London (Feb. 5)
The British government will begin an immediate study of racist organizations and is considering setting up special police units to investigate racist attacks.
William Whitelaw, Home Secretary, made this pledge after talks with the Joint Committee Against Racialism, a broad-based body which includes representatives of the churches, colored minorities and the Jewish community. The committee, formed four years ago to combat the rightwing National Front, says it knows of at least 1000 attacks on colored minorties in the last 18 months and believes the total may be several thousand.
Although the overwhelming majority of these attacks are against West Indian and Asian immigrants and property, there is also a strong strain of anti-Semitism in the activities of the racist organizatons. The Board of Deputies of British Jews is closely associated with the anti-racist campaign.
The Board of Deputies said the aim of the Joint Committee, which it helped to establish, was to take race out of politics. The decision of the Home Office to carry out an investigation of racism would help to reassure the minorities that they are not isolated.