Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Peace in our time (1964)

Editorial from the March 1964 issue of the Socialist Standard

When he announced, last month, his intention to retire from the House of Commons, Mr. Harold Macmillan looked back upon the achievements of his premiership in his way: “The thing I set myself to do almost from the beginning . . .  was to make at least the beginning of better relations between East and West.” These words give an insight into the pessimism with which the politicians necessarily regard the prospects for peace in the world. Rarely indeed can they offer anything better than “the beginning of better relations” between rival nations.

Although the big parties promise almost anything by way of better houses, schools, hospitals, social services, and so on, none of them is prepared to stick its neck out to the extent of professing to be able to abolish war. At the most, they say that peace and disarmament in our time is a remote possibility—something we might have if apparently insoluble problems like Berlin can be solved, or if apparently intransigent adversaries like the Chinese can be pacified, or if apparently persistent crises like Cuba, Korea and Suez can be prevented.

This pessimism is general among the capitalist parties. Although all of them strike some sort of an attitude over the Bomb, they all agree that in some form Britain must have it. Sir Alec Douglas-Home’s speech at Bury, in which he proclaimed his government’s determination to bargain for international influence through its nuclear weaponry, was a precise enough statement of Conservative policy. (How many Labourites remembered that Home’s speech echoed Bevan’s famous plea, in 1957, against being sent naked into the conference chamber?)

The alternative which the Labour Party have now to offer is to get rid of an independent British Bomb because, among other things, it is too expensive, and to rely upon the supply of nuclear weapons from the United States. This was how The Guardian reported Mr. Harold Wilson’s statement on this issue in the House of Commons on January 16th last:
   “. . .  Britain should cease the attempt to remain a nuclear Power since it neither strengthened the [Anglo/American] alliance nor made adequate use of our resources.”
And later in the same debate:
   “We believe there should be much closer cooperation in NATO for deciding ... on circumstances in which a bomb should be dropped.”
A nice way of putting it. How likely is it that such “circumstances” will arise? At present, apart from minor incidents, the world exists in uneasy peace. But the elements of a future war are still there, needing only another insoluble crisis to fuse them into an almighty explosion. If a hot spot like Cuba or Berlin were to take the world over the Brink, there is no doubt that all the capitalist parties would forget their minor differences and squarely support the war, even if it were fought with what they call the ultimate weapons.

Is the situation, then, hopeless? Is Peace In Our Time an Impossible dream?

To answer these questions we must look at the basis of capitalist society. We live today in a social system in which the means of producing and distributing wealth are owned by a small minority of the world’s population. This basic condition leads directly to the production of wealth with the one object of making a profit. Mr. Enoch Powell, M.P., recently put it this way: “The duty of every management was to conduct the business in a way which was likely to maximise the return on the capital invested.” (The Guardian, 29/1/64.)

But running a business to “maximise the return on the capital” means searching ceaselessly for the markets where the products of the business can be sold. It means struggling for access to cheap and plentiful sources of raw materials—for oil fields, copper mines, rubber plantations. And. because all businesses everywhere want to maximise their returns, it means that the world is split into rival nations and groups of nations. Sometimes they take their rivalry into the conference chamber. Sometimes they take it onto the battlefield.

But wars cannot, of course, be fought without weapons. It is futile for CND, and similar organisations, to demonstrate against a particular type of weapon—or indeed against war itself—at the same time as they support the social system which produces war. The futility bears its fruit in the splits which have characterised the anti-nuclear movement of late, and in the changes in attitude like that of Bertrand Russell, who is now prepared to accept something less than total renouncement of  the Bomb: " . . . while our ultimate aim should be the transference of armed force to an international authority, we should welcome partial measures leading in this direction—as, for example, the lessening of military budgets . . .  (The Guardian, 29/1/64.)

To end war we must end capitalism. Nothing less will do.

This could be a straightforward matter—everything that is required for it is present, except for a knowledge of, and desire for, Socialism on the part of the working class. The evidence which testifies to the validity of the Socialist case on war is massed all around us. It points clearly to one conclusion.

We can have Peace In Our Time—if we want it

What Marx didn't say (1964)

From the April 1964 issue of the Socialist Standard

On March 5th the Guardian published a thousand word article by Mr. John Grigg, called ”Fat Communists.” Its immediate purpose was to expose the shallow reasoning of the Prime Minister and Mr. Harold Wilson, who had both said that the American Government should not bar trade with Cuba but encourage it, and thus help to raise the Cuban standard of living, because a “fat” Communist is less dangerous than a “lean” one. Mr. Grigg, in developing his argument, also smacked down Churchill and Attlee, Khrushchev, Stalin and Marx.

People who think that professional writers and newspaper editors must know something about what they write and print may have been impressed by the article, but the really remarkable thing about it was the achievement of compressing so much error into so little space.

It was not quite all error: two of the points were valid. Certainly Churchill and Attlee were creating a myth when they referred during the war to a “thousand year feud between Teuton and Gaul.” And if Cuban peasants think that supporting Castro will lessen their poverty they won’t turn against him simply because their poverty becomes less.

Now for a batch of Mr. Grigg’s absurdities. According to him, “Cuba is now a Communist State” (likewise Russia and China),“Communism is a dynamic world religion,” and Marx believed in “economic determinism,” holding that “men necessarily act in accordance with their economic self-interest.”

Just to put the record straight, Cuba is not a “Communist” state, Communism is not a religion, Marx did not explain history by a doctrine of “economic determinism," nor did he believe that individuals necessarily act in accordance with economic self-interest.

Part of the confusion arises because the key-words in Mr. Grigg’s article are widely used by people who have given no more thought to what they intend by them than he has, and he does nothing to clear it up by giving definitions.

Communism (or Socialism) in the meaning attached to it by Marx and other pioneers is a social system based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, and distribution, without production for sale and profit, without the wages system, without incomes from property-owning, without class privilege, operating on the principle, “From each according to ability: to each according to need.” Communism does not exist anywhere. All the world, except to the extent that there are still backwaters not yet brought into the main stream, is capitalist. Cuba, Russia, China, etc., are in the main capitalist stream, differing from the so-called capitalist democracies in their use of political dictatorship to foster accumulation of capital and industrialisation.

Russia and Cuba do not cease to be capitalist because those in control of the machinery of government choose, out of ignorance or political calculation, to label themselves Communist, any more than Britain ceased to be capitalist under Ramsay MacDonald or Attlee because of their claim to be Socialist.

One pertinent question for Mr. Grigg to answer is posed by the very subject which prompted him to write. The movement or consumption of products inside or between capitalist countries is an act of trade, for money or through barter; in a non-capitalist world they would be neither. How then do Mr. Grigg’s allegedly “Communist” Cuba and Russia come to be concerned with trade which could have no place in Socialism (Communism)?

Now for Marx. Marx called his theory of history historical materialism, not economic determinism. He claimed that men make history, not that it is predetermined. He expressly did not hold that the economic factor is the only one necessary to explain the course of history. Geographical factors are also among those relevant. He held that the economic factor is of predominant importance because the way in which wealth is produced and distributed forms the basis of human society and at a certain stage gives rise to property and class relationship and class struggles; that this economic factor is the one material factor which goes on changing and developing and consequently leads to changes in legal, political, moral and religious ideas and institutions. Marx did not hold that individual actions are no more than the consequence of individual economic interest uninfluenced by ideas. What he did hold was that ideas, and m particular class ideas, are determined by the method of producing the material livelihood, and change with the latter. But the ideas (the idea of Socialism is one of them) exercise their own influence on individual behaviour even to the point that sometimes “the dead hand of the past weighs like an alp on the brain of the living” and to the point that the individual may act in conformity with the ideas of his class against his own individual self interest. Marx went further and pointed out in the Communist Manifesto how it has happened in history that a small section of the ruling class “cuts itself adrift and joins the revolutionary class.” He wrote:—
   . . . so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movements as a whole.
Does anyone suppose that Marx's friend Engels, prosperous partner in his father's textile firm, was following individual economic interest in devoting time and energy to the Socialist movement and giving financial assistance to enable Marx to do the same?

Marx, of all people, was well aware that working-class history is full of examples of men who were prepared to put the idea of trade union or class loyalty before their individual economic interest. Let us then repeat for Mr. Grigg's benefit that his beliefs about Marx and historical materialism are wholly baseless.

Mr. Grigg in his article dashes off other sweeping assertions which land him in what ought to be obvious dilemmas. He endorses the claim made by the Jesuits that if they got hold of young children for indoctrination it would not be easy for the children even to escape from the ideas, and enlarges this into the statement that the Russian and other “Communist" governments, with modern propaganda resources, “can become almost self-perpetuating.” He supports it with the statement that the workers in those countries will go on supporting their governments because they will see in underground railways, power stations and dams, etc., “miracles of Communism."

First he overlooks that the Catholic church, despite its hold on the young in the middle ages, lost its grip over a large part of its world to protestant rebels and the growth of irreligion. And much as Khrushchev’s government (like Home’s and every other government in the world) may try to get the workers to believe that they enjoy benefits unknown to the unfortunates who live in other countries how, in the long run, are the exploited working class to be prevented from seeing the gulf between their own conditions of life and those of the privileged minority in their own country? And quite a lot of Russian workers happen to know that underground railways, power stations, etc., exist also in other parts of the capitalist world.

Mr. Grigg, having demolished the Churchill-Attlee myth and the Home-Wilson myth, creates one of his own. Khrushchev, he says, “is a dedicated Russian Communist who aims at world revolution’’ because he is a devotee of that ‘‘dynamic world religion” which he shares with Mao and others.

Here is an explanation which explains nothing. Khrushchev, Mao, Castro, etc., are titular heads of capitalist states which, in the nature of capitalist states, find themselves in conflict with other capitalist states over trade rivalries, strategic frontiers, greed to control sources of raw materials, etc. This is understandable, and Marx’s analysis of capitalism alone explains it. But what are we to make of a Khrushchev and a Mao who are supposed by Mr. Grigg not to be affected by material capitalist factors but to be fanatical idealists motivated only by the idea of Communism, who have done nothing whatever about introducing Communism in their respective countries, whose policies at home and abroad are not significantly different from the policies of all the other heads of capitalist states and who, to cap it all, are in a state of cold war with each other?

Mr. Grigg tries to justify his belief that the world is divided into a capitalist half and a Communist half and “never the twain shall meet,” by saying that one half cherishes “bourgeois values," but “a measure of personal liberty and initiative on which those bourgeois values rest" is foreign to the whole theory and practice of Communism." But hardly has he written this than he remembers something, and adds that these bourgeois values were also foreign “to the traditions and historic Russia."

So he is not only not dealing with Communism at all, he is not even dealing with Russian State capitalism, but with Tsarist Russia.

Here we get nearer to the truth, though it escapes Mr. Grigg. This lack of “personal liberty and initiative" were peculiarly features of pre-capitalist countries all over Europe. They came in with the rise of capitalism in England and elsewhere and though Mr. Grigg cannot see them developing in Russia Mr. Khrushchev is well aware of them. How to encourage initiative has been a recurring theme of Khrushchev’s speeches for years. And, of course, the emerging bourgeoisie in Russia is interested in “personal liberty." What is the use of a privileged status, fat incomes, and accumulation of wealth if it is at the mercy of the arbitrary tyranny of a police state? This is precisely their interest in the movement away from Stalinism. They may have a considerable way to go before they can feel they are the equals of the capitalist class of the West, but the trend is unmistakable and it isn't in the direction Mr. Grigg thinks it is.

One final correction for Mr. Grigg. Personal liberty and initiative are not only not alien to Communism (Socialism) but are an integral part of it. They will first reach full expression only when Socialism comes into being in Russia, China and the rest of the capitalist world.
Edgar Hardcastle

Behind the Dry Statistics (1964)

From the May 1964 issue of the Socialist Standard

If there is one person I would very much like to meet, it is the Registrar General.

To most people, I suspect, the statistics which are regularly sucked into Somerset House, to be whirled around there until they come out in the Registrar General’s report, are the dullest things on earth. Yet in fact those statistics can tell a vital, exciting—and sometimes depressing—story of how we live, work, get married, bear children, fall ill and die. What effect, I wander do they have upon the Registrar General?

Does he fume, after reporting the latest lung cancer deaths, at advertisments which say that the only thing a cigarette will give a man is satisfaction—and a nuzzling from a glamorous girl? Does he shake his head over the “with it” younger marriages, and sigh at the shocks and disappointments which the future must hold for so many tender, starry-eyed kids?

What, I should like to know, did he think of the suicide figures in his last report? In the seven Metropolitan boroughs which have a high suicide rate there are also a lot of what are officially called “one person households,” although you and I would call them bed-sitters. Now these two facts may be unconnected; it may be a coincidence that people who live in bed-sitters in areas like Chelsea, Holborn and Hampstead are more likely to put an end to their life than other people. But to anyone who has ever been the person in the “one person household” it must be likely that the opposite is true.

For a number of years I lived in a house in Ealing which was split up into bedsitters. From what I remember of that place, I would never be surprised to hear that one of its tenants had added himself to the Registrar General’s suicide figures. The house was a big, heavy square place with a crumbling, almost paintless, exterior. The hall was moderately pleasant, with what could have been a graceful staircase, but the higher up the stairs you went the darker, the mustier and the more depressing it became. Over everything there was the dead hand of neglect and the hopelessness of a last refuge. Apart from myself and one young Irish girl, the people who lived there were middle aged.

The house was owned by Mrs. Q., an old lady who lived in another, larger, smarter house in the same road where she collected our rents and distributed the weekly parcels of laundry. 1 soon discovered that it was advisable to settle with Mrs. Q., on a Saturday morning; she was fond of her Friday evening glass of port and when she had had too much she be came embarrassingly voluble and difficult to get away from.

Apart from this, Mrs. Q. did not worry her tenants. If she had any complaints about us she would leave querulous notes, written in her shaky hand on ragged pieces of brown paper, on the hallstand. “Will the tenant who is leaving an electricity fire on all days. . . .’’or “One tenant is leaving the bath dirty afterwards. . . .  (I could plead not guilty to this last complaint with an easy conscience—I never managed to persuade the bathroom geyser to work and, after wrestling with it for about a quarter of an hour, used to endure a stand up cold both while the geyser, I am sure, grinned at me from its corroded corner).

There was one room, on the top floor, which Mrs. Q. always kept padlocked. One day I noticed that the padlock was hanging open on the hasp and, unable to resist it, I crept through the doorway. Thick dust was everywhere, over the pieces of furniture and bric-a-brac which lay around. The room was suffused with the odour of decay. On a table was some delicate glassware and a toilet set of solid silver, unused in its hide case. There was also a yellowed picture of Mrs. Q. when she was a young girl, standing beside a stern, upright man with forbidding moustaches and black eyes. Somewhere beneath the rot and the dust there was, I knew, a lot of history in that room—a history of a girlhood which ended to the throb of gunfire and the crunching soldiers’ feet and the collapse of an era. But it suddenly seemed a pity to disturb it and, anyway, Mrs. Q. might come up and catch me. So I came out.

The other tenants, if I may say so, were a curious lot. In the street they were unexceptionally respectable—all collar and tie and sober trilby. But they had some queer ways and not the queerest was their reluctance to come face to face with you in the house. My room was on the third floor and often, as I came downstairs, 1 would see a door on a landing below me open, only to close again as whoever was behind it realised that someone was coming downstairs. I wondered, at first, what it was that made them so afraid to meet each others’ eye indoors—in the street they usually smiled and said hello. But I stopped asking myself that question when I found that I had caught the habit. In the end I was going to ridiculous lengths to avoid meeting my fellow tenants.

Those people were very much alone and by all their standards good job, friends,  marriage they were failures. But they had to put up a show of being busy, wanted. One of them had this so badly that he could not walk down the street without stopping every few seconds to look into his inside pocket, or peer down to see whether his shoelace was undone, or stare up at a passing aeroplane. Perhaps he really had nothing to do and nowhere to go, but the last thing he wanted anyone to think was that he was walking aimlessly down the street.

Some of the tenants used to play the same sort of game in the local Joe Lyons, sitting all evening over the same cup of tea, looking expectantly around them, trying to appear as if they were waiting for someone. But nobody ever came and when the teashop closed they went back to Mrs. Q.’s dismal gas rings.

It was especially bad for them at the weekend and during holidays. Christmas, which they presumably all believed to be a festival of warm congregation, must have been a torture for them. They must have welcomed the return to work, to release them from the agonies of leisure.

Perhaps that house has imprinted too lasting an impression on me. I read T. S. Eliot: -
For I have known them all already,
                                       known them all—
Have known the evening, mornings,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
And again:- 
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.
and I am back in the brown walls and the smell of dust, among those miserable, unwanted people who were afraid to face even themselves with their own problems. They sat waiting for them to disappear in the steam of the teashop or tried to hide them in the shadows which Mrs. Q.’s low wattage lamps threw among the junk shop furniture in their rooms. But the problems stayed and were always there to greet them when they came back from Lyons or from the walk around the Common.

Most people, I suspect again, will think that we are over simplifying when we say that Socialism will end such problems. Loneliness, failure, suicide—these, they think, are personal matters with no relation to society at large. But in this they are wrong and the Registrar General’s figures say that they are.

Capitalism today dominates our lives For its own needs it has erected enormous cities, concentrating its means of production and administration into great ugly, airless wedges of bricks and mortar and cramming its hapless peoples into these deserts. It has no interest in these people except when they are working or when they are threatening the smooth profitability of the system by falling ill or by breaking its laws—or perhaps by committing suicide. As long as we turn up for the stint at the bench, or at the desk, capitalism is satisfied. The beauty—if that is the word—of capitalism is that our masters only buy our ability to work, and that for only a certain time. For the rest, nobody need care. Our private life is our own; and while this may have its advantages, in some ways our lives are perhaps too much our own, perhaps too private. Wedged in our own little respectable, private life, we can also be desperately lonely in a city breathing ten million people.

Capitalism has raised respectability—temperance, orthodoxy, subservience—onto a pedestal and it has glorified prosperity. For so many people the ultimate degradation is to become poor, to lose what they call class, to be looked down upon. They struggle to be respectable citizens and to hide their true poverty under their mediocrity. They struggle like this in their semi-detachcd villas on the garden estates. They struggle in the flats and the prefabs and they struggle, too, in the seedy bed-sitters. They are fighting losing battles.

Perhaps it could happen one Sunday afternoon in early Spring, with the sky grey and cold and no leaves yet upon the trees. It has been a long fight, this struggle to appear respectable, occupied, wanted; you have not given up even in the teashop, even under the dull lamp in your room. But this afternoon, somehow, it is all too much. Your head aches. The hot tea is sharp and stale and lies queasily in your stomach. There is no promise anywhere, only tomorrow and tomorrow when you are released back into the office, into the filing and the endless shuffling of papers.

You leave the table and walk in a dream across the Common to the grim house, to the musty carpets, the brown doors and your silent, waiting room. You stand with your back against the door and contemplate the monster of your own reality, squatting in every shadow thrown by the glimmering bulb. Suddenly it is all clear. There is no more need to pretend and it is such a relief. The monster emerges from the shadows and you greet him now because he is a friend. There is nothing left for it but to lock the door, stuff up the keyhole and the cracks around the window, turn on the gas and settle into Mrs. Q.'s broken chair waiting to become another digit in the periodical returns of the Registrar General.

May Day in Trafalgar Square (1964)

Party News from the June 1964 issue of the Socialist Standard

A group of individuals standing in Trafalgar Square were shocked—shocked at what they obviously regarded as an act of profanity, a desecration, a catastrophe, taking place before their very eyes.

We assumed that these gentlemen came from some military establishment, as they were all wearing bowler hats and dark lounge suits and were carrying rolled up umbrellas. Had they been wearing bearskins we might have said they were Guards officers. But then of course, as everybody knows, rolled up umbrellas don't go with bearskins; the best thing to match a bearskin is a bear. But we must not lose the thread of our story.

We should point out that at first we experienced some difficulty in understanding what they were saying. At one point we were of the opinion that they were using some primitive dialect interlaced with Esperanto. But we were wrong; one of our brighter members remarked that it was extremely difficult to speak English without opening the mouth and at the same time keeping it full of marbles. But with practice it can be done, as these gentlemen were now demonstrating.

Our first clue came very quickly when, during one of their rare periods of articulation, one uttered a “four letter word". This, mark you, on the Sabbath Day.

Now a four letter word in English is the most fundamental expression of annoyance one is capable of. These military gentlemen were indeed very annoyed.

The seat of the trouble lay below Nelson’s column. For the benefit of overseas readers, Nelson's column is the most famous monument in the British Empire, or Commonwealth as they prefer to call it nowadays. It is a veritable pillar of British capitalism, a symbol of Imperialism ; and what’s more, it was built with scab labour. Apart from keeping Nelson up, it is very useful to the large pigeon population whose visiting cards are clearly visible in great numbers. On this occasion, however, this May Day Sunday in nineteen hundred and sixty four, the monument was performing the most useful role in all its history.

Draped round the column was a large red banner with the name of the Socialist Party on it. A little below this a large printed slogan—a very sensible slogan— “Abolition of the wages system”. The famous lions had posters over their front paws, and one had the Socialist statement on war attached to his posterior. On the plinth itself was a table at which sat four Socialist speakers, each waiting to speak to the audience of well over a thousand people. A hundred or so members of the SPGB were there, each playing his part in making this a great occasion. The whole scene was enough to make Lord Nelson turn in Lady Hamilton’s bed.

Yes, this was the Socialist Party holding its first May Day Rally in Trafalgar Square. Hitherto, on previous May Days, we have been plagued with the Communist circus and the Co-op adverts in Hyde Park advising workers to eat Stork margarine. (After sixty years of the "progressive” Labour Party, surely it ought to be butter?) But here we were without any distractions; no bagpipes, brass bands or skiffle groups.

We took full advantage of the situation —God was on our side as far as the weather was concerned—it was a lovely afternoon. For three hours all within the Square heard the Socialist case through our loudspeakers. To see lots of Party members selling the Socialist Standard, and a well-stocked literature stall carrying every Party publication, was a grand sight. Nearly £12 of literature, including 300 copies of the Socialist Standard were sold, and a collection of £19 10s. 0d. was taken up.

The meeting was temporarily interrupted by the appearance of two rather motley processions in the roadway outside. Composed of Labour and Communist supporters, they depressed the intellect with the forlorn and futile slogan they so dearly love—"Hands off Cuba”— "Hands on Makarios"—"Hands oil Fanny Hill”.

After this dreary and cheerless assembly had wound its pathetic way up the Mall we continued to enjoy the optimism of the Socialist message. Comrades from Birmingham, Glasgow, Brighton, London, combined to make the day. Many members brought their families—and why not? Stimulating speeches, comradely faces, sympathetic listeners—who would not be a Socialist on this pleasant afternoon in the month of May?
P. C.

Obituaries: Percy Hallard and John Boucher (1964)

Obituaries from the July 1964 issue of the Socialist Standard

It is with regret that we have to report the death of two members. 

Percy Hallard
Percy Hallard died in June after a long illness at the age of 70. He joined the Party in 1914 and was secretary of West Ham Branch for 35 years. It was said that Comrade Hallard and West Ham Branch were synonymous, and this was not far from the truth. He was his branch's bulwark, and his hard work and capable organising bore splendid fruit. He helped the Dagenham Branch in the early 1930's to get going, and contributed enormously in the East Ham electoral campaign which culminated in the Party contesting East Ham South in 1951.

He will not be forgotten by the many West Ham members he encouraged and stimulated into Party activity. Other members will remember him as a West Ham delegate at Party Conferences, where his contributions were constructive, good humoured and always to the point. Percy Hallard was an unassuming man, open and friendly to everyone. He will be sadly missed. Our sympathy and regards go to his wife, and our comrade, Mag Hallard.

John Boucher
John Boucher died suddenly on June 3rd. He collapsed after 'phoning Head Office to say he was not feeling well and would not be at the Executive Meeting that night. He was 52 and joined the Party in 1933, and apart from seven years in South Africa, he had been a member of Wood Green Branch (under its various names) all that time. For his branch he tried his hand at everything. Before the war he spoke outdoors regularly at Jolly Butchers Hill. He did not find public speaking easy, but by carefully preparing notes before each meeting he spoke to attentive audiences. At times Wood Green Branch activities were centred on his home.

John Boucher was General Secretary of the Party for a short time at the beginning of the last war until he was imprisoned for refusing to obey Government direction. He served on the Executive Committee off and on for a number of years. He had been a most able member of the Finance Committee and also a Party Auditor. He was always willing to carry out routine office work, typing reports and efficiently doing the endless jobs that are essential to an organisation like ourselves.

He was without guile, direct in speech and behind the reserve very human. Our comrade Boucher will be remembered for many things: especially for his entire devotion to the Party and his constant concern in improving its efficiency and well being. The Party will be the poorer and sadder without him.