London (Jan. 2)
(J. T. A. Mail Service)
The student disturbances in Roumania came up at the Winter Council meeting of the Inter-University Jewish Federation of Great Britain and Ireland which held its session here.
The Foreign Correspondent of the Feceration, Mr. Stone of Oxford University, in reporting on the conditions prevailing at the universities of Poland, Hungary and Roumania during the past six months, said that in Poland the conditions were fairly satisfactory. In September 1927, a report was issued by the Minister of Education which, if loyally carried out, would bring great improvements.
The news from Hungary and Roumania was unfortunately not so satisfactory. A resolution, he said, had been passed by the National Movement of Students that if the treatment meted out to Jewish students were not amended they could not in future maintain relations with the offending students’ body. This went to the Students’ World Conference and was only lost by 11 votes to 10- a great achievement for a first attempt.
At the present time, Mr. Stone said, there is an attitude among the nations which renders the work easier. Each country is influenced by the public opinion in other countries. Moreover there is the League of Nations exercising a strong influence on public opinion. They must use these bodies. They had to move international opinion and for this no period was so suitable as the present. The memorandum presented at Geneva about the anti-Semitic excesses in Roumania had caused a considerable commotion among the Roumanian delegation. The Roumanians (as he ascertained in conversation with a Roumanian non-Jewish student) definitely did not hold that there was anything wrong in maltreating Jews. He trusted that Jewish public bodies in this country would have sufficient public spirit to take action. Stucents could do nothing other than make the facts known and to enlist the sympathy of Jewish bodies. Mr. Stone urged that this meeting of the Inter-University Jewish Federation call upon the Jewish communal organizations to participate actively in the attempt to discover the cause of and the remedies for the present situation in Eastern Europe and that the meeting of the Council of the Inter-University Jewish Federation strongly condemn the anti-Semitic excesses of the students of Roumania and Hungary and go on record in its firm belief that the question of educational rights of minorities can never be solved by restrictions imposed by law upon one section of the community as in Hungary.
Mr. Kahn of Cambridge said that they felt not enough was being done in this matter of Roumania and Hungary.
Julius Neumann, a visitor from Roumania, in congratulating the Federation on its work, said that he thought the motions which Mr. Stone had prepared did not in the circumstances cover the case. Provocations, he said, had been urged by the Roumanian Government in mitigation of the excesses. Provocation could only come from the propaganda carried on by Prof. Cuza and the Awakening Magyars. The Minister of the Interior, M. Duca, had asked Deputy Filderman in Parliament that the Jews should have confidence in the Government. If the Roumanian Jews, Mr. Neumann said, cannot put their trust in the Government, the Jews of England must see to it in any way they can, by protest meetings etc., that Roumania is brought to her senses. The situation, he went on, was really very grave and he advised them to change the motion in accordance with the existing situation. The cause of the trouble in Roumania was the Roumanian Church. The highest dignitary of the Roumanian Church, had declared in the Senate that he would head the Peasants if they attacked the Jews.
The Chairman, Mr. Harris, said it was suggested that they get in touch with the B’nai Brith with a view to holding a mass protest meeting at the Albert Hall.
The meeting adopted the following resolution:
“That a committee of this federation be formed for the purpose of organizing protest meetings in London and supervising the calling of meetings in towns of constituent societies.” It was decided to act on Mr. Stone’s suggestions.
A plea for the establishment of a department of education, with a secretary of education in the President’s Cabinet, was made by Mrs. Joseph E. Friend of New Orleans, president of the National Council of Jewish Women.