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No Ratification of Exit Fees

September 22, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Supreme Soviet ended a two-day session in Moscow last night without ratifying the visa tax imposed on Jewish academicians and intellectuals seeking to emigrate. The National Conference for Soviet Jewry, which had informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency late yesterday that the visa fees were ratified, confirmed reports from Moscow this morning that no action had in fact been taken by the Soviet parliament.

The NCSJ said this indicated that ratification of the decree issued by the Soviet Council of Ministers last Aug. 3 was not necessary for its implementation and that the Soviet authorities may be considering changing the amounts. The NCSJ spokesman told the JTA that it was not likely that the Soviets were considering cancelling the measure which has been in effect for nearly two months.

Ratification by the Supreme Soviet is regarded as nothing more than a “rubber stamp” action. The NCSJ spokesman said last night’s report that the visa fees were ratified emanated from Jewish sources in the Soviet Union who believed such was the case.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive director of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry, warned that the failure by the Supreme Soviet to ratify the exit fee tax should not be misinterpreted. “By no means does this fact put an end to the ransom.” he said. “Public outcries must continue and increase if we are to bring about a revocation of this unjust law.” Hoenlein said that a demonstration planned for next Tuesday when Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko addresses the UN General Assembly “takes on even greater significance at this time.”

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