HC Deb 28 January 1960 vol 616 cc359-60
39. Miss Bacon

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence he has to show that anti-Jewish propaganda in the United Kingdom is the result of organised action.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have no reason to think that there is any significant organisation behind the recent anti-Jewish activities.

As I should have said if I had answered Question No. 36, Her Majesty's Government strongly deplore the foolish and offensive behaviour of the persons responsible for the recent incidents of swastika painting and other anti-Jewish activities.

Miss Bacon

I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will agree that, if this is the work of an organised body of people, something should be done about it. If, on the other hand, it is the work of a few hooligans, would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that we have failed somewhat as a nation if we have boys in their teens who do not realise what Fascism, swastikas and concentration camps mean?

Mr. Butler

From the very detailed reports that I am receiving from police officers, not only in London but in other parts of the country, it is undoubtedly true that this is due largely to irresponsible persons, many of wham are very young. Up to date we have not been able to trace any significant organisation. I have had conversations with some of the people representing the community most deeply and anxiously involved in this matter. I shall be only too glad to receive any further information Meanwhile, I shall support the hon. Lady in saying that our young people should have a higher sense of responsibility.

Mr. S. Silverman

As one who has been at the receiving end of some of these activities, may I ask if the right hon. Gentleman will bear in mind that the communication which I had was obviously not from a youngster, and not from an uneducated person, and that such information as some of us have seems to indicate, by its simultaneity, that there is in fact some sort of an organisation behind these outbreaks?

Mr. Butler

I am glad to say that our researches do not reveal any particular organisation. We have instances of telephone calls having been made to annoy such persons as the hon. Gentleman and other people, including the wives of some hon. Members. I deplore this and I think that we are on the track of the trouble.

Sir L. Plummer

Will the Home Secretary pay particular attention to an organisation which masquerades under the title of the National Labour Party, which is a Fascist organisation which has uttered threats against my hon. Friends and against myself, and is organising anti-Semitic outbreaks in London? Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Special Branch of the police to pay special attention to this squalid movement?

Mr. Butler

Yes. I would hesitate to feel that there was any danger of that organisation being confused with the noble organisation to which the hon. Member belongs. I have evidence that there is such an organisation, and if the hon. Member will give me further particulars we will do our best to follow them up.

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