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Canada’s Cancellation of Refugee Agreement Causes Astonishment

October 20, 1924
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Great consternation is prevalent in Jewish circles in Canada as a result of the decision of the Canadian Government to withdraw its agreement with the Ica, which provided for the admittance of 5,000 Jewish refugees stranded in Roumania.

The last and largest group, consisting of 400 persons, arrived in Canada on October 3. All the new arrivals were taken care of by the Canadian Jewish Immigration Aid Society and were distributed throughout the country. Only 160 of the group remained in Montreal; the greater part left immediately for central and western Canada to engage in productive professions and in farming. The last group of refugees made a particularly striking impression, owing to the high type of men represented.

Reports received from Roumania indicate that the stranded refugees whose only hope was the possibility to emigrate to Canada are now in despair and are overwhelmed by panicky fear that deportation to Russia may be the next step of the Roumanian Government. It will be recollected that the Roumanian Government consented to allow the Jewish refugees to remain in the country only after the Ica guaranteed that they will be afforded a possibility to emigrate.

Further astonishment is expressed at the attitude of the Canadian Government, which has not openly stated the reasons for withdrawing from the agreement with the Ica. In some quarters the opinion is held that American Jewish organizations who had originally promised to assume part of the financial responsibility did not live up to their promises.

The “Jewish Daily News” of Oct. 19, published the following item.

“In Jewish circles here, the opinion is expressed that the reason for the Canadian Government’s action was possibly the result of a protest from the United States Government against Canada’s admitting such immigrants who do not intend to remain in Canada and seek only to be smuggled into the United States. It is also possible, it is stated, that the support which the Ica expected from American Jewry was not forthcoming, and the Ica was unable to fulfill its obligations according to the agreement. This has perhaps given the Canadian Government the excuse to cancel the agreement.

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