CANBERRA, Australia (Sep. 1)
Sir Barnett Janner, British Labor member of Parliament and former president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies “showed genuine interest” in the concern by Jewish circles here sed abroad over the decision by the Australian Qantas Airlines to cancel the appointment of an agent in Israel.
Sir Barnett, who met with Mr. Menzies, said that the Premier told him that anti-Semitism in Australia is negligible, with only a small group of extremists active in the country.
The British legislator also met with Senator Denham Henty, Minister of Civil Aviation, who recently denied that representations from Arab countries were behind the decision by Qantas to cancel the appointment of a Tel Aviv representative. Sir Barnett told the Minister that, regardless of the reason for the decision, the matter appears to give “aid and comfort” to the Arab boycott of Israel.
Sir Barnett said that Jews throughout Australia and other parts of the world were concerned about the matter, and that many persons would not travel by Qantas until the issue was definitely cleared up. He added that he himself would not return to London by Qantas.
Sir Barnett said today that warm response and understanding over the matter had been shown by other members of the Australian Parliament on both sides of the House.
A group of Sydney businessmen, meanwhile, were planning today to withdraw air cargo consignments from the Australian airline.