The proposal of a few leading houses in Leeds and Bradford to deal with Jewish merchants on cash terms only has aroused much indignation on the part of Jewish traders in the district. The local press publishes a number of letters protesting against this wholesale charge of unfair dealing levelled at Jewish traders. One correspondent in a letter to the local press says:-
“There have been a considerable number of very unsavory failures in the textile trade during the last three years, and it cannot be denied that some of these have been perpetrated by Jews, but to infer that Jews have a monopoly of all the sharp practices and dishonest trading is an astounding and wicked assertion.
“One only hears of these Jewish traders who are dishonorable, but what of the enormous Jewish majority who are the soul of honor, and whose word is their bond, whose businesses are conducted in strict keeping with high business morality, than whom no others have done more to make this country, and for the textile trade in particular, the first commercial country in the world?
“Cash terms with Jews! What an unfair insinuation lies in this phrase! Surely Bradford merchants cannot have forgotten the Japanese and Italian cancels- the American, Canadian, Belgian and French cancellations! Large numbers of non-Jewish firms in all these transactions took advantage of the slump to throw all the responsibilitty on the shoulders of Bradford business men (who are both Jew and Gentile) Then why this outcry against the Jew? Why should the question of a man’s creed enter into it?”
“I do not believe,” writes a Jewish minister at Bradford. “that such a movement is actually in existence, but a rumor to that effect has probably been engineered by prejudiced parties with the evil intention of creating artificially such a movement. It is a pity that the contributor of the article has taken the matter rather too seriously.”
It was about eight days ago that the Leeds “Yorkshire Post” reported that many Yorkshire textile firms who are alleged to have suffered “heavy losses through defaulting London firms of Jewish origin”, are making arrangements with leading houses of the trade to refuse further business from Jews, except on cash terms.
During the past few months a similar movement was inaugurated in London, and it is suggested that firms with Jewish names will find it more difficult in the future to obtain credit from Yorkshire manufacturers.
The paper remarked that it was worth recalling that it was largely Jewish firms who founded the great export trade in textiles. The value of this trade will be recognized when it is stated that a large proportion of the products of the Yorkshire looms is exported.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.