In Parliament Strikes
The outstanding debate of the week was on a Labour vote of censure deploring the failure to protect British foodships bound for Bilbao. Excellent speeches were made by Mr. Attlee (Lab.) and Sir A. Sinclair (Lib.) who condemned the Government's policy as pusillanimous. Sir John Simon stated a masterly case for the Government and Mr. Eden wound up with a very outstanding speech, emphasising the desire for non-intervention as a reality. The debate maintained a high standard throughout, and at times there was great tension. The motion was defeated by 345 to 130.
Action Against Share Pushers
Mr. Runciman, President of the Board of Trade, has decided to take action against share-pushers and is issuing 11,000,000 leaflets through the Post Office warning the public of the danger from fraudulent sharepushing. The pamphlet states that the Government proposes to take all possible steps to curb this nuisance. The Government is, however, awaiting the report of Sir Archibald Bodkin's Committee now enquiring into the matter before taking any steps.
A full rehea'saI of the Coronation procession Was held at 630 a.m. on Sunday last, and despite the early hour thousands of people assembled to witness the procession.
Among the first visitors to arrive for the Coronation is King Farouk of Egypt, who was accompanied by the Queen-Mother and his four sisters. He was welcomed at Victoria by the Duke of Gloucester and a representative of Mr. Eden. He and his family are to reside at Kingston during their stay in England.
It is announced that H.M. The King has approved the issue of 90,000 special Silver Medals to commemorate the Coronation. They will be issued to persons in the Crown Service and others throughout the Empire.
Cotton Deputation to Minister
A large and influential cotton deputation from Lancashire, headed by Lord Derby, has been received by Mr. Runciman, President of the Board of Trade, and declared itself satisfied with the interview. It is understood that the deputation pressed for the consideration of the cotton industry as a national problem. The deputation also wished to ascertain whether the Government was prepared to back a reorganisation scheme from the industry and, if so, of what nature. Strikes have spread recently in most parts of the country. Among the most notable is the unofficial strike of 'busmen, which has completely paralysed the 'bus services in South-East England. Delegates from the depots have interviewed Transport House officials. Meanwhile the apprentices' strike on Clydeside has reached alarming proportions, thirteen thousand being affected in all. A one-day strike in sympathy in the. Clyde shipyards and engineering workshops caused a seventy per cent. stoppage. So far no solution has been reached.
Meanwhile a large majority of miners in all coalfields have voted for strike action, if need be, in support of the Harworth miners compelled against their will to join the Spencer (Employers') Union. An immediate strike is, however, not expected, as another effort will be made to solve the dispute by negotiation.
Mr. Neville Chamberlain presented his last Budget to the nation on April 20 as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Among the main provisions were an increase of threepence in the rate of Income Tax and a new National Defence levy on all growing business profits which exceed £2,000 p.a. The " trousers" tax on male servants was abolished. Surtax and Income Tax yields were poor, but otherwise the Chancellor considered the national finances good. The prospective deficit was over £15,000,000.
The Independent Conservative candidate, Mr. Palmer, has withdrawn in favour of the National candidate at Wandsworth, and as a result only two candidates were nominated, Mr. R. Jennings (Nat. Cons.) and Major Nathan (Lab.) Polling takes place on April 29 and a very close result is expected. The Council of Action is supporting Major Nathan.
At Stalybridge polling takes place on April 28, and there is a straight fight between the Rev. G. Lang (Lab.), who has shown strong opposition to the United Front and the Communists. and Mr. T. Cox (Nat. Cons.). Mr. Lloyd George is coming to support Mr. Lang. At West Birmingham polling is on April 29, and Mr. Higgs (Cons.) is opposed by Mr. R. H. Crossman (Lab.). At York Mr. J. Dugdale, L.C.C., Major Attlee's secretary, has been selected to fight on behalf of Labour. He will be opposed by the Hon. Charles Wood (Nat. Cons.), son and heir of Lord Halifax.