The By The Way column from the March 1946 issue of the Socialist Standard
The “Jolly Old Empire"
The Monarchy is a great institution and the Labour Government is not going to “preside over the liquidation of the British Empire,” Mr. Herbert Morrison told a group of journalists to-day, soon after his arrival here from Canada.
Mr. Morrison was replying to a newspaperman who asked whether the Labour Government would take the same stand as Mr. Churchill, regarding the preservation of the Empire.
"As a matter of fact, we are great friends of the jolly old Empire,” Mr. Morrison said. This feeling, he added, had been greatly strengthened by his trip to Canada, where he found deep loyalty to the Crown. —Associated Press.
—Mr. Herbert Morrison, M.P., interviewed in New York. Manchester Guardian, 12 Jan., 1946.
Production for Profit Not Use
Mr. Herbert Morrison
"It is,” he said, “sound common sense. Some of those industries, such as coal, iron and steel, and transport are in bad shape.
"They are definitely a drag on other industries and hamper the efficiency and enterprise of trades and industries to which we look for rapid, bold and private development. They were not even making a sound margin of profit. Whether an industry is run publicly or privately one measure of its efficiency is its solvency; another measure is its service.”
—Speech in Montreal. Daily Herald, 8 Jan., 1946.
Labour Government for Bankers!
Net profit of Barclay’s Bank for 1945 was £1,740,594, highest since 1939, and comparing with £1,673,351 in 1944.
Dividend on the "B” and “C” stock is maintained at 14 per cent. Reserve for contingencies gets £250,000 (same), premises reserve account £350,000 against £250,000. Balance forward is £714,052 against £656,577.
North of Scotland Bank profits, £238,275 against £234,921; dividend 16 per cent. (same). Union Discount dividend 10 per cent, (same); net profit £245,671 against £235,004.
—Dally Herald, 4 Jan., 1946.
More Then Before!
"Fighting to regain her place as the leading maritime nation, with the smartest and fastest ships in the world, Britain now has the tremendous total of nearly 3,000,000 tons gross of merchant shipping on order at yards throughout the country.
In the design of all ships the lesson of 1939 has not been forgotten. They will be more readily convertible to war purposes than ever before.
—News Chronicle, 4 Jan., 19i6.
"They are Damp but We Like Them"
"Life has moved on at The Bungalows, Poynders Road, Clapham, since Mrs. Hiscock, Mrs. Shea, Mrs. Ashford, and their neighbours moved into their new 'pre-fabs.'
"A year ago they were ‘just getting straight. The News Chronicle called to ask how they liked their bungalows then, after being bombed out of their flats into two-room attics. They liked them pretty well. I called yesterday to see if they liked them still.
"They are damp. 'I’m told it’s condensation,’ said Mrs. Hiscock, 'but I call it damp.’
"In some of the bungalows the water runs off the walls and gathers in little pools on the floor.”
—News Chronicle, 4 Jan., 1946.
Food, Health and the Death-Rate
"Reporting an increased death rate, Dr. Oscar Holden, medical officer of health, in his annual report to Croydon Corporation, says: ‘There seems to be evidence that the restrictions and rationing of foodstuffs may be having some adverse effect.’
"Dr. Holden says: 'It would be an exaggeration to say there is a general state of sub-nutrition, but it is not unlikely that the restriction of such articles as milk, butter and meat is not helping to maintain high nutritional standards among all sections of the population.
" 'You do not find it reflected in death-rate statistics; it is something you cannot put into figures.
" 'Doctors who see large numbers of the population are finding that people go down much more easily than they used to. They may look fairly well nourished, but their inherent resistance to illness is not as good as before.
" 'They are more likely to succumb to infection, they suffer more from lassitude, irritability, weariness and are more susceptible to ailments like colds than they were six or seven years ago.’
" 'If there is a virulent flu epidemic similar to the one after the last war, we might get 1918 all over again.’
‘‘The antidote? Better variety in our diet, more fresh fruit, milk, butter and fats. ‘Ask any general practitioner,’ said Dr Holden. 'He will agree.’ ”
- Sunday Express, 30 Dec., 1945.
Cripps on Compensating the Capitalists
"If we are really going out for a planned Socialist State we have definitely to take up the point of view that the capital value of industries has been created by the workers of this country, and they are not going to pay for them when they take them back into their own ownership.”
—Sir Stafford Cripps (Labour Party Conference Report, Southport, 1934, p. 194).
"Mellor is a politician as well as I am. But he is in principle a confiscationist, and he finished up upon that note. I agree he is willing to give annuities for a period of years as a matter of expediency. The whole blessed thing a matter of expediency and not much else ”
—Herbert Morrison (Ibid, p. 198).
Cripps on the Fate of Labour Governments
"It was mentioned yesterday that when we started on the next Labour Government we should proceed with a number of measures of social reform. It is impossible for the capitalist system to give to the workers the rewards that are promised under a policy of social reform. It is impossible, and if we attempt again, as we did in 1929-31, to carry out a policy of getting as much as we can out of capitalism, it will lead to a fresh crisis in capitalism as arose in 1931 itself, and we shall find that the force, of economic power still residing in the hands of the capitalists will again he called in to defeat the workers’ Government.”
- Stafford Cripps (Southport L.P. Con., 1934, p. 159).