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Jews in London Fear Clashes; Urged to Shun Mosleyite Meeting

July 20, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Anticipating clashes, the Board of Deputies of British Jews today strongly urged Jews in London to stay away from the open-air rally of Mosleyites which is to take place on Sunday in Trafalgar Square. At the same time, a delegation of the Board of Deputies visited Scotland Yard today, and discussed with the authorities there the recent Fascist activities in Britain.

The Board of Deputies also asked Jews to write to their representatives in Parliament to urge that public meetings organized solely to spread race hatred and incitement should be banned and, if necessary, that the Public Order Act of 1930 be amended for that purpose.

The Board decided to seek an early meeting with the Home Secretary to discuss measures needed to meet the situation created by the emergence in Britain “of a small but virulent Nazi organization.” The Police Commissioner’s office disclosed today plans to post police in large numbers in Trafalgar Square Sunday, to stand by in case of trouble when Sir Oswald Mosley’s Fascist party holds a scheduled rally there.


The heavy police posting is the commissioner’s answer to widespread complaints against the near-riot provoked by Colin Jordan’s British National Socialist movement at an anti-Semitic rally in the same square on July 1. A Government spokesman informed the House of Commons today that British police had not been able to find sufficient evidence to sustain a prosecution of the British National Socialist movement under the Public Order Act.

The issue was raised by Arthur Lewis, a Laborite, who asked Henry Brooke, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he had studied evidence sent him by a member of Parliament about the training of a quasi-military organization whose members described themselves as Nazi storm troopers wearing uniforms to indicate their association with a political organization.

In his reply, Mr. Brooke said that the police commissioner had the situation “under close review,” and that, if sufficient facts were obtained, the matter would be reported to the Attorney General for consideration.


A Conservative MP, T. L. Iremonger, asked what further consideration the Minister had given to the desirability of amending the Public Order Act, to take account of the danger of breaches of the peace being provoked by threatening, abusive or insulting words. The MP also asked what further consultations had been held about granting permission for meetings in Trafalgar Square for groups likely to use such language publicly.

Mr. Brooke declared he had under consideration proposals put to his predecessor last week by several members of Parliament to amend the Act. He added, however, that “it is already an offense under this act to use threatening, abusive or insulting words with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or whereby a breach of the peace is likely to be occasioned,” the Secretary of State explained.

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