AT HOME ABROAD
FaScist Riot at Leeds
Grave disorders broke out during a Fascist demonstration at Holbeck Moor, Leeds. A very large crowd, estimated at over thirty thousand, had gathered to hear Sir Oswald Mosley and others speak, and the Fascist leader was repeatedly stoned, while the speeches were wholly inaudible.
The crowd displayed great hostility. Sir Oswald and some twenty Fascist supporters were injured, but only one injury was grave. Three arrests were made. The proposal to stage the march and demonstration had aroused bitter hostility in Leeds, but the Watch Committee had refused to ban it.
Great crowds attended the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, in London, Manchester, Leeds, and other centres with a large Jewish population. All the synagogues were full to overflowing and many were unable to obtain admission. Special prayers were offered for the persecuted Jews of Germany, and there was evidence of a revival among non-practising Jews.
inquiry Into Spanish Non-Intervention
An unofficial committee has been appointed to examine the truth of allegations of breaches of non-intervention in Spain. Among those appointed are Mr. D. Foot, M.P., Miss Eleanor Rathbone, M.P., Lord Faringdon, and Mr. Ramsay Muir. Several public sessions have already taken place, and among those who gave evidence are Lord Hastings and Mr. W. Dobbie, M.P., who had recently returned from Spain, as well as newspaper correspondents. The provisional findings indicate extensive violation, particularly on the Portuguese frontier and in Majorca by Italy.
Sir Samuel Hoare, First Lord of the Admiralty, who has just returned from a cruise in the Mediterranean, declared that no new British policy is contemplated in the Mediterranean. He stated that there was no question of abandoning Malta, but that it 'would be necessary to adapt the policy to new conditions, although British intentions would remain as non-aggressive as in the past. He praised the Mediterranean fleet and Cyprus would be developed in the near future from both a naval and aerial point of view, while its military future was also under consideration.
Italian Trade Debts
A delegation of officials from the Treasury and Board of Trade have gone to Rome to resume the negotiations with Italy regarding trade debts which broke down in July. Italian debts to British creditors amount to £2,000,000, and the Italian Government has so far been unwilling to make provision for these outstanding debts. It is understood, however, that a satisfactory basis for compromise on this point has now been found and negotiations arc accordingly to be resumed on this basis.
Peace and Disarmament Manifesto
A large and distinguished group of signatories has issued a manifesto pleading for disarmament and the elimination of armed force from the Covenant of the League of Nations, and urging the immediate need for a world conference to deal with colonial and economic problems. The signatories include Mr. George Lansbury, M.P., Canon " Dick " Shepherd, Lord Ponsonby, Mr. Aldous Huxley, Lady Barlow, Miss Ellen Wilkinson, M.P., General Crozin, Sir Ben Turner, Miss Rose Macaulay, Sir Arthur Eddington, Lord Arnold, Lord Sanderson, Sir A. D. Hall, Mr. Laurence Housman, and more than a hundred and forty other men and women well-known in public life.
Trades Union Congress Chairman
The General Council of the Trades Union Congress has unanimously elected Mr. Ernest Bevin as Chairman for 1936-37. With the possible exception of Sir Walter Citrine, Mr. Bevin is perhaps the bestknown and most distinguished trade union leader in public life. Aged 55, he was for many years associated first with the Dockers' Union and subsequently with the Transport Workers' Union. " The Dockers' K.C.," as he is often termed, has represented the workers on many government committees and is an expert on indus trial questions. He is well known as a vigorous opponent alike of Communism and Fascism.
Home Secretary Hits Out
The Home Secretary, Sir John Simon, made a bitter attack during a National Liberal demonstration at Perth on the would-be creators of a Popular Front in Great Britain. The Labour Party, he declared, would have nothing to do with such an attempt, and its few champions were unable to understand how little analogies with the situation abroad availed when examining this country. So futile a proposal he considered doomed to a speedy natural death. He declared himself a convinced partisan of democracy and opponent of all forms of dictatorship and stated that the National Government alone appealed to the good sense and patriotism of the country.
London Gas Tariff War
The new South Metropolitan .gas tariff which, it is claimed, will hit the small consumer very hard, has roused a large volume of protest in South London. Deptford Borough Council is taking the lead in challenging the proposals, and Battersea may follow suit. Various members of Parliament in the area, both Labour and Conservative, are also supporting the protest. Deptford Council is contemplating changing to electricity for street lighting should the new tariff not be altered. Representations have been made to the L.C.C. and the President of the Board of Trade, Mr. Runciman, who, it is thought, may possibly intervene.
Mr. Churchill in Paris
Mr. Winston Churchill delivered an outstanding and brilliant address before a distinguished French audience at the Ambassadors' Theatre in Paris and made a trenchant attack upon all forms of dictatorship. He alluded to the common heritage and democracy of France and Great Britain, and declared himself more convinced than ever of the need for close cooperation between the two countries. He re-affirmed his loyalty to the Covenant of the League of Nations and made a stirring appeal for collective security as a reality to deal with unprovoked aggression.
Census of World's Prisoners
The Howard League for Penal Reform has circulated statistics of the world's prisoners at the League of Nations Assembly at Geneva. These statistics reveal an immense growth in the world
prison population. In Europe, Finland, Esthonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Poland and Germany all show alarmingly high figures (the German statistics are admitted to be but a fraction of the real total), while no return at all is available for Greece, Portugal, Turkey and Russia. Outside Europe Sierra Leone, South Africa and the North-West Frontier Province of India (most particularly the last-named), as well as the United States, all show abnormally large numbers of prisoners in proportion to their population.
New Swedish Government
The Socialist and Agrarian parties are to form a Coalition Government and the Prime Minister is once again to be Per Albin Hansson, the Socialist leader, who was in power from 1932 until a few months ago. These two Left parties have agreed not to ally themselves with other parties at elections. They will have a majority of 66 over the opposition in the Lower House.
The French Government has passed a decree devaluating the franc by a percentage varying from 25 to 34. Steps will be taken to prevent prices rising arid an embargo has been placed on gold. A currency agreement with Great Britain and America was the basis for this measure. Switzerland and Holland have passed similar measures (£. approximately Swiss Frs. 21.30 and Florins 9.00), while Latvia, Greece, and Turkey are following suit. It is expected that a complete world currency truce and a revival of world trade will result.
Portugal and Nonintervention
After weeks of protracted and sterile negotiations it is announced that Portugal, as a result of conversations between Dr. Monteiro, the Foreign Minister, and Mr. Eden, has agreed to join the Non-Intervention Committee, subject, however, to its
original observations. It is learnt with incredulity in Portugal that the Spanish Foreign Minister, Senor Alvarez del Vayo, has produced documents at Geneva purporting to prove that the Spanish rebels had obtained military and other help from Portugal.
Russian Government Changes
Rykoff, the well-known Communist leader, who was mentioned during the Trotzkyist trial, has been deprived of his post as Commissar of Posts and Tele graphs. His place has been taken by Yagoda, the Commissar for Home Affairs and head of the Secret Police (Ogpu). The latter's place is to be taken by Yezhaff, who is chairman of the Communist Party Control Commission and a candidate for the Political Bureau, besides being known for his devotion to Stalin. Much comment has been caused by these changes.
Czech Protest To Germany
The Czechoslovak Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin, Dr. Schubert, handed to the German Government a spirited protest by the Czech Government against the speeches of Dr. Goebbels and Herr Rosenberg at the Nuremberg Congress. The note refutes the assertion made by these Nazi leaders that Czech aerodromes have been built near the German frontier for the use of Russian aviators, and states that such untrue and malicious allegations arc calculated merely to jeopardise good relations between the two countries. A similar protest has been sent to Berlin by the Rumanian Government against the same speeches, and emphasis is laid on the untruth of the statement that strategic railway lines have been built across Rumania for the purpose of conveying Russian troops to Czechoslovakia.
League of Nations Assembly
Contrary to expectation, the Credentials Committee recognised the Abyssinian dele gates' right to participate. Italy's return to the League is accordingly postponed indefinitely. Fear is felt for the prospects of the " Locarno " Conference.
In the course of a notable speech Mr. Eden referred to the necessity of reform of the Covenant and hinted at the possibility of Treaty revision. M. Litvinoff, at a subsequent meeting, made thinly-veiled references to Germany as the real potential aggressor and attacked racialism and unbridled nationalism.
Despite increased precautions terrorism and the Arab strike still continue in Palestine, but some hope is now felt in view of the fact that the three Arab kings of Iraq, Transjordania and Yemen are to intervene and try to conciliate the Arab extremists. Martial law has been proclaimed in certain areas and military precautions will be strengthened.
Spanish Civil War
After many weeks of inconclusive warfare the insurgent forces appear to be making definite headway. Toledo has fallen and the Alcazar has been relieved. A final battle for Madrid cannot be long delayed and its fall is likely. Bilbao is in flames and may fall at any moment. All is quiet on the Aragon, Leon and Andalusian fronts. The Catalan Government has been reconstructed and now shows a full array of Left forces to fight Fascism.