Party News Briefs

Ealing Branch. In spite of the bad weather, Ealing Branch’s special May canvassing drive was extremely successful. Thirty-four dozen Socialist Standards were sold in all, a record for the Branch. Members taking part were only sorry that two wet Sundays at the beginning of the month prevented more from being sold.

It is interesting to note that on the first follow-up, i.e., on the canvass following the first excursion into a new area, the percentage of people taking a second copy works out at about 50%. This proportion shows a slight tendency to fall in later months, but the number of “ regular” readers usually evens itself out at about 2 in 5 of those first taking the “S.S.” Most encouraging of all is the interest and eagerness shown by those taking the second and subsequent copies. Whether they agree with our case or not, it is quite obvious that they are politically interested and are prepared to consider our point of view. As one member of the i canvassing team put it—“It seems to show that the apathy is not in the public, but in the members.”

Preparations are now being made for another special drive to sell the “celebration issue” of the Standard in September. Will all members please note and contact the Branch Literary Secretary. Further members are also required, not to do the “preliminary spadework,” which many of them for some reason think is hard and intimidating work, but to deliver the “S.S.” to regular readers already established Again, will they please contact the Branch Literature Secretary.

West Ham Branch are also carrying on a canvassing campaign. Thirty-four copies of the May “S.S.” Figures are not yet complete for the June sales, but up to date results indicate that the figure should exceed that of May. These figures are an encouraging start to our campaign but compared with the splendid achievement of Ealing Branch canvassing, the Branch’s effort seems modest. However, it is not so long ago that West Ham Branch topped the thirty-two dozen mark and what has been done before can be done again. The Branch appeals to members to join with Ealing Branch and show the Party that canvassing is not only an extremely useful method of propaganda, but also a medium to which every member can apply time and energy.

Outdoor propaganda meetings at Station Road, Ilford, have met with great success. This is partly due to the attendance of several Branch members assisting with literature and general support. The same story cannot be told about the new station in East Ham, South. If members make every effort to support this new venture, good results will surely be the outcome.

Attempts are being made to secure a debate with the Peace Pledge Union and the prospects seem likely.

Any Branch member who is out of contact with the Branch and requires any information regarding Branch activity is invited to telephone ILF 2884. He (or she) is bound to be talked into doing something useful for the Party!

Fiftieth Anniversary Meeting.—An audience of about three hundred and fifty members and sympathisers attended St. Pancras Town Hall on Sunday, June 13th, when speakers told of the Party’s activity over the years.

News Items from Abroad.—The Literature Committee report that a request for a copy of “Questions of the Day” has been made from Singapore.

Our Irish Comrades report that during the recent elections in Dublin, a newspaper reported the fact that “one voter in the constituency drew a pencil through all the candidates names and wrote—‘Socialism is the only hope of the world* at the bottom of the paper.” This same item of news was broadcast from Radio Eirean.

Central Branch Secretary would be pleased to have news of Comrades E. Clarke and O. Gelder (both of Hornsey Rise) and Comrade A. H. Marquis. These members have apparently changed their addresses without forwarding their new ones.

Dartford Branch, in spite of local conditions which, at present, make outdoor propaganda impossible, is nevertheless making solid progress in other directions.

A fresh attempt is being made to arouse interest in local T.U. Branches, and the Branch Organiser is making every effort to arrange debates with other political parties.

To stimulate interest among Branch members a programme of monthly discussions has been drawn up with both Branch members and those of other Branches leading the discussions. A start was made to this programme in May when Com. A. Botterill of Dartford Branch opened a discussion on “Production, Past, Present and Future.” This aroused considerable interest among Branch members and augurs well for the future discussions. These discussions will all be advertised in the Socialist Standard. Party members and sympathisers, living in the North West Kent area, are cordially invited to attend the discussions which arc held on the second Friday of each month at Dartford Labour Club, Lowfield Street, Dartford. The club is seven minutes walk from Dartford Station and two minutes walk from the Green Line coaches, alighting point Dartford Market Place.

On June 11th, Com. A. Turner addressed the Branch, taking as his subject “The Declaration of Principles.” There was a lively discussion until well after the normal branch closing time.

Dartford members are urged to support the Beresford Square. Woolwich, meetings, held Thursdays at 8 p.m.

P. H.

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