AT HOME ABROAD
The election campaign for the London County Council elections, which are due to be held on March 4, is now in full swing. Each London constituency (there arc sixty, the City of London being excluded) returns two London County Council members. The main fight is between the Labour Party, led by Mr. Herbert Morrison, M.P., former Minister of Transport, and the Municipal Reformers (Conservatives), led by Alderman W. H. Webbe. There are also a handful of Liberals, and in East London Fascist candidates are running in three constituencies, the keynote of the Fascist campaign being mainly anti-semitic. A very close result and a strenuous contest are anticipated.
Labour retained Gorton with an increased majority when Mr. Wedgwood Benn defeated his Conservative opponent, Mr. A. Spearman, by 17,849 to 13,091.
Only two candidates are in the field at Richmond, Surrey, where Major Harvie Watt (Cons.) is opposed by Mr. G. Rogers (Lab.). A very low poll, a large, but reduced Conservative majority and a possibly slightly increased Labour poll are expected at Richmond. So far only a Labour candidate, Mr. Peter Pain, has been selected, but there is a possibility, besides the official Conservative candidate who is certain of victory and a large majority, of the intervention of an Independent, Mr. Miller, a Woking draper, and also of an Independent Conservative, Mr. Linton Thorp, late M.P. for CoInc and Nelson.
Polling is taking place in the Oxford University by-election, where Sir Arthur Salter (Ind.), the economist, is opposed by Sir F. Buzzard (Cons.) and Professor Linde mann (Ind. Cons.). Interest has centred mainly on the dispute between supporters of the two latter candidates. There arc three candidates in the field to fill the vacancy for the Combined English Universities created by the death of Sir Reginald Craddock. Sir Francis Lindley, late Ambassador to Japan, has been selected unanimously as the official Conservative, while Mr. Ramsay Muir will contest the seat as a Liberal, and Mr. E. Harvey, of Leeds, as an Independent Progressive.
The steps recommended by the Nonintervention Committee in order to do away with or at least reduce to a minimum foreign intervention in Spain were put into effect at midnight last Saturday. The French frontier is now definitely closed and a naval cordon of control has been thrown round the Spanish coast. The Portuguese land frontier is being visited and controlled by British observers, at Portugal's request. German, Russian, Italian, Czech, French and Belgian decrees have been published prohibiting volunteers.
The most outstanding Parliamentary debate was without doubt provided by the Defence Loan Bill, when both the Prime
Minister and Mr. Neville Chamberlain made first-rate speeches defending the colossal expenditure of £1,500,000,000. Sir Archibald Sinclair opposed the Bill for the Liberal Party and Messrs. Pethick-Lawrencc and Alexander for the Labour Party, the latter making a most effective contribution.
The fishing industry was pleased by the announcement made by Mr. W. S. Morison, Minister of Agriculture, that it was the Government's intention to introduce legislation as soon as possible to regulate the organisation and marketing of the white fish industry.
R . A .F. Crash
Two men were killed (Sergeant Pilot Maurice and Aircraftman McCabe) and two others injured when their machine crashed near Dover. The machine was caught in a blinding snowstorm not far from Mansion Aerodrome and hit a field, afterwards turning turtle. This is the thirteenth R.A.F. accident this year and brings the death roll to 20. In 1936 there were 54 accidents and 96 deaths.
Unemployment Fund Surplus
The continued improvement in the general economic situation of the country, together with the armaments boom, makes a welcome surplus of seventeen and a quarter million pounds likely in the year 1936-37. As a result of this the Unemployment Insurance Committee recommends concessions in the form of a reduction from six days to three of the waiting time when no benefit is paid and of additional benefit for those who have worked regularly dur ing the last five years. Unemployment figures are, however, still very high in the rural counties of Scotland and Wales.
The Office of Works seats, available to a limited number of representatives specially chosen by the Government, will cost fifteen shillings each. The Coronation will not be televised. Forty-three governments have announced their participation —among those representing governments will be Prince Paul of Jugoslavia and M. Litvinoff. About 20,000 sightseers will be taken to the Spithead naval review by liner from Southampton.
Among those who died during the week were Edward Garnett, the writer, the Marquess of Huntly, and Sir Percy Cox, former High Commissioner in lraq. Edward Garnett had written several plays as well as a number of interesting works and was closely associated with D. H. Lawrence and many other prominent writers. The Marquess of Huntly was the premier marquis of Scotland and the oldest peer. Sir Percy Cox will be remembered as an able Colonial administrator, who reached the zenith of his career in Iraq, where he was universally respected. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest living authorities upon the Far East and was no mean explorer.