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British Lords Reject Bill Outlawing Racial, Religious Discrimination

A bill to make discrimination on grounds of race or religion punishable offenses was defeated yesterday on a second reading in the House of Lords, after the Lord Chancellor expressed opposition to the measure. The vote was 41 to 21.

Lord Longford, arguing for the bill, said that a meeting was scheduled for July 1 by the fascist National Socialist movement with the slogan, “Free Britain from Jewish Control.” He said that neither the Home Secretary nor the Police Commissioner had the power to proscribe a public meeting on grounds of the political character of the sponsoring organization. He added that the police commissioner’s inability to refuse an application for the meeting strengthened the need for the bill. Lord Walston had stressed that the bill was not confined to barring bias on grounds of color. He cited, among other offenses the bill was meant to eliminate, such barriers as discrimination against Jews by golf clubs. But the House rejected the measure.