AT HOME ABROAD
Lord Hugh Cecil, M.P. for Oxford University and Provost of Eton, has applied for the Manor of Northstead, thus resign
ing his Parliamentary scat. The prospective candidates in the forthcoming byelection are Sir Arthur Salter (Ind.), the well-known economist, Professor Lindemann (Ind. Cons.) and Sir Farquhar Buzzard (Cons.).
Mr. A. C. Spearman, a London stockbroker, has been selected to fight the Manchester (Gorton) by-election necessitated by the death of Mr. Joseph Compton, in the Conservative interest. No Labour candidate has yet been selected. Mr. Compton's majority for Labour in 1935 was 4,206.
The North St. Pancras by-election necessitated by the appointment of Sir Ian Fraser to thc Board of Governors of the B.B.C. proceeded very quietly. A low poll was anticipated, with a very close result. The Conservative candidate was Mr. Grant-Ferris, a Catholic barrister from Birmingham, and the Labour candidate Mr. H. Tibbles, leader of the Labour Party on the St. Pancras Council. The Conservative majority in 1935 was 3,601.
Princess Royal to Visit Duke of Windsor
The Princess Royal, accompanied by her husband. the Earl of Harewood, will shortly visit her brother, the Duke of Windsor, at Schloss Enzesfeld, near Vienna, the castle which he has leased until July from Baron de Rothschild. She will be the first member of the Royal Family to visit the Duke of Windsor since his abdication. The Duke of Kent, and the Duke of Gloucester, subsequently, had also wished to visit their brother, but it was learnt that the Government considered that such a step would be unwise.
Bishops and Politics
A motion has been put down in the House of Commons in the name of Mr. Duncan Sandys, Conservative M.P. for Norwood, deploring the support given to Sir A. Salter (Ind.) in the Oxford by-election by the Archbishop of York and the Bishops of Bradford, Chichester, South wark and Liverpool. Motions affirming the right of all British subjects, in whatever position, to iniervenc in politics have also been put down in the names of Mr. V. Adams (Cons.) and Mr. Mender (Lib.).
A Regency Bill has been published providing permanent machinery in the event of the Sovereign being a minor, being absent abroad, or becoming incapacitated. The Regent is to be the next person of full age (i.e., over 21) in succession to the Throne, who in the present case would be the Duke of Gloucester. The Bill likewise provides for Counsellors of State who could act for the Sovereign in the given circumstances. Such Counsellors would be the wife or husband of the Sovereign and the four persons of full age nearest in succession to the Throne, i.e., during the minority of Princess Elizabeth, they would be the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, the Princess Royal and her sons, if of age. Princess Elizabeth is the sole heir.
New Year Honours List
King George Vl's first Honours List, postponed from New Year's Day, has been published. The main list hotours contain the name of one Viscount, three Barons, two Privy Councillors, six Baronets and twenty-nine Knights Bachelor. The list is varied, the strongest tendency being perhaps in a political direction. Only one byelection occurs. Sir A. M. Samuel, Conservative M.P. for Farnham since 1913 and a former Financial Secretary to the Treasury, having been made a peer. His majority over his Labour opponent exceeded 20,000 at the last General Election. Other prominent recipients of various honours include the Queen, who becomes a Dame Grand Cross and Master of the Royal Victorian Order, Lord Hutchison, Lord Greenwood, Sir George Hennessy, Sir Derwent Hall-Caine, Mr. J. MorrisJones, M.P., Lord Louis Mountbatten, Lady Williams, Dr. Adrian Boult, Mr. Malcolm Stewart, Sir Miles Lampson, and Mr. H. A. L. Fisher. A Basutoland chief, Nathaniel Griffith Lerotholi. is made a Commander of the British Empire Order.
Nationalist feeling in Wales, considerably sharpened by the recent Old Bailey trial, has shown itself in the resignation of three of the adjudicators, including Professor Grufydd, at the Machynlleth Eisteddfod, who object to the invitations sent to Lord Londonderry and Mr. Winston Churchill to preside, as English men. There is a growing tendency to object to the introduction of English elements in Eisteddfod proceedings.
Shock for United Front
As was anticipated, the Socialist League was disaffiliated by a virtually unanimous decision of the Labour National Executive on the score of its collaboration with the Communist Party within the framework of the United Front. The Executive also refused to endorse the candidature of Mr. William Mellor, a prominent Socialist League leader, as candidate for Coventry. The Socialist League replied that its action had in no way injured Labour Unity, protested against the Labour Party's action, and urged members to remain within the Labour Party. No action against individ uals has been taken as yet. Mr. Attlee, Leader of the Opposition, has refused to speak at a meeting in aid of the Spanish Government in East London with Socialist League and Communist leaders, and his place has been taken by Captain Macnamara, Conservative M.P. for Chelmsford.
Moscow Trial Ends
After further sensational evidence of industrial and economic sabotage had been heard, the Moscow trial concluded with a vehement plea by Vyshinsky, the Public Prosecutor, for death sentences. Finally, the judges sentenced Radek and Sokolnikoff to ten years' imprisonment, two minor prisoners to eight years' imprisonment, and the remaining thirteen prisoners, including the former Commissars Musaloff and Piatakoff, were condemned to death. (All the death sentences were carried out). One and all repudiated Trotzky in their final speeches. Radek maintained his courage to the end, almost alone of the prisoners, and made a striking speech, once again assuming full responsibility. Meanwhile, Piatakoff's widow has been arrested, and it is thought likely that the Commissar Ordjorikhidze will have to answer for some of the enormous amount of sabotage that went on in his department.
It is estimated that well over a million people have now been rendered homeless by the disastrous Ohio floods. There arc at least six hundred dead, thousands are ill from the effects of the floods, and the material damage exceeds £100.000,000. Although the Ohio floods are now less serious, the situation is daily growing graver in the Mississippi valley. Thousands are evacuating Memphis, Cairo, Paducah, and other towns, while grave fears are expressed when the flood crest reaches Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Efforts are being made to strengthen the dykes to resist the fresh rise due to the storms in the north-west. Meanwhile, the President has said that a national effort is to be made to prevent a recurrence of these floods, and the Federal Commission is now studying a scheme to harness the Ohio and its tributaries.
The seamen's strike is now thought to be ending as a ballot is to be taken on the proposed settlement terms which give the workers an eight-hour day, and cash for overtime with other advantages, and are a striking victory. The illicit maritime workers' strike on the Gulf of Mexico has ended in defeat for the strikers (the strike occurred in defiance of the Union leaders), but there is no sign of the huge General Motors deadlock ending.
Canada and War
Mr. Mackenzie King, the Canadian Prime Minister, made an official statement on Canada's foreign policy in the Dominion House of Commons and declared that the Canadian Parliament would decide in any given situation whether Canada was to remain neutral or be committed to war. He added that the recent increase in the Canadian defence estimates was due solely to Canadian needs, and had in no way been influenced by advice from London.
Hitler's Reichstag Speech
On the completion of his first four years of power, Herr Hitler, the German Die tator, made a striking speech in the Reichstag, which lasted two and a half hours, and to which all Germans Were forced to listen on the wireless. He declared that the policy of surprises would now end with the formal taking-over by the State of the Reichsbank and Stale Railways, a further breach of the Treaty of Versailles, and that henceforth German signatures to treaties
would be honoured. He declared that German armaments were determined by the armaments of another Power (Russia) and that the Four-Year Plan would be carried out intact. No reference was made to the French and British proposals of an economic agreement to stop the European armaments race. Be added that Germany does not want isolation, but would not cooperate with other nations should this diminish her armaments or interfere with the Four-Year Plan. He declared that in future no German would be allowed to accept a Nobel prize, as a retaliation for the award to Orrietzky, the pacifist. He assured France, Belgium and Holland of their territorial integrity, but made no reference to Czechoslovakia and refused to make any agreement with Russia. He also made a claim for colonies, directed mainly to the British Empire.
World comment, on the whole, was very reserved, but not unfavourable, particularly in France.
Japanese Crisis Ends
The Japanese deadlock has ended with the formation of a Cabinet by General Hayashi, in which Mr. Saito, former Japanese Counsellor in London, who has written a life of Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, is to he Foreign Minister. General Nakamura has been appointed War Minister, which is a victory for the Army and the Navy. The Social Mass Party demands a dissolution and General Election to ratify the new Cabinet, hut it is thought unlikely that the new Prime Minister will be extremist in any way.
Spanish Civil War
The situation in Spain is practically unchanged owing to the bitter weather prevailing in Spain. Attacks and counterattacks have succeeded each other in Madrid, with constant night bombardments. Malaga has not yet fallen, but has been subjected to terrific bombardments. General Kleber, leader of the Madrid International Column, has, it is learnt, been dismissed from his position, while the Valencia Government has been given almost dictatorial power by the Cortes until the end of the war.