Tooting Branch Report

During the past six months the Tooting Branch has made greater progress than ever before in its history. Formed three years ago by a little band of six, possessing no speaker of their own and having only one member capable of efficiently acting as chairman, it has in its ranks today five members able to place the principles of Socialism before their fellow workers, in addition to another three who can take the chair.

The result of this development has been, of course, more meetings, and the past six months has seen 63 in and around Tooting; about 45 of which have been carried through by local members without assistance from other branches. So persistent and telling has the propaganda been that the Tories have come out “to expose the fallacies of Socialism.” A correspondence in the local Boro News has been carried on for several weeks between Mr. Daw, the Conservative agent for Wandsworth, and one of our members on the aforesaid “fallacies,” with what result may be judged from Mr. Daw’s closing argument here quoted : He states that our comrade “asks for evidence to prove that there is some other factor in wealth production than labour-power. My answer is, there is to be an exhibition of machinery at Olympia soon: let him go there and use his eyes and powers of observation. He will then perhaps realise the source of the rapid increase in the wealth of labour and capital.” A debate has been arranged between Mr. Daw and Comrade Jackson on “Is Socialism Practicable.” We have no fear of the result. A debate took place in June between Mr. Bell, a Tariff Reform lecturer, and Comrade Fitzgerald on the respective theories of value of Prof. Jevons and Karl Marx. We do not think that Mr. Bell is anxious for such another gruelling. At Streatham a Malthusian was also met and disposed of in an impromptu debate.

A record increase of Membership was almost inevitable in face of the amount of work done during the past quarter. We are running now, and shall continue to run as long as the weather permits, five meetings a week, two in Tooting and one each in Earlsfield, Streatham and Brockwell Park. A pleasing feature is the increased sale of literature. Both July and August saw the branch dispose of 30 per cent. more SOCIALIST STANDARDS than ever before, and September has sent the percentage up to 100. The work being done in Earlsfield, Streatham and Brockwell Park will soon show very material results unless we are greatly mistaken.


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