Cj Congress Officials Confer with Trudeau, Ministers on Bills and Mideast
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Cj Congress Officials Confer with Trudeau, Ministers on Bills and Mideast

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Canadian Jewish Congress officials conferred yesterday with Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and his 10 Cabinet ministers to make representations on behalf of Jewry here and Israel, among other things. A deputation headed by CJ Congress president Monroe Abbey and executive vice president Saul Hayes presented Mr. Trudeau with a brief urging that a bill on hate literature now in a Senate committee be enacted into law immediately.

They also expressed concern about possible effects on Yiddish-speaking and non-French or English speaking Canadians of a hotly controversial bill now before the Ottawa Parliament that would make the latter two languages official tongues of civil servants and higher courts across the nation. The “official languages” measure is sponsored by Mr. Trudeau in hopes of unifying Canada but is opposed by the plains and western sectors of the country. The CJ Congress is concerned that if enacted, it could result in some form of second class citizenship for persons who do not speak French or English. Mr. Abbey asked assurances that “six million Canadians who are not of French or English origin will not have their position, rights and privileges left in doubt” if the measure passes. They were given assurances by Mr. Trudeau that their concerns would be considered.

As for Israel, the CJ Congress delegates also presented a combined brief in which the Zionist organization of Canada and their own organization called on Canada to declare its support for the principle of direct negotiations between Israel and the Arabs in the pursuit of a just and lasting peace. It asked that Ottawa declare its support for the security and independence of Israel as a fundamental condition of lasting peace. Secretary of State for External Affairs (Foreign Minister) Mitchell Sharp said the Canadian Government supported the Big Four talks now underway at the United Nations.

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