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Home Secretary Sees No General Increase in Anti-semitism in Britain; Watching Fascists

Home Secretary James Chuter Ede today told a delegation of the Board of Deputies of British Jews that he was not aware of any general increase in anti-Semitic activities in Britain, but that recent activities of fascist organizations in London’s East End are being carefully watched, and several criminal proceedings have been initiated.

The delegation, which was led by Prof. Selig Brodetsky, president of the Board, voiced the rising anxiety in the Jewish community at the increase in anti-Semitic incitement in the East End and elsewhere. The Jewish spokesmen raised the question of the adequacy of present laws to deal with the situation, and the possibility of enacting legislation to protect communities against libel and slander. They stressed that they were not seeking laws which would protect the Jews alone, but ones which would have a general application.

Mr. Ede said that he was giving close attention to the problem, but that he was charged with maintaining freedom of speech as well, and that he would see that appropriate action would be taken to deal with “flagrant abuse.”

German prisoners of war are being invited to meetings of the fascist British League of Ex-Servicemen, it was disclosed today. Residents of Laindon, in Essex, have complained to the Home Office that League meetings have been held in their neighborhood, at which a number of Nazis were present.

At a meeting in Laindon last Saturday, addressed by Jeffrey Hamm, chief deputy to Sir Oswald Mosley, 12 prisoners of war were present. Hamm spoke in German and English and records of pre-war addresses by Mosley were played over a loud-speaker system. One speaker explained that the League was holding meetings in Laindon because of difficulty in obtaining halls in London.

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