Sunday, May 7, 2017

Socialism: One World (1969)

Editorial from the July 1969 issue of the Socialist Standard

In a Socialist world everyone will be stony broke, unemployment will reach a level today undreamed of, and all trade will grind to a halt.

That is why we think it such a good idea — but perhaps we had better explain a little.

Everyone will be broke because in Socialism there will be no money. In fact, there will be no buying and selling at all. Nor will there be a system of barter. Instead people will be free to go into the shops and supermarkets and take whatever they want, without payment and without being rationed.

The world can be run in this way because we already have the technical know-how to produce more than enough of the things people want and need. But for the moment money still functions as a form of rationing. If you can't afford something, you go without. That is why people starve, why families are condemned to live in slums, and why men, women, and children throughout the world are deprived and have their lives ruined. Yet the stupid thing about it is that the money system is not the result of scarcity in the world today but it is the cause of that scarcity. All the evidence shows that food, for example, is not produced in sufficient quantities to adequately feed the world’s population not because man lacks the resources to do this but for the disgusting reason that no profits can be made out of hungry people.

Of course, socialism involves such a complete change in the way in which the world is organised that it can only be put into practice when all the factories, mines, transport systems, shops, and so on are owned by mankind and used for the benefit of the entire world population. That is why we say that in socialism unemployment will reach such massive proportions. The whole system of employment (which exists both in the West and in the so-called Communist countries), of a class of bosses buying our energies with wages and then setting us to work for themselves, will be replaced by voluntary, co-operative effort by all members of society. At the same time one of the first priorities in a socialist world will be to get rid of the boring and repetitive tasks which today make so much work unpleasant and replace them with alternative methods.

Socialism must be a world community without frontiers. It can not be set up in one country or even in one part of the world. This means that, just as there will be no buying and selling between individuals in Socialism, so there will be no trade between different countries. Production in Socialism will involve a worldwide effort to produce what is wanted and since every region will be working towards this end (and will participate in the democratic processes used to decide what is needed and in what quantities) naturally every group of people will have free access to what is produced.

Possibly one or two highly original objections to the system we propose have by now occurred to you. Perhaps you think that man is 'too lazy’ or 'too greedy' to make Socialism work, or you might imagine that everything we suggest conflicts with 'human nature’. But, of course, such views are just prejudices unless you have some evidence to show that man is unsuited to live in a socialist society. Socialists are always open to reasoned argument but all our investigations so far have led us to the conclusion that Socialism is not just a good idea but also is urgently needed to solve many of the problems which now harry us.

Wales: A Nation? (1969)

From the July 1969 issue of the Socialist Standard

Lately the spirit of national identity has been reborn, both in Wales and elsewhere. Backed by the indignities of the past, fired by a renewed interest in the peculiarities of custom and language and consciousness of national resources, it has succeeded in forming an organised opinion which has forced the government of Westminster to take notice. The most important thing of all is that in their written and spoken propaganda nationalists, Welsh and others, maintain their faith in capitalism and are agreed to live within a state system of their own making.

At the moment, the focus is on Wales; attention is being paid by the world press and its general propaganda media on the investiture of the son of the reigning sovereign as Prince of Wales. The reaction in Wales, from that of outright opposition to apathy and support, is intriguing to the onlooker.

The early history of Wales shows it to be a land peopled by tribes for the most part engaged in inter-tribal disputes. Its ’community of interest' was of a plural nature, there being no centralisation of authority which could exist under the prevailing social and economic conditions. The only common features were a common tongue and a common way of life. Outside this their attachments went no further than their local territory (Cwmwd and Cantnef) and their local chiefs.

The Roman occupation, lasting about 400 years, did very little to change the broad pattern of social life though it did impose Roman laws, introduce new settlements and road systems, bring the country into close contact with European trade and culture, and introduce new words and phrases to the indigenous language, thereby enriching it. The occupation produced a class of elite Romano-British, whose future was bound up in Roman affairs; in other words their attitude was that of those who accepted the Roman ’State’. This has been the case ever since — it is in the interests of the minority that the state exists. 'Y Werin', the Folk, have no advantages worth talking about accruing from the State.

And so, we find that with the coming of the Normans, the country was divided into regions loosely ruled by native overlords (Y Tywysogion)—the Princes, who in their turn controlled lesser gentry (Boneddwir). The social set-up was true to the general pattern to be found in feudal society everywhere in Europe. This was the system taken over by the Normans who planted their own lords in place of the Welsh and ruled, first by military might and later by laws. In the meantime the agrarian economy remained unaltered, in the same way that when the Germanic people conquered the Old Roman Empire they did not introduce any new division of labour because conquered and conquerors were in the same stage of economic development.

By the 13th century the Normans and Saxons had become one people and in 1284 they so consolidated their footings in Wales that Edward I proclaimed a principality composed of five shires, so replacing forever the earlier regional groupings based on ‘blood ties’. These shires were given over to his eldest son. henceforth to be called the Prince of Wales. The principality, nevertheless remained politically distinct from England, having no representation in the parliament of the time.

Romantic visions
The Act of Union changed the situation: hitherto Wales represented a colony, now it became a part of England. Continual enactments, intrigue, and corruption tied the knot more securely with the passing of time. The Welsh gentry were in spirit with the English Court and the Welsh peasantry remained the providers of sustenance, content with the visions of an ancient freedom made more romantic by the poetry and songs of their bards. The great Arthur slept, to awake one day to lead them out of bondage.

The advent of the Industrial Revolution saw Wales as a people exploited by the coal and iron masters, both English and Welsh, a situation shared by their brethren throughout the length and breadth of Britain, spoon-fed by the same religious cant and moulded by a similar education system, first church charity then state schools. Mistakes were made of course, as for example the vicious attempts to destroy the native language by outlawing it from the schools. Resurgent Welsh capitalism would do the opposite, knowing that the sentiment of language is a potent weapon in maintaining the State Idea. Westminster, now faced with an awkward situation, has also gone a long way towards this end by providing Welsh in schools, parity of esteem, and recognition in all kinds of minor ways.

The growth of nationalist sentiment is being fostered by a variety of organisations at the present time but it is Plaid Cymru which is the spearhead. The events leading up to its formation are interesting, as they show how almost anybody can utilise nationalistic sentiments to further their ends—even people who call themselves socialists.

In July 1918, the South Wales Labour Federation convened a special 'Home Rule' conference in Cardiff where the leaders explained the purport of the Federation “to become the true Nationalist Party of Wales." The Liberals too, at their Conference before the 1918 election, not to be left out of the picture, favoured a parliament for Wales. In 1925 a group founded at Aberystwyth, composed largely of 'intellectuals', claimed nationalism as their goal and published a journal 'Y Wauw' — the Dawn. This group was quickly supressed by the Government. For a short while there existed a Welsh Republican Party — Gwerinialthwyr Cymru — which included in its manifesto the statement that in republican Wales, "ownership would be by and for use only”. It advocated complete severance from the English crown. This party withered away to be replaced by the present Nationalist Party, formed in August 1925. The present Nationalists are prepared to recognise the Crown and would be content with dominion status. In its journal Draig Goch we find the peculiar statement that capital should be created and then shared out among the people. It is interesting to note that about this time a movement known as Byddin Ymreolwyr Cymru (The Home Rule Army of Wales) had views of their own. The present Free Wales Army may be an attempt to revive some of them in terms of ‘direct action'.

At the present time there are numerous organisations on the fringe of the political nationalists proper, most of them of a cultural nature from the Urdd (a kind of cultural youth movement), to bodies like the Llewellyn Society, the Patriotic Front Welsh Language Society.

Everywhere one finds the nation states built on the broad shoulders of its working class and everywhere workers are subject to poverty, insecurity, and war. Plaid Cymru wish to add another party to the list. "If there is to he a future Welsh Nation there must be a State” (Gwynfor Evans).

Socialists in Wales know that the Welsh language and cultural tradition cannot be created or maintained by the establishment of a separate political state. In a free society the economic and political pressures that now tend to crush minority cultures will no longer operate.

So much for the ‘grand illusionist trick' to be enacted at Caernarvon: the recognition by the English Crown that Wales shall be a nation but part of the English state. This situation has its supporters and opponents among the Welsh people but it means nothing except that the position of the working class will be that they remain working class.
W. Brain.

The National Question (1969)

From the July 1969 issue of the Socialist Standard

Marx held that society evolved from lower to higher forms along with technology and social productivity. Feudalism evolved into capitalism while capitalism should in the end evolve into Socialism. Marx did not mean ‘evolve’ in any passive sense since he knew that men made their own history as members of rival classes engaged in social and political struggles. The motive force for the change from feudalism to capitalism was the struggle of the bourgeoisie against the nobility. Socialism will be the outcome of the struggle of the working class against the capitalist class (as the bourgeoisie became).

This theory is not only a view of history. It is also a guide to political action which Marx himself used. He lived from 1818 to 1883 and was politically active from the 1840s onward. During this period capitalism on the Continent was just emerging from feudalism, and on the international as well as on the national plane, the rising capitalist class was in conflict with the powers of feudalism. The most powerful anti-capitalist force was the Holy Alliance of Austria, Prussia, and the dominant Russia. These powers agreed to join forces to crush risings all over Europe —in Italy, in Germany, in Poland and Hungary, and even in Austria. As a result of these activities Russia earned the title of 'the gendarme of Europe’.

What, Marx asked, should socialists do in these circumstances? His answer was clear: support capitalist struggles to overcome feudal opposition to the economic and political development of capitalism. So Marx took an anti-Russia stand, even going so far as to support Britain, France, and Turkey in the Crimean War. He backed Polish nationalism as he felt an independent Poland would be a buffer between Russia and the rest of Europe. He favoured German and Italian national unity on the grounds that such unity was a precondition for capitalist development in these countries. In the American Civil War he took the side of the North.

Marx only did these things because he wanted to help capitalism triumph over feudalism. Sooner or later, he would be faced with another problem: what should socialists do after capitalism had triumphed? Marx himself never dealt with this as a practical issue, since it was only around the time of his death that capitalism could be said to have firmly established itself as the dominant world system. His successors, the Social Democrats, did not recognise that, with this change of circumstances, this new problem had arisen. They continued to think that wars and nationalism could be progressive, with disastrous results. The first world war presented the absurd and tragic situation of the German Social Democrats arguing (with quotes from Marx) for Germany as it was more progressive than Tsarist Russia and of the French Social Democrats arguing (again from Marx) for Britain and France on the grounds that democracy was more progressive than Prussian militarism. If nothing else exploded the hollowness of the theory of progressive wars the first world slaughter should have done.

One Social Democrat stands out as an honourable exception: Rosa Luxemburg. She grasped why Marx in the 19th century had supported wars and some nationalisms, but she realised that the situation had since changed and urged opposition to all wars and to nationalism except, ‘oddly enough, in the Balkans. Unfortunately, her writings on the national question are not all that well known.

Straight fight
The Socialist Party of Great Britain, set up in 1904, has always argued that the struggle is now a straight fight between capitalism and Socialism. Since capitalism became the dominant world system towards the end of the last century Socialism (which of course can only exist only a world scale) has been an immediate possibility which could become a reality as soon as a majority of workers wanted and understood it. It follows that only Socialism is progressive (in the Marxist sense), that all wars should be opposed, and that nationalism has no progressive role left. We have in' fact gone further than this and questioned the wisdom, from the point of view of the future development of the socialist movement, of Marx in going so far as he did in his support for wars and nationalism even in the conditions of his time.

The confused legacy of Social Democracy on the national question was inherited by the Bolsheviks (Lenin was an opponent of Luxemburg on this issue) and has been handed down by them to the Trotskyist and similar groups of today. In fact the national question throws these groups into utter confusion so that they argue, apparently in all seriousness, that socialists ought to support state capitalism in the less developed countries and even to support state capitalist countries in wars against others. A case in point is the group ironically called ‘International Socialism’. Arising out of a confused (to put it mildly) article in Socialist Worker on January 4 supporting ‘self-determination' for Biafra, a discussion developed in the group’s internal IS Bulletin (No. 2, March 1969). One contributor from Glasgow started off well:
Marxists realise that Nationalism is the ideology of the capitalist class. The identification of people with the Nation State and the National Interest enables the bosses to present society as a struggle between nations in the interests of the people thus obscuring the real conflict in society between the working and capitalist classes.
But, he went on:
Yet they realise that nationalism can play a progressive role but only under certain conditions. Socialists support all struggles for National Liberation in underdeveloped countries on the grounds that industrialisation and the creation of a working class is only possible with a break from imperialism. If the new Nation does not extend the National idea to property it is stuck forever in a neo-colonialist position . . . without state capitalism these countries will never break through their poverty but will remain entirely dependent on imperialism.
On the same theme another contributor, from Leeds, justifying support for the Vietcong, wrote: '
When Marx looked historically at the new classes and class forms of society, he took the side of the historically progressive new class society against the old;, for example the capitalist against the feudalist forms in Europe. He even took sides in the American Civil War supporting the North against the South
Both argue, then, like the Social Democrats, that nationalism and wars can still be progressive and deny, by implication, that looking at modern world society historically Socialism alone is progressive.

Let us analyse this view that only through national state capitalism can modem industry and a working class develop in the now backward countries. First, what do ‘neo-colonialist' and ‘imperialism' mean? These are not terms we would use ourselves because they are not precise enough. However, in the less developed countries, much of the capital comes from abroad so ‘imperialism’ means ‘foreign investors'. Naturally, such investors want their investments well-protected. At one time they favoured colonialism or their own direct political rule, but, now they have had to entrust local political leaders with this task (‘neo-colonialism').

Now that we know what we are talking about let us proceed. Arguments about the quickest way to develop capitalist industry, run by wage-labour for profit, in the backward parts of the world should only be of academic interest to socialists. Even so it is by no means proved that state capitalism is the quickest. It has its drawback such as cutting off a country from markets and denying it investment from overseas. And does investment from other state capitalist countries like Russia count as ‘imperialism' too?

Economic basis
The fact is that industrialisation under capitalist conditions (state or otherwise) is no longer necessary since the economic basis for Socialism has already been in existence for a long time now. World Socialism is possible on the basis of industry in Europe and North America and the workers of those places so that industrialisation within the quite different framework of Socialism can take place if desired.
Those who mistakenly think that socialists should support state capitalism and not Socialism in the less developed countries should consider what this means. If they have read Marx on Britain (or Cliff on Russia or Gluckstein on China) they will know that the coming of capitalism is a brutal process for the mass of the people involving the use of state power by a privileged minority to drive them off the land and into industry. As Marx put it, capital comes into the world dripping from head to foot in blood and dirt. How can socialists support this when it is not even economically necessary?

We can now see why theoretical clarity is needed so as to avoid ending up at the absurd position of saying socialists should support the coercion and oppression of workers in less developed countries by a state capitalist ruling class.

In Marx’s day the standard of historical progress suggested, at least to him, that socialists should help the capitalists overcome feudalism. Today, now that capitalism has long since done this, it shows that only Socialism is progressive. That is why Socialists everywhere should be struggling for Socialism and opposing capitalism in all its forms, including the national state capitalism favoured by Castro, Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, and others.
Adam Buick

Greasy Pole: Taking The Rise With Tony (2017)

The Greasy Pole column from the May 2017 issue of the Socialist Standard
It was some years ago when Tony Blair finally surrendered to the ambitions of Gordon Brown so that his abusive deputy could take over as Prime Minister, leaving Blair to devote appropriate attention to matters of raising his promising offspring, fostering his wife’s career as a legal eagle, making piles of money through dealing in expensive houses and presenting his version of recent history in speeches and writing. In the beginning that seemed enough, satisfactory for so long a resident of Number Ten Downing Street. But recently there has been an evident change, encouraging Blair to emerge from those lucrative shadows and give voice to some different intentions, to the extent that the more nervous observers of the political scene began to question whether he might be considering a re-occupation of those House of Commons benches. We were warned of the possibility of such a change when Blair recently spoke up at a meeting he had arranged to a group calling itself Open Britain (in itself suspicious of what was planned to follow) under the banner of the Bloomberg Institute which manages its disappointment at the Brexit-triumphant Tories by campaigning for another Referendum about British membership of Europe.
Towards the end of his term as Prime Minister Blair had a spell presiding over the European Council of Ministers, an experience which he remembered as ‘. . . a simple issue. It was to do with the modern world . . . Britain needed Europe in order to exert influence and advance its interests. It wasn’t complicated. It wasn’t a psychiatric issue . . . I regarded anti-Europe feeling as hopelessly, absurdly out of date and unrealistic… the product of a dangerous insularity, a myopia about the world . . . a kind of post-empire delusion’. Which made it inevitable that when Blair was confronted with the prospect of a National Referendum on the matter he would hope that the result would have been for Britain to Remain in the Union, if possible more secure and comfortable than ever. And if it did not turn out that way the whole episode would be regarded as a hopelessly unrealistic psychiatric case, enough to arouse an out-dated political trickster to sound off with some colourful responses.
By Elections
In late February – some months before the Referendum – there were two parliamentary by-elections in what had been safe Labour seats, both due to the calculated withdrawal from politics of the MP in question. In the case of Stoke on Trent Central the Labour candidate survived with a reduced majority but in the other seat – Copeland – the Tory won by 2147 votes. This was a constituency which was traditionally strong for the Labour Party but the evidence was that there was considerable anxiety over the future of the nuclear power station there coupled with Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition to the Trident nuclear submarine. But in Stoke there was also concern about the threat from UKIP, in spite of the fact that their candidate, their new chairman Paul Nuttall, made himself notable for what might go down in history as some ill-advisedly bizarre statements. At the vote there was little to choose between UKIP and the Tory candidate, which indicated that the voters were influenced by doubts – to some degree prejudice – over the issue of what Blair had once described as ‘the immigration tinder box’ and the stress this had exerted on him as Prime Minister and which persisted as a major issue during the Referendum.
So it was that in January this year Blair announced his ‘mission’ to set up an ‘institute’ – not a ‘think tank’ but a ‘policy unit’ to be financed from his own resources to encourage a re-think about Europe on the grounds that the British people had voted in the Referendum without knowing enough about Brexit and its real-term inevitable consequences; ‘I don’t know if we can succeed. But I do know we will suffer a rancorous verdict from future generations if we do not try. This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair, but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe’. This was a sentence likely to provoke some uneasy memories of leaders who urged their followers to confuse their freedom and safety – even their lives – in a cause which only the leader was aware of or had any interest in. It can never be a refreshing experience to allow that Boris Johnson has spoken appropriate and constructive words on an issue but it was not a time to disagree with him when he accused Blair, after his ‘rise up’ speech, of having ‘contempt’ for the voters; and encouraged them to rise only to turn off the TV the next time the discredited ex-leader of the Labour Party comes on with his ‘condescending campaign’.
Except that Blair does not need such advice, particularly from a buffoon such as Johnson. After all, when Blair was at his peak he was careful to dissuade his followers from rising up, however desperate the provocation they were subjected to from his government’s repressive and exploitative policies: ‘I learned how to disarm an opponent as well as blast them. They get angry; you get mild. They go over the top; you become a soothing voice of reason. They insult you; you look at them not with resentment, but with pity. Under attack, you have to look directly at them, study their faces, your eyes fixed on theirs rather than rolling with anxiety’. When he exploded with his rallying cry about rising up Blair was at a meeting in a hall where, appropriately, David Cameron had originally announced that the European Referendum was planned to go ahead in July. It was a far cry from the day when he informed the House of Commons, in his maiden speech as the new Member for Sedgefield that ‘I am a socialist… because it stands for equality’. Perhaps he is aware of the fragile irony of these words. Towards the end of his time in power and even more so since then, it was common for angry demonstrators to show their opinion of him by displaying posters with the two middle vowels in his name transposed. For he is one of the most persistent examples of leaders who have flourished into world class riches after a career of condemning millions of others to regimes of cruellest poverty. And to mass destruction in military conflicts. He has made it impossible to estimate the true scale of his riches. And of the damage he has done to the people of the world.

The Present State of the Trade Union Movement (1945)

Editorial from the November 1945 issue of the Socialist Standard

If numbers were all that mattered the trade union movement could congratulate itself on being in a very healthy condition. In this country there are now well over 8,000,000 trade unionists compared with 6,000,000 in 1939, and 4,000,000 in 1913. On the international field the expansion is much more striking because trade unionism is fast developing in countries,, such as South American republics, where it was formerly weak or non-existent. The International Federation of Trade Unions which had about 7,000,000 affiliated members in 1913, and 33,000,000 in 1932 (before the seizure of German trade unions by the Nazi Government) has just been replaced by the new World Federation of Trade Unions claiming some 60 million members in its affiliated national trade union centres.

Membership figures are, however, less than half the strength of organisation and in any event they will suffer drastic reduction in the stormy days ahead when unemployment eats into the unions and when the employing class no longer preoccupied with their urgent task of winning the war, turn their attention to fighting the trade unions over wages and working conditions. Once before British trade unions passed the 8,000,000 mark (in 1920), but by 1933, during the slump they had shrunk to less than 4½ millions. How large “normal” unemployment will be and how soon the next world trade depression will arrive only time will show, but it is interesting to read that “most American economists expect a severe economic depression in two or three years' time.”—Manchester Guardian, September 26th, 1945), and that some of them “predict that there will be 12 million unemployed (in U.S.A.) by the middle of 1946 and possibly 18 million a few months later.”—Manchester Guardian, October 8th).

What is even more disturbing than the likely fall in trade union membership is the disunity among the unions, which in turn reflects widely held illusions about the nature of the struggle the trade unions are waging. Many unions are more concerned with fighting each other than in maintaining working-class unity against the employers. In the international organisation the affiliated groups are strongly nationalistic. At home inter-union disputes occupy a considerable part of the attention of the Trade Union Congress, and in U.S.A., two large federations, the American Federation of Labour and the Congress of Industrial Organisations, are openly at war and the former refuses to join the World Federation of Trade Unions because the Russian organisations are represented in it. At the time of writing two strikes in American industries, those affecting the telephone service and Warner Brothers studios at Hollywood, centre round clashes between rival unions.

In this country the effective functioning of the unions is hampered by the desire of officials to avoid strikes at all costs. In this desire they obviously have the backing of part of the membership that has been misled by the fallacious argument that strikes must be avoided at all costs because they “embarrass” the Labour Government. During October there were “unofficial” strikes, repudiated by the unions concerned, among dockers, London Passenger Transport Board employees (both ’bus employees, and power workers at a generating station), building workers, railwaymen and co-operative society employees. Two of these strikes deserve special mention because they involve the Port of London Authority and the London Passenger Transport Board, two public utility corporations that the Labour Party chooses to describe as ‘'Socialist.” It is these capitalist bodies that the Labour Government accepts as a model for its nationalisation schemes. (Incidentally, the Labour Government’s Minister of Labour announced on October 9th, that troops were to be used to unload the ships held up by the strike of dockers.—Daily Herald, October 10th).

It is quite obvious that a minority in a union has an obligation not to take action against the decision of the majority of members, but the idea is fantastic that the strike, which in the last resort is the workers' only weapon against the employers on the industrial field, should be given up because capitalism is now being administered by a Labour Government (or, as in Russia, by a Communist Party dictatorship); that can only render the trade unions impotent. A particular instance of this is the decision of the National Union of Mineworkers to discipline their own members who, through absenteeism, lateness or other actions, fail to co-operate in the Labour Government's drive for increased output. Mr. Arthur Horner, Communist. who is National Production Officer of the Mineworkers Union is demanding from the men at the coal face a 10 per cent. increase of output and in a speech in London, on September 6th,. he said:—
“If a Lodge was satisfied that individuals were persistently refusing to do their clear duty, then these individuals would have to be informed that they could no longer count on the support of the rest of the men if they found themselves in difficulties. Such persons would in future be reported to the pit production councils and branches of the union. . . .”—(Times, September 7th,. 1945).
Because the mines are to be nationalised (meaning that the mineowners will in future receive the proceeds of the exploitation of the workers through the Government in the form of interest on the money paid to them as compensation—£200 million has been mentioned as a possible figure—instead of receiving it direct as shareholders), Mr. Horner has said that the Union must no longer follow the old policy of trying “to get what they could out of the owners." The miners will soon discover, as other workers employed by the State have discovered, that State capitalism is only private capitalism with a new name. It is the same exploiting system, and until the working class decide to abolish it and introduce socialism the trade unions should get back to the task, that of defending working class standards on the industrial field, for which they were formed.

Obituary: An Active Worker for Socialism (1929)

Obituary from the May 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Passing of  Comrade S. Auty

We regret to announce the death of Comrade S. Auty, of Tottenham, on March 23rd, at the age of 46. He had been ill over a period of many years, but his untiring work for Socialism brought the end much closer than if he had been able to seek rest and attention in time. He was one of the very early members of the Party, having joined in 1904.

He was many years on the Executive and, in spite of poor health, was evident at most of the propaganda meetings in an active capacity. Comrades of the old Edmonton Branch, of which Auty was Secretary, knew him as one of the most earnest and devoted members the Party ever had.

Comrade Lake represented the Party at the funeral, and paid a tribute to his life and work.

Our sincere sympathy is offered to his wife and family in the loss of such a sterling comrade.