London (Nov. 13)
The fact that George Lansbury, a member of the Labor cabinet, today threw himself fully into the election campaign in Whitechapel, an overwhelmingly Jewish constituency, is the latest indication of the heroic efforts being made by the government to elect a Laborite in the by-election called to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Harry Gosling, Labor minister of transport in 1924.
Speaking of the Palestine question at a campaign rally, Mr. Lansbury declared that “if we have made a mistake we ought to be treated as friends,” thus indicating the government’s readiness to retreat from the White Paper and moderate its Palestine policy. He refrained from discussing fully the Palestine question in view of the Premier’s declaration yesterday in the House of Commons regarding the forthcoming debate on Palestine, but assured his listeners that the Mandate would be honored and carried out to its full extent.
The nomination of Barnett Janner, Zionist leader and Jewish communal worker, as the Liberal party’s candidate in Whitechapel makes it certain that the Palestine question will be one of the, if not the most, important issues in the campaign. With Janner being supported by many Jewish voters who would otherwise have voted for the Labor candidate and the official Labor candidate being supported by the most
prominent members of the party, the government is apparent. Labor is not desirous to add to its losses in other constituencies one in Whitechapel because it is now functioning without a majority and another loss may irreparably weaken its position.
Further evidence that the government is moving heaven and earth to return a Laborite from the Whitechapel district is seen in its decision to nominate as its candidate Sir Stafford Cripps, the newly appointed Solicitor-General, who is the son of Lord Parmoor, the Lord President of the Council in the Labor government and the leader of the government party in the House of Lords. The Conservatives have selected M. Guinness, who unsuccessfully contested the constituency in the last general election.
There is a strong feeling among the Jewish voters of Whitechapel and East End that in view of the government’s stand on the Palestine question they should not support the Labor candidate. The Liberal candidate, Mr. Janner, is a member of the executive of the English Zionist Federation and of the Board of Jewish Deputies and is prominently identified with a number of other Jewish organizations.