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Scott, Charles Prestwich°


SCOTT, CHARLES PRESTWICH ° (generally known as C.P. Scott ; 1846–1932), British editor and supporter of the Zionist cause. Born in Bath, Scott was first the editor and later the owner of the great liberal daily, the Manchester Guardian. From 1895 to 1906 he was a leading Liberal member of parliament. Scott met Chaim *Weizmann at a private party on Sept. 16, 1914, and became a staunch friend of Weizmann and of Zionism thereafter. He introduced Weizmann to D. *Lloyd George, Herbert *Samuel, and other British statesmen, and thus helped Weizmann and his colleagues in their dealings with the British government that led to the *Balfour Declaration. In a letter to Harry *Sacher he explained his Zionism in the following words: "To make the Jew a whole Jew… to clear him up in his own eyes and the eyes of the world – that seems to me sound, at least as an ideal, and there may be a chance now of moving a long way towards it." After Turkey's entrance into World War i, Scott stressed the importance of Palestine for British interests. Scott also revealed to Weizmann the details of the *Sykes-Picot treaty and thus contributed to its undoing. After Weizmann introduced Vladimir *Jabotinsky to Scott, the Manchester Guardian editorially supported the idea of the *Jewish Legion and contributed substantially to its realization. Scott remained a firm supporter of the Zionist movement and the yishuv in Palestine throughout his life. Ironically, after 1967 the Guardian newspaper (now published from London rather than Manchester) became a venomous critic of Israeli policy, one of the most important disseminators of left-wing anti-Zionism in the British mainstream.


J.L. Hammond, C.P. Scott, 18461932: The Making of the "Manchester Guardian" (1946), 31–74; L. Stein, The Balfour Declaration (1961), 131–6; Ch. Weizmann, Trial and Error (1949), index; T. Wilson (ed.), The Political Diary of C.P. Scott (1970). add. bibliography: odnb online.

[Benjamin Jaffe]

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