26 August 2011

Carry On, Brith'ish Business Men!



A follow-up to Tuesday's post.

Does it not make sense that The Roadbuilder and Henry Ford were friends? After all, the two captains of industry had much in common, not the least of which was a shared interest in the paving of America. Both were anti-union, both pro-prohibition, and both believed that Jews were to blame for much of the world's ills. Though not a strong proponent of Anglo-Israelism like his pal, Ford furthered the movement through his newspaper, the notorious Dearborn Independent.

The 16 April 1927 edition featured what is likely W. G. MacKendrick's most widely-circulated piece of writing:


And that's just the summary.

Eight months later, felled by a libel lawsuit, the racist rag was no more. Its editor, long-time Ford employee William J. Cameron, took the bullet for his boss. It was a good gig while it lasted, one that had carried a certain amount of weight. In 1923, for example, he'd been invited to speak in Toronto before the Empire Club of Canada. Sadly, Cameron took ill, so members never got to hear "Mr. Henry Ford, the Man and his IDEAS and IDEALS." Enter MacKendrick, who instead provided rambling recollections of the automaker, concluding with a lengthy account of a conversation he and Ford had shared on Anglo-Israelism.

This was not the first the Empire Club had heard of the belief. Just seven months earlier, MacKendrick had spoken before the club on this very topic. His address, "Allenby's Campaign As Laid Down in the Bible", not only encapsulates much of the material found in The Destiny of The British Empire and The U.S.A., but includes an alternate version of the dinner with "Major Blank" (here called "Major Leon"):
One night, in that little village of Clarques, to make a little conversation during dinner I said something about the Jews. Somebody sitting next me whispered that Major Leon, (who was sitting on my right) was a Jew! I said, "Yes, Major Leon is a Jew, he is a first cousin of mine, because I am a Hebrew of the tribe of Benjamin. And by the way, Major, did you know that we are going to take Palestine, and that we are going to give it to you hook-nosed people for a national home?" [Laughter]
The members of the Empire Club, of which MacKendrick was one, don't exactly come off well here, so I was surprised to see that the text, all 4342 words, is found on the Club's website.

"An amusing analogy of the Bible being a story of the British Empire", reads the description.

Not to these eyes.

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