1930s >> 1939 >> no-417-may-1939

Party News: Parliamentary Activity

We are now in a position to speak with greater confidence of our plans in connection with the Party’s campaign in the Parliamentary constituency of East Ham North. A number of Party members have responded in a gratifying manner to the recent call for canvassers. Dagenham branch’s response was immediate and consisted of an offer to accept complete responsibility for canvassing and literature distribution in one part of the constituency. This is good work—and sound from the organisational point of view. If all branches, particularly local ones, assumed responsibility for other parts of East Ham, and could undertake all the work involved in their part, then the work would run itself simply and would not involve those of us at Head Office who are concerned with coordinating activities, with unnecessary worry. Dagenham’s example is not an isolated one, though at the moment, it is the most healthy. We have received a response from the membership in most branches, which, shall we say, is encouraging, though not completely satisfactory nor sufficient for our needs. Quite obviously, many Party members imagine that we should come after them. This attitude is a mistaken one, though, of course, it is not meant to be unhelpful. We cannot hope to know the capabilities of members, even if we were personally acquainted with them all. Nor are we able to judge what the resources are of branches for giving assistance. We have, therefore, to depend chiefly on the response to written appeals in some form or other. If this fact were realised we are sure all our difficulties would rapidly be solved. That is not to say that we make no individual contacts, but they must of necessity be limited.

Certain aspects of the work done so far give us great encouragement. We have disturbed the rest of local parties and politicians who regard us as poachers on their preserves. We shall disturb them all the more in the forthcoming season of outdoor propaganda activity. We plan a campaign including canvassing, literature distribution, bill-posting, intense propaganda, loud-speaker publicity and, if we can manage to provoke our opponents to bite—debates.

Comrades, your co-operation and disciplined efforts will make those plans an enormous success. Remember, one of the topical issues of the day, war and peace, promotes a ready interest in the Party’s case. Our message stands alone. It is worth every ounce of energy that you can give it —it is worth some sacrifice. Give—willingly and generously. You will enjoy it.

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE.