A large man with a decided English brogue and charming English mannerisms, decidedly interesting and rather shy of New York, sat for an interview with a representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria yesterday. He was Barnett Janner, member of Parliament for White-chapel and St. Georges, Stepney Division, who arrived on the S.S. Majestic for a tour of the United States and Canada where he is to study conditions and talk with leaders with particular reference to the Jewish question.
Mr. Janner is a member of the Council for the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and vice-president of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. His interest in the welfare of his people is as deep as his own record is distinguished.
“A great many more refugees can and should be admitted into Palestine,” said Mr. Janner with emphasis, “than are at present immigrating into that country. The more people who are absorbed, the more Palestine can absorb. This is an economic fact that is overlooked in considering the capacity of the Holy Land to admit immigrants.”
M. PS. HOSTILE TO NAZIS
What is the “official attitude” of the House of Commons on the Hitlerite policies of repression? How do the English people view conditions in the Reich? Is the economic boycott against Germany taking effect? What is the attitude of the German people toward the antagonistic opinion of the world against them?
Mr. Janner who has not been in Germany guardedly expressed his opinion on the questions raised by his interviewer. The House of Commons members, he asserted, are openly hostile to the Reich government. Their measures against the Jews are denounced on the floor of the House, Mr. Janner said, without any mincing of words. Hitler is generally held to be a rascal, his under-officers are generally despised and the Jews have sympathy and good wishes. The English populace finds it difficult to believe reports from Germany, he added.
Mr. Janner echoed the demand that Jews the world over should unite. By union, which he admitted is an elastic word, Mr. Janner said he means crystallization of Jewish world opinion. Political unity is of course a difficult and distant dream but there is a “meanwhile.” This, Mr. Janner said, would be a concerted effort to prosecute the boycott against German goods, to rescue the Jews from Germany and settle them in Palestine.
The English statesman, a member of the following of Sir Herbert Samuel who also is crossing the United States on a speaking tour, denounced the widely accepted fancy that most Jews are Communists and Communists Jews. Especially in England is the supposition widespread, he said. He cited the recent political defeat of Harry Pollitt, a British Communist leader, in a Jewish community as an instance of the limited Communist membership among Jews in England.
Mr. Janner is 41 years of age. He was educated at the Barry County School in South Wales. His leadership was recognized when he was selected captain of the student body there. At the University of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff College, where he studied under an open scholarship, Mr. Janner was editor of the “Cap and Gown”, student literary periodical, and active in student circles. He was gassed in service on the front during the War. He was elected M.P. for Stepney in 1931. He is a member of the Joint Foreign Committee and the Law Parliamentary and General Purposes Committee of the Jewish Board of Deputies, and secretary of the Parliamentary Palestine Committee of which John Buchan is the chairman.
Mrs. Janner, who is vice-president of the British Women’s National Liberal Federation, accompanies her husband on his tour. He will address meetings in New York and Chicago before leaving for Montreal, Canada.