27 JANUARY 1939, Page 20

[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR]

Sta,—I am afraid it was only to be expected that the corre- spondence as to whether refugees are a liability or an asset to this country should have produced the usual anti-Semitic reaction. I deeply regret to find that the letter from Miss B. -Savage should have been disfigured by remarks merely betray- ing the usual technique of the anti-Semites. I fail to under- stand the connexion between the refugee problem, and whether Jews have volunteered for A.R.P. or not, or how many would fight for Britain in case of need, or the monstrous assertion, ridiculously untrue, that there was a run on the banks in the East End during the crisis.

Such remarks are merely red herrings drawn across the path of fair discussions, but as they have been published, I, speaking as an A.R.P. warden, can assure your readers that the Jews of the East End did, and are doing, their full share of A.R.P. work, and if Miss Savage had an open mind, she would have learned, even from those sections of the Press which are by no means favourable, how eagerly the refugees, already domiciled here, came forward in the crisis to volunteer their services in whatever capacity they could be used.

It is rather late in the day to recall that the Jews in this country, as in every country, performed their full duty as citizens in the Great War, and there is no reason for suggesting that they would not do so in any future war, although we sincerely hope that the necessity will never arise.

Miss Savage shows her prejudice and lack of all knowledge of the subject by suggesting that although the Jews make " skilled workers," they do not make agricultural labourers or bricklayers. I wonder if she has heard of a certain country called Palestine, which is a good example of what the Jews can do, not only as farmers and agricultural labourers, but as bricklayers, and which, indeed, is a most striking denial of the belief that the Jews are essentially town-dwellers.

But I am not going to follow the other red herrings which Miss Savage has introduced into this discussion except to ask this lady how long she imagines Jews had been settled in Italy, and if she imagines there would have been any anti- Jewish campaign in that country had not Mussolini to cringe to the crack of his master's whip ? It may be true that there are more Christian than Jewish subscribers to the Baldwin Fund, but that is as it should be. The Anglo-Jewish com- munity have already subscribed over £600,000 to their own fund, in addition to the two millions odd raised by them since 1933, and which took under its wing thousands of non-Aryan Christians.

It was indeed in consequence of the indifference shown by Christians to what in fact was their responsibility that the Baldwin Fund was started, as the letter from the heads of the churches in The Times demonstrated.

Miss Savage says that to refuse even temporary admittance to refugees without a guarantee is " practical Christianity." The only comment one can make on such an extraordinary conception of what Christianity means is to quote the comment of a statesman to whom it was explained that a certain political manoeuvre might be described as a " pious fraud." " I can see the fraud clearly enough," he said, " but where does the

piety come in? "—Yours faithfully, N. LEVY.