London (Sep. 8)
Pressure on Home Secretary James Chuter Ede to take action against British fascists, whose pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic activities have become more flagrant in recent weeks, is expected to increase sharply in the near future, with at least one Cabinet minister reported ready to demand action.
Weekly meetings of the League of Ex-Servicemen, a front for Sir Oswald Mosley’s pro-war British Union of Fascists, in East London, which has a large Jewish population, have provoked protests at the government’s inaction from the Labor and liberal press. Criticism of the Home Office has increased since the resolution adopted last work by the Trades Union Conference, which attacked the unmolested resurgence of fascism and anti-Semitism in Britain. Even the Daily Herald, the official Labor; Party paper, has demanded that a way be found to prohibit anti-Semitic provocations.
Dennis Pritt, an independent member of Parliament and a noted liberal lawyer, has drafted a new measure to outlaw utterances provoking racial and religious hatred. He is supported by many rank-and-file Labor MP’s and, reportedly, by Sir Stafford Cripps. A draft of the measure has already been seen by Attorney-General Sir Hartley ?wcross, who must examine all bills before they are introduced in Commons, and has been passed on to Ede, who is understood to be delaying action on it. It has been stated, without official confirmation, that Cripps, supported by Health Minister Ancurin Bevin, is attempting to persuade the Home Secretary to act.