1940s >> 1947 >> no-517-september-1947

Party News Briefs

The Autumn Delegate Meeting will be held at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, W.C.l, on Sunday, September 28th, commencing at 10.30 a.m. While this is a conference of branch delegates, non-members can attend and see how the democratic principles of the S.P.G.B. work out in practice.


“International Contacts with Parties and Groups Abroad” is the subject of a meeting of party members convened by the Executive Committee being held at the Trade Union Club, Great Newport Street, London, W.C.1, on Sunday, September 14th, at 2 p.m. There will undoubtedly be a lively and interesting discussion and members should keep this date open. Here again non-members may attend, as at all our meetings, and listen to the discussion. As none of our party meetings are secret we shall never be faced with the Labour Party’s problem of preventing “leakages.” Unlike the Labour Party we have nothing to hide. Question—why does an alleged working-class organisation like the Labour Party try and keep its real aims hidden from the working-class? To us the answer is obvious.


Palmers Green Branch are organising a discussion group on alternate Thursdays from September 4th at the Edmonton Trades Club (at the junction of Fore Street and Silver Street). The meetings commence at 8 p. m. Anyone requiring further information can write to the Secretary of the group, A. W. Poole, 26, Hinton Road, N.18. The branch had their eyes on Lord Woolton with a view to a debate with him. The branch wrote taking exception to some statements recently made by him and challenged him to debate. The Conservative Central Office replied that Woolton was not prepared to debate with us but that they would supply a substitute. This offer has been accepted by the branch, and further developments are now awaited.


Bloomsbury Branch have now held more than a dozen outdoor meetings this season at Warren Street Tube Station. The average audience has been 100, and ten different branch members have made their debut on the outdoor platform at these meetings. Most of the new speakers said afterwards that speaking on the platform was not so difficult as it first appeared. Arrangements are now in hand for the winter series of Sunday evening lectures at the Trade Union Club, Great Newport Street, W.C.l. The St. Pancras Liberals and the St. Pancras Labour party both rejected a challenge to debate, the first on the grounds that they were a “classless party’’ and the second because their “plate was full at the moment.” We accept the second but not the first statement.


Camberwell Branch have given half of their branch funds to help pay back a grant made to them by Head Office. Other branches please note and if possible emulate. A Party Funds Committee is now in operation and various ideas for raising funds are being considered. Announcements will be made shortly. An effort to arrange a debate with the Lambeth Communists was refused by them on the ground that the S.P.G.B. is in their opinion “a tiny sect with infinitesimal influence.” The real explanation doubtless is that the Communists do not feel too happy about trying to defend themselves publicly against Socialist criticism.


Ealing Branch have had their most active summer season since their formation. They are co-operating with Paddington and Kingston-on-Thames branches in spreading the area covered by our outdoor propaganda meetings in West London and the Kingston areas. Three new stations have been opened where meetings are being held weekly. These are at Heron Court, Richmond (Sunday evenings), Pennard Road, Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush (Monday evenings) and opposite Earls Court Station (Thursday evenings). The Saturday evening station at Ealing Green is of course still being very successfully operated. Our efforts at the latter have stimulated correspondence in the local paper on “Who are the real socialists?” The branch are holding an evening social on Saturday, September 27th, at the London Co-operative Society’s hall (near South Ealing Station), and will welcome members and sympathisers. The last branch social was a very enjoyable affair, and the branch promise an even better one this time.


Leyton Branch are trying to revive an old outdoor station at the Green Man, Leytonstone. Weekly meetings are being held on Wednesday evenings.


Hackney Branch’s Debate with the Trotskyists took place before an audience of about 100, who were mainly supporters of either the party or the Trotskyists. Haston spoke for them and Fenwick for us. After Fenwick had played the socialist searchlight on the Trotskyists’ undigested and unwholesome mixture of pseudo-Marxism, alleged “Leninism,” and real milk-and-water reformism, and the meeting terminated, the debate continued in the street outside with about half-a-dozen different groups going it hammer and tongs. The branch have made new members recently and other sympathisers are well on the way. We have a number of very solid supporters at the Victoria Park outdoor station who might very well be in the party. The Finsbury Park Road outdoor station on Sunday evenings has been taken over from Islington branch. Islington are getting the decks clear for an intensive propaganda drive during the bye-election to take place soon in West Islington, where the M.P., F. Montague, caused a vacancy by accepting a peerage. Montague was a stalwart of the Social Democratic Party—the party which dubbed us the “impossibilists,” and which claimed to have the quick road to socialism. They obviously must have meant the House of Lords. Hackney branch are making arrangements to book the Bethnal Green Central Library for every Friday evening during the winter. The first meeting will be on October 10th when the General Secretary will speak on “The Jewish Question.”


Paddington Branch are having a very successful season at the Hyde Park Sunday meetings. They are also running Thursday evening outdoor meetings at the “Prince of Wales,” Harrow Road. They are not letting the good work of the two election campaigns go by the board, and are carrying out weekly canvassing in the North Paddington constituency. Two indoor meetings are booked for September, one at Paddington Town Hall on the 4th, and the other at Harvist Road School, Kensal Rise on the 25th. Should the latter prove successful it will be followed up with further meetings with a view to forming a Willesden branch. A poster parade (possibly through the West End) with the new “Work and Want” party posters is being arranged. Fifty of these posters are on weekly display in the branch’s area.


C. C. Groves, 


General Secretary.