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J. D. B. News Letter

July 8, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(By our London Correspondent)

One of the fourteen Jewish members of the House of Commons published the following description of a recent incident in parliament.

When the other night Mr. Churchill was speaking in the House of Commons on the Rating Valuation Bill, he was interrupted by Mr. Shinwell, the Labor member for Linlithgow, who rose to his feet and tried to make Mr. Churchill give way. The Chancellor refused, as he was entitled to do, he being in possession of the House.”

But Mr. Shinwell persisted. There were cries of Name him!” to the Speaker, and the possibility of a scene arose. Amid the cries and noise I distinctly heard the expression, “Sit down, you Jew!” used several times–the first time I have ever heard any such expression used audibly since I entered the House of Commons.

It caused me to reflect whether there exists at the present time in Parliament anything at all in the nature of an anti-Semitic feeling. Probably, as a Jew, I should be the last to be cognizant of anything of the kind.

In order to satisfy myself, I made a list of the Jews in the House of Commons, and then examined the list carefully to try to find out whether the individuals concerned were popular or not with their fellow-members.

Here, in alphabetical order, is the list, and the conclusions which I have reached:

Sir Alfred Butt (Balham and Tooting)–Sir Alfred is a very quiet member, who rarely speaks in a debate. He has not a large circle of intimate friends in the House, but those who know him well like him. He is neither popular nor unpopular. I should say that Parliament bores him, and that he prefers his work outside.

Major J. B. Cohen (Fairfield), “the legless M.P.”–Universally liked and respected. Always listened to with attention when he intervenes in debate, which is usually on matters affecting ex-Service men. One imagines that he has not an enemy in the House.

H. Day (Southwark Central), a Labor member, owning two Rolls-Royce cars, and–judging by his list of questions–a busy secretariat. His position in the Socialist ranks is, therefore, somewhat anomalous. He is much too pushful and aggressive to be popular, although he has a genial and disarring manner outside the Chamber. He is not likes by the Conservative Party. Always votes with extremists of his own parts–for is stance, when a Labor member is suspended for deliberate defiance or the Clair and the Labor Front Bench abstains from voting.

S. Finburg (Salfad, N)–A retiring and unobtrusi##, probably rather shy. Seldom speaks. Once made a violent speech accusing the Home Secretary of anti-Semitism. One of the less-known members, but is respected, and has no enemies.

P. A. Harris (Bethnal Green),–Calculated to empty the House on any occasion when he rises. A tiresome speaker, but not unpopular. A knowledgeable and useful member. The House is inclimed to treat him at a butt–usually a sige of popularity.

L. Hore-Belisha (Devonport)–Has friends in every party, as befits a good journalist. A very good speaker, but devotes more time to journalism than oratory now. In either of the other parties would be one of the rising young men. Distinctly popular although possibly some of those he has criticised in the Press cherish some little resentment. A very human person.

Sir Frank Meyer (Great Yarmou) –An active member, who is listened to with respect when he speaks. Not very sociable, and has only a limited number of friends, but probably no enemies, as he has a conciliatory manner to his ### and is always amiable when spoken to. Has an attractive voice.

Major I. Salmon (Harrow)–A director of J. Lyons and Co., and a very busy man. Always talks common sense in the House. Popular with those who know him, but might appear forbidding to strangers. His manner is rather brusque. He probably does not care if he is popular or not, so long as he is able to do his job properly.

A. M. Samuel, (Farnham)–Financial Secretary to the Treasury. A man of great crudition and immense information. His position is the well-earned reward of ability and industry. Generally liked and respected. His party think he is too verbose in answering questions, Comes of an old English family of Jews, and is proud of it. A little deficient in humor.

S. Samuel (Putney)–A member of the famous Shell Oil concern. Wealthy and correspondingly kind, generous and hospitable. To know him is to like him. He detests Socialism, and has not many friends in the Socialist Party. A quiet, retiring man. A bachelor.

Sir P. Sassoon (Hythe)–Under-Secretary of State for Air. A very able man, who has known how to use his position and wealth in a dignified way. His position in the Government is not the result of House of Commons successes, but of quiet and useful work in the background. Has followed the Rothschild-Sassoon tradition. Is too reserved to achieve popularity, which he does not seek, but has many devoted friends, Endowed with good looks and charming manners.

E. Shinwell (Linlithgow)–A fierce, aggressive type of man; a revolutionary, without the saving humor of Maxton or the humanity of Kirkwood. Extremely intelligent, but equally bitter. Would probably have achieved a big position in Soviet Russia. Not suited to the British House of Commons. Likely to create anti-Semitic prejudice.

Sir Henry Slesser (Leeds, S.E.)–A most devout Anglo-Catholic and a strong individualist, who finds himself strangely out of place in the Labor Party. An agreeable companion, but rather too prolix and didactic in speech to catch the ear of a critical House. Although he is the Trade Union lawyer, he dislikes big corporations which interfere with individual rights. Should join the Liberal Party and lead it back to individualism.

E. A. Strauss (Southwark, N.)–A quiet, rather timid-looking man whom one would expect to find in the Tory Party. Obviously sincere and liked by all who know him. His contributions to debate are sound and useful, with out attracting much attention. Obviously has no enemies.

I must add, that, although all the above are of Jewish extraction, some are not practising Jews and several belong to the Christian religion.

The general assumption I would draw is that the Jews in the House are not unpopular, and that, although it is not an advantage to be a Jew for political purposes, it is not a serious handicap to success. There is certainly more anti-Semitism in the constituencies than in the House.


Gedalia Bublick, president of the Mizrachi Organization of America, sailed on Friday on the Columbus to attend the Mizrachi World Conference at Danzig which will open on August 19.

Before going to Danzig Mr. Bublick will visit Palestine.

The other American delegates to the Mizrachi World Conference are Rabbi W. Gold, vice-president of the Mizrachi Organization of America; Rabbi A Teitelbaum; Rabbi M. Charlap; Mr. J. Dauber; and Mr. B. Schwartz of Baltimore.

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