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Unrra Conference Shift in Canada Not Due to Anti-semitism, Premier Announces

April 21, 1944
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prime Minister Mackenzie King has denied in Parliament the report published in Canadian newspapers that anti-Semitism was the reason for the forthcoming UNRRA conference not meeting, as had been scheduled, at the Seigniory Club.

The question was raided in the House of Commons by Fred Rose, Montreal representative, during the debate on the first reading of a bill to provide $10,000,000 as Canada’s contribution to U.N.R.R.A. Mr. Rose said that “there was a story that the meeting of U.N.R.R.A. which was to have taken place at the Seigniory Club would not, ?e held there for reasons of anti-Semitism, and consequently they had to go elsewhere. The Prime-Minister termed the report “nonsense.”

Brooke Claxton, Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister, also declared that there was no truth to the report that the U.N.R.R.A. meeting could not be held at the Seigniory Club on the ground that the club did not admit people of the Jewish faith. He gave the following explanation of the circumstances which led to the change in the locale of the meeting.

“I was present with representatives of U.N.R.R.A. when they interviewed representatives of the C.P.R. hotels in Montreal, and when we spoke about the Seignlory Club they said it was out of the question because the premises could not accommodate a meeting of that size. No other reason was given, and if you saw the size of the meeting and contemplated the demand for rooms, you would recognize at once that the Seigniory Club is not a suitable place. The windsor Hotel was chosen because it had suitable accommodation.”

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