Commons Speaker Asks Intervention on Behalf of Jews in Germany
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Commons Speaker Asks Intervention on Behalf of Jews in Germany

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A British note to Germany referring to the treatment of Jews by the Nazis was urged last night by Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, Laborite, as the debate in the House of Commons continued. Colonel Wedgewood asserted that the same sentiments that existed in England regarding the Jewish question prevailed also in the United States.

Citing the number of instances in history when England intervened in the internal affairs of another country when a section of the population was oppressed, he pointed out that Italy was freed only as a result of intervention by England.

“We could now take up the old role in conjunction with America,” Colonel Wedgewood suggested. “We are not entitled to let things go on as they are in Germany simply because we are afraid our intervention will not meet with enthusiastic support from the present German government.”

R. H. Bernays, who just returned to London after a visit to Germany, described before the House of Commons the systematic persecution of Jews taking place there, depriving thousands of Jews of all hope of gaining a livelihood. Bernays urged that England follow France’s example and relax immigration restrictions to allow German-Jewish refugees to come to England.

Sir John Simon, Foreign Secretary, making probably his last appearance in the House before starting on a long vacation for his health, wound up the discussion by declaring that “we would be untrue to ourselves if we did not say how deeply we were distressed by the events which occurred in Germany.”

A great body of opinion in England was sympathetic to post-war Germany, Sir John declared, but events now happening there have changed feelings here. The English people, he remarked, are just, generous and open-minded, but there are some things which they find difficult to understand. They consider the primary condition for any solution of European problems, he stated, must be complete confidence regarding treatment of minorities.

Sir John promised George Lansbury, who spoke earlier in the day and demanded that the League of Nations intervene, that he would consider the possibility of helping Jewish refugees through the International Red Cross, but he would be unable to help the Germans without a country who did not come under the Nansen passport category.

The Anglo-Jewish community was satisfied with the treatment of German refugees seeking entrance to England, Sir John declared. The request of the Jewish Agency for certificates for German Jews going to Palestine has been granted, he stated, but he promised to make further inquiries into this question.

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