Party News from the October 1947 issue of the Socialist Standard
The winter series of Sunday evening lectures at the Trade Union Club, Great Newport' Street, London, W.C., commences on October 5th. There will be weekly lectures throughout the winter timed to commence at 7 p.m. On October 5th A. Turner will make a “ Call to London's workers.” On October 12th C. Lestor will open a short series of historical lectures with “Primitive Communism,” followed by further historical lectures on the 19th and 26th, F. Evans speaking on "Feudalism” on the latter date. D. Fenwick's subject for October 19th is not yet to hand.
The Party meeting on September 14th called to discuss international contacts with parties and groups abroad was lively, interesting and fruitful. The discussion centred round the desirability of sending party representatives to conferences of parties and groups abroad who are not associated with us with a view to making our position known to workers seeking a way out of the present chaos. After the whole question had been thoroughly thrashed out the meeting expressed itself in agreement with the view of the Executive Committee that we are willing to send a party representative to national or international gatherings of our political opponents to state the Party’s case provided that the party representative is admitted on the clear understanding that he is there to state our case in opposition and not to be in any way associated with joint decisions arrived at. We should not therefore be prepared to send a representative as a delegate. The meeting endorsed the action of the E.C. in not sending a member to the Brussels conference convened by the Spartacus Group of Holland at Whitsun, but recommended that a representative should be sent to a further congress in Brussels which we learn is to be held at Christmas.
The Autumn Delegate meeting took place on September 28th, but we go to print before this date, and will give a report of it in our next issue.
The Propaganda Committee are not receiving Forms ‘‘E” (Reports of Propaganda meetings) early enough from some branches. Please send these to Head Office as quickly os possible after the meetings are held.
The Centenary Edition of the “Communist Manifesto” with our own Introduction is now being considered by the Executive Committee. It will be a valuable part of revolutionary literature when published.
A debate with the Independent Labour Party (represented by T. Colyer) has been arranged for Friday, October 17th, at the Co-operative Society’s Hall, Lakedale Road, Plumstead. Our representative will be C. May.
Party Badges are now available in brooch or stud fittings. They are 1s. 6d. each post free and money should be sent with order to Head Office.
The Party Funds Committee is now at work trying to swell the flow of money into the party. They have sent an individual appeal to each subscriber to the Socialist Standard which is bearing fruit, but much more money is needed to enable us to maintain and extend our activities. Send as much as you can to the Party—we need it.
A scheme of education classes at Head Office was approved by the Executive Committee towards the end of August. In the first instance there will be a series of twelve weekly classes at Head Office up to Christmas. This will be attended by 15 members chosen from last year’s economics class with a view to preparing them to act as tutors after Christmas. The syllabus will include, in addition to history and economics, instruction in how to study, and the history of the working-class movement with special reference to the origin of the party and its attitude to the Internationals, other political parties and reformism. After Christmas it is proposed to limit the class again to 15 members. The Executive Committee recognise that many more members than 15 will wish to attend, but to begin with we wish to build up a solid core of members thoroughly grounded in all aspects of the party’s position, and this can only be done with an intensive course of study in which the students submit written work on questions set, and are generally under the close supervision of the tutors. For this, comparatively small classes are essential. It is proposed to hold two separate sessions of twelve weeks each from January to September. Apart from providing the basic knowledge which party members should possess, the aim is to seed students for speaking, writing or teaching, and to pass them on to specialised classes for these purposes as and when they are formed. The tutors who form the first class before Christmas will take the subsequent classes in selected portions of the syllabus of which they have made a special study. The work of the tutors will be supervised by the Education Committee which the Executive Committee have set up to run the scheme. The Education Committee will be writing to branches asking them to nominate members to attend the class after Christmas, and they ask for the co-operation of members in running a scheme which, while in the beginning cannot cater for the requirements of all members, has the objective of providing sufficient tutors for a greater number of educational classes both at Head Office and in branches than we have ever had in the experience of the party.
Paddington Branch are asking Head Office Propaganda Committee to co-operate with them with a view to running a mass meeting at the Metropolitan Theatre, Edgware Road, London, on Sunday, November 2nd.
Glasgow Branch are on the threshold of another winter season of indoor lectures, propaganda meetings and debates. Their speakers will be in action every Sunday evening from the first Sunday in October at the Central Halls, 25, Bath Street. The meetings commence at 7.30 p.m. Halls have been booked right up to May, 1948, to accommodate the hundreds of workers in Glasgow interested in socialism. Glasgow branch aims to develop this interest into actively organised participation in the party’s effort. The branch is considering running classes in logic and economics during the winter. Further announcements about these classes will be made later. Other propaganda plans are visits to Edinburgh and other places in Scotland, and if funds permit speakers will be sent to Dublin and Belfast. The branch is very active, and right throughout the summer outdoor propagandists were at work. A considerable number of the party’s "Work and Want” posters are now showing in Glasgow. Workers are rallying to the support of the branch both financially and politically and members are going ahead enthusiastically.
C. C. Groves,