Party News from the March 1959 issue of the Socialist Standard
Annual Conference. March 27th, 28th and 29th are the dates for Annual Conference this year, earlier than is usual, but as Conference is an interesting and pleasant occasion for Comrades, it is hardly likely that the dates will be overlooked. Conference should be particularly interesting, there are many items on the agenda which call for constructive discussion. An election in the offing, with Hackney Branch and the Parliamentary Committee well prepared, with the aid of Comrades, to see that the campaign goes well. A resume of the past year’s work which has shown wider activity on the part of Branches, who in London and the Provinces have held many propaganda meetings throughout the year. In addition to the work done at Conference, there is the get-together of Comrades, an always happy occasion, the Social and Dance on the Saturday, which if last year is a guide, should be a really jolly occasion. A Rally is being organised by the Propaganda Committee, and details of these two latter items are given fully elsewhere in this issue.
Head Office Film Lectures. The last two "fixtures” for this season are being held on March 1st and 8th. No plans have been made for the 15th March as Paddington Branch are holding their well-planned meeting at Denison House that evening.
Ireland. Our Comrades in Dublin are very active these days; they have rented the Boiler Makers’ Hall for one evening a week, meeting every Wednesday. One of the items to which they are giving urgency, is their policy and approach to propaganda. They have six or seven “contacts” wishing to join the Party and with these proposed new members, they look forward to extending their work generally. It is hoped that within the next month or so, a much fuller report of their progress will be forthcoming.
Hackney Branch and the Election. Details of a public meeting on April 13th and a list of canvassing dates and meeting spots are given in this issue. Hackney Branch stress that in order to achieve a successful campaign, the participation of members of other branches is absolutely essential. This reminder should not be necessary, of course, as the decision to contest the election is one taken by the Party as a whole and therefore must be a Party effort. Comrades who are not near at hand to give direct assistance can help by spreading the news of our programme and seeking contributions to the necessary additional funds needed.
“No Useful Purpose Would Be Served.” Islington Branch report that Comrade J. McGuinness, the Branch Organiser, is temporarily working in Newcastle, and although there is no Party Branch in the vicinity to which he could direct his lively energy, he continues to be as active as ever on behalf of the Party. In correspondence with his Branch, he tells of two letters published in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle which he wrote attacking the policy of the Social Credit Political League which is active in Newcastle. Com. McGuinness was successful in getting the S.P.G.B.’s case clearly stated.
More recently, he wrote to the N.E. District Branch of the Communist Party in Newcastle, inviting them to a debate with the S.P.G.B. True to form, the offer was rejected by their Secretary whose reply contained the phrase which appears to be reserved for the Socialist Party . . . “ My Committee have decided that no useful purpose would be served by having any debate with your organisation”
Paddington Branch Meeting at Denison House on Sunday. March 15th. Much preliminary work has gone into the arrangements for this meeting, and by now members will have seen full details elsewhere in this issue, also the earlier notices in the January and February issues. The Branch made these earlier announcements in order to stimulate interest and enable members to advertise the meeting date and ensure that as many members and sympathisers (and others) were aware of the meeting and, we hope, prepared to support it.
The Socialist Party. From time to time our Publicity organiser and the Editorial Committee have endeavoured to obtain recognition in the Press that the Socialist Party of Great Britain is THE Socialist Party. Despite this, the Beaverbrook Press in its Evening Standard Style Book for “ guidance of Editorial, Reading and Composing Departments” quotes: —
“The Labour Party will be described as Socialist, but where occasion makes the use of the word Labour necessary, the abbreviation will be Lab.”
The above information is sent to us from an American Comrade.