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French Premier Cites Aid to Jews to Justify Subsidy to Church Schools

Premier Michel Debre, fighting for Parliamentary approval of a bill permitting the government to subsidize private schools in France without assuming control over their curriculum, cited the fact that “Jews and Freemasons” had found a haven in the private schools during the Nazi occupation of France as an argument in support of the proposal.

The issue, one of the most controversial and bitterly fought internal issues in France in many years, brought about the resignation of the Minister of Education who opposed the use of Government funds to support private religious schools unless the Government were given authority over the educational curriculum of the schools.

The Jewish community has not taken any public position on the school issue. Most Jewish leaders, however, are known to oppose increased government support of private schools as tending to decrease separation of Church and State and as being at the expense of the public school system.

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