strengthened by the fact they were united and spoke in the name of all Canadian Jewry.
Aside from this achievement the conference discussed a number of specific problems relating to Jewish immigration. Chief of these perhaps was the question whether Canadian Jewry should rest content with the general immigration laws of the country or whether the situation warrants demanding special concessions for the Jewish immigrants. Thus it was pointed out that the Jewish refugees who are still stranded in various ports constitute a problem that is different from that of other immigrants and a concession in their favor is obviously necessary. P. C. 534 of the present immigration law was also cited. This article permits a Canadian Jew to bring over an unmarried child or brother, but what is to be done about a married child or brother or sister? Or what is one to do if the immigrant relative has not been able to conform entirely with the law which requires that the trip across be direct and uninterrupted, etc.?
All these and other problems were thrashed out and the demands which were later submitted to Minister Forke, were formulated. One cannot say definitely what the outcome will be. It is not likely that the government will consent to the same quota it granted the Jews in 1926, but it is almost assured that certain important concessions will be granted in this respect.