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Party Notes


 The Manchester Branch continues to go “great guns,” and the local S.D.P., I.LP., and other reform organisations must be heartily wishing our members with their inconvenient truths anywhere but where they are—and that is mainly where the reformers make their own public pitches. Being beaten whenever they allow themselves to be drawn into discussion upon the position and tactics of their own parties, they now refuse to answer questions from any of our speakers (following a line that has offered a way of escape elsewhere) and when forced into some recognition of the S.P.G.B., have recourse to the customary misrepresentation of our attitude, and vilification of some of our membership.

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 The latter course, however, does not always pay, as Mr. Watson, of the S.D.P. Executive, found when he ventured to level charges at our comrade Baritz, who at one time was secretary of the Cheetham Branch of the S.D.P. The charges related to Baritz’s conduct while acting in that capacity, as a result of which, it was alleged, he was expelled. Baritz had no difficulty in proving Watson’s statements to be untrue, and after many miserable attempts to struggle out of the difficulty his attempt to blacken our man in the eyes of his audience had landed him into, Watson was obliged to admit his “error,” and reluctantly apologised.

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 Apart from there brushes with the enemy, the Manchester Branch has held many meetings, with audiences running sometimes into four figures, and has effected large sales of the Party literature. More power to them.

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 Another branch of the Party has now been formed in Lancashire. Burnley has opened fire, and in the district specially affected with Dan-irvinism. The members may be reckoned upon to make their presence felt. So the organisation that four years ago was given three months to die in, grows. It must be very annoying to the prophets.

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 At Watford a round table meeting, to which members of the local S.D.P. were specially invited, was held, when Fitzgerald gave an address on the reasons for the Party opposition to the S.D.P. Several S.D.P.’ers turned up, and their principal platform member undertook the rather unhappy task of defending his organisation’s work. Whether the meeting results in any immediate conversions or not, it doubtless has had the effect of opening the eyes of some of the S.D.P. men present to the methods by which their society is run, as well as to the only attitude which a working-class party can adopt. As their presence was an indication of a desire to get at the truth, the final outcome must be to the advantage of the only Party expressing working-class interests—the S.P.G.B. It is fairly certain that if the honest, earnest member of the S.D.P., I.LP., and the rest (and there are without question, of course, many such), could be got at, and the issues squarely put and thoroughly discussed, a large proportion would, sooner or later, recognise the weakness of their position and come over. The difficulty is that the forces at work to prevent such discussion, coupled with our comparative weakness numerically, make any meeting impossible. This is unfortunate for the growth of the Socialist Party in England, perhaps, but we can only keep on with our work while keeping a watchful eye upon any opportunity that offers.

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 Will any member who is willing to devote any part of his holidays to provincial propaganda work communicate at once with the Head Office, giving dates and district? The biggest glutton for work can be fully satisfied. Verily, the field is great and the labourers few.

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 Two debates have been held with the S.L.P., one in Manchester and one in Finsbury Park. On each occasion the position of the S.P.G.B. was easily maintained against the position put up against it. By the time this appears another debate will have taken place in Islington. with F. Montague, the organiser of the I.L.P. in North London.

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 Not only have these debates been held by the Islington Branch with representatives of the “Labour movement," but the Liberal Party has been met on June 18th, when our comrade Fitzgerald met Mr. Theedham, of the Central Finsbury Liberal Association. Any member of any political party outside the S.P.G.B.  can always be accommodated by communicating with us.