1950s >> 1959 >> no-656-april-1959

Party News Briefs

Propaganda. It will be seen by the list of meetings advertised in this issue, that much activity is taking place in order to spread the Party message. In Bethnal Green, where we are planning to contest the next General Election, regular meetings are being held, and canvassing of the Socialist Standard is part of the plan to contact workers and get them acquainted with the party and its case. Kingston Branch has been very active and has arranged a series of indoor propaganda meetings, a new venture which is being well supported by the Branch members and others comrades. Islington and Lewisham Branches hold regular meetings which are attracting sympathisers, and it is hoped, new members.


May Day, Sunday, May 3rd. In London there will be a Rally in Hyde Park from 2.30 to 6 p.m., where Comrades D’Arcy, May, Willmott and Young, will be on the platform and Comrade Ambridge will be Chairman. It is not really necessary to urge members to support this occasion as it is usually very well attended, but it should be stressed that members can take an active part here; there is literature to be displayed and sold, and the meeting generally supported. The Hyde Park Rally will terminate at 6 p.m. promptly in order that our efforts can be centred on Denison House, where a meeting is being held from 7 p.m. Comrades Grant, Lake and Mostyn will speak, and the subject, “Socialism is International.” With the zest and interest that is apparent in the membership nowadays, May Day, 1959, should be most successful.


Ireland. Party members will be pleased that from April 4th to the 11th, Comrade Coster is visiting Ireland. His visit has been organised by the S.P. of Ireland, and on arrival at Belfast, Comrade Coster will be met by the local Comrades and will go on to Dublin. Whilst there, he will attend a Conference of the Irish comrades—they hope to press a resolution at the Conference to change the name of the Irish Party to the World Socialist Party. Comrade Coster will return to Dublin to address an arranged public meeting and also other organisations and have a “get together” with the Irish Comrades. It is hoped that this is the first of many such visits by Comrades to the Emerald Isle..


Swansea. Comrade Ambridge gave a public lecture on “Is Labour the Way to Socialism?” at Swansea Central Library recently. According to the local press who wrote up the meeting in detail, it was “followed with interest by a small audience.” Such write-ups, together with the correspondence from local comrades which is regularly printed in the columns of the local papers, help considerably to get the Party case known in Wales. Much work is being done by the Swansea Group who hope that it will not be long before they can proudly acclaim that they are the Swansea Branch of the Party.


Dartford Branch recently held its 500th meeting and the occasion was marked by a celebration supper at the “Black Prince,” Bexley. Twenty-four members and friends sat down to the meal and took the opportunity to discuss past activity and the future outlook of the Party and the Branch. One young hopeful, after the meal, engaged three Party Comrades in animated discussion. It is hoped that he profited by the knowledge gained! At least the act of thinking “on his feet,” promises well. The Dartford members were heartened by the attendance of Comrades from other branches, and of the General and Assistant General Secretaries, and the Branch extends its thanks to them all. It is hoped that those who missed this event, will look out for, and attend, the 1,000th meeting “do.” The Branch, so handicapped by the scattered membership, has now, thanks to one comrade, begun canvassing in the Eltham area. Results are already promising. Arrangements are in hand for a debate with the North Kent Socialist League. It is to be held at the Labour Club, Lowfield Street, Dartford, on Friday, April 17th, at 8 p.m. Subject: “Which Group should the Working Class support?” At the time of writing these notes, it is not known who will represent the Party or the N.K.S.L., but it is hoped to get this information to Party members in time for them to support the debate. Regular discussions are held on the second Friday of each month, and all are welcome. A special invitation is extended to readers of the Socialist Standard in the Dartford area. The Labour Club, Lowfield Street, is easy to find. It is convenient for bus, Green Line, or train—and the Party name is on the room door. The Branch will be happy to welcome you.
Debate at London College. Next month will be given details of a debate which took place recently at a University Union when Comrades D’Arcy and Mostyn of Islington Branch represented the Party.


“If we are to survive” was the title of the lecture given at Denison House, Victoria, on Sunday, March 15th. Organised by Paddington Branch, the meeting was very well attended and the audience listened to Comrades Coster and Wilmott, showing their interest by the questions and discussion which could have gone on much beyond closing time. A collection of over Thirteen Pounds was donated. This will greatly assist the Branch in meeting the cost of this venture, and it is to be hoped, by more such successful meetings. Paddington Branch planned this meeting well in advance and the result is certainly most gratifying.


Phyllis Howard