Menu JTA Search

Willkie to Hit Anti-semitism in Acceptance Speech; Favors Anti-agitation Action

Wendell L. Willkie, Republican presidential nominee, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today he will include a strong statement against anti-Semitism in his acceptance speech to be made in Elwood, Ind., on or about Aug. 1.

Willkie also indicated he was interested in legislation to check racial agitation, but said he did not wish to commit himself to any specific measure before he had had an opportunity to give the matter complete study.

Today’s brief interview with Willkie, held at his office at 20 Pine Street, a few minutes before he left to catch a plane for Washington, followed his statement to The Day in which he termed anti-Semitism “a possible criminal movement,” warned that the spread of anti-Jewish feeling would be a “calamity” and appealed for “tolerance and religious liberty.”

“I was very glad to make that statement,” Willkie said today. “Since then, I have received a large number of telegrams from various kinds of pressure groups.” He took from his pocket a telegram from St. Louis, signed “Social Justice News,” which demanded that Willkie, in view of his denunciation of anti-Semitism, also make a statement against “anti-Christianity.”

The Republican nominee was asked what measures he would take to check anti-Semitic agitation. He was asked specifically about Senator W. Warren Barbour’s bill which would ban material inciting racial and religious hatred from the mails.

“I would like very much to see a copy of that bill,” Willkie said. “I wouldn’t like to just make a hurried statement without giving full consideration. But I am going to give the question study, and I’ll be able to make a complete statement when I get back from my vacation in Colorado. You can say that I intend to include a very strong statement on anti-Semitism in my acceptance speech.”

NEXT STORY