The last of the series of by-elections voted and was retained for the Government when Captain Hambro (Cons.) defeated Mr. W. Borthwick (Lib.) by 12,247 to 11,704. His majority of 543 is considerably smaller than that of the late Sir Cecil Hanbury, who won the seat with a majority of 3,184. The Liberal poll increased by nearly three thousand and the Conservative poll fell by eight hundred.
Royal Visit to Wales
The King and Queen have paid a twoday State visit to Wales and received a wonderful welcome wherever they went. Visits in South Wales were paid to Newport, where the King cut the first sod of the new civic centre, Cardiff, the mining valleys, and Swansea. At Caernarvon Castle they were received by the Constable of the Castle, Mr. Lloyd George, and listened to Dr. Ben Davies and a large Welsh choir singing. A visit was also paid to Aberystwyth.
It is announced that Sir John Jarvis is forming a trust of £200,000 in cash to assist new or existing industries in distressed Tyneside areas, especially Jarrow. He stated that the desperate economic situation here can only be solved by the intro duction of new industries. The Trust is not intended for profit or even to earn interest unless the success of any industry thus financed allows of it.
Britain Signs Naval Pacts
The British Government has signed bilateral naval pacts with Russia and Germany and they will come into force as soon as the London Naval Treaty has been ratified by its signatory Powers. The agreements were signed by Mr. Eden and Mr. Duff-Cooper, for Great Britain, the German Ambassador for Germany, and the Soviet Ambassador and Naval Attache for Russia. Negotiations are on foot between this country and Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Turkey and Poland for further similar pacts, only Italy and Japan remaining aloof, and thus in due course it is hoped to secure a large measure of world agreement on the subject of warship building.
The new agreements are based on the London Naval Treaty of 1936. Interesting clauses include freedom of action for Russia in Far Eastern waters provided her ships there do not enter other waters, and the allowance of certain German vessels of recent construction as over-age sooner than would otherwise be the case.
June Trade Figures
The June overseas trade figures are the best since 1930. Imports amounted to £88,116,677, compared with £83,131,125 in May and £67,599,397 in June, 1936. Ex ports totalled £44,373,015 against £42,732,641 in May and £32,064,534 in June, 1936. The principal industries that have shown the greatest increase in exports are foodstuffs, raw materials (particularly coal), iron and steel, machinery, textiles, chemicals and vehicles.
South Coast " War "
A great sham war, involving coast defence exercises of Southern England and all three forces, have just concluded. A prominent feature of this war was a "blackout " of Portsmouth and Southampton during a night air raid, the first real test
of the Home Office precautions. Sir Samuel Hoare, the Home Secretary, visited the two towns in question and congratulated them afterwards. The " war " was called off seven hours before schedule owing to bad weather. The real interest of the experiment lay in the co-ordination of the three forces.
Belgian King for London
It is officially announced that King Leopold of the Belgians has accepted an invitation to pay an official visit to London in November. He will he the guest of the King and Queen and will stay at Buckingham Palace front November 16 to 19.
Important Foreign Debate in Parliament
Mr. Eden, the. Foreign Secretary, made a strong speech in a full-dress Foreign Debate in the House of Commons, declaring that Great Britain intended to defend her Mediterranean interests at all costs. while menacing no one. He also alluded to this country's inflexible friendship with France. Other speakers were Dr. Dalton, for the Labour Party, Mr. Lloyd George, who bitterly attacked non-intervention, and Lord Cranborue, who wound up for the Government. Perhaps the most striking speech of the debate was, however, that of Mr. Winston Churchill, who expressed great anxiety as to the howitzer cannons said to have come from Germany and to he arranged around Gibraltar.
Air Precautions Costs
A deadlock has been reached between the Government and the local authorities' representatives as regards the cost of air precautions. Sir Samuel Hoare, the Home Secretary, has made an offer on behalf of the Government to bear 70 per cent. of the entire costs. The local authorities' delegates, however, headed by Mr. Herbert Morrison, M.P., for England, and Mr. P. Dollan, for Scotland, insist that the Government should hear the entire cost and point out that the offer really only means 60 per cent. in practice as the Government has already agreed to bear the whole cost of gas masks. Meetings have been adjourned.
Premier and British Armaments
In a striking speech at Middlesbrough, Mr. Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister, severely took to task the Labour Opposition for objecting to the new British non-intervention plan, and went on to say that British rearmament was now well on the way to completion. He added that the Air Force no longer needed to fear comparison with any other and that wouldbe aggressors might well fear the force of British arms in future.
Lansbury Visits Mussolini
Mr. George Lansbury has returned from a visit to Signor Mussolini in Rome. He declared himself very satisfied with the result of his talk. He stated that the Italian leader had understood his pacifist point of view and agreed as regards the folly of piling up armaments and the necessity for a world conference. Mr. Lensbury also expressed himself as delighted with his reception from the ordinary people in Rome, who were very kind and helpful. Mr. Lansbury intends to pay two more visits, one to Prague and one to Warsaw, to see the heads of the Czech and Polish Governments.
Moscow-U.S.A. Record Flight
A new world record for the longest nonstop flight has been set up by the Russian airmen, Gromov, Yumashev and Danilin. They flew from Moscow by way of the North Pole to San Jacinto, California. They left Moscow early on the morning of July 12 and landed in California on Wednesday, having covered 6,750 miles in 62 hours 20 minutes. The previous world non-stop record was held by the Frenchmen, Codos and Rossi, who flew from New York to Rayak, near Damascus, Syria, in 54 hours 45 minutes, a distance of 5,675 miles. The new record is thus more than a thousand miles ahead.
American Democratic Leader Dead
Senator Joseph Robinson, leader of the Democratic Party in the Senate, died suddenly, aged sixty-four, in New York. He was President Roosevelt's most powerful and vigorous lieutenant and to him it fell to pilot much of the New Deal legislation. He had been mentioned as a candidate for the vacant place in the Supreme Court. His political career went back. more than half-a-century and he had been a member of the Arkansas legislature, Governor of Arkansas (which he represented in the Senate) and in 1928 became candidate for the Vice-Presidency, being defeated with Al Smith, the Democratic nominee for the Presidency.
French National Fete
The Fourteenth of July, the French National Fête, was marked by one of the most impressive military parades ever held in Paris, attended by immense crowds. Political feeling was not visible. All the members of the Government were present, and among the President's guests were the King of Rumania, the Sultan of Morocco, the Jugoslav Commander-in-Chief and the head of the Rumanian General Staff. Some six hundred aeroplanes flew over the city. After the parade the usual Front Populaire procession marched to the Place de la Bastille, but less enthusiasm was visible and the crowds cheering on the pavement were thinner than last year.
Czech Government Crisis
Dr. Hodza, the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, has handed in the resignation of his Cabinet to President Benes. The crisis has arisen as a result of the fixing of grain prices, as the Agrarians, the leading party in the Coalition, want to keep prices high and have a subsidy. Dr. Kalfus, the Minister of Finance, objected to this subsidy and offered his resignation, which was followed by that of the entire Cabinet. President Benes, who was on holiday, has returned to Prague.
Indian Railway Disaster
When the Patna-Calcutta express was derailed at Bihta station, a few miles from Patna, the train plunged down an embankment and 107 people lost their lives in what was one of the worst railway disasters
yet witnessed in India. Sabotage is believed to be the cause of the disaster. Messages of sympathy have been received from the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, and the Secretary of State for India, Lord Zetland.
Spanish Civil War
The main interest in the Spanish Civil War has now been transferred to the Madrid Front. Heavy bodies of troops have been moved up and fierce fighting is in progress to the west of Madrid, but the outcome of this offensive is as yet uncertain.
Meanwhile the Non-Intervention Committee is examining the British proposals to prevent the collapse of non-intervention. These include the reinforcement of land supervision, abolition of naval control, observers in Spanish ports, granting of belligerent rights at sea and, when foreign volunteers are withdrawn, in toto, as well as a commission to hasten the withdrawal of foreign volunteers.
Two British ships have been seized by the Nationalists when trying to enter Santander and the British Government has protested officially. A trade agreement has been concluded between Germany and General Franco.
Riots occurred in Belgrade when after a service in the Orthodox Cathedral priests and Orthodox laity formed a procession to protest against the Concordat, despite a Government ban. Many were injured, including the Orthodox Bishop of Sabatz,
and there is grave tension. The Parliamentary session also had to be suspended owing to grave disorder.
Far East Crisis
The Sino-Japanese crisis has deepened, following the rejection by China of the Japanese ultimatum demanding the cessation of anti-Japanese activities and withdrawal of troops from Northern China. Japanese troops have already bombarded Wangping, a small town near Peking, and occupied a port near Tientsin. Open war is feared at any moment.
Famous Inventor Dead
The Marchese Marconi has died in Rome, aged 63. Born at Bologna, he experimented with radio waves in his youth and in 1896 took out a patent for wireless telegraphy. Since then he and the company he founded had gone from triumph to triumph and he was still actively engaged when he died. As an inventor his name and work have already earned undying fame.