LONDON (Jan. 16)
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flatly denied in the House of Commons today that Leslie Hore-Belisha had been ousted as War Secretary because he was a Jew.
Chamberlain said the suggestion that the War Secretary had been dropped because he was a Jew was not worth a denial, but after several members had pressed for a categoric reply, on a question posed by Josiah C. Wedgwood, Labor, the Prime Minister said:
“I deny that I dismissed him–as Mr. Wedgwood incorrectly calls it–and that I asked the Secretary of State to take another post on account of prejudice aroused by the fact that he was a Jew.”
The closest Mr. Chamberlain came to going into the nature of the difficulties which prompted the enforced resignation was when he described them as “arising out of the very great qualities of my right honorable friend which in my view mad it desirable that a change would occur at some time, and I thought that the change could be best effected when I had made other changes at the same time in the Government.”
Mr. Hore-Belisha defended his actions in office, saying amid cheers that “it did not occur to me to consider that we were making the Army too democratic for democracy.”