Ottawa (Oct. 18)
Canadian rabbis are planning to establish a vigil outside of the Soviet Embassy here during the Canadian visit of Premier Alexei Kosygin which began yesterday. Several thousand Jews from Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa are expected to converge on the Embassy tomorrow to protest the denial of emigration rights to Soviet Jews. Several hundred persons gathered last night outside his hotel, some carrying banners with the slogan “Let My People Go.” Some in the crowd broke into the Israeli national anthem as Kosygin arrived. Some 1,500 persons gathered outside the Soviet Embassy a mile away in a demonstration organized by exiles from the Soviet Ukraine.
The Canadian Jewish community will mount “responsible demonstrations on a nation-wide scale,” during Kosygin’s visit. Monroe Abbey, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said earlier in the week in a letter to the Montreal Star. The letter referred to a Moscow dispatch to the London Observer, reprinted in the Star, that Soviet authorities were “bending” to Jewish demands for liberalization of visa grants in order to avoid demonstrations during Premier Kosygin’s visit to Canada and Communist Party chief Leonid Brezhnev’s visit to Paris this month. Abbey called the story “a Soviet ploy” and said Canadian Jews would not be inhibited by it. Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Kosygin began consultations this morning. It is believed that one of the topics under discussion will be the problem of Soviet Jews.
According to a report received here from the United Nations in New York, Mitchell Sharp, Secretary of State for External Affairs, told Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko that the Canadian government wants to discuss with the Soviet government the following questions during the meeting of Jewish families and “the Jewish question, as many Canadian Jews are concerned about the plight of Jews in the Soviet Union who may want to emigrate.” One of the Canadian officials representing the government in the talk between Kosygin and Trudeau is Barnet Denson, MP. Parliamentary Secretary to Trudeau and a member of the B’nai B’rith Sportsmans Lodge in Toronto. Denson accompanied Trudeau to the Soviet Union last May.