The following changes in the Cabinet are officially announeed: Mr. Walter Elliot, M.P., Minister of Agriculture, to be Secretary of State for Scotland.
Mr. W. S. Morrison, M.P., Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to be Minister of Agriculture and raised to Cabinet rank.
Mr. 4 Hore-Belisha, M.P., Minister of Transport, to be raised to Cabinet rank.
Lieutenant-Colonel J. Colville, M.P., Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Scotland, to be Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
Mr. H. J. S. Scrirngeour-Wedderburn, M.P., to be Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Scotland.
Mr. Walter Elliot represents the Kelvingrove division of Glasgow in the House of Commons, and Mr. W. S. Morrison Tewkesbury and Cirencester, while Colonel Colville sits for Midlothian and Peebles (Northern) and Mr. Hare-Belisha
for Plymouth (Devonport). Mr. Scrimgeour-Wedderburn represents West Renfrew.
The dispute between Lords Nuffield and Swinton has been brought (temporarily) to a close by statements by Sir Philip Sassoon, M.P., in the House of Commons and Lord Swinton, Minister for Air, in the House of Lords. Regret was expressed by the latter for any unintentional discourtesy towards Lord Nuffield. The latter is not resuming work for the Government at his aero-engine factory, but is executing important Government contracts elsewhere. Important questions were raised in the House of Lords by Lords Strabolgi and Dunedin.
Parliament re-assembled last Thursday and was prorogued on Friday. King Edward VIII opened Parliament on Tuesday for the first time with all the usual pomp and ceremony. The address in reply to the King's speech will be moved by Miss Florence Horsburgh, M.P. for Dundee, and seconded by Mr. Harold Nicholson, M.P. for West Leicester. Reference was made in the King's speech to League reform, Spanish non-intervention, the Egyptian treaty, the Stresa conference., the unemploymeht regulations, rearmament, maternity services, school attendance, tithe settlement, housing, and other problems already dealt with or to be dealt with in the course of the coming Parliamentary session.
Bedwas Colliery Dispute
The miners at Bedwas Colliery have voted in favour of affiliation to the South Wales Miners' Federation, 1,177 voting in favour of the S.W.M.F. and 309 in favour of the South Wales Miners' Industrial Union.[ There was a 91 per cent. poll. This ends a rivalry between the two unions that threatened to create a general stoppage throughout the South Wales coalfield, and the company has agreed to give notice to the Industrial Union (hitherto the only one recognised) from November 1.
Polling for the vacancy in the Clay Cross division of Derbyshire takes place on November 5. A Labour victory for Mr. Ridley is certain, the only question being the size of his majority. The late Mr. Arthur Henderson won Clay Cross at a by-election with a majority of 15,000, and the late Mr. Holland with 16,000 to spare. The Liberal National candidate for the Greenock vacancy will be Mr. V. Cornelius, a Surrey business roan, and his Labour opponent will be Mr. R. Gibson, K.C. At Preston the Conservative candidate will probably be Captain Cobb, from Sussex, while his Labour opponent will be Mr. F. G. Bowles, a London solicitor. The position of the former Liberal National nominee, Sir John Barlow, is ambiguous. Professor Lindemann and Sir Arthur Salter are as yet the only two candidates for the Oxford University vacancy.
Armaments Commission Report
The Commission appointed by the Government to examine the question of armaments has issued a unanimous report, which does not call for nationalisation of the armaments industry, but does demand
stricter control. Particularly strict control of all exports of aircraft is recommended. Although State management is considered inadvisable, measures to restrict armaments profits in time of peace are considered necessary in the public interest. It is also recommended that steps be taken without delay to prepare conscription of industry in general in the event of war breaking out. The immediate cessation of private export trade in second-hand and surplus munitions and armaments is urged, together with other recommendations. The members of the Commission are Sir John Bankes (chairman), Dame Rachel Crowdy, Sir Kenneth Lee, Sir Philip Gibbs, Sir Thomas Allen, Mr. J. A. Spender, and Professor Guttericlge.
Considerable Labour losses occurred at the municipal elections held on November 2, Labour having defended seats gained in the high-watermark year of 1933. Labour lost control of the council at Warrington, Stafford, Birkenhead, Mitcham, and Leyton. Other Labour losses occurred at Birmingham, Liverpool, Bury. Burnley, Halifax, Reading, Rochdale, Salford, Bolton, York, Northampton, Nottingham, Newcastle, Preston, Stockport, Sheffield, Hull, Ipswich, Lincoln, Leeds, Norwich, Colchester, Ciateshead, Swansea, and else
where. Labour gained seats at Dewsbury, Huddersfield. Lincoln. Lancaster, Wolverhampton, Wigan, Blackburn, Coventry, Cardiff, Cambridge, Rotherham, Wakefield, Tynemouth, Hartlepool, Gloucester, Nuneaton, Portsmouth, and elsewhere.
Famous Advocate Dies
Sir Henry Curtis-Bennett, K.C., one of the most famous lawyers in the country and chairman of the London Sessions, died while speaking at a public dinner in London, aged 57. Among the leading counsel at the Criminal Bar, Sir Henry CurtisBennett was universally esteemed and popular at the Bar. He was Recorder of Colchester since 1929 and was a brother of Sir Mel Curtis-Bennett.
French Frontier Fortifications
M. Daladier, the French War Minister, together with General Gamelin and other members of the French General Staff and the chairman of the Senate Army Cornmission, has been touring the Belgian frontier district which, in view of previous Belgian policy, was the only part of the French frontier unprotected by the Maginot line of fortifications, which ends at the Luxemburg border. M. Deladier declared that it was the French Government's intention to prolong the Maginot line to the sea, thus adequately protecting Dunkirk and the northern industrial area.
Communist Leader Attacks Blum
A remarkably sharp attack upon the French Government and M. Blum in particular was made by M. Thorez, the French Communist leader, at a meeting of Communists in Paris. He declared that the Government's policy was weak-kneed and subservient to Fascist and reactionary interests, to which there had been far too many capitulations. He said that the Popular Front must be coherent in its defence of democracy and aim at the maximum of security for France in the realm of foreign affairs.
Mussolini and Peace
The Italian dictator, speaking at Milan, made a trenchant attack upon the idea of disarmament, collective security and the League of Nations. Particularly friendly references were made in the course of his speech to Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Yugoslavia and Hungary. Warm support of Hungarian revisionist claims was indicated and reference was made to the vastly improved relations with Yugoslavia. He made a bitter attack upon Communism and held out an olive branch to Great Britain, stating that he had no intention of menacing in any way British interests in the Mediterranean.
Iraq Coup D'etat
A military coup d'etat in Iraq has resulted in the murder of the Minister of Defence, General Jafar el Askari, by a treacherous ruse. King Ghazi was asked by General Bakir Sidki, commander of the Eastern division of the Iraq army, to dismiss the Prime Minister, General Yasin el Hashimi, and ask him to leave Iraq at once. He has arrived in Beirut. At General Bakir Sidki's request Seyid Suleiman has been appointed Prime Minister, but General Bakir Sidki will, it is certain, be the virtual dictator. The latter is well known in England and is both ruthless and respected. It is thought that anti-semitism has played a certain part in this military coup d'etat.
U.S.A. Shipping Strike
A seamen's strike on the Pacific coast has spread rapidly to the Atlantic coast and involves thousands of seamen. The unions attempted to prevent this strike, which was against their wishes, but are prepared to arbitrate. This offer has been refused by the owners. Picketing has started in New York and elsewhere and transatlantic shipping will be involved. The points at issue include the selection of longshoremen and cash payment for overtime.
The courtesy visit to Yokohama which was to have been paid by Sir Charles Little. Commander-in-Chief of the China station, on the occasion of his new appointment, has been postponed. This is due to the imprisonment of and brutal assault committed upon British sailors at Keelung. The Japanese authorities allege that this was because their taxi fares had not been paid, but this has since been proved untrue. It is hoped that reparation will be made. This unfortunate incident almost coincides with a violent attack upon Great Britain in a leading Japanese daily.
Spanish Civil War
The nationalist advance upon Madrid is drawing gradually closer and closer to the Spanish capital. Despite a vigorous counter-offensive by the Government forces which drove the insurgents back some miles, this ground has now been regained by the insurgents, who are now almost at the doors of Madrid. Insurgent aeroplanes have made air raids upon Madrid and inflicted much damage, killing seventy children at Getafe, near Madrid, and causing heavy loss of life in various suburbs. A slight reorganisation of the Government has occurred in Madrid, but otherwise the political situation is unchanged. No change is reported on the various fronts other than in the Madrid sector, but an insurgent warship drew near to the little Catalan port of Rosas, near the French frontier. An attempt to land troops was beaten off, but the town was heavily bombarded and loss of life occurred. Militia troops from all over Catalonia have been rushed to the coast, as it is thought that the insurgent forces from Majorca plan a surprise landing on the Catalan coast and an attack upon Barcelona.
American Presidential Elections
America went to the polls on November 3 to elect its new President, and it is fairly sure that President Roosevelt will again be returned.
By Tuesday of this week the success of Mr. Roosevelt (Democrat) in the American presidential election was assured. His Republican rival, Mr. Landon, was left far behind soon after the polling opened, and by the time that the first 2,000,000 votss were recorded the President was nearly 1,000,000 votes ahead. Particularly in the South was Mr. Roosevelt's popularity in evidence, but Kansas, Mr. Landon's own State, proved a hot battleground, though at the time of writing the President is in the lead. As for the other three candidates, Mr. Norman Thomas (Socialist), Mr. Earl Browder (Communist), and Mr. William Lemke (Union Party), they fell, as was expected, into the position of " also tans."
The three latter are purely propagandist outsiders and the Socialist candidate will almost certainly poll less than the million or so votes he received in 1932.
Fifty-five million Americans are eligible to vote, and probably 46,000,000 will do so. Of these, it is expected that Roosevelt will obtain the support of some 25,000,000.