LONDON (Dec. 3)
A spokesman for the Norwich Union Insurance Societies denied today that the resignation of Lord Mancroft, a London Jewish business leader, from its board had been prompted by anti-Semitism. Disclosure of his resignation was linked to Arab pressure on the company, which does a small amount of business in the Arab world.
“If we discriminated against Jews, we would not have appointed Mancroft to the board in the first place,” the spokesman declared. He declined, however, to answer questions on whether the Jewish baron had been asked to resign and he refused to confirm or deny the reports that Arabs had threatened to halt doing business with the insurance company if Lord Mancroft remained a director.
According to the resignation report, Lord Mancroft had been told that his position on the London board, which advises the parent board in Norwich only on matters in the London area, would jeopardize the firm’s prospects in the Arab countries.
The resignation evoked critical comment in the British press. Lord Mancroft said he “absolutely” would not make any public statement on the matter. The Evening Standard said in an editorial: “Senseless and evil discrimination against the Jew already exists as an underground movement in a certain stratum of society, but here is discrimination alleged in the board room of a respectable and responsible business company, which is quite a different matter.”