MAY 21 MAY 25
Spithead Naval Review
Impressive scenes were witnessed when H.M. the King, accompanied by the Queen and Princess Elizabeth, reviewed the Navy at Spithead. The royal yacht was piloted by the Trinity yacht Patricia and followed by the Admiralty yacht Enchantress, bearing the Lords of the Admiralty. During the morning the King held a reception, at which the senior officers of the foreign ships, the captains of the merchant navy, and the skippers of the fishing fleets were presented to him. The afternoon's tour of the line took two hours and was followed by a grand fly-past of the Fleet Air Arm, some ninety-eight aeroplanes in four groups, which dipped in an aerial salute over the royal yacht.
Foreign warships had been sent by, Spain, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Rumania, France (the recently-built giant Dunkerque), Portugal, Cuba, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Japan, Holland, Greece, the United States and the Argentine. Estonia sent a submarine.
Basque Children in England
The Habana arrived at Southampton early on Sunday morning with nearly four thousand refugee children on board from the besieged city of Bilbao. The Habana was convoyed by H.M.S. Royal Oak part of the way and H.M.S. Fearless all the way. The Spanish Ambassadress was among those who met the children at Southampton and the Home Secretary, accompanied by Lady Simon, Lord and Lady Rhayader, Captain MacNamara, M.P., and Mr. Wilfrid Roberts, M.P., toured the camp during the afternoon.
Imperial Airways Record
A new Imperial air-mail flight record was created when the new flying air-boat Cassiopria left Alexandria at 2.40 a.m. and arrived at Southampton at 8.30 p.m. thus covering the 2,300 miles in just under eighteen hours. The average speed was 150 m.p.h. There were fourteen passengers, five members of the crew, and a ton and a half of mail and freight on board.
London 'Bus Strike
The position as regards the London 'bus strike has not altered. After a very lengthy conference with regard to the busmen's appeal to the tramway and trolleybus men for sympathetic action, the request was refused by the Executive of the Transport Workers. Such action in defiance of this ruling is not thought likely, but is not im
possible. The 'busmen's conference has still taken no decision whether to return to work and examine the Board's proposals Or not.
Coal Strike Threat
Miners' notices have now been handed in and a national coal strike is due to start on the 29th. There is, however, a hope of averting the strike. Joint meetings have taken place under the chairmanship of Mr. John Forster to discuss the amalgamation of the Spencer Union with the Notts Miners' Association, and if negotiations are still in progress the Mineworkers Federation has the power to cancel or suspend the notices.
Steps have been taken on all sides to find suitable candidates for the various Parliamentary vacancies. At Plymouth (Drake) the Conservative candidate will be Colonel Henry Guest, brother of the late M.P. and himself a former Liberal M.P. His Labour opponent will be Mr. G. T. Garratt, the author and traveller, while a prominent Liberal candidate is also pos sible. At Buckingham the Conservative candidate will be Major Whiteley, a well known local resident, and his Labour opponent will he Colonel Delahaye, formerly on the General Staff of the War Office. Admiral Royds is to fight Kingston as a Conservative, and his Labour opponent is to be Mr. G. H. Loman. At Holland-with-Boston no National candidate has yet been selected owing to friction between the Liberal National and Conservative elements, but Mr. Reynolds will fight on behalf of Labour. At Glasgow (Hillhead) Mr. J. C. Reid will be the Conservative candidate, while Mr. G. McAlister will be Labour's nominee. Liberal, Feminist and Scotch Nationalist candidates are also a possibility in this division.
N.D.C. Tax Revised
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has drastically revised his National Defence Contribution proposals and among his main concessions, as disclosed in the Finance Bill introduced in the House of Commons, is the proposal to take 1936 as the standard year upon which to base profits. Taxation will be based upon the calendar year, not the accounting year, and small and new businesses will obtain additional relief. Further concessions have been granted as regards exceptional risks, exceptional rates, the determination of capital, the modification of tax gradations, set-offs for losses and of deficiencies and the decision to tax parent companies and subsidies as a group and not individually.
Empire Day Celebrations
The main feature of Empire Day celebrations was the thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral, attended by the King and Queen, Queen Mary, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke and Duchess of Kent. Mr. Baldwin attended, together with practically the entire Cabinet, the Dominion Premiers, the High Commissioners, and various Oriental potentates. The Lord Mayor (Sir George Broadbridge) was also present, attended by his sheriffs and aldermen. The sermon was preached by Dr. Temple, the Archbishop of York.
Spanish Civil War
Once again the main interest of the Spanish Civil War has been centred almost entirely upon the Basque front. General Mola's troops continue to advance and have almost arrived at the famous " iron ring " of fortifications protecting Bilbao and, if Galdacano is captured, as is likely, Bilbao is nearly certain to fall.
Meanwhile efforts are being made to bring about an armistice during which to effect the withdrawal of foreign volunteers. France, Belgium and Germany are sym pathetic to this British proposal. So far there is little sign of either the Valencia or Burgos Governments accepting an armistice. Bombing of cities continues, Madrid (where 400 shells fell in a single day), Valencia, Bilbao, Salamanca and Valladolid having all suffered from intensive raids.
Central European Floods
Terrible damage has been caused in Central and Eastern Europe by disastrous floods and storms. Forty-five people are known to have been drowned in the Cracow district of Poland, but salvage work is slow and there may be more victims. At Budapest the worst storm for fifty years was experienced. Among the flood incidents recorded is the rescue by a heroic priest of eighty orphans and ten nuns before he himself was drowned. Other countries that have suffered considerably from floods are Jugoslavia and Rumania.
J. D. Rockefeller Dead
Mr. J. D. Rockefeller, the oil king and reputed richest man in the world, died of heart failure at his Florida home at the age of 97. The creator of the Standard Oil Company, he had amassed, often, it is alleged, by not over-scrupulous methods, an immense fortune said to exceed £200,000,000. His benefactions, administered of late by his eldest son, were immense. He gave huge sums to the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Medical Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation. In France his death caused wide regret, for he had provided the funds for the restoration of Rheims Cathedral and the reparation of the palaces of Fontainebleau and Versailles, as well as for the Maison de France at New York.
Soviet Camp at North Pole
A party of four Russian scientists has established a camp on an ice floe fifteen miles from the North Pole for a year. They will be in constant touch by wireless and, weather permitting, by plane, with Rudolph Island, some 550 miles away, where the remaining members of the party are stationed. The object of the party is exhaustive research work into local conditions and, if conclusions are favourable, the eventual creation of a Moscow-San Francisco air route via the North Pole.
Among the most noteworthy diplomatic or State visits of late have been that of the King and Queen of Italy to Budapest, that of Dr. Schmidt, the Austrian UnderSecretary for Foreign Affairs, to Paris, and that of the French Foreign Minister to Brussels. Only a short note emphasising harmony of views was issued as regards the first, while no mention was made of Hungarian rearmament. Dr. Schmidt is thought to have been satisfied with the results of his visits both in London and Paris, but no definite statement has been made. M. Delbos, too, is known to be satisfied with his visit to Brussels, and notes expressing the Belgian and French views regarding a Western Pact and the League Covenant are to be sent to London. Colonel Beck has also been in Brussels and it is thought that the Polish Foreign Minister tried to interpret the Gorman dislike of the League Covenant and Art. 16 (free passage for troops acting in accordance with the Covenant).
Supreme Court Judge Retires
Supreme Court Judge Van Devanter has announced his retirement because of his advanced age (78). Judge Van Devanter invariably voted against Mr. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation and his retirement may enable the President to obtain a majority among the nine Supreme Court judges. It is, however, likely to make the President's planned reform of the Supreme Court more difficult.
Cardinal Attacks Nazis
Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago, speaking to a large meeting of his clergy, made a spirited attack upon the Nazi Government and condemned the German Government's low and despicable calumnies against the Church on moral questions. The German Press retorted with a violent campaign against the Cardinal and the German Ambassador has lodged an official protest with the American Government.
Paris Exhibition Opens
The French President, M. Lebrun, accompanied by numerous Ministers and diplomats, officially opened the Paris Exhibition on May 24. Although the Exhibition is not by any means complete, much progress has been made of late and many interesting features are complete. Among the most striking, if not the most pleasing, pavilions are the German and Soviet Pavilions. A telegram of best wishes for the success of the Exhibition has been received from Sir Eyre Crowe, Comptroller
of Overseas Trade. Dr. Schacht, President of the German Reichsbank, has arrived in Paris to open the German Pavilion officially.