The West German Social Democratic Party Opened its 5-day congress in Hanover on Tuesday (April 10).
The West German Social Democratic Party Opened its 5-day congress in Hanover on Tuesday (April 10). Chancellor Willy Brandt was present and Finance Minister Herr Helmut Schmidt made the opening speech.
It was a conciliatory speech urging the importance of compromise since their party was a coalition. They should concentrate on practical possibilities here and now, and leaves lone theory which did not lead to action, the Minister advised.
The tone of Herr Schmidt's speech was influenced by recent demands for more radical policies from the left wing of the party. The Left has around 100 delegates at the Conference and makes up a powerful faction. Herr Brandt is anxious to keep the party on a middle course and particularly to check the influence of the Young Socialists (Jusos).
Early in his speech, Herr Schmidt said that the achievements of the German Social Democratic Party were linked with the struggle for democracy in Germany. Without their party it would be scarcely conceivable that democratic principles could have gained a secure place in Germany. They had been - and would be in the future -- a party with a great historical destiny. He declared that it was through the SPD that great social achievements had been made in the past: the liberation of the working-class and other steps towards a democratic state. There has been used as a means of reforming the community in its progress to freedom, solidarity, participation, freedom of speech and social justice.