Enormous crowds, estimated at over a million people, assembled to watch the final rehearsal of the Coronation procession and the police stated that such crowds had never yet been seen in the West End, thus providing a foretaste of the Coronation crowds.
Many distinguished visitors have arrived from abroad, including the Queen of Norway, the Regent of Yugoslavia, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands and her husband, Prince Nicholas and Prince Paul of Greece, the Crown Prince of Rumania, the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark, the Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden. Prince Charles of Belgium, Marshal von Blomberg of Germany, the French Foreign Minister, the Czech Premier and the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, M. Litvinoff.
Despite prolonged negotiations and conferences, the London 'bus strike is not yet
settled. The Court of Inquiry has published its report and found that, although the 'busmen's case was not as yet proved, there were grounds for an immediate inves
tigation of conditions. As a result the London Passenger Transport Board has again rejected the claim for a seven and a half hour day, but is prepared to discuss the questions at issue other than the reduction of working hours, such as speeding up, irregular meals, the frequent alteration of schedules, etc. The men's union is endeavouring to find out the men's feelings with regard to a truce and negotiations on the basis of this last offer.
The situation as regards unofficial 'bus strikes in the country is greatly improved, the 'bus strikers at Chatham, Oxford and Northampton having all resumed work.
Minister Killed in Car Crash
Sir James Blindell, M.P. for Holland with Boston (Nat. Lib.) and a Junior Lord of the Treasury, was killed when his car overturned at Stickford. He was 53 and had entered Parliament in 1929. In 1931 he joined the National Liberal group. His death necessitates 'a by-election in the Holland with Boston division, where in 1935 he had a majority of twelve thousand over his Labour opponent.
The following British Cabinet Ministers are to be delegates to the Imperial Conference to open on May 14—Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Neville Chamberlain. Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, Sir John Simon, Lord Halifax and Mr.
Ormsby-Gore. Other Ministers will cooperate with regard to special items, including Mr. Eden, Mr. Morrison and Mr. Runciman. The numerous delegations from the Dominions include Mr. Mackenzie King, the Canadian Premier, Mr. Lyons, the Australian Premier. Mr. Savage, the New Zealand Premier, and General Hertzog, the South African Premier. Lord Zetland, the Secretary of State for India, and the Ciaekwar of Baroda will represent India, while Mr. Huggins, Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, and Dr. Ba Maw, Chief Minister of Burma, will be present as observers.
Army Deserter Shot
A deserter from the Royal Irish Fusiliers was shot last week in Belfast by a member of the Ulster Constabulary, while trying to escape. He was stationed at Bordon and had not returned from Ulster after his Easter leave. The Attorney-General of Northern Ireland, Mr. Bahington, has ordered a sworn enquiry into the matter. Alderman Midgley, M.P., stated in the Ulster House of Commons that the whole affair had aroused grave disquiet amongst the Ulster public.
Cape—London Record Flight
Mr. H. L. Brook, a Harrogate airman, has completed the flight from Capctown to 'Heston in 4 days and 18 minutes, thus beating the previous record established by Miss Amy Johnson by 15 hours 59 minutes. He also set up an unofficial record of 9 days and 9+ hours for the fastest return flight from London to Capetown. He rested for the night (or part) at Johannesburg, Kisumu and Rome on the way.
Premier's Farewell To Parliament
Mr. Baldwin made a masterly and memorable farewell speech in the House of Commons when speaking on the forthcoming coal dispute. He referred to democracy as the highest, yet most difficult form of government, and praised the system of Trade Unions. He spoke of the greater understanding of recent years, of the Coronation, and made a moving appeal for industrial peace. He was applauded in all parts of the House and a generous tribute was paid by the Labour Party when it decided not to continue the debate.
As predicted. the Conservatives held York, but with a reduced majority when the result of the by-election was declared:
Charles Wood (Cons.) 22,045 John Dugdale (Lab.) .. .. 17,986
Majority .. .. 4,059 The Conservative majority at the last General Election was 6,274. Mr. Wood is Lord Halifax's son and Mr. Dugdale is private secretary to Major Attlee, the Leader of the Opposition.
The handing in of strike notices has been postponed from May 22 for a week in order to give the Secretary for Mines (Mr. Ernest Brown) time to arrange a conference. The Miners' Federation had offered a fortnight's postponement of notices if an unconditional conference between the parties could be arranged, but the owners and the Industrial (Spencer) Union refused to agree to this and stipulated that the Federation should accept the principle of arbitration on the terms of fusion between the unions.
Italian Attack on British Press
Signor Mussolini has issued a drastic decree whereby all British newspapers, except the Daily Mail, Observer and Evening News, are to be banned from Italy, and all Italian correspondents are to leave London, thus boycotting the Coronation. This unexpected move is stated in Rome to concern solely the British Press and not the Government, although antiBritish attacks have become particularly violent in the Fascist Press. It is thought that the decree was inspired by the reports in British papers with regard to recent events in Spain. Thig step is warmly welcomed in Germany, where it is even suggested that it is not impossible that Germany might follow the Italian example.
New Moves at Danzig
The Danzig Nazis have at last secured the two-thirds majority in the Assembly necessary for the amendment of the Constitution, owing to the fact that these Opposition deputies have been forced to join the Nazi party in voting the amended Constitution. The draft amendments have been approved in Berlin and Dr. Goebbels has visited Danzig. Public opinion in Poland is very alarmed at this latest step, and the more so as the amendments will not be submitted to the League.
Terrible Zeppelin Disaster
One of the worst air disasters of recent years occurred when the world's largest airship, the Hindenburg, suddenly burst into flames while landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, after completing the first transatlantic crossing of the season. Of the ninety-seven persons in the airship, twelve passengers and twenty members of the crew were killed, as was also one mem
ber of the ground staff. Captain Lehmann, who had made the trip in an advisory capacity, died later in hospital. An enquiry will be opened. Among the possible causes are sabotage, which is
unlikely, and electrical disturbances. In future probably only non-inflammable helium will be used in airships, the cost having so far precluded its use in the zeppelins. Messages of condolence to Herr Hitler have been sent by the King and the Secretary for Air.
Austrian Foreign Minister for London
The Austrian Chancellor has announced that Dr. Guido Schmidt is to represent the Austrian President at the Coronation, Dr. Schmidt is making use of his stay in London in order to have political conver sations with Mr. Eden. On his return journey he will make a short stay in Paris, where he is to visit the Austrian, pavilion at the Exhibition on May 19, and will see M. Delbos, the French Foreign Minister.
Duke of Windsor in France
Mrs. Simpson's decree nisi has now been made absolute and, as the divorce is finally effected, the Duke of Windsor has left his Austrian house in the Salzkammergut and has arrived at the Château de Gluck:, near Tours, where Mrs. Simpson is staying. He left the Vienna-Paris express at Verneuil, half-an-hour's run from Paris, and thence motored to the Château. An official statement was made that no announcement will take place as regards the marriage until after the Coronation. It is thought that the , ceremony will take place in France.
Capitulations Conference Success
The Capitulations Conference has ended successfully and the Convention has been
signed. Capitulations are to end in Egypt and subjects of the privileged states will be under the jurisdiction of Mixed Tribunals for twelve yews. This will not apply to inhabitants of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine or Transjordania, which are man dated territories. The Egyptian Government has extended these privileges to Austrians, Czechs, Germans, Rumanians, Hungarians, Poles, Yugoslays and Swiss. There are also minor stipulations with regard to the expulsion of foreigners during
this transitional period. Satisfaction is expressed in Egypt, but the convention is attacked in the Opposition press.
French Fete Restrictions
Much indignation was caused in many circles in France when the delegations to the annual march past the Joan of Arc statue in Paris were severely restricted by order of the Government. Despite this, however, there was the usual military parade attended by MM. Daladier and Dormoy. Cardinal Verdier came and blessed the crowd. There were, however, no disturbances in Paris, but several in the provinces, notably at Toulouse, where some sixty people were hurt in a fracas between extremist elements.
Spanish Civil War
Little progress anywhere save on the Basque front is reported from Spain. On the Basque front, however. General Mola's forces have advanced and are now in possession of heights directly overlooking Bilbao, although a vigorous counter-offen sive is still going on. Evacuation of the children is still proceeding and many thousands of Bilbao children have now reached France and England. General Franco has protested to the British Government against the convoying of ships containing refugees by British destroyers, declaring this to be an unfriendly act, In Barcelona there has been an extremely serious outbreak of rioting by Anarchists. Hundreds were killed and wounded, but eventually the Government forces succeeded temporarily in gaining control and order appears to be re-established. The Anarchists are, however, thought to be in control of certain other Catalan towns, but the Government forces are endeavouring to regain control in these centres too.