THROUGH THE ARCHIVE: Communist Party needs £1,000 for election meeting hears

From the News Letter, June 11, 1945

Friday, 11th June 2021, 6:00 am
The Royal Hippodrome in Belfast. Photographer: Almost certainly Robert French of Lawrence Photographic Studios, Dublin. NLI Ref.: L_ROY_08383. Picture: Natrional Library of Ireland

A crowded meeting, which was held the Royal Hippodrome, Belfast, the previous night, pledged wholehearted support for the three Communist candidates in the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Election, reported the News Letter.

“We are firmly convinced,” said the resolution, “that a monopoly of representation by the official Unionist Party at Stormont would constitute the gravest menace to the future and well-being of Northern Ireland and of all classes and creeds.”

The resolution continued: “We see the return of a strong team Communist, Labour, and progressive candidates [as] the safeguard of the people’s interests opposed to the vested interests of the privileged handful represented by the official Unionist Party.”

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Mr T A Jackson, a visitor from Britain, said that the regime which “dominated” Stormont began when “the reactionaries in Ireland feared the growing solidarity of the United Irishmen under Protestant leadership”.

He added: “Whether the Border remained or not, working people will still fight for work, homes, and security.”

Miss Betty Sinclair, the Communist candidate for Cromac, said that there was no border so far as the making of profit was concerned, and “it would not be allowed to interfere with the demand for better living conditions”.

Mr Robert Stewart, a prominent British Communist, also addressed the meeting.

In an appeal for the building up of election fund, with £1,000 as the “target,” Mr W H McCullough, candidate for Bloomfield, said that “if there had been forged a unity of all Labour-Communist-Commonwealth candidates, there could be no doubt of the result”.

Admission to the meeting was 6d and the collection amounted to £260.

Meanwhile, Mr Malcolm W Patrick, the Unionist candidate for Bannside, had continued his campaign with enthusiastic meetings at Cullybackey and Portglenone where he reiterated his intention, if returned, to “devote all the time” at his disposal “to the interests of the farming community”.

Votes of confidence in Mr Patrick were passed and the meetings pledged their wholehearted support.

Addressing a meeting in Rasharkin Orange Hall, Mr A J Gillespie, the Independent Unionist candidate, said that he was determined if elected to “uphold the union with Great Britain”.

He added: “The fact that the government has reduced the flax acreage subsidy is the thing end of the wedge and if they are not stopped the farmer will find himself in the unhappy position in which he was prior to 1938.”