WEST MIDDLESEX DISTRICT COMMUNIST PARTY
A NEW STAGE in the development of the Communist Party in West Middlesex was reached last weekend with the establishment of a new District Committee to cover the West Middlesex and Slough area of Greater London. .-
The new District has a population of over one million people and some of the largest of the light engineering factories in Greater London. These include E.M.I, at Hayes, the factories on the Great West Road like Firestones, Gillette, Tecalemit, and McLeans; it takes in the big Chiswick works of London Transport and the A.E.C. factory at Hanwell. Slough, with its great trad-
ing estate, also becomes part of the new District. Among the rail depots are Old Oak Common and Fulwell.
The West Middlesex D.P.C. takes in fifteeen borough organisations and nearly sixty Party branches, all of which were, up till now, the responsibility of the London District Committee. The total Party membership in the District at the end of 1949 was 1,744. The Boroughs are Acton, Brentford and Chiswick, Baling and Greenford, Feltham, Hayes, Heston and Isleworth, Northwood, Ruislip, Southall, Slough, Staines, Sunbury, Twickenham, Uxbridge and Yiewsley.
The initiation District Congress took place last week-end at the East Acton Co-op. Hall. One hundred and forty-eight full delegates attended, and, in addition, there were a number of fraternal delegates and visitors.
Comrade G. C. T. Giles, well-known as a headmaster in Acton and a member of the Party B.C., was the chairman of the Congress. Comrade Peter Kerrigan made the opening political report on behalf of the Executive Committee.
Congress elected a new D.P.C. of twenty-nine members. At a short meeting held immediately after its own election, the D.P.C. appointed Comrade Abe Lazarus as its new District Secretary. Comrade Abe Lazarus was for many years District Secretary of the Party in the South Midlands. He was born in Chiswick in 1911, joined the Party in Hammersmith in 1930. He played a leading part in the 1933 strike for T.U. recognition at the 'Firestone tyre factory,
which is on the Great West Road at Brentford. A year later found him leading a successful strike for trade union recognition at the big Pressed Steel factory at Cowley, Oxford.
Congress unanimously adopted three resolutions.The main resolution endorsed the policy of the Party laid down at the 21st National Congress and as outlined, in the E.C.'s Political Letter of March 16. (1950)
Congress registered its protest at the suggested ,increase in London fares and instructed its District Secretary to appear at the hearings of the Tribunal and oppose the increase on behalf of the District Committee;
In response to the appeal for a fund of £150 with which to launch the new D.P.C., the boroughs, branches ; and industrial groups sent to Congress £103, which was handed up to the chairman.
The temporary headquarters of the West Middlesex District of the Communist party are at 85 East Avenue, Hayes. Middlesex.
World News & Views 1950
Lazarus was born, from a Jewish background, in Chiswick in 1911 and joined the Communist Party at Hammersmith in 1930. He played a key role in the Firestone strike in 1933 at Brentford for union recognition and thus secured the nickname “Bill Firestone”. He was later central to work at the then new Pressed Steel factory in Cowley in 1934, which was successful in securing union recognition.
Union officials believed that plant, whose workforce was recruited from among local women and unemployed miners from South Wales, was un-organisable. But the Communist dominated local Hunger March Solidarity Committee, formed to greet unemployed marchers from South Wales, began to give attention to this task.
In July 1934 a dispute on the night shift over piece rate developed into a walkout. The Communist Party sent Abe Lazarus, largely because of his work at Firestones, to Oxford. He formed a rank and file strike committee and recruited the workforce into the TGWU. After six weeks, the company conceded union recognition and shop steward organisation. After the strike the TGWU 5/60 branch which covered the factory secured virtual 100 percent union membership.
Involved in the Thames Valley bus strike of 1937, Lazarus narrowly missed being elected as a Communist councillor in Cowley in 1937. He became Communist Party District Secretary in the South Midlands in 1939 and the District Secretary West Middlesex in 1950.