To Members and Sympathisers: An Appeal
At a Party Meeting held in Central London on the 19th January, it was decided that the Executive Committee proceed with the purchase of premises in Clapham for use as the Head Office of the Party. The need for new premises arose a year ago when the lease on Rugby Chambers expired. An extension of one year was obtained, and that year is now at an end. The lease could be renewed, the landlords informed the E.C., at a rental of £357 p.a., payment of rates at approximately £60 p.a. and provided that the premises were redecorated, the cost of which would have been in the region of £400/450. In addition, the display of bills, posters and advertising matter generally on the outside of the premises was prohibited.
Faced with this alternative, the E.C. decided to purchase suitable premises and those at Clapham High Street were chosen. Much more space will be available there for the routine tasks of the Party-tasks which increase in size and number as the Party grows. The room for E.C. meetings is much larger and there will be ample space for those members who attend Head Office on E.C. meeting nights. In addition, there are eight other rooms which can be used for storage and despatch of literature, meeting rooms for the various committees, a room for the library, and so on. The possession of suitable premises can materially assist the Party in its growth, and the main object of our organisation—Socialist propaganda—can go ahead unhampered by cramped quarters.
Those are the facts: now for some figures. The new premises were bought at a cost of £4,000. Following appeals to Branches and members, approximately £2,700 has been subscribed towards the cost. This represents a generous response by the membership as a whole, but more is needed. The balance of the purchase price could be borrowed from bank or building society, but, if this sum can be subscribed, it will relieve the Party funds from having to bear the considerable strain of making mortgage repayments on the loan. Interest alone on £1,300 (i.e. the balance required) amounts to £1 per week. It is highly desirable, therefore, that, wherever possible, the Party is freed from the necessity of using its funds in this manner. Accordingly this further appeal for funds for the new premises is being made.
To those who have already given we say “ Thank you—and can you give again?” To those who have not yet subscribed, “Can you and will you?” iTo those who find themselves unable to help the Party in its day-to-day tasks or to attend Branch meetings regularly or frequently; to Central Branch members whose contact with the Party is necessarily restricted; to all those who, for one reason or another cannot do all they would like to help the progress of Socialism, we say “This is a fine opportunity. This is an occasion when the Party needs help and you can supply it.”
Finally, a word to those readers who understand and sympathise with the aims and principles of the Socialist Party of Great Britain but who are not members. The help of all is needed.
The acquisition of these premises represents a large step in the progress of the Party, but it could mean a heavy drag on the Party’s funds. This can only be avoided by sufficient money being subscribed to cover the full purchase price and, in addition, the legal costs, cost of removal, decoration and furnishings. The extent to which the Party can flourish—free of binding financial restrictions—depends completely on how much you will give.
Please give quickly and generously. The address for your subscription is: E. Lake, Socialist Party of Great Britain, 52 Clapham High Street, Clapham, S.W.4.