Laborite Ian Mikardo again questioned Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill yesterday on whether he would act to change the site of the forthcoming Big Three meeting in Bermuda because the hotel at which the representatives of the United States, France and Britain would meet next month discriminates against Jewish guests. Mr. Mikardo asked whether the Prime Minister had examined evidence that he submitted to the effect that the Mid-Ocean Club barred Jews.
Sir Winston thanked the Labor M. P. for the information, adding: “But it does not in my view substantiate the charge that the Mid-Ocean Club discriminates against Jews as such. I am assured that Jews are accepted as members and guests of the Club. A member of the Jewish community who was introduced by another Jew and a member happen to be staying there presently. I could furnish his name though I do not want to give undue publicity to a private individual. “
Mr. Mikardo then asked whether the Prime Minister had noted that an organization representing 120 travel bureaus in New York had said on the basis of their experience that the “Club definitely exercises discrimination against Jewish guests.” The Laborite also cited the recent example of a Jewish guest being turned away because the hotel was “full” while at the same time a non-Jew was offered his choice of several rooms. Mr. Mikardo asked Sir Winston to again examine the evidence, adding that he was sure that the Prime Minister had been “quite inadvertently misled.”
To this Sir Winston responded; “The Club is a members’ club and managed by them on their authority. Of course Christiana are not the only ones who sometimes get black-balled, but I am sure there is no inhibition of principle I have very definite evidence.
“Some statements have been made, and there is a New York travel agency which depends very largely for its clientele on members of the Jewish community and which persevere much for their inclusion in the Club as, resident guests I am assured that there is no discrimination on grounds of racial principle at all. But one can easily see that an organized system of offering membership of the Club might give an unfair commercial advantage to the agency. “
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.