Tottenham Branch Report

It is now some time since a report of the work of the above branch appeared in these columns, nevertheless we have been carrying on our propaganda consistently and with great success. All our outdoor meetings have been well attended and our literature sales have steadily increased. Although at the time of writing there is still another fortnight to go before the month closes, we have already sold 325 copies of the January issue of the SOCIALIST STANDARD. As evidence of the fact that our audiences appreciate our efforts on behalf of the working class, and that they desire to see our Socialist propaganda made even more effective, we mention that during last year we received over £21 from street-corner collections. Last year saw us depart from what had become an annual event, namely, the holding of a Christmas morning meeting. We made amends for this, however, the following day (Sunday), when we held two very large and successful meetings. Comrade Anderson, who was the speaker upon both occasions, appealed for a special collection, with the result that we were enabled to send a donation of £1 10s. to the Party Organ Guarantee Fund.

During the last quarter we were suddenly and quite unexpectedly reminded that a Branch of the S.D.P. existed in Tottenham. This was brought to our notice by a person, claiming to be a member of that particular branch, going about spreading the tale that we had on one occasion been challenged by them to debate, but had “funked it.” We were not aware of having received such a challenge, but to make doubly sure, our secretary went through the filed correspondence. As we expected, nothing could be found showing that anything in the nature of a challenge had ever been received from them. We then wrote telling them of the false statement which their “comrade” had been circulating, and asking if they were prepared to substantiate it. Knowing full well, however, that they would be unable to do this, and being anxious that they should be given an opportunity of meeting a representative of ours in public debate, we issued a challenge to them. It proved to be an intelligent anticipation on our part, for, though offering an excuse for not accepting our challenge, they failed to send any evidence that we had ever refused one from them. This resulted in a further communication from us and another challenge, but we are still awaiting a reply.

Having failed, as just related, to fix up a debate with one defender of capitalism, it was thought advisable to try another. Some of us therefore attended a meeting held on behalf of Mr. Sturdy, the Conservative candidate for this district. After listening as attentively as was possible in the circumstances, one of the comrades addressed a note to the chairman asking to be allowed the platform in opposition, or failing that would any of the gentlemen on the platform be willing to meet a representative ol the S.P.G.B. in public debate. An inquest was held on the note, but the verdict was not made public. What it was we can pretty well guess.

Although somewhat disappointed that our second attempt should prove unsuccessful, we nevertheless pegged away, and tried a third. This time it was Mr P. Alden, retiring member and candidate for the Tottenham Division, who was challenged. One of the comrades who was present at a meeting of Mr. Alden’s, held at the Municipal Hall on Jan. 4th, took advantage of the opportunity when the chairman announced that all questions must be in writing, and asked if Mr. Alden was prepared to defend the Liberal Party against a representative of the S.P.G.B. in public debate. The reply gladdened our hearts, for the challenge was accepted. Mr. Alden has since been written to and asked to proceed with the arrangements, and he has replied that he will keep his promise after the elections, and that he thinks the arrangements might be made later on. We are now anxiously waiting for the elections to finish so that we can fix upon the date and place of debate. An¬nouncements will be made as soon as details are settled.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that Mr. Sturdy, the Conservative, has again been chal-lenged, but no reply has yet been received.

A meeting of the North London Educational Class is being held every Friday evening at the Tottenham Central Club, 366, High Road, Tottenham, and those comrades in North London who have not yet made a point of attending are earnestly requested to do so. Already there are signs that the classes have been a great benefit to those who have attended, and there is every prospect that when the spring conies round there will be a number of comrades sufficiently well equipped to be able to take the platform of the Socialist Party to continue the good work so well begun.

J. T. B.

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