MARCH 19 — MARCH 23
AT HOME ABROAD
Budget Date Announced
The Premier has announced in the House of Commons that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Neville Chamberlain, will present his Budget to the House on April 20.
Famous Statesman Dies
Sir Austen Chamberlain, the famous Conservative statesman, former Foreign Secretary and father of the Locarno Treaty, died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 73. He had been in Parliament since) 1892 and had represented West Birmingham since 1914, where a by-election will now be necessary. His last majority was 7,371.
A son of the famous Joseph Chamberlain, he first became a Minister in 1901, but went out of office in 1906, and only returned in 1915 as Secretary for India. In 1918 he became Chancellor of the Exchequer, and from 1924 to 1929 was Foreign Secretary. The Locarno Pact of 1926 was perhaps his greatest work of all, and as a result he received the Nobel Peace Prize and was made a Knight of the Garter. Of recent years he spoke seldom, but his prestige had grown enormous and his statesmanship was respected by all parties, who mourn the passing of a really great and universally popular figure. Tributes have been paid on all sides, particularly in France, where Sir Austin enjoyed immense popularity.
Tyneside Commission Report
The Royal Commission on Local Government in the Tyneside area has made many drastic proposals. It suggests that the local government services in the area (over two thousand square miles) should be divided into one for such services as public health, public assistance, police., education, etc., and another for local services more closely related to the rates. An enormous new Newcastle with over 800,000 inhabitants is proposed, while for regional services a new area is suggested instead of the present county boundaries, comprising all Northumberland, and a number of districts south of the Tyne, including Gateshead, South Shields and Jarrow.
United Front and Albert Hall
The Albert Hall trustees have refused a request from Sir Stafford Cripps, M.P., for use of the Hall for the Unity Campaign on April 4, when he, in common with Mr. A. Bevan, M.P., Mr. G. R. Strauss, and others, were to speak. Sir Stafford Cripps wrote to various leading political figures as a result asking for intervention and denouncing the refusal as a denial of the right of free speech. The Premier replied that he was not competent to intervene, while Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Attlee and Sir Archibald Sinclair have protested to the trustees.
King and Civil List
The King's message to Parliament asking for the vote of the Civil List has been received. No reference is made to the Duke of Windsor, but an offer is contained to provide for Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Gloucester out of the Civil List. Similar provision is likely to be made for the Duke if the List is approved, the sum in each case amounting to £25,000 per annum. The Select Committee has been appointed, and will consist of twenty-one members. Among them are the Prime Minister, Mr. Attlee, Sir Archibald Sinclair, Mr. Churchill, Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Greenwood, Earl Winterton, and Mr. Chamberlain.
Better Conditions for Army
In introducing the Army Estimates, Mr. Duff-Cooper, the Minister for War, promised a number of improvements for the Army. Among such improvements are the introduction of an extra meal, a new blue uniform, butter as well as margarine at meals, increased ration allowances, the abolition of stoppages from pay, the increase of kit maintenance allowances, superior accommodation, and greatly extended facilities for training for a job after leaving the Army.
The result of the Combined Universities by-election was:
Mr. T. E. Harvey (Ind. Prog.) Sir F. 0. Lindley (Cons.) .. Sir H. B. Brackenbury (Ind.) ..
Majority .. .. 1,644 This is an Independent Progressive gain from the Conservatives.
At Tonbridge a fairly comfortable Conservative majority is anticipated, with the Labour candidate second, and the Liberal at the bottom of the poll, while at Farnham a reduced, but comfortable majority is likely to ensure the return of Mr. Nicholson (Nat. Cons.), with Mr. Pain (Lab.) second, Mr. Linton Thorp (Ind. Cons.) third, and Mr. Miller (King's and People's Champion) at the bottom of the poll with a lost deposit.
Mr. P. Dunne has now definitely applied for the Chiltern Hundreds, and both the Labour and Conservative Parties are considering possible candidates, while a Liberal candidate is also probable. No moves are reported so far at Central Wandsworth, where Major Nathan (Lab.) is alone in the field, or at West Birmingham.
Belgian King's Visit
The King of the Belgians has been in England on a short visit, and dined with the King and Queen at Buckingham Palace. He is also known, however, to have had private conversations with Mr. Eden and other leading political figures, concerning the difficult question of Belgian neutrality. King Leopold is known to hold strong views on this question, and wishes for complete neutrality.
Despite the break at Soham last week, the situation in the Fen district appears easier. The water-level seems to be falling generally and the chief danger appears to be from the wind now. There is a danger of a break near Prickwillow which would result in the flooding of 20,000 acres of rich land. Mechanised units have been sent to help and many volunteers are at work.
Terrible Catastrophe in U.S.A.
More than six hundred school children and their teachers were killed in a terrific explosion which completely wrecked part of a school at New London (Texas). As a result of the explosion the walls were pushed outwards and the roof of the building fell in upon the assembled children and teachers. Bricks were thrown over a quarter of a mile by the force of the explosion. The latter is thought to be due to an accumulation of gas in the boiler-room. Martial law was proclaimed in New London.
Indian Congress Accepts Office
The All-India Congress Committee has decided by 127 to 70 to accept office, provided that it can be shown that Governors will not use their special powers to set aside the advice of Ministers in regard to their constitutional activities. Among the opposition were the Socialists and Pandit Malaviya. Congress now has a majority in six provinces (United, Central, Madras, Bombay, Bihar and Orissa), and is the largest party in three others. In the Upper Houses it is poorly represented.
Grave Paris Riots
Serious rioting broke out at Clichy, a Paris suburb, when hostile demonstrations took place against a meeting of the French Social Party (Croix de Feu). Five people were killed and over three hundred injured, including the Premier's secretary, M. Blume!, who was shot while trying to calm the crowd. A general strike took place in Paris last Thursday morning as a protest and various demonstrations of protest against the police's activity were held. A Cabinet inquiry is being held. Tension has somewhat lessened, but repercussions on the Popular Front may still come as a result.
Pope Condemns Nazis
A strongly-worded Papal Encyclical was distributed at very short notice throughout Gei many and read on Palm Sunday. The Encyclical bitterly condemns those who have deliberately violated the Concordat and are now denying children a Christian education. The farcical school " elections" are also condemned, and mention is made of the clergy and members of the religious orders who have suffered so much. Reference is also made to the pernicious racial doctrines of National Socialism and to the fact that the Pope only signed the Concordat with the gravest misgivings.
German Budget Passed
The German State Budget for 1937 has been passed by the German Cabinet, although it is understood that certain reservations have been made. No details are,
however, available. The Prussian State Budget has also been approved, and this latter amounts to just under two thousand million marks (approximately t167,000.000). It is also known that Herr Hitler has prolonged Dr. Schacht's period of office as President of the Reichsbank for a further year and that the latest Reich consolidation loan, amounting to RM. 600,000,000, was oversubscribed.
Austrian Chancellor in Hungary
Herr Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor, has paid a short visit to Budapest, in the course of which he had prolonged conversation with the Prime Minister, Dr. Daranyi, and the Foreign Minister, M. de Kanya. A telegram was sent to the Italian dictator, greeting him on the occasion of the third anniversary of the Rome protocols. An official communiqué was issued, emphasising the continued co-operation on the basis of these protocols and the desire to extend such co-operation to other Danubian countries.
Soviet Leader Deposed
Paul Postisheff, the once all-powerful secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, has been deposed from his position and relegated to a minor executive position in the Volga Republic. Postisheff, a candidate for the chief political executive body, the Politburo, was formerly famous for his iron ruthlessness and puigings, but recent revelations proved that the Ukraine in particular was honeycombed with Trotskyists and his lack of vigilance led to his downfalL Postisheff is chiefly known outside Russia as the champion of the Christmas tree.
New Palestine Powers
The return to Palestine from London of Sir Arthur Wauchope, the High Commissioner, has been followed by an Order in Council giving the Commissioner wider powers for defence. A new mechanised corps of Britons, Arabs and Jews is to be formed to prevent illegal immigration and arms smuggling. Several hundred Jewish volunteer policemen have been recruited to protect the civilian population in Galilee, whore there has been much trouble.
Spanish Civil War
Much activity has been shown on the Madrid front, where General Franco's recent advance has been checked and completely reversed, the Government troops having now advanced to within a short distance of Sigtienza. Large numbers of Italians are reported to have been captured and the Italian rout is described as complete, Italian troops having led the antiGovernment advance. Much war material, including two million cartridges, has also been captured.
Despite the protests of the Dutch Government, which recently sent a warship to the Mediterranean to convoy Dutch ships, a fourth Dutch ship has now been seized by General Franco's supporters, on the pretext that it was carrying arms to Valencia.
Famous Flyer Crashes
Miss Amelia Earhart, the famous American Transatlantic flyer, crashed at Honolulu when taking off on the second lap of a flight round the world. Neither she nor her companions were injured. The plane skidded and flames emerged, but Miss Earhart switched off, thus preventing a fire. The plane is to be shipped back to Los Angeles for repairs, but this implies only a postponement, not a cancellation of the flight.