May Day, 1952. Our Glasgow members write that this year’s May Day has been very encouraging for the Glasgow Comrades. In the afternoon on Sunday, May 4th, at Queen’s Park Recreation Grounds, a propaganda meeting which had been organised jointly by Kelvingrove and City branches, was a great success. The best, as a matter of fact, ever held outdoors on May Day.
When members arrived at the park with their small platform, the Communist Party, I.L.P. and the Scottish Nationalists were building up platforms and mounting loudspeaker equipment on motor-lorries, whilst waiting on their respective members who were marching to the park in the May Day Procession.
The procession duly arrived helped by pipe and flute bands and made for the different platforms prepared for them. When the circus had passed our first speaker mounted the platform and very quickly gathered an audience which grew to at least 500. Our meeting lasted two hours and could have gone on longer, but we had to allow time to get to the Cosmo Cinema where we were holding our indoor meeting in the evening. During the time we were holding the outdoor meeting we witnessed the spectacle of the once proud I.L.P. having to close down after less than 30 minutes, during which they had made a vain effort to get an audience with the assistance of loudspeakers and a ladies’ pipe band. The Scottish Nationalists stuck it out with a comparatively small audience, considering all the display they had. The only other meeting of any size was addressed by the ‘Rev.’ Harry Pollitt, backed up by the choir of the ‘Russian Orthodox Church.’ Their audience amounted to about 2,500, mostly composed of the faithful flock who had marched all the way from the centre of the town shouting silly slogans.
Our meeting arranged for the evening in the Cosmo Cinema had been advertised by putting 10,000 tickets through doors in the Kelvingrove constituency, by street chalking and newspaper advertisements. The distribution of the tickets had been hard work and we were anxious to see the results. The audience, giving a conservative estimate numbered at least 550. A collection of £15 13s. 8d. was taken and £4 odd literature was sold. But for a last minute hitch which deprived us of the use of a car for our loudspeaker equipment, we would probably have filled the hall which holds 750. Comrade May gave an excellent lecture and the members went home satisfied that the work they had put in was well worth the results.
The total of the collections for the day was £16 12s. and total literature sales amounted to £7 10s.
In London plans had been made to hold our usual May Day Rally in Hyde Park, but owing to heavy rain our hopes were washed away. Despite the rain, however, efforts were made to distribute handbills advertising our evening May Day Rally at St. Pancras Town Hall.
An audience of 600 attended this evening meeting to which we had invited representatives of other political parties to speak from the platform putting their parties’ case so that the audience could compare the various cases along with the case of the Socialist Party. The Liberal Party accepted the challenge, the Labour Party declined, the Conservative Party replied that they could not accept as it was not their practice to address meetings on a Sunday, the Communist Party did not reply to our invitation.
The meeting commenced with Comrades D’Arcy. and Waters speaking for the Party and a Mr. Allison for the Liberal Party. We announced that our challenge had been made and only accepted by the Liberal Party when a Conservative and Labour Party member from the audience asked if they could speak on their respective Parties’ cases. They were permitted to join the other speakers on the platform and each spoke for ten minutes. The audience was most attentive and many questions were asked of our speakers.
A collection of £17 was taken and literature sales amounted to £3 10s.
St. Pancras Branch members were responsible for Stewards and literature sellers, and the general organisation of the meeting, and they worked efficiently and well.
Manchester Branch held their May Day Rally on Thursday, 1st May, at a meeting in Chorlton Town Hall. Apart from knowing that this meeting was also very successful we have not the full details to hand yet.