OCTOBER 23 — OCTOBER 27
AT HOME ABROAD
Potteries Transport Merger
The Stoke-on-Trent City Council has decided to promote a Parliamentary Bill for the acquisition of all omnibus undertakings in North Staffordshire and the constitution of a North Staffordshire Transport Board.
Co-operative Party and Labour
Speaking in Manchester, Mr. A. V. Alexander, M.P., declared that, although there certainly was friction with regard to one or two points, relations between the Labour and Co-operative parties were on the whole harmonious and that the present alliance was as much in the interests of the one as of the other. He emphasised the grave danger of Fascism to co-operators and urged the necessity for an adequate political organisation to fight encroachments opon democratic rights.
Squadron-Leader Wright (Cons.) won the Birmingham (Erdington) division contest with 27,000 votes to 20,000 to Mr. Jamcs Simmons, his Labour opponent. The poll reached a surprisingly high percentage for a by-election. The Conservative poll attained the General Election level, while the Labour poll was the highest ever polled in the division.
Other by-elections pending are Preston, Greenock, Oxford University, and Clay Cross, where Mr. George Ridley (Lab.) is certain to be returned with a large majority against his Conservative opponent, Miss Bridget Jackson, who has already contested
the division unsuccessfully. Polling has been fixed for November 5. At Preston the National Liberals have invited Sir John Barlow to accept nomination, but there is -sonsiderable dissatisfaction among Conser vatives and the situation is confused. At Greenock, rendered vacant by the death of Sir Godfrey Collins, no Liberal National has as yet been nominated, although several names are under consideration. The possibility of an IL.P. candidate may split the Labour vote. but the National majority is very small. There are also local Labour lissensions. At Oxford University Professor Lindemann is standing as a Conserva.ive, but without official backing, and may ae opposed by an official Conservative. Sir ,krthur Salter is standing as an Independmt, with the support of Conservatives, Liberals and Labour.
The Russian Government has declared hat it will in future be unable to adhere
o a policy of non-intervention in Spain and nust hold itself ready to intervene to the lame extent as other parties. The Cornnittee has asked the Soviet Ambassador in ...ondon, M. Maisky, to request his Governnent for an interpretation of their statenent, to which course he has agreed. ['here is no sign as yet of the Russian aovernment's rumoured resignation from he Committee.
Lord Nuffield, of Morris and Wolseley vfotors Ltd., has announced his withlrawal from the Government's armament cheme of " shadow " aero-engine expanion at a cost of £500,000 to himself and ssued a vigorous indictment of the Govern
ment's procedure and policy as well as of Lord Swinton, the Air Minister, involving personal criticism of the latter. The Air Minister has replied and Lord Nuffield has in turn issued a rejoinder. As the issue involves serious criticism of the Government's armaments policy, which is declared to be " unworkable," a statement is to be made in the House of Commons by Sir Philip Sassoon, Under-Secretary for Air, and in the House of Lords by Lord Swinton. Sir Thomas Inskip, Minister for Co-ordination of Defence, has warmly defended his colleague, Lord Swinton, and stated that he was convinced that the Government would yet be able to make excellent use of Lord Nuffield's installations in a manner wholly satisfactory to the latter.
German Ambassador Arrives in London
Herr von Ribbentrop, the newlyappointed German Ambassador to the Court of St. James, has arrived in London to take up his duties as Ambassador. A former traveller in champagne, the new Ambassador is a close personal friend of the German Chancellor and has many ties with Great Britain. On arrival he made a short speech stating his conviction that Anglo-German friendship was a vital necessity and would shortly become a reality, and attacked Communism and Russia as being the only danger to Great Britain and menace to Europe.
Catalan Delegate Detained
Sefior Gorkin, who had come to represent the Catalan Government at various meetings organised by Left forces in England in favour of the Spanish and Catalan Governments, was refused leave to land or speak in Britain by the Home Office immi gration authorities. Protests against his exclusion have been made by Mr. Fenner Brockway, Mr. H. G. Wells, the Dean of Canterbury, Mr. J. B. Priestley, and Mr. Bertrand Russell.
Municipal elections for the various boroughs, towns and cities will be held all over the country, save in the metropolitan area, in the first week of November, the councillors elected in 1933 being now due to retire. Some slight advance on the part of Labour is anticipated in those parts of the country where municipal elections are fought in accordance with party politics, but no sensational gains are expected as many Labour councillors are defending seats won at a period favourable to Labour. which means that Labour gains in some areas will probably be offset by losses in others.
Anglo-Portuguese Alliance Upheld •
Don Salazar, leader of the Portuguese corporative State, referred to the traditional alliance between Britain and Portugal in a recent speech:
" We have found,he said. " in the English alliance a strong backing for our cause. This alliance is often misunderstood; but between the two countries there is no possibility of a breach in the convention between them. The alliance is necessary to Portugal and will be maintained."
Belgian Fascists in Action
The Rexist (Fascist) leader, Leon Degrelle, had planned an outsize antiGovernment demonstration of 250,000 supporters at the domain of the Resist Senator, Count de Grunne, near Brussels. A counter-demonstration was planned and the Government stopped the Rexist parade for fear of disorders. Efforts were made, however, to defeat the ban, numerous incidents occurred, but there was no grave disorder, thanks to the adequate police precautions. Some eighty arrests were made, including Count de Grunne and Degrelle, who made a dramatic appearance at the window of a house close to Saint Ciudule as the congregation was leaving after High Mass. Degrelle and his companions were, however, subsequently released.
It is announced that, as a result of Count Ciano's visit to Berlin, an agreement has been reached between the German and Italian Governments. Germany is to recognise Italy's conquest of Abyssinia and a commercial agreement is foreshadowed. Mutual co-operation against Bolshevism is provided for, and an attitude of sympathy towards General Franco and the insurgent forces in Spain is outlined, but non-intervention and neutrality are still advocated as well as respect of Spanish colonial integrity. Close co-operation with the various Danubian States is alluded to, and mention is made of willingness to participate in negotiations for a new " Locarno " treaty aiming at greater security and the isolation of Russia.
French Radical Congress
The Radical Congress at Biarritz has shown signs of cleavage within the Radical ranks, many displaying real hostility to the Communists and to the Popular Front. Much objection was shown, too, to Communist tactics and the epidemic of stay-in strikes. Speeches in defence of the Government and of the Popular Front were made by M. Deladier, Minister of Defence, and M. Herriot, who made a deep impression. It was, however, decided to continue to support the Government and the Popular Front. One interesting feature of the anti-Communist demonstration that occurred during the proceedings was the giving of a salute closely resembling the Fascist salute.
Spanish Civil War
The insurgent web round Madrid is gradually tightening, notably to the South, where the Valencia line is under heavy fire and no more railway traffic is possible, and to the north-west, Guadalajara, a keypoint, having fallen to the insurgents. An exception is provided in the north-eastern direction, where the Government forces have defeated General Franco's advance near the Escovial and have made a heavy counter-attack. On all other fronts the situation appears more or less stationary, as the main insurgent attack is now concentrated upon Madrid. There is now no doubt that Oviedo has been relieved by further insurgent reinforcements, but Malaga is still in the hands of Government forces, although surrounded on all sides. The British Government has sent a note to the Madrid Government asking for exchange of hostages (there are said to be 10,000 prisoners in Madrid), but the Spanish Government replied that there were no hostages, but only political prisoners who must unfortunately be considered as a menace to the existence of the republic.
American Presidential Election
A noteworthy speech on foreign policy has been made by Governor Landon, the Republican candidate in the American presidential contest, which is now growing more intense. Speaking at Indianapolis, he declared that President Roosevelt had disrupted the London Economic Conference and tried to collaborate in sanctions against Italy. He attacked the League of Nations and the Hague Court. Various " straw " votes have recently been taken and these, combined with other manifestations, tend to indicate that President Roosevelt will be re-elected, perhaps even with a comfortable majority. Although certain States will go Republican, particularly in the centre, north and north-east, President Roosevelt should be able to poll very heavily in the west and the solidly Democratic south. His legislation in favour of the workers will also ensure him very heavy backing from the American Federation of Labour and the working classes. The Communist, Socialist, and
" Social Justice" candidates, Messrs. Browder, Thomas, and Lemke, are unlikely to affect the issue, although the last-named has the support of Fr. Coughlin, the radio priest, and De Townshend, father of the pensions plan. Lemke is likely, however, to find some backing in Minnesota, which has a solid radical tradition.
Mr. John L. Lewis, President of the Miners' Federation, the dynamic leader of the C.I.O., who believes in direct action and is pledged to organise unskilled labour, is out wholeheartedly for the New Deal.
President Green of the A.F.L., while opposing Mr. Lewis on organisation, is a Roosevelt man. Mr. David Dubinsky, President of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, a registered member of the Socialist Party since 1911, has resigned from that party to take an official part in the New Deal's campaign to re-elect Roosevelt.
Balkan Exchange of Visits
M. StOyadinovitch, the Yugoslav Premier, is paying an official visit to Turkey with the object of strengthening ties between the two countries. The primary purpose of this visit is to strengthen economic ties, but relations between Yugoslavia and Turkey are good and increased political co-operation is likely to result. M. Stoyadinovitch will stop in Sofia on his return, and this is considered a particularly favourable sign, as relations between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria are slowly, but surely, improving, despite past memories.
King Carol of Rumania meanwhile is planning a visit to Prague, and this visit will undoubtedly strengthen Little Entente ties, although Rumanian and Czech relations have always been extremely cordial and stand in no jeopardy.