British Home Secretary Queried in Commons on Attacks on Synagogues

Home Secretary Sir Frank Soskice said in the House of Commons today that he was satisfied that police were giving special attention to the prevention of attacks on synagogues which have been the targets in recent months of widespread vandalism.

Sir Frank made the statement in reply to Labor MP Paul Rose who had asked how many cases of arson against synagogues and other Jewish communal buildings had been reported to him. The deputy also asked whether Sir Frank planned to call for reports from chief constables on violence and arson by fascist groups and their sympathizers.

Sir Frank replied that he had received reports of 12 incidents that have occurred since September 1, 1964, most of them in the London area. “I am kept fully informed by the Commissioner of Police and I am satisfied that the police are paying special attention to the prevention of these incidents and the detection of those responsible,” he said. He added that he did not feel there was any reason for asking chief constables generally “for special reports.”

Last Sunday, two synagogues were set afire and badly damaged in different parts of London in what were reported to be the 21st and 22nd such outrages on Jewish institutions in London since last fall, despite special precautions taken by police to guard Jewish communal property.

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