Bucharest (Dec. 7)
The Congress of the Union of Christian Students which was held at Craiova last week, with the permission of the Government, is not a Congress of all students in Roumania, but only of a section of the students, who are anti-Semitic and against the minorities, Deputy Landau, member of the Club of Jewish Deputies, who was constantly interrupted from the Government benches, complained in the course of his speech in Parliament (briefly reported by cable in the J. T. A. Bulletin of the 7th inst.).
The action of the Government in subsidizing and participating in such a Congress, he said, is in contradiction to the principles which the National Peasants’ Party proclaimed while it was in opposition, and in conflict with the Government program.
The Government greeted Zionist Congresses, too, State Secretary Joanitzescu interjected.
“How can a national and democratic Government encourage a congress convoked to preach race hatred and to range itself against the minorities?” Deputy Landau went on. “What right had the Government to give money for such a Congress in a time of economic crisis and deficit? The railways do not give fare reductions to congresses of an economic and cultural character. What right have they to give free fares to the participants in such a Congress? The Rector of Bucharest University, Professor Jorga, spoke against permitting the Congress. He was not even consulted. Facts like these may do much damage to the Government and to its prestige in the country. I therefore ask the Premier to cancel the subsidy to this Congress, and to state that no such subsidies will be given in the future. I would like him to disavow the Government representation at the Congress.
“I want further to utilize this opportunity to raise the question of the Government’s attitude toward the Jewish population. I would like the Government to make a declaration on this matter. Upon the answer depends whether I shall have to transform this question into an interpellation.”
EDUCATION MINISTER REPLIES
The Minister of Education, Professor Costacescu, replied: “The Students’ Congress is a matter for the students and part of student life. It is an opportunity to them to express their ideas and desires. They manifest their feelings and their mind. Neither the Government, nor even the universities, have a right to meddle in the organization of these congresses. The Government has only the duty of safeguarding law and order, which, unfortunately at past congresses has been disturbed. I think that everyone is now convinced that this time the Government has done its duty in this respect.
“When the question of the Congress was broached, there were two matters which interested us: that no questions should be raised at the Congres which would create difficulties for the Government, and that there should be no disturbances of the peace against anyone. We permitted the Congress because we wanted the students to have an opportunity of expressing themselves, of letting off steam, so that we should have a year of peace at the universities.
“And now, when the Congress has passed off peacefully, is it right to accuse us of having allowed and subsidized the Congress? We gave the money in the interests of public order. Had we left the students to travel in the ordinary way by passenger train, how could be ensure order? We adopted the necessary measures, and I think we may congratulate the officials who carried them out.
“You reproach us with having subsidized the Congress. There is one thing you forget. Whatever opinions the students may hold, they are our sons and the sons of this people. The money which the Government has expended on them is the money provided by their parents. You complain that the Government greeted them. Has there been any Congress which the Government has not greeted through an official representative? If there are minorities who cannot understand this, or who have no such feelings for their own people, it is not our fault. We maintain our traditions and we think it is to our honor. I hold that the authorities acted rightly. I regard Deputy Landau’s question as a grave political mistake, and a mistake also from the point of view of preserving peace in the universities, a question which concerns very intimately the Jewish students who have to attend the lectures at the universities.
“I am astonished to be reproached with having given a subsidy to the Christian Students’ Organization at a time when it is known that out of our poor budget we have given money to the religious schools of the minorities.
“If our young people in the heat of debate overstepped the limit, it is after all something to their honor. All honor to them. We don’t want a youth which is polished and dead. We want a live, young generation, full of heat and ardor, which will be able to give its strength for the welfare of our country, and to turn its enthusiasm into good channels.”
SABBATH ALLIANCE TO SPONSOR FIVE-DAY WEEK LEGISLATION
At a recent meeting held by the Jewish Sabbath Alliance of America, a resolution was adopted at the instance of its president, Dr. Bernard Drachman, that the Alliance confer with legislators for the purpose of securing legislation whereby all state and city employees, especially the office workers, will receive the benefits of the five-day-working-week.