Montreal (Oct. 8)
For permitting the Jews of Montreal to keep their stores open on Sunday, September 21, the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Montreal city authorities are bitterly attacked in the Semaine Religieuse the official organ of the Catholic Archbishop of Montreal. The article, entitled Le Travail du Dimanche (Working on Sunday) is signed by Canon Adelard Harbour.
“Faced with alternative of choosing between the Jewish New Year and the Sunday of the Christians, we Catholics must adopt the latter,” the article says. “Some have tried to show that Federal legislation authorized this exception in favor of the Jews. They have not proved it. Far from it.
“From the immediate, practical, democratic, or rather demagogic viewpoint, it was a false maneuver. The great number and vehemence of the protests made show that conclusively. These protests have come from all sides. Aldermen, and even members of the city executive who authorized the Sunday opening of Jewish-owned stores, have had the courage to publicly express regrets. The mayor himself has repudiated any responsibility in the matter.
“As a matter of fact, it was not a very clever move to incur the discontent of the immense majority of the population for the sake of a small minority, which furthermore has no vested rights.”
The organ of the Catholic clergy is not the only one to protest against the so-called violation of Sunday. More vitriolic is the cry of the three Jew baiting weeklies, Le Goglu. Le Miroir and Le Chameau, who utilize the incident, which was nothing more than a privilege granted every year, to further attack the Jew. The papers cite the incident as additional “proof” that the Jews have come to “rob the French-Canadians of their heritage in the province of Quebec.”
Permission to keep their stores open on the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah was granted to the Jewish merchants by the city executive as the result of the intervention of a Jewish alderman. This aroused the ire of other aldermen and of the League for the Observance of the Lord’s Day. This is the first time that the act has raised such a protest.