A complete and vigorous denial of the charges of anti-Semitism leveled at the Hotel Montclair management by Harold Stern, orchestra leader, was issued yesterday by J. H. Clowes, manager of the hotel, in an interview with the Jewish Daily Bulletin.
Last week Stern announced that he had terminated his engagement with the hotel because three of his star singers were allegedly discharged for being Jewish.
Clowes explained that the reason he refused to reply to the charges when they were made was that he was busy interviewing orchestras.
“My choice has narrowed down to two,” he said yesterday. “Both of them have a substantial number of Jewish players. This should refute the charges of anti-Semitism in regard to our orchestra.”
ANTI-SEMITISM BAD BUSINESS
Fifty per cent. of the guests, Clowes said, are Jewish, and that even if he had any anti-Jewish feeling, which he vehemently disclaimed, it would be bad business to practice it.
The charge by Stern that two banks which own the hotel are responsible for the alleged anti-Semitism evoked another vigorous denial from Clowes.
“In my dealings with the banks,” he declared, “none of their representatives ever mentioned considering race or creed in engaging orchestras or employees.”
In regard to Stern, Clowes pointed out that twenty-two artists were given notice, of whom only six are Jewish.
“Mr. Stern’s engagement at the Hotel Montclair,” he stated, “was the second time that I had availed myself of his services as orchestra leader in a New York hotel, another indication of a total lack of prejudice on my part.
“Due to the marked falling off of the patronage at the restaurant it was felt by the management that a change in the orchestra and entertainment was desirable, and for that and no other reason the change was put into effect.
“The management engages its orchestras and other artists purely on the merit basis and without regard to race or creed.”
Asked about Clowes’ denial of Stern’s charges, Abner J. Greachler, Stern’s representative, said: “We stick to the original story.”