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French Jews Perturbed over Possible Conversion of Orphaned Children, Says Ben Gurion

One of the most urgent questions facing French Jewry at the moment is the status of several hundred orphaned Jewish children who may be converted to Catholicism unless they are permitted to emigrate to Palestine, David Ben Gurion, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency, said today upon his return from Paris.

He stated that the French Government is still refusing permission for the children to emigrate, but that efforts are being made to bring the matter to the attention of Gen. De Gaulle. Many French Jews also wish to emigrate to Palestine as economic conditions are still bad and about 30,000 Jews are dependent upon relief, the Agency chairman disclosed.

(It is reported from Jerusalem today that the departure of the first transport of Jews to emigrate from France to Palestine has been delayed by the refusal of the Egyptian Government to grant transit visas to the party, which consists of 350 adults and orphans.)

On the positive side, he said, there is an indication that Jewish circles which were completely alienisted from Jewry before the war are now very “Jew-conscious,” In, there are still several hundred Jews actively engaged in continuing the Jewish resistance movement.