Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Case Against The 'Living Wage' (1931)

From the March 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

Maxton's Curious Mixture.
On February 6th, Mr. Maxton, on behalf of the Independent Labour Party, introduced into the House of Commons a Living Wage Bill. -

The Living Wage, as defined in the Bill, "means a wage at least sufficient to meet the normal needs of the average worker regarded as a human being living in a civilised community, including the satisfaction of reasonable minimum requirements of health and efficiency and of cultural life and the provision of reasonable rest and recreation."

The amount of this living wage is to be determined by a Committee, appointed by the Board of Trade, "and which shall include among its members at least three working housewives, three representatives of trade unions, and three representatives of co-operative societies.”

The Committee is to take into account "actual retail prices and other costs of living,” in addition to various other factors, and is to review the wage at least once a year. 

The wage is then to be made obligatory on Government departments, local authorities, Government contractors, and finally on all industries. That is to say, no industry may pay less than this minimum. Should any industry not be able to afford the wage, a body called the "National Industrial Reorganisation Commission” is to have power to re-organise the industry.

The I.L.P.'s Main Plank.
Mr. Maxton explained in his House of Commons speech that the living wage proposals are the basis upon which the whole programme of the I.L.P. is built up. The programme includes many items, from increased pensions and increased unemployment pay, to nationalisation of the banks and the principal industries, and State control of the import and export trade; but "this proposal for a living wage is a pivotal proposal round which all the others are arranged.”

Miss Jennie Lee, M.P., whose name also appears on the Bill, went further and admitted that the "pivotal proposal” cannot be applied without the other proposals also being applied. She said :—
  I do not pretend that this Bill could be carried into effect without great stress and great difficulties in the country. I believe that it would mean that we should have to go in for controlled prices, and once we got on to controlled prices we shall have to control the banking system.
Let us now examine the theory behind the Living Wage Bill and ask ourselves whether its effects will be worth the time and trouble necessary to apply it. Is it worth the "great stress and great difficulties,” together with all the further measures which Miss Lee admits are necessary?

What is a Living Wage?
The backers of the Bill claim to have defined a living wage. But have they? What are "normal needs”? What is an "average worker regarded as a human being”? What are the "reasonable requirements of a civilised community”? What amount of rest and recreation are "reasonable”?

The employers regard as "reasonable” any wage which makes the worker an efficient producer of profits. Hundreds of thousands of workers in the cotton mills, on the railways, in the Civil Service and Post Office, on the land and in the mines, are getting well under 40s. for a full week's work. Miss Dorothy Evans, Secretary of the Association of Women Clerks, is reported in the Daily Herald (February 19th) as stating that women clerks in the Civil Service, 21 years of age, are paid as little as 24s. 7d. in the provinces and 31s. in London. The Daily Herald on February 17th reported that the pay of farm workers in Suffolk had just been reduced from 30s. to 28s. a week.

This last case is of special interest because agricultural workers already have their “living wage” fixed by law! The Agricultural Wages Act, 1924, passed by the Labour Government (which the I.L.P. claimed was an essentially I.L.P. Government) lays it down that the minimum wage paid to an able-bodied agricultural worker shall be
   adequate to promote efficiency and to enable a man in an ordinary case to maintain himself and his family in accordance with such standard of comfort as may be reasonable in relation to the nature of his occupation:
Translated into hard cash, this means 28s. or 30s. a week!

All Mr. Maxton proposes to do, in effect, is to substitute his nebulous phrase for the nebulous phrase in the above Act, and apply it all round.

Employers To Fix The Wage.
The Bill provides that the wage shall be fixed by a Committee including working women, trade unionists and co-operative society representatives.

The Bill does not say how many persons the Committee shall consist of, nor does it say what other interests are to be represented. It is, however, to include employers.

When the seconder, Mr. Kirkwood, M.P., was asked if employers are to be excluded, he replied, “They are not excluded ” (Hansard, February 6th, col. 2297).

So we have this extraordinary position put up by a so-called working-class party, the I.L.P., that they want the employing class to have a hand in fixing what is a living wage for the workers whom they exploit!

It will be noticed, also, that the co-operative societies are expressly brought in. Why? Does it need legislation to allow the co-operative societies to pay their own employees a living wage? The co-operative societies constantly have strikes and lockouts in their concerns, and have on several occasions been charged by their employees with paying less even than the standard rates of pay. Within the past few months there has been a strike of co-operative employees—the insurance agents. Yet the I.L.P. wants the co-operative societies, with their characteristic petty employer's outlook, to sit,with other employers on the Living Wage Committee. The extent to which the co-operative societies exploit the workers in their employ is shown by the amount of wages, and the amount of profits. The retail distributive societies in 1929 (see New Leader, February 6th) paid an average amount of £130 during the year to its wage-earning and salaried staff. The surplus left after meeting all trading expenses was over £22 million pounds, equal to a further £148 per head of the staff of 176,000. They could double the wages of their workers and still have a surplus. Why does not Mr. Maxton start his living wage campaign among his friends, the co-operators?

Another important point emerges from the composition of the Living Wage Committee. It is usual on committees of this kind for the Government to appoint equal numbers of workers’ and employers’ representatives, together with some so-called "neutral” members representing the Government. Seeing that the Labour Government during their present term of office have appointed at least two wage committees which have recommended lower wages, it certainly cannot be assumed that Labour Government representatives on a Living Wage Committee would press for a wage higher than present wages. On the other hand, the co-operators who would be there to look after their own interests as employers are regarded by Mr. Maxton as being on the workers’ side. So that in fact the Living Wage Committee will be dominated by employers.

Living Wage or Lower Wage?
How much will the minimum wage be? We are given some indication that it will actually be lower than the present average wage of industrial workers.

Miss Eleanor Rathbone, M.P., the enthusiast for lower wages by means of family allowances, gave her conditional blessing to the Bill, but wanted to be assured that the wage would not be enough to keep a family, but only enough to keep a man and wife. Miss Jennie Lee, M.P., gave the desired assurance (Hansard, February 6th, col. 2313). The effect of this is obvious, and it is the effect which Miss Rathbone makes no secret of desiring. It would mean that all unmarried and childless workers would be paid less than the standard rate of wages—to the benefit of the employing class, who would get a supply of cheaper labour. In view of the composition of the Committee, the “living wage” might well be below the present average wage of industrial workers.

The Australian Model.
A memorandum attached to the Bill refers to the Australian attempts to fix and apply a “living wage.” The reference is interesting, because it gives a practical illustration of the futility of the whole scheme. In Australia a “living wage” was fixed before the war, and the scheme has had a run of about twenty years.

Mr. Maxton claims for the living wage proposal that it would permanently raise the standard of living of the workers, and be a definite step towards Socialism. Australian experience shows that it does neither.

In the Australian Senate, on November 14th, 1930, Senator Daly, for the Government, gave the information that, after allowing for the increase in unemployment and the increase in prices, the average real wage in 1929-30 was almost exactly the same as it was in 1911-12. Then in January of this year the Arbitration Court ordered a reduction of 10 per cent. in the basic wage (see Daily Telegraph, January 23rd). This reduction is quite separate from the regular adjustments for alterations in the cost of living. So that after twenty years of “living wageism” the Australian workers are now 10 per cent. worse off than when they started, and are not one iota nearer to Socialism than they were then. That is how capitalism has worked havoc with all the pretty but false theories of the Australian reformers of capitalism. Capitalism here would quickly falsify every one of the flashy. promises of the I.L.P.

Capitalism and Wages.
The living wage scheme is as full of holes as a sieve. Every attempt to fix a statutory wage has run up against the snag of unemployment. If the living wage is not higher than the existing one, it is useless. If it is higher, it will give the employers an added inducement to instal labour-saving machinery and thus increase unemployment. This tendency to instal machines operates in agriculture to-day, in spite of the low level of wages fixed by the Wages Committees.

How is the living wage to be enforced? Anyone who has seen at close hand the operation of the Agricultural Wages Act knows that in many districts the minimum rates are largely ignored. The men prefer to take less than the minimum rather than lose their employment. What remedy has the I.L.P. to offer for that? What will it do with the older men and, those not up to the average standard of fitness who will be sacked to make way for young and fit workers?

It is no answer to say that the I.L.P. also proposes to nationalise various industries. State capitalism, as applied in the Post Office, leaves the worker subject to practically all of the forces which face him in private capitalist concerns. The process of selection and throwing out the less fit men and women goes on in the Post Office as on the land and in the mines and elsewhere, although in the Post Office the method of securing the same end is slightly different. The workers in State industries suffer the additional disadvantage that they cannot seek similar employment with a different employer.

Patching Up Capitalism.
And what justification can the I.L.P. offer for a proposal which in effect is patching up the capitalist system? Mr. Maxton expected that criticism and tried to forestall it. In an interview given to the New Leader (February 6th) he said :—
  I admit that the old method of approaching the living wage problem would be correctly described as patching up capitalism. . . . Our approach is fundamentally different.
This, incidentally, is an admission that the I.L.P. ’s past policy for most of the period of the party’s existence has been a policy of patching up capitalism, as indeed was avowed by Mr. Wheatley in reference to the Housing Act he introduced as Minister of Health in the 1924 Labour Government.

The only difference Mr. Maxton could point to was that the present scheme is not based on what any particular industry can afford to pay, but on what the “nation” can afford. This is a distinction without a difference. The two schemes have precisely the same fundamental defect that they leave the capitalist system intact, and leave the capitalist class in ownership and control of the means of life. Does Mr. Maxton think that the capitalist class as a body will show a different attitude towards the wages question because they are approached nationally instead of industrially? He gives his own answer when he quotes Civil Servants as being people who are already “guaranteed a minimum wage” and whose good fortune he wishes to extend to other workers. Thousands of Civil Servants—adults working a full week —receive less than 40s. Yet influential bodies of employers constantly complain that the levels of pay in the Civil Service are too high and should be reduced. A demand has just been made to the Government by an employers' association, that Civil Service wages should be reduced to the level of the depressed export trades (see Times, February 20th). A postman, aged 32, charged with theft at Kingston, on February 21st, was receiving 49s. Id. per week. Out of this he had to keep a wife and two children and was paying 27s. 6d. a week rent (Evening News, February 21st). Mr. Maxton is a supporter of State capitalism as it exists in the Post Office, and wants to solve the workers' problems by extending that system.

Socialism The Only Remedy.
The only solution for the economic problems of the workers is Socialism. Chasing after the endless revivals of old fallacies evolved by the perverted ingenuity of the I.L.P. has brought them no lasting advantage. It has diverted their attention from things that really matter and has left them as far as ever from achieving Socialism.

Even as regards making the best of capitalism, the living wage scheme is an illusion. It is no substitute for trade unionism—Mr. Maxton admits that—it is not an improvement on trade unionism, and it is open to serious objections from which the former is free. In Australia the 10 per cent. reduction in the basic wage, referred to above, has taken place in spite of a Labour Federal Government. Resistance to the award of the Arbitration Court set up by the Australian Maxtons devolves upon the trade unions.

A measure of the irresponsibility of the I.L.P. is provided by the speech of Mr. David Kirkwood, seconding the Bill. He was asked from what source any higher wage would come. Instead of replying that an increase in the wages of the workers would be at the expense of the employers' profits, he informed an amused House of Commons that wealth can be created without limit merely by printing more bank notes.

It does not seem to have occurred to Messrs. Maxton and Kirkwood that if their money theory is sound, it is a sheer waste of time and trouble to print bank notes at all. Why not issue free blanks to the workers and let them write their own bank notes? Or, better still, solve the street litter problem by presenting used-up bus tickets over the counter in payment for goods ?

It was a curious but appropriate coincidence that on the day of Mr. Kirkwood's speech a very similar purveyor of quack nostrums—a German who collected money on the strength of a claim that he knew how to create gold out of base metals— was sentenced to a longish term of imprisonment. Political quacks who trade on the ignorance and trustfulness of the working class suffer no such penalties.
Edgar Hardcastle

Why Socialists Oppose Family Allowances (1931)

From the February 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

The argument for family allowances is, at first sight, so plausible and attractive that those who oppose the whole scheme are liable to have their attitude misunderstood. Let there, then, be no misunderstanding about our attitude. We oppose family allowances because they would not be of any assistance to the working class.

The case for them is simple. Most, if not all, working class families have at some time or other realised that children are an expensive item. If they are to be decently provided for, then the parents must go short. And, however willing the parents may be to cut down their own expenditure for the sake of the children, a prolonged spell of unemployment will inevitably result in the children going short, too. The advocates of family allowances believe that they have discovered a simple remedy. Why not, they ask, introduce a system of allowances to be paid to the father or mother in respect of the children? Then the family income would be more nearly adjusted to the size of the family. Working class families with two or more children would be receiving a larger income than families with only one child. Single men and women would receive less still. Such systems have been introduced in France, Belgium, Austria, Germany, the Irish Free State, Australia, and elsewhere. Why not here also?

We oppose the proposal. Are we, then, opposed to the working class receiving more money? Do we object to workers’ children being better provided for? Our answer is that we are most strongly in favour of the working class being made better off, both parents and children. We oppose the family allowance scheme because we deny that it would produce any such result.

Wages are based, in the long run, on what it costs the workers to live. In different climates and for different trades this cost, which normally includes the expense of bringing up a family, differs. It includes certain items of expenditure based upon the traditional manner of living in the various countries. Thus, in France the workers’ cost of living includes the cost of cheap wines, because everyone drinks wine. In the U.S.A., at least where Prohibition is enforced, the cost of living of the workers will not have to include the cost of alcoholic drinks, although, doubtless, it will have to include some dearer or cheaper alternative. The existence of a permanent army of unemployed enables the employers to bring pressure to bear to cut into the traditional element and force the wages of all workers down towards the bare physical minimum.

On the other hand, Trade Unions can be useful centres of resistance to that pressure, but experience shows that the Trade Unions have not been able to overcome the pressure. When prices rise, it costs the workers more to live, and Trade Unions can usually secure some increase, if not a proportionate increase, in wages. When prices have fallen, wages have fallen also, sometimes ahead of the prices. We have seen these two processes at work since 1914. Up to 1920, prices and wages rose. Since 1920, prices and wages have fallen.

Our criticism of the advocates of family allowances can now be more clearly stated. Family allowances would cheapen the cost of living of working class families. The constant pressure would tend to force wages down correspondingly. Five shillings would come in to mother, and be knocked off father’s wages. There is the further objection that single men and single women would suffer also, with the result that the Employers would be in pocket.

This has actually happened. In the Irish Free State, when married Civil Servants were given family allowances, the pay of the single men was reduced to the level of the single women. In the book, “Family Allowances in Practice" (Vibart, published by P. S. King, 1926), it is stated, on the authority of a Dutch economist, De Walle, that in Holland “whenever central and municipal authorities have introduced family allowances it has been with a view to making economies in their wages bills.”

In Australia the pay of unmarried employees in the Post Office was reduced by £11 per head, which just covered the cost of the married men's allowances.

The Australian Worker (Sydney, October 28th, 1927) said that family allowances in New South Wales had been “manna from heaven—for the employers.” Instead of a 12s. cost of living increase all round, which would have cost the employers £13 million a year, and which was due under the existing wage arrangements, the employers "gave” family allowances to the married men. These cost £3 million, thus saving the employers £10 million a year.

L. Ross, of the Australian Labour Party, writing in the Socialist Review (December, 1928), said:—
   The New South Wales scheme, instead of redistributing wealth, actually meant a reshuffling of wages between single and married men.
Prominent advocates of family allowances make no bones about admitting this. They candidly confess that family allowances do not represent any addition to the income of the working class, and are not intended to.

Miss Eleanor Rathbone, M.P., is the best known of all the advocates of family allowances.

In a lecture which she gave to the Faculty of Insurance on April 2nd, 1927 (published in the Journal of the Faculty, July, 1927), she said that her object was not to raise wages or to secure an improvement in the conditions of the poor at the expense of the rich, but to re-distribute the workers' wages among themselves.
In other words, make the single men and women help to pay for the married men's children. Although Miss Rathbone's heart bleeds for the unfortunate children of the workers, her remedy was not to touch the superfluous wealth of her own class, but to lower thev standard of living of unmarried workers. Let the rich go on with their horse-racing, their cigars, and their expensive society functions, but “the young men and the young women . . . would be expected to be willing to make some sacrifice at the expense of their cigarettes, cinemas, and betting on football.”

Of course, we are told by the I.L.P. that their family allowance scheme is fundamentally different from Miss Rathbone’s. They want family allowances to be a real addition to wages. They want them paid by the State, not by the employer. The I.L.P. believe that, if paid by the State, they could not have the effect of lowering wages, and in any event the Trade Unions would prevent such action by the employers. Lastly, the I.L.P. believe that family allowances would be paid during strikes and would thus help the Trade Unions.

Not one of these arguments will hold water.

If the I.L.P. scheme is in intention fundamentally different from Miss Rathbone's, why is Mr. Brailsford, the prominent member of the I.L.P. who helped to prepare their scheme, allowed to be a member of the Family Endowment Council in association with Miss Rathbone? Why did Mr. Brailsford act as joint author, with her and others, of a book, “Equal Pay and the Family”?

It is reasonable to assume that Mr. Brailsford attaches more importance to getting any sort of scheme of family allowances, by associating with Miss Rathbone, than to trying to get the I.L.P. scheme in opposition to Miss Rathbone.

Whether the allowances are paid by the State or by the employer makes no difference at all; in both cases they would reduce the workers' cost of living. In New South Wales they are paid by the State, but the effect is the same. In this country we have already seen the Wool Trade Committee, under Lord MacMillan, recommending a wage reduction in 1930 and giving as one of its reasons the fact that the workers' cost of living had been lowered by unemployment pay, health insurance, old-age pensions, etc., all of them paid by the State.

When the I.L.P. fall back on the argument that the Trade Unions will resist such wage reductions, they are arguing with their tongue in their cheek, for their original reason for advocating family allowances was that the Unions were impotent. Here are Mr. Bradford's words, in an article published by the New Leader on January 4th, 1929 :—
  Plainly, with our appalling surplus of unemployed labour, the usual methods for raising mass-purchasing power are beyond our reach. The Trade Unions can hardly defend their standards; certainly they cannot at present raise them. That is our justification for demanding political action in the form, firstly, of family allowances, and then of the fixing by the State of a standard living wage. . . .
It will be seen that the I.L.P. are simply arguing in a circle. They say, in effect: “As the Trade Unions cannot resist the employers, let us ask for family allowances; and then ask the Trade Unions to resist the employers' attempts to reduce wages."

Lastly, there is the question of strikes. There was a strike of textile workers in France in August, 1930. The following is a report by the Paris correspondent of The Times (August 28th, 1930):—
  2,800 workmen are reported to have returned to work during the last two days, and an even larger number is expected to return on September 1st in order not to lose the marriage and family allowance for that month.
The whole scheme is a fraud from the workers’ standpoint. The bulk of its advocates never intended it to be anything else. The others, the I.L.P., find themselves in this anti-working-class camp for the same reasons as on many other occasions. The reasons are their own clear ignorance of economics and of Socialist principles generally, and their incurable weakness for what Mr. Ramsay MacDonald has called “flashy futilities.''
Edgar Hardcastle

The Economic Crisis and the Workers (1931)

From the July 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

There is one respect at least in which the “New Party” founded by Sir Oswald Mosley is exactly like all of the older non- Socialist parties. That is in its emphasis on the trade depression as a reason for putting, aside the question of Socialism. The argument is that capitalism's in the throes of an unprecedented crisis. Ruin stares not only the worker, but also the employers, in the face. Great Britain must either take some novel and drastic steps to escape from the threatening disaster, or grave decline will follow and this country will become a third-rate power. “Let us,” say the New Party leaders; “defer the consideration of Socialism until we have stabilised capitalism once more.”

This is a very old story—as old as capitalism. In the eyes of the defenders of capitalism no time is an opportune time for the workers to interest themselves in their class interests. And many organisations engaged nominally in protecting the workers have shared the views of the capitalists on this question.

There have been at least eleven marked industrial crises in the past 100 years. Every one of them has shown the same general characteristics. Every one of them has been viewed as a sign of irretrievable ruin, and every one has been used to dissuade the workers from looking towards Socialism.

There was one great crisis during 1829, at a time, that is, when this country was strongly Protectionist. Listen to the description given by William Huskisson in a letter dated December 30th, 1829 (published in the Huskfsson Papers, p. 310):—
   I consider the country to be in a most unsatisfactory state, that some great convulsion must soon take place. . . .  I hear of the distress of the agricultural, the manufactural, the commercial, the West Indian, and all trading interests.  . . . I am told land can neither pay rent nor taxes nor rates, that no merchant has any legitimate business. . . .  I am also told that the whole race of London shopkeepers are nearly ruined.
Huskisson, sometime President of the Board of Trade, was one of those who believed that England must go over to Free Trade. The Liberal manufacturers, who had an interest in Free Trade because it meant cheap food and therefore low wages, urged the workers to neglect their own class interests and to support the demand for the abolition of the Corn Laws, which restricted the import of corn from abroad. The workers did this. They listened to the specious argument that they should only concern themselves with so-called practical, bread-and-butter questions. And the result was the building up of fabulous fortunes for the manufacturers and the continuation of poverty for themselves.

After Free Trade was introduced, the crises recurred periodically as before, although it is often represented by present-day politicians that everything was satisfactory during this period when Britain was the “workshop of the world.”

The following is Lord Randolph Churchill’s account of the crisis of 1884, in a speech at Blackpool (published in The Times, June 10th, 1931):—
    We are suffering from a depression of trade extending as far back as 1874, ten years of trade depression, and the most hopeful, either among our capitalists or our artisans, can discover no signs of a revival. Your iron industry is dead, dead as mutton. Your coal industries, which depend greatly on the iron industries, are languishing. Your silk industry is dead, assassinated by the foreigner. Your woollen industry is in articulo mortis, gasping, struggling. Your cotton industry is seriously sick. The shipbuilding industry, which held out longest of all, is come to a standstill. Turn your eyes where you will, survey any branch of British industry you like, you will find signs of mortal disease.
The difference between Huskisson and Churchill was that Churchill saw the remedy in a return to Protection! Large numbers of workers, seeing that Free Trade had not brought prosperity to them, were persuaded to assist this section of the employers in their campaign against Free Trade; while other workers sided with the Liberal Free Traders and supported their campaigns for the 1909 Land Tax and against the House of Lords. In the meantime working-class interests were neglected as usual.

After the War came the industrial crisis of 1921-22, which moved the Prime Minister, Mr. Bonar Law, to assert in a speech at Glasgow in December, 1922, that—
There is almost no business that is making  profits to-day.
In May, 1921, the percentage of insured workers unemployed rose to as much as 23 per cent.—higher than it has been in any subsequent month, including 1930, and 1931 to date. There were, in May, 1921, 2½ million unemployed.

The present crisis, which follows 10 years of unemployment never appreciably below the million line, is similar to the others and will take the same general course.

Industrial depressions are not evidences of capitalist poverty or capitalist. weakness They will not of themselves result in the collapse of the capitalist system, and only a misunderstanding of the nature of crises leads the workers to slacken their efforts to maintain wages at those times. Trade depression arises simply from the over-production of goods in relation to the demands of the market. The world is overloaded with goods for which purchasers cannot be found. Purchasers cannot be found because the workers, who have unsatisfied needs, have only a limited amount of money with which to buy, and the wealthiest section of the propertied class, who have the bulk of the purchasing power, have no unsatisfied needs. Once depression begins, prices are forced down and every holder of goods seeks to realise them at all costs. The consequent feeling of insecurity causes the rich to curtail even their normal expenditure, thus aggravating the depression and adding to unemployment.

Many industrial capitalists suffer a decline in their profits owing to curtailed sales, while money-lending capitalists on the whole improve their position.

The crisis is overcome simply because the manufacturers close down their factories and turn the workers out to join the unemployed. Then, when the accumulations of goods have been slowly dissipated, production begins again in response to the newly evinced demand, and the crisis is, for the time being, over.

This is a process which is prolonged by wage reductions, and made more acute by the constant improvements in productivity of industry. which increase the volume of surplus goods.

All the parties which accept the popular view of crises necessarily find themselves pursuing courses contrary to working-class interests. The Communists believe, and indeed hope, that the crises will wreck capitalism, and they therefore propagate their dangerous doctrine of waiting fatalistically for the breaking-point of capitalism, at which point they will take to the streets and challenge the armed forces. The basis of the doctrine is unsound. Crises are not the ruin of capitalism, but merely correctives to its contradictions. Capitalism and its crises can, and will, go on indefinitely until the workers take conscious steps to end the system.

The other parties — Liberal, Tory, Labour and I.L.P., and the later rivals, the Empire Free Traders and the Mosley Party—all preach the doctrine that the workers must at times of crisis take joint action with the capitalists in order to save a desperate situation. As this usually means, in practice, taking lower wages and working harder, it is not only anti-working-class, but also has the effect of prolonging the crisis.

The Socialist Party tells the workers that Socialism is the only remedy for their troubles. There is no time which is not a proper time for them to work for Socialism. This is true whatever the excuse offered by defenders of capitalism. Whether the crisis is a war crisis or a trade crisis, the Socialist Party will continue to preach Socialism. Workers who understand the working of capitalism will see through the excuses to the capitalist interests behind them, and will help us with our task.
Edgar Hardcastle