LONDON (Jul. 19)
Lord Mancroft, the prominent British Jewish financier who was forced to resign from the board of the Norwich Union Insurance Societies last December due to pressures by the Arab League, has been asked to withdraw from his scheduled assumption of the presidency of the London Chamber of Commerce, it was revealed here today.
The request, according to the Sunday Telegraph, was made “in deference to those members who trade with Arab countries. ” The Chamber had invited Lord Mancroft several months ago to assume the presidency at the end of this year, as successor to the present head, the Earl of Verulam. Lord Mancroft is chairman of Global Tours, Ltd., He is a director of Great Universal Stores, whose chairman is Sir Isaac Wolfson, one of the most prominent Jewish philanthropists in this country. The latter made many contributions to and investments in Israel.
Lord Mancroft’s forced resignation from the London advisory board of Norwich last winter caused a sensation, culminating in a hot debate in the House of Commons during which Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the Prime Minister, rebuked the ambassadors of the Arab states here for intervening on this issue. Government spokesmen at the time emphasized their opposition to Arab boycott practices, but Sir Alec made it clear that no further action would be taken on the issue. Labor Party members of Parliament, however, requested stronger Government intervention.
Commenting on the development, and predicting that the Chamber of Commerce step against Lord Mancroft would result in “eruptions” inside the organization, the Sunday Telegraph pointed out that, among the Chamber’s ex-officio members, are such “influential men in this country as Lord Mayor Sir James Harman; Sir Harry Hylton-Foster, a conservative leader in the House of Commons; Lord Cromer, Governor of the Bank of England; Patrick Milligan, chairman of Lloyd’s Bank; and Lord Ritchie, chairman of the London Stock Exchange. The Chamber consists of 50,000 members.
“What makes the present situation so astonishing, ” the newspaper declared, “is its crudity. All this underlines the folly of the Chamber’s furtive plan, a little more than six months after Mancroft’s forced resignation from Norwich Union in the face of Arab pressure.”