The branch is carrying on with its programme of fortnightly discussions during the summer months, alternatively with the usual business meetings. Comrade Jack Law gave a very interesting lecture on the Jehovah’s Witnesses last month and will be giving another on the “Opening up of the American West” on July 7th. Members are asked to make this meeting as successful as the last. The weekly outdoor propaganda meetings have started at Earls Court and all members are asked to make a special effort to support them. They are held every Thursday, at. 8 p.m. A group of members went down to Southsea for an outdoor meeting on Sunday, June 25th. It is hoped to give a report on this next month.
During May the branch held six meetings. Literature sales were SS. £1 9s. 0d., Pamphlets £1 0s. 8d., Collections £2 15s. 10d. Average audience 32. Members and a sympathiser attended four CND Rallies and sold £1 3s. 0d. S.S. and 13s. 10d. pamphlets. They had discussions with CND members and found some “ very sympathetic to our case,” who had “ met Party members in London.”
Comrade Powe gave a lecture to Leicester Secular Society on “Religion, Secularism, Socialism.” Fifty people were present and 8s. literature was sold. One open-air meeting was held in Leicester and two were held in Nottingham. It is hoped to follow up the Leicester meetings later. Literature sold 18s. Audiences at meetings: 40-50, 30-70, and 100 respectively. This is really good news as the Party has held meetings in Leicester in the past and it is most gratifying that we are renewing our contacts there.
A reminder of the meeting being held at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, on Wednesday , July 19th, at 7.30 p.m. Comrades will recall the very successful meeting held at St. Pancras Town Hall in April. This was well organised and most stimulating for all who participated. Lessons were learned from this meeting and as a result the Conway Hall meeting should be exceptionally well supported and organised. Members and sympathisers—rally to the meeting and keep up the good work.
Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London.July 19th, 7.30 PM
Please note your diaries and bring as many friends along as possible. There is a good gallery and plenty of standing room, in addition to the spacious hall on the ground floor.
Durdham Downs is the regular outdoor meeting place for the Bristol Group members who have been holding meetings this season. During the month of May four meetings were held, audience averaging 50 and literature sales 9s. 6d. The comrades are hoping that with constant support they will be able to continue throughout the summer with increasing interest from the workers of Bristol.
The candidate of the Socialist Party of Canada polled 149 votes in the British Columbia election. This result is surprisingly good in view of the fact that the Branch of the Party was only formed there comparatively recently and the constituency is mainly agricultural. Their candidate had two half-hours on T.V. and a brief appearance after the vote was counted. He also had twenty minutes on the local radio, and four days before the election another ten minutes, which was re-broadcast the same day. He also had a brief recording on the Canadian Broadcasting system, as well as two or three long-distance calls from prominent writers. each of which occupied about ten minutes, enquiring about the Object and Principles of the Party. One thing the Victorian members are sure of is that thousands of people have heard their message for the first time, and a lot of confusion about the relation of Socialism to Soviet Communism was cleared up. We congratulate our overseas comrades on the effort they have put in and the results they have obtained.
We learn from the W.S.P. of Ireland that owing to the death of a recently elected candidate in one of the wards, they are again entering the election contest. They tell us that, in their opinion, the greatest single factor in obtaining their surprisingly high vote was because they emphasised the international nature of their message, and the fact that they are part of a greater movement. They also make this further statement :
We are inclined to accept the view that the terrible apathy existing here, as elsewhere. is not as unhealthy as it would appear. The workers may not yet have awakened to the need for Socialism, but they are beginning to demonstrate that they at least realise that so far whatever party they have voted for no change ensues for them—hence the abstentionists are the real majority—they continue to accept capitalism, but they are not voting for it. We believe that, especially among such people, real effort on our part can carry the day and convince them that there is something worth voting for. The fact that we are small numerically does not mean that the influence of our propaganda is not being felt; many people are quite prepared to vote and think with us to the exclusion of all others, even if they are not prepared at this stage to join us. In this we see much hope.