Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Branch News (1963)

Party News from the January 1963 issue of the Socialist Standard

Excellent work was done during October and November in the Glasgow Woodside By-Election. The campaign commenced with canvassing the Socialist Standard. This produced good results. Some members were disappointed that sales did not reach the results of the Municipal election in Kelvingrove last April. This was probably due to the time of year and bad weather. However, 307 Socialist Standards and 57 pamphlets were sold. When the election campaign really got going 18,500 manifestos were distributed also 500 leaflets introducing the Party. Six indoor meetings were held in addition to outdoor meetings. Glasgow Branch were pleased by the large amount of press publicity, although they regretted that the candidate's remarks were not always correctly reported. Radio and television reportage was good although the time allowed was very restricted. 83 votes were polled for the Socialist Party of Great Britain and a quote on the result from the Glasgow Herald (23/11/62) stated: "With 83 votes to his credit. Mr. Valler of the Socialist Party of Great Britain was not downhearted. 'There are,' he announced proudly '83 politically mature people in Woodside'".

Glasgow Branch learned much from the campaign and their experience will help them when they next contest an election in Glasgow. The Branch are grateful to comrades, other branches and the London members (who went up to help on the spot) for their financial and physical help.

Wembley Branch has continued with its steady and persistent efforts to spread the Socialist case. Regular canvasses of the Socialist Standard are still being conducted and members are kept busy following up the fresh sales.

Three film shows were held during 1962 and more are planned for the New Year. The Branch met the Wembley South Young Socialists (Labour Party Youth Section) on two occasions, and very worthwhile discussions took place. It is hoped to pay them a return visit. On the lighter side, this year's Xmas Social was held again at South Ealing with the usual get-together of members and friends.

Lewisham Branch is continuing with their winter propaganda. So far they have held eight indoor lectures. Literature sales totalled £2 14s. 4d. and collections
£17 2s. 10d., with an average audience of 20.

The challenge to opponents to put their case at Lewisham Town Hall drew an audience of 40. The meeting was well reported in the local press (Kentish Mercury) under the heading "Major parties steer clear of Political Challenge".

Final arrangements are being made for a debate with the Liberal Party on February 15th at Lewisham Town Hall at 8 p.m. A challenge has again been extended to the local CND to debate on January 16th, also at the Lewisham Town Hall, time 7.45 p.m.

The branch has so far made two new members as a direct result of the lectures.
Phyllis Howard



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