LONDON (Aug. 5)
Ignoring the advice of the leaders of organized British Jewry, who have called upon Jews to avoid riots during provocative fascist and Nazi mass meetings, hundreds of Jewish war veterans were reported today to be organizing “positive action” against anti-Semitic rallies.
Prominent Jewish ex-servicemen were saying openly they could “mobilize” 10,000 Jews on the streets of London in a few hours, if the need to take “positive action” against anti-Jewish agitators arose.
One of the foremost fascist groups in this country — the British National Party — opened its annual convention yesterday, outside London. About 50 delegates of this group, said to comprise 4,000 members, met at the estate of their president and leader, Andrew Fountaine. Four foreign representatives planning a European link with the British fascists were reported in England this weekend. The four are from France, Italy, West Germany and Spain.
Against this background, and in face of the fact that the House of Commons adjourned Friday without acting on a proposed amendment to the Public Order Act of 1936, so as to outlaw incitement of racial hatreds, plans to organize “positive action” are gaining support from scores of Britons who, according to reports in the press here today, are offering funds to help the Jews fight the upsurge of fascism here.
At Manchester, Peter Grimshaw, a Labor Party councillor, formed an anti-fascist committee. “The time has come,” he stated, “for us to take matters into our own hands. If the Government continues to hesitate over introducing legislation, we shall have to resort to violence. That is the only kind of language Mosley understands.” He was referring to Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the fascist British Union Movement, who staged two rallies in the last week, both resulting in riots, at Manchester and in the Hackney district of London’s East End, which has a large Jewish population.
SIR BARNETT APPEALS IN COMMONS ‘ON BEHALF OF A HALF-MILLION JEWS’
In Parliament, just before its recess last Friday until October, a number of Labor and Liberal Party members insisted that the Government take steps to halt the anti-Semitic demonstrations. Sir Barnett Janner, a Laborite, who is also president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the House of Commons he was speaking “on behalf of a half-million Jews” when he insisted that action be taken immediately against fascists who are trying to repeat the history of the growth of Nazism in prewar Germany.
Protests against the Government’s failure to act were also voiced sharply by David Weitzmann, Eric Fletcher, and Eric Lubbock. The first two are members of the Labor Party, while Mr. Lubbock is a Liberal.
Twenty members of London’s City Council filed a resolution yesterday, calling upon the Council to petition the Government to ban incitement to violence “by persons advocating racial discrimination and hatred.” The City Council is slated to discuss that resolution later this week.
An editorial in the Sunday Telegraph today approved of the plans of Jewish ex-servicemen for “positive action” against the fascists. Recalling that past history explains why the Jews and other racial minorities are aroused “when they see Mosley inciting or seeking to incite racial hostility, and police permitting him to do so,” the newspaper stated:
“It is not surprising that they and their sympathizers seek to protect themselves by taking the law into their own hands. The only way racial minorities can put a stop to racial incitement is by breaking the law and causing disorder. This is manifestly absurd. It is surely time that racial incitement be made an offense, carrying with it deterrent penalties.”