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RUSSIA.
15
As to foreign Jews, representatives of important foreign firms, banking houses, etc., may be allowed to reside in the locality during a certain period only.
Notwithstanding such restrictions, the number of Russian Jews greatly increased in the different commercial towns of the Caucasus since 1882, as it might be presumed, in consequence of the hostile and violent treatment at the time of their co-religionists in Russia proper; and a certain number of foreign Jews, regardless of the existing law, also managed to establish themselves in the Caucasus for purposes of trade and industry, the local police authorities hoodwinking at the fact and feigning ignorance of the law, not so much for the sake of Christian clemency and humaneness as on account of bribes that were being paid to them from time to time by those who had no legal right to reside in the country.
In order to be enabled to carry on business such Jews, encouraged or misguided as it were by the police, ventured to apply to the local Treasury Department for trading licenses of the Guild, and it was that Department, being aware of the irregularity of such applications by Jews, that first brought the fact to the knowledge of the Government. Local traders also, for no other reason but to get rid of competition, have been using every opportunity to remind the local authorities of the fact that the admission of Jews in this country was a violation of the law. At all events, it is not by a decree of the Governor-General of the Caucasus, but in virtue of a circular from the Minister of the Interior, that the law prohibiting a certain class of Jews from residing in this country is being enforced now. That circular affects the whole area of the Caucasus, and Jews of all nationalities residing in this country contrary to the said law.
The number of Jews affected thereby, including those of Tiflis, may be estimated to amount to about 200, of which there are scarcely 30 foreign Jews, and I may add that the law is not being enforced with particular vigour, for most of those who received notice to quit the country during the summer of last year, are still allowed to remain where they were, for the purpose of winding-up their business affairs.
With a view to disabusing the mind of the Anglo-Jewish Association, I beg leave to point out that the number of Jewish residents at Tiflis does by far not amount to 10,000. It is certainly less than 1,000, and in the whole district of Tiflis there are about 7,000 Jews only. These, however, like so many others, are not forced to quit the country, for it must be borne in mind that there are in all about 32,000 Jews inhabit-
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