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“ghetto Representation” in Parliament Planned for Rumanian Jews

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A member of the Cabinet told this correspondent today that the Government planned to establish “ghetto representation” for Rumania’s 900,000 Jews as a substitute for the political rights of which they have been deprived, including the right to elect or be elected to Parliament. This right is now accorded only to members of the National Regeneration Party, into which the Jews are the only minority group not admitted. He said the Government will soon start negotiations with Jewish leaders designed to give the Jewish population an opportunity of actively participating in all measures concerning solution of the Jewish problem as well as in defining the legal rights of Jews who are recognized as Rumanian citizens.

Whether the Jewish leaders will accept such representation, which would relegate Jews to the category of second-class citizens, is a question involving much negotiation between the Jews and the Government.

To a suggestion made by the Government that the Jews organize an emigration council to sponsor organized emigration, Jewish leaders are understood to have replied that they were prepared to agree only if the Government accepted the following conditions: (1) The Government’s demand for an annual emigration in the next three years of 50,000 Jews be reduced to 7,500 to balance the birth rate; 2) the Government contribute 350,000,000 lei (about $3,500,000) to a fund to assist the emigrants; 3) free transportation on Rumanian trains and steamers for the emigrants; 4) the Government assist in training prospective emigrants; 5) restoration of citizenship withdrawn from wounded and decorated war veterans, widows and orphans of war dead, as well as others whose families have resided in Rumania two and three centuries; 6) cooperation of the Rumanian National Bank in facilitating transfer of emigrants’ capital.

Should the above conditions be accepted, the Jewish leaders would then agree to establish a council composed of Zionists, non-Zionists and representatives of foreign Jewish organizations interested in regulating Jewish migration. It is understood the leaders would devise a scheme under which Rumanian experts to Palestine would be greatly increased.

It was learned from Government sources that while not all the conditions are acceptable to the Government, the principle of sharing the costs of emigration is recognized as justified. The Government is likely also to meet the demand for free transportation and will consider what part of emigrants’ property may be transferred without injuring the country’s finances.

Meanwhile, revocation of liquor licenses held by Jewish restaurants, cafes and bars continues unabated, the official gazette daily publishing new lists. It is estimated that, to date 1,500 licenses held by Jews have been cancelled. All establishments whose licenses have been revoked must be liquidated within a fortnight. The licenses of 20 Jewish wholesalers were restored following intervention by a delegation of Rumanian vineyard owners with the authorities. Considerable bitterness exists among the Jews over the fact that while Jews who are Rumanian citizens have been deprived of their licenses, Greeks, Armenians and other aliens have not been interfered with, indicating that the measures are directed solely against the Jews.

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