Menu JTA Search

Palestine Question Chief Issue in Whitechapel Election; Labor Party Victory Seems Doubtful

The nomination of candidates today for the Whitechapel by-election on December 3rd began the last stage of the heated campaign to capture this seat, held by a Laborite since 1922. Although the Liberal candidate is a Zionist, the real fight will be between James Hall, the Laborite nominee and Loel Guinness, Conservative candidate, the chief issue is the Palestine question because forty per cent of the voters in the constituency are Jewish.

A few months ago a political fight in Whitechapel would have aroused little interest because it has been a Labor stronghold for the last eight years. But in view of the Jewish voters’ resentment against the government because of the White Paper, the Labor party is extremely anxious over the outcome because the loss of this seat would further weaken the Labor government’s tenuous hold on Parliament.

That its anxiety is justified is apparent from a study of some statistics. Of the 37,000 voters in the district, 14,000 are Jews. At the last general election the Labor candidate polled 13,701 votes, winning by a majority of 9,180.

The Labor candidate, James Hall, today began the circulation of a Yiddish pamphlet entitled “The Labor Party Stands for the Complete Embodiment of the Ideal of the Jewish National

Home.” The pamphlet promises that the Labor government would see to it that the Jews got a fair deal in Palestine.

At the same time Loel Guinness, the Conservative candidate, has issued an appeal to the Jewish voters pointing out that the Conservative party has always dealt fairly with the Jews and is now the only party in the House of Commons with the will and the power to resist the Labor government’s curtailment of Jewish rights. Meanwhile the Poale Zion, Socialist Zionist party, has announced its support of the Labor candidate but many Jewish workers are opposed to the Conservative party, saying that they will abstain from voting rather than vote for the Labor candidate.

With the exception of the Daily Herald, the government organ, the entire press is very doubtful about the Labor party’s chances of retaining the Whitechapel seat which was left vacant by the death of Harry Gosling, former minister of transport.

NEXT STORY