PARIS (Mar. 5)
French Jews were assiduously wooed by candidates of the party of President de Gaulle for the general elections for a new French Assembly which were held today. Constituents in which no candidate obtained a majority today will go to the polls a week later.
French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville told an assembly attended by a large number of Jews that France would do all it could to bring about reunification of Jewish families which have members in the Soviet Union. He also said he hoped that the existing pact between the European Common Market and Israel, which expires next June 30, would be changed into a better agreement for Israel.
A committee of coordination for Jewish deportees, a French Jewish organization representing thousands of such survivors of Nazism, addressed a special appeal to all French Jews to vote for the candidates of the de Gaulle list. The committee also sent thousands of letters to Jewish voters, urging them to vote for Foreign Minister de Murville, Roger Frey, Louis Joxe and other de Gaulle Ministers.
The letters stressed that Jews should not forget what Gen. de Gaulle had done against the Nazis during World War II and what his Government was doing new to bar renewal of Fascist parties in France. The committee also made a point of reminding French Jews that Gen. de Gaulle had once described Israel as “a friend and ally of France,”
The meeting at which the Foreign Minister spoke was one of a number of such gatherings organized in recent days by the committee and other Jewish organizations. Many of these meetings are being held in Jewish homes.
Another highlight of the campaign was the bid by Former Premier Pierre Mendes-France for a seat in Parliament after eight years in the political backwaters. The Jewish ex-Premier is running on the ticket of the small leftist Unified Socialist Party in Grenoble. His opponents include a Gaullist, a Communist and an extreme rightwinger.
The Jewish ex-Premier does not expect to get elected in the first round of voting today when an absolute majority is needed for victory. But, under an alliance with the Communists, the Communist candidate will step down if Mendes-France gets more votes than he does. This would give the former Premier a united leftwing vote in the runoff ballot on March 12 when a relative majority is enough for victory. Mendes-France lost his seat in Parliament in 1958 and lost again in the 1962 elections.