The election of Party Officers and Executive Committee members for 1948 resulted as follows: General Secretary, C. C. Groves (Ealing); Assistant Secretary, A. Fisher (Lewisham); Treasurer, E. Lake (South West London); Literature Secretary, F. Lawrence (Bloomsbury); Auditors, F. Lawence (Bloomsbury) and R. Stovold (Paddington); Trustees, R. Ambridge (Islington) and I. Groves (Ealing). 45th Executive Committee: A. Turner (Paddington), E. Hardy (Bloomsbury), C. May (Paddington), C. Groves (Ealing), E. Lake (South West London), G. McClatchie (Bloomsbury), R. Ambridge (Islington), H. Waite (Marylebone), C. Lestor (Leyton), A. Young (Bloomsbury), S. Hampson (Ealing), P. Howard (Bloomsbury), W. Kerr (West Ham) and D. Fenwick (Ealing).
A second ballot is now taking place for the position of Assistant Treasurer, where the candidate with most votes did not get a majority over the other two.
The Treasurer says that our income is now just about sufficient to cover routine expenditure, but that enough money is not coming in yet for our greatly expanded pamphlet publication campaign. We need donations urgently. Please do whatever you can. The new pamphlet on the “Racial Problem” is now on sale, and our own centenary edition of the “Communist Manifesto” is not far behind, and a pamphlet on “Russia” is well on the way.
“Socialist Standard” sales campaigns have been undertaken by some branches lately with very gratifying results. One branch sold eight dozen in a one-hour canvass of streets in their area the other Sunday morning. Regular contacts can be developed in this way and the branch benefits generally. Why not put this item on your branch agenda? Good results can be guaranteed if the job is tackled in the right way. Branches which have organised canvasses recommend that at least six or eight members should systematically cover the houses in selected streets, keeping records of purchasers so that they can be revisited the following month. The time has arrived to prepare for when paper restrictions will be lifted, and branches which have a small margin of Socialist Standards left over each month are asked to consider the suggestion of a canvass.
Hackney Branch have now heard from Hamm of the British League of Ex-Service Men that they are now prepared to withdraw the conditions they originally imposed for a debate, and will debate with us on our usual conditions, and further that they agree that we shall provide the chairman and steward the meeting. We are now trying to find a hall for this meeting.
The League of Individualists have challenged Kingston branch to debate at the Surbiton Assembly Rooms on February 19th. We gather that the issue will be “Socialism versus Capitalism” and that Waldron (come to Jesus) Smithers, M.P., speaks for the “Individualists.” Our man is Cyril May. We learn that there is a possibility that our opponents may suggest putting two M.P.’s up in the debate, but this is not definite. The hall is large and comfortable and Smithers is a born entertainer.
Greenford is expected to be Ealing Branch’s best district for indoor propaganda and in spite of a breakdown in advertising arrangements the branch’s first indoor meeting at the Library there was successful. Further meetings are being arranged. On February 5th the branch are running a debate with the Trotskyists at Ealing Town Hall. Hansen speaks for them and H. Young for us. A review of outdoor propaganda during the summer shows that this branch held 54 outdoor meetings in various places.
The Annual Conference agenda is now being prepared, and branches have been asked to submit items for this. These items are Amendments to Resolutions and amendments to rule which have already been submitted, and also “Items for Discussion.”
Newport (Mon.) Branch maintains regular Sunday evening lectures. The difficulty in Newport lies in outdoor propaganda where there are serious barriers against meetings imposed by the local authorities.
H.O. Library recently received a number of very useful books sent by the widow of Jack Butler, our late Treasurer.
Glasgow Branch are keeping well in action in 1948. They are strong with the determination to make the very best use of their resources this year in socialist propaganda among the teeming wage-slave population of Glasgow. The branch had a very successful mass meeting on Sunday, January 11th, in the Central Halls to commemorate the centenary of the “Communist Manifesto.” Three speakers addressed the audience who were packed tightly in a hall with a seating capacity of 160. Members gave solid support as stewards, literature sellers, etc. A branch social committee is now busy arranging a theatre evening or smoking concert for members and friends as soon as accommodation can be reserved. Correspondence is being maintained with the Workers’ Socialist Party of U.S.A. at Boston and with comrades in Dublin and Belfast. Branch meetings are held on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 p.m. at the branch headquarters, 43, Maryhill Road, Glasgow, N.W., and the Sunday evening programme of lectures at the Central Halls, Bath Street, continues. These commence at 7 p.m. The February programme is as follows: 1st February, “The real crisis,” F. Duncan; 8th February, “Socialism and Morality,” J. Thorburn; 15th February, “The affairs of our masters,” J. McFarlane; 22nd February, “ The workers’ party,” T. Mulheron; and 29th February, “Dictators and Socialism,” J. Prout. There is, of course, no charge for admission to these lectures, and plenty of time is reserved for questions and discussion from members of the audience.
Centenary of the Communist Manifesto. The centenary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto is being commemorated by a meeting to be held in Central London at the end of February or the beginning of March. Final arrangements are not yet completed. Watch for announcements.