Iraq’s Ban on Foreign Jews Provokes Debate in British Parliament

The Government of Iraq has informed Great Britain that regulations now in force do not permit foreign Jews to enter or pass through Iraq, except in special cases which must be referred to Iraqi authorities in advance and approved by them, Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden told Barnett Janner, Laborite, in the House of Commons.

The Iraqi statement was revealed when Mr. Janner asked Sir Anthony whether he would give the results of British representations to Iraq on discriminatory regulations which it imposed on British nationals of Jewish faith travelling to Iraq or other destinations, by requiring them to hold special visas.

Sir Anthony added that the Iraqis had been left in no doubt that the British Government deplored discrimination against British subjects of a particular racial or religious origin. “We shall continue our representations on this to them,” the Foreign Secretary continued.

Janner then asked Sir Anthony if he would be good enough to see that this “disgraceful discrimination” was dealt with rapidly and that if it could not be dealt with by Britain, and as it was a matter which was quite contrary to the humanitarian principles of the United Nations Charter, if he would see that it was dealt with by the United Nations.

Sir Anthony replied: “I have considered the latter possibility. There is, in fact, no internationally recognized right that these regulations can be said to contravene.” He went on to say that the government deplores these regulations, but there were particular countries which discriminated in certain circumstances in matters of visas against particular categories of foreign nationals.

He added that the government did not like it, but the condition existed, nevertheless. The only solution in this case was bringing about better relations between Israel and the Arab states, he said.

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