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Lord Wedgewood, Veteran Fighter for Jewish Rights, Dies in London at 71

Lord Josiah Wedgewood, long-time friend of Zionism and fighter for Jewish rights, died at his home here this morning at the age of 71. He had been suffering from a severe heart ailment. The British Zionist Federation and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, immediately upon being informed of Lord Wedgewood’s death sent condolences to his family and the Agency announced that it will hold a memorial meeting in his honor.

Since the early part of this century, Lord Wedgewood, who was raised to the peerage in December, 1941, had been a supporter of Jewish causes in Parliament and since 1915 he had been, perhaps, the chief spokesman for Zionism in the House of Commons and later in the House of Lords. In May of 1942 he made a broadcast to America suggesting that Britain surrender the mandate over Palestine to the United States since, he charged, it had failed in its policy there. The broadcast was severely criticized by the British Colonial Office which described it as “an incitement to civil war in Palestine.” Lord Wedgewood, however, continued his battle for Zionist aims until he became severely ill last month.

A frequent visitor to the United States, where he spoke for the Zionist movement, Lord Wedgewood was there last in the summer of 1941. At that time he suffered a severe heart attack which kept him confined to a hospital for several weeks and which resulted, owing to an error, in the London Evening Standard publishing his obituary.

Lord Wedgewood had a distinguished Parliamentary and military career, having served in Commons from 1906 until 1941, when he entered the House of Lords. In the first Labor Government he was Chancellor for the Dutchy of Lancaster. For his part in the landing at Gallipoli in World War I, during which he was severely wounded, he received the Distinguished Service Order.

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