Friday, June 21, 2024

Party News Briefs (1950)

Party News from the June 1950 issue of the Socialist Standard

Provincial Propaganda was a matter of concern to the delegates at our Annual Conference last Easter. They recommended the Executive Committee to find two or more part-time propagandists who would be prepared to speak in the Provinces for a period of three months during the 1950 summer propaganda season. Acting upon this recommendation the Executive Committee has appointed Comrades D. Verity and D. Moss to make a propaganda tour of selected provincial centres. On May 8th these two speakers left London for Manchester where they will operate for approximately one month. Whilst they are in the Manchester area a programme of activity will be drawn up by the Executive Committee for these Comrades to follow during the remainder of their tour. Bradford and Sheffield are two of the towns that have been suggested as possible centres for their future activities.

Propaganda Research was another matter that received Conference consideration. The Executive Committee has now issued a report on this matter. Subject to the necessary office equipment being available, the material already in the hands of the Propaganda Research Bureau is to be made available. It will comprise 8 to 10 pages of duplicated notes arranged from the material supplied to the Bureau during the Autumn of 1949. The report points out that many speakers do considerable research in preparation for their lectures and the results of this research should be made available to all Party propagandists. Future issues of these research notes could, in addition to those covering general information, be devoted to special subjects. An instance is given of such a special issue dealing entirely with “China” and compiled largely from the material collected by a Party speaker who has specialised in this subject. The report concludes:
“What has to be remembered is that the best results can be achieved only with the full co-operation of those in the Party who read, write and speak. The Propaganda Research Bureau must come largely from outside the bureau itself.”
Members for Full-Time Posts are to receive special training. The Examination Committee has reported to the Executive Committee presenting a list of subjects on which they propose to examine the members whose names have been submitted for training. The list, which has been approved as a basis for the Examination Committee’s work is as follows:—Communistic Society, Slave Society (Greek, Roman and Egyptian) and Feudal Society; migrations of culture. The English Revolution, the French Revolution, the American Revolt for Independence, the Peasant Rebellions (English, French and German), the Industrial Revolution, the Corn Law Movement, the 1848 movements. History of Working Class Movements, the Utopians, the Materialist Conception of History, Trade Unionism (old and new). Development of Parliaments, the American Civil War, Reformism and Reform Movements, Geography—its effect upon History, Evolution, Progress, etc.. Trusts and Nationalisation, Party History (S.P.G.B.), Currency (Credit) Malthus, Henry George, Crises, and Economics (General).

The secretary of Ealing Branch informs us that seaside propaganda trips to Southsea are being organised for Sunday 2 July, Sunday 13 August and Sunday 24 September. Southsea is a good spot for propaganda. Seats are 12s. for each trip and can be booked by writing to W. Critchfield at 48, Balfour Road, West Ealing, W.13. Comrades who are interested and want further information are urged to make early application.

Members of the Swansea Discussion and Study Group report on their efforts to get the Party case stated in the local Press.

A correspondent to the South Wales Evening Post recently mentioned that he was mystified as to the meaning of Socialism. He drew attention to the fact that the Labour Party, I.L.P., Communist Party, S.P.G.B. and others, contested the Election as Socialists, yet were all in opposition to one another.

In reply to this, a Swansea member of the S.P.G.B. wrote to the South Wales Evening Post stating that the S.P.G.B. was, in fact, the only party that contested the Election with a mandate for Socialism. The Editor added a footnote to this quoting the Concise Oxford Dictionary meaning of Socialism: i.e.
“Principle that individual freedom should be completely subordinated to interests of community with any deductions that may be correctly or incorrectly drawn from it: e.g. substitution of co-operation for competitive production, national ownership of land and capital, state distribution of produce, free education and feeding of children and abolition of inheritance.”
Our member replied to this giving our full objective: i.e.
“The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community."
This letter was published by the South Wales Evening Post. In reply, another reader wrote agreeing that the S.P.G.B. is the only Socialist Party, and challenged members of the other so called “Socialist” parties to state their case in opposition to the S.P.G.B.

If any reply was given, it was not published. Are these parties so confused that they do not feel qualified to reply?

The Socialist Party of New Zealand writes that, “Our pamphlet, (Introducing the S.P.N.Z.) did not bring a rush of inquirers into the Party and its activities. It did bring forth a statement per medium of the official organ of the Communists, the 'Peoples Voice.’ Needless to say the article contained the usual Communist distortions, stupid assertions and, if they are as well informed as they claim to be, deliberate lies. However, we wrote the manager of the ‘Peoples Voice’ pointing out the errors and distortions. At the same time we challenged them to debate. Which Party should the Workers support, the C.P. of N.Z. or the S.P. of N.Z. Our answer to this letter has not been received up to the time of writing.”

Our Belfast Comrades are anxious to receive visits from S.P.G.B. speakers. They extol the virtues of Northern Ireland as a holiday venue as an inducement to get some of our members across the dividing channel. Arrangements for accommodation in Belfast will be made for any intending visitor, particularly if he or she will speak on the S.P.I. platform. If there are any Party speakers who are intrigued by the idea, early contact with the Overseas Secretary, S.P.G.B. is urged.

Newport Branch has been in difficulties for some time. It has now been decided to dissolve the branch and transfer its members to Central Branch.

Lewisham Branch sought to renew permission to hold meetings in Greenwich Park but has been refused. It is, in consequence, intended to re-open the propaganda station at Romer Avenue on Saturday evenings.
W. Waters.

Members and sympathisers in Coventry and district who are interested in forming a Discussion and Study Group are asked to get in touch with F. Morton, 64, Gretna Road, Coventry.

1 comment:

Imposs1904 said...

David A. Moss was a member of the SPGB from 1945 until 1955, resigning because of what he thought was the lack of tolerance within the Party.

Douglas Verity was a member of the SPGB from 1946 until 1952. He was a member of Islington Branch. He lapsed his membership in '52.