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Canadian Jewish Congress Submits Important Requests to Government

October 23, 1964
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Canadian Jewish Congress urged the federal government today to remove the words “two founding races” from the preamble to its Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism, to ban hate-literature from the mails and jail its proponents, and to raise the question of anti-Semitism in Russia at the United Nations.

The Congress also asked the government to urge West Germany to amend its criminal law so that the German statute of limitations will not apply to war criminals. Under present German law, war crimes cannot be prosecuted after next May.

The views of the Canadian Jewish Congress were put before Prime Minister Lester Pearson and members of his Cabinet by Michael Garber of Montreal, CJC president, in its annual submission to the Government. The Congress’ views on Israeli-Arab tensions were simultaneously submitted in a joint appearance before the Cabinet with the United Zionist Council.

The CJC said it was disturbed last year when the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was appointed with terms of reference that mentioned an equal partnership between “the two founding races”–English and French. Mr. Garber pointed out that while one could become a member of a culture, one had to be born into a “race. ” The brief urged the Government to amend the terms of reference to assure the Canadian people that nearly one-third of the population is not to be deprived of its equality as part of the nation.

The CJC suggested amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada making it a crime, punishable by two years in prison, to incite violence or provoke disorder against any class of persons, or against any person as a member of any class in Canada. It also suggested that the public mischief provisions of the code be widened to include statements intended or calculated to promote hatred and contempt of, or hostility against, a group of persons by reason of their particular race, nationality or ethnic origin, color or religion.

The Congress brief said the use of the mails to promote hatred or contempt of any group of persons for their race, nationality or ethnic origin should be banned. But the brief stressed that a clause should be put in the code making clear that legitimate argument over controversial social, political, economic, and religious questions could continue.

Present at the interview were Prime Minister Pearson, Foreign Secretary Paul Martin, Justice Minister Guy Favreau, and Secretary of State Maurice Lamontagne. In addition to Mr. Garber, Sydney M. Harris, of Toronto and Saul Hayes, of Montreal also participated.

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