Menu JTA Search

Tunis Cabinet to Include Two Prominent Jews As Secretaries of State

Two members of the Jewish community in Tunisia will be included in the Tunisian Cabinet as state secretaries when the Franco-Tunisia convention which provides for semi-autonomy for the Tunisians will go into effect next month, it was authoritatively reported here today. The two will be named when the present Cabinet, presided over by Tahar Ben Ammar, will undergo certain changes.

Most often mentioned as likely candidates for these two posts are Andre Barouch, industrialist and director of the newspaper, “Le Petit Matin,” and Albert Bessis, an attorney; former president of the Tunisian Keren Kayemeth and a member of the Tunisian team which negotiated the new conventions with the French Government. The decision to name two Jews to posts in the new Tunisian Government has aroused hostility in Moslem religious circles which claim that such appointments would “violate the Islamic character of Tunisia.”

Meanwhile, the local Aliyah Commission has decided to suspend further registration of candidates for emigration to Israel until Sept. 15, because of the large number of Tunisian Jews already registered. Departures for Israel will not, however, be interrupted and twice weekly many families, most of them large, will leave Tunis for Haifa, via Marseilles, as hitherto.