Manchester’s Reactions to the Balfour Declaration

A demonstration at Manchester Hippodrome was held in early December 1917 to publicly thank the government for the Balfour Declaration. Speakers included Sir Stuart Samuel, Col. Sir Mark Sykes MP, and James de Rothschild.


"The Lord Mayor spoke for majority, perhaps the whole of his fellow citizens, when he wished them God speed in their movement. He had a good many friends among the Jews in Manchester, and looked upon them as a very reliable part of the city life. He had, as it were, a personal interest in the Zionist movement, as he had been in Palestine and was now represented there by a son who was in the British army… He earnestly hoped the [Zionist] idea would be realised, and it was best realised by winning this war (cheers) – by destroying for ever German militarism and by crushing it with ferocity."

(Jewish Chronicle, 14 December 1917)

After the excitement of the Balfour Declaration had subsided, Weizmann was invited back to Manchester for a special reception, held in his honour. Other guests included Lewis Namier, Samuel Alexander and Harold Laski. Characteristically, Weizmann used the opportunity to make an appeal, this time for the newly established Keren Hayesod or Palestine Foundation Fund.


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IMAGE AND DOCUMENT CREDITS: Hippodrome (M Dobkin, More Tales of Manchester Jewry) Full reference: Sources.