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Belgian Parliament Hears Catholic Appeal on Jews in Soviet Russia

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A leading Catholic deputy appealed in the Belgian Parliament yesterday to Foreign Minister Paul-Henri Spaak to “use his great prestige” to help case the situation of the Jews in the Soviet Union.

The issue was raised during a debate on the foreign affairs budget which followed a report by the Foreign Minister. A. Tindemans, a deputy, referring to world press reports on the position of Soviet Jews, cited a recent declaration in Geneva by Daniel Mayer, president of the League For the Rights of Man, in which Mayer said that the present political relaxation between East and West “should be utilized to intervene” with the Soviet Government on behalf of the Jews.

“This affair is serious,” Deputy Tindemans stressed. “At the beginning of this year, Francois Mauriac, Bertrand Russell and Martin Buber sent telegrams of protest to Premier Khrushchev. The problem also was discussed at the recent conference of the Socialist International in Amsterdam.”

Pointing out that “progressive elements” were maintaining a campaign against Soviet anti-Semitism, the Catholic deputy stated that the condition of Soviet Jewry was an obstacle” in the path of political relaxation. “I appeal to the Minister to use his great prestige in this matter,” he said. His statement was warmly applauded by deputies of all parties. Mr. Tindemans is national secretary of the Christian Socialist Party.

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