1940s >> 1948 >> no-526-june-1948

Party News Briefs

May Day in London was a battle of endurance in which members won a victory over atrocious weather. We had members along the route of the procession selling literature, and they all got a drenching. In Hyde Park we had a decorated cart for our meeting and our banner with the party’s name on it could not be missed. Prior to May Day we had been disputing with the Ministry of Works their refusal to permit us to use amplifying apparatus in the park, and the permission given by them to the London Trades Council. We told them that while we did not advocate the use of this apparatus in Hyde Park, we had no other means of defence when others used it. It would seem reasonable that its use should be permitted to all responsible organisations or none. In the event, the amplifiers used at the Trades Council meeting were pitched quietly, possibly as a result of the stand we had taken, and while they interfered with our meeting to some extent, we nevertheless kept the attention of a very large audience. On Sunday we had another large meeting in the Park, followed by our mass rally in the Conway Hall. This we very nearly filled and our speakers, Cash, Young, Groves and Turner were listened to attentively and applauded with enthusiasm by the audience who donated about £40 to our funds. Party members in good numbers played an active part in making the May Day celebrations in London a success in spite of the conditions; Glasgow also report a good day up there on the Sunday. They sold 20 doz. Socialist Standards along the procession, and widely advertised the evening meeting in the Cosmo Cinema by street-chalking, billposting, etc. We were not permitted to hold outdoor meetings in Queens Park as this was reserved entirely for Labour Party meetings. F. Duncan and C. May spoke in the Cosmo Cinema to an audience of about 300 and the branch were well satisfied with the meeting. The collection was approximately £7 10s. C. Lestor went to Bristol for a May Day meeting on Durdham Downs. We have a few members down there who keep pegging away in conditions that are not too easy. Lestor spoke for three hours to about 200 people and the effort stimulated the local comrades. So far we have not received Manchester’s May Day report, but will give it in this column when received. From the U.S.A. also comes news of a successful May Day week-end in Boston by the W.S.P. of U.S.A. A feature of these meetings (on Boston Common and at their headquarters) was the exceptionally heavy literature sales.

The Head Office Librarians require copies of early party pamphlets, as they wish to prepare bound sets for the library. Have a look at your library and send along what you can spare. Also old pamphlets of the S.D.F., I.L.P.. etc., and copies of Justice.

Kingston Branch’s outdoor meetings at Castle Street are as successful as was anticipated. Cold and damp weather has not stopped us getting a good audience every Saturday evening. On one Saturday evening A. Turner held an audience of over 300 for two hours. The branch is confident of producing two speakers from its strength in the very near future

Leyton Branch have how opened a new outdoor station at the “Elms,” Leytonstone, on Wednesday evenings and the first meetings have been very encouraging to members.

A General Election Fight in North Paddington has been decided upon by the Executive Committee as a minimum General Election programme. The Executive Committee have not excluded the possibility of fighting other constituencies as well. This decision must be backed up by members and sympathisers immediately. Money will be the main limiting factor in our forthcoming election campaigns. We have members able and anxious to do the work, and an organisation fitted to deal with the tasks involved. The membership is in support of the fight on the electoral field in the immediate future, but we must build up the funds. Do whatever you can as quickly as you can!

The Overseas Secretary reports that the W.S.P. of of U.S.A. is holding its Annual Conference at Boston at the end of May. Representatives of the Canadian party will attend. They are trying to make a big effort of it with a series of outdoor meetings and possibly a debate. The Dublin socialist group is planning to extend its activities with regular propaganda meetings both outdoors and indoors, and also is trying to form an educational class. The group now has its own headquarters at the Boilermakers’ Hall, 33, Lower Gardiner Street. It meets there on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, having lectures on Sundays, a business meeting on Tuesdays, and plans in progress for an economics class on Thursdays. The hall was packed for the first lecture on May 2nd.

We have been asked by the Overseas Secretary to make a special request for members to assist him. He wants his correspondence with contacts in various parts of the world taken over by a member or members. Workers in other countries are now frequently asking for information from us. and trying to maintain correspondence with someone in Great Britain. The correspondence can be, if necessary, in English, but anyone who can correspond in a foreign language can be put in direct touch with a contact abroad.

Lewisham Branch are following in the footsteps of some other branches in running a Socialist Standard canvass every Sunday, and have already doubled their usual sales.

Bristol Group aims to run fortnightly outdoor propaganda meetings on Durdham Downs this summer and have already booked a series of speakers up to the end of August.

Islington Branch have at last nailed down the Communist Party to a debate. The arrangements are that Geo. Jones (late parliamentary candidate for Hornsey) for the Communist Party will be faced by A. Turner for the S.P.G.B. at Hornsey Town Hall on Tuesday, June 1st. A report of the debate will appear in our next issue.

The New PamphletRussia since 1917,” due soon, will be sold at 1s. per copy. It is another lengthy pamphlet and there’s plenty for the money.

The New E.C. Member is G. Kerr (West Ham branch) and the new Central Organiser, J. D’Arcy Bloomsbury branch), both election results having been recently declared.

C. C. Groves,


General Secretary.