From New International, Vol.5 No.1, January 1939, p.2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
THE December edition of 4,300 copies of The New International, as these notes are written, is virtually exhausted. An especially splendid issue, appears to be the unanimous verdict. There will be yet better issues, the Editorial Board promises. So far, so good. Yet the magazine’s situation at this moment is precarious, though needlessly so. Bundle payments this past month fell off sharply and subscription returns, both renewals and new subscriptions, were altogether too low. This condition requires immediate improvement. The New International, despite a steadily rising circulation, can easily pass out of existence entirely unless subscription and bundle payment responses are immediately greater. The SWP and the YPSL are at present giving full aid to the campaign for the Twice-A-Week Appeal and to the Christmas Fund campaign of the American Fund for Political Prisoners and Refugees; both these endeavors have the fullest support of The New International. We only add that the SWP, YPSL and their sympathizers should at the same time maintain their obligations to the magazine. Just now there are two easy ways to do that: 1. Pay bundle orders promptly. 2. ORGANIZE GROUPS IMMEDIATELY to visit subscribers for the purpose of OBTAINING RENEWAL SUBSCRIPTIONS AT ONCE.
Some cities are constantly changing literature agents. This does not contribute to systematic work for the press. Changes should be made only when absolutely necessary. The aim should be to add persons to the literature committees to assist and broaden activities, since sale and distribution of our press and literature remain paramount tasks of our movement. In the past weeks the following places have changed New International agents: Local New York, YPSL, Oscar Paskal; St. Paul, Minn., E. Lund (returned to post); San Francisco, A.S.; Houston, Texas, K.H.; Rochester, N.Y., J.V.B.; Columbus, O., C.R.; St. Louis, Mo., E.W.; Louisville, Ky., (revival), C.G.; Syracuse, N.Y., YPSL.
There were a few new orders and increases in the past month. New orders: Saskatchewan, Canada, 4 copies. Increases: Haifa, Palestine, 3 more; Syracuse, N.Y., YPSL from 5 to 20; East Oakland, Cal., E.M. agent, from 10 to 15; YPSL, New York, 125 to 140. On the whole, a quiet month in this respect.
The activities of the comrades, both party and YPSL, remain weak in so far as concerns organized efforts to obtain subscriptions. Too many comrades seem to be content if they read the magazine themselves or perhaps take a copy or two to sell – and then, all too often, more by chance than intent. We have observed the steady rise in general circulation, and that is all to the good. But subscriptions are all-important.
They mean a larger sum of money at once, of course; but even more valuable a subscription means a contact who can be directly reached for other purposes: mass meetings, political assistance, prospective party or youth membership, and so forth. A large subscription list forms not only the foundation and security of The New International, but can provide a broad base for the Fourth International movement as a whole. Comrades: enlist in the campaign for subscriptions for the duration of the class war.
San Francisco has been reinstated on the bundle order list and, the comrades write, magazine matters are being taken in hand. Local difficulties of a varied nature are being overcome, and the magazine thereby also benefits. That’s fine. But with other places, not so good, we now warn. Reading, Pa. has been cut off the list – too far in arrears. The following cities are being kept on the list by the proverbial skin of the teeth – translated: the good will and reasonableness of the management: San Diego, Cal.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash, and a couple of foreign agents. These will receive the January number, but unless payments are forthcoming before the February number, it will he necessary, in the interests of the maintenance of The New International, to eliminate their bundle orders. This is a negative, painful solution. Forewarned is forearmed: send in your payments, comrades, and stop the operation.
Many localities and individual comrades are doing fine work and accomplishing good results with the magazine. In Chicago, Marjorie Graham has been doing an especially fine job on the Univ. of Chicago Campus, and so likewise has Sara Langar, of the NW Side YPSL unit. Karl Shier reports others of his special corps of agents also doing well. The new New York YPSL agent, comrade Paskal, is carrying out his task diligently; and the CCNY circles, reported in the previous number, did even better with the December issue, say the live-wire comrades Milt Miller and Marty Diamond. At Columbia University, too, sales have appreciably increased, the Upper West Side Branch attending to the Columbia Book Shop and the campus. In England, the special literature committee composed of Ed. Fitzroy, A.G.; V.B.; J.G.; J.W. and B.S. is doing an excellent job in organizing literature sales throughout England. Local New York continues on too even a pace with the sales of the magazine. Unquestionably, both the party and YPSL units in New York could still increase sales considerably by covering systematically all meeting and contacts.
In the country, as a whole, the comrades take the task of circulating The New International seriously, though weak on the subscription side. Particularly to be commended, in addition to these mentioned above, are: Oakland, Cal., Karolyn K., agent (hereafter, initials indicate agent); Boston, Mass., John Quinn; Washington, D.C., M.G. and R.S.; Minneapolis, Minn., Chester Johnson andCommittee; Hartford.Conn., V.H.; Plentywood, Mont., John Boulds; Fargo, N.D., Wm. Ballou; Los Angeles, Cal., where John Murphy has revitalized the literature work; Allentown, Pa., Ruth Querio; Columbus, O., Chas. Raven; Youngstown, O., M. Hess; Cleveland, O., John D.; Salem, O., E. A.; Newark, N.J., literature committee; Fresno, Cal., C.C.; Ithaca, N.Y., Ed. Speyer; Akron, O., Bob Ferguson; Detroit, Mich., E.P.; Philadelphia, C.H. and S.T.; Berkeley, Cal., J.T.; Pittsburgh, Pa., M.K.; Baltimore, Md., J.B.; New Haven, Conn., M.G.; Hutchinson, Kan., H.S.; Quakertown, Pa., H.S.; and many other places, which space here prohibits mentioning. The Canadians and NI agents in Europe, Australia, China, India, South Africa continue to do splendidly, indeed putting the North American comrades to rout, or to shame, as you would have it.
Cities whose agents promise to give assiduous attention to the matter of obtaining subsciptions are: East Oakland, Cal., St. Paul, Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis and New York. We’re looking forward to the flow. Many cities are now making efforts to place the magazine on newsstands and in book stores. This work has proved fruitful wherever persisted in.
BOUND VOLUMES OF The New International: Since only a limited number of sets of the 1938 edition of the magazine are being bound, we suggest that the agents make an immediate canvas of the prospective purchasers and request them to place orders at once. Price: $3.00 per volume.
Elderly, as well as youthful comrades are doing their share in circulating The New International. In Allentown, Pa., Mother Kimmel, 72 years of age, sells the magazine; from far-off Saskatchewan, Can., J.T.S., writes: “I have been able to sell $2.00 worth of The New International bundle. Count on me in support of the Fourth International. Not much ability, but very fail-share of energy and activity for a hayseed of 62 years.” Orders bundle regularly. Good work, comrade J.T.S.
Commenting on the special arrangements made on behalf of the Scottish comrades by us, comrade Frank Maitland, of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, Edinburgh, Scotland, says: “Magazine selling satisfactorily. Not only are those workers already interested in socialism buying The New International, but at the price you have enabled us to put upon the magazine, we can sell it at our street meetings, etc., and we have sold as many as twenty copies at one meeting ... You must understand that our Scottish winters cut down the number of our meetings considerably.”
But, to help the Scots and others still more, we need YOUR HELP!
J.C.H., Vancouver, B.C., says: “Enclosed a year’s subscription. Have been buying The New International since its inception. I think your present publication is the best I have read.”
OK with us. Now, comrades, ON WITH A SUBSCRIPTION DRIVE!
Last updated on 7.8.2006