Leading British Newspaper Abandons Ban on Catholics and Jews

The Sunday Observer, one of Britain’s most widely respected newspapers, has revised the deed of trust under which it has been managed for the past 15 years to eliminate a clause barring Catholics and Jews from serving on the paper’s board of trustees or in senior staff positions.

The paper made the announcement yesterday in a statement in which it rejected charges made against it by the Beaverbrook newspapers that it had been anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic. “Our readers are well aware that there has never been the slightest evidence in our columns of religious discrimination or intolerance,” it declared.

The London Daily Express, a Beaverbrook newspaper, welcomed the move in an editorial today. It termed it belated but commented: “Who can fail to rejoice when prejudice gives way to charity?” The Hon. F.D.L. Astor, a member of the noted British family of newspaper owners, is editor of the Observer. The paper has a circulation in excess of 660,000.

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