Friday, June 14, 2024

Editorial: The Labour Party’s Budget. (1931)

Editorial from the June 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

Is the Land Tax Socialism ?
When the Countess of Iveagh, a Conservative M.P., told a meeting of her party, as reported in the Southend Standard on May 21st, that she could see behind the Budget, and particularly behind the proposed Land Tax, “the pure Socialistic principle that private ownership should cease,” she was putting a point of view that finds expression alike in The Times and the Daily Herald. Have we not been assured for many years by the Labour Party leaders that their Budgets would be instruments for procuring bold social changes, and would, for that reason, be strikingly different from the unimaginative and orthodox financial measures of the Churchills and Lloyd Georges ?

Is there, then, ground for the fears of the Countess? Are we about to witness a great frontal attack upon the existing social system? The Government professes to attach great importance to the Land Tax, and even one of their harshest critics, Sir Charles Trevelyan, who recently resigned his ministerial post as a protest against their inertia, is enthusiastic for this one measure. His enthusiasm is inspired by the example of Vienna, where a Land Tax has been used by the Municipality to subsidise the building of working-class houses.

Nevertheless, these hopes and fears, so far as they relate to the wage earners, are groundless. The Land Tax is capitalist in origin and in effect, and has nothing whatever to do with Socialism. Sir Charles Trevelyan, forced to admit that it was a Liberal proposal, brought forward by Mr. Lloyd George 25 years ago, lamely seeks to gloss it over by describing the pre-war Liberals who were pushing the proposal as “Socialist-Liberals”—whatever that, may mean (New Leader, May 15th). He could have chosen no better example than Vienna to show the uselessness of the Land Tax to the workers. It is true that the Vienna Municipality taxed the land owners to build houses for workers at very low rents, but the effect of thus reducing the workers’ cost of living has been to facilitate a reduction, in their wages by a corresponding amount. The land owners have been taxed, not for the benefit of the workers, but of the employers. Here, as in Austria and elsewhere, in order to carry on the administration of capitalism, the Government needs revenue. Taxation, in the last resort, can be paid only by those who have property, and the controversies about the kind and amount of taxes are disputes between the sections of the propertied class as to which of them shall foot the bill. If this is a correct view of the situation, we would expect to find the Land Tax welcomed by certain sections of the capitalist class who stand to gain thereby; and, indeed, we find this to be the case. The following are comments from various capitalist newspapers, politicians, and business men.

The Daily Mail (April 29th), in its editorial, puts the Conservative point of view : —
“The new duty on land values will be received with favour even in the Conservative party, subject, of course, to the terms of the measure when they are made known.

For some unexplained reason urban land has hitherto escaped its fair share of taxation in this country. The position is very different in the United States, where land values in the great cities have long been subjected to taxation for State and municipal purposes, and at a rate much higher than Mr. Snowden proposes. In Mr. Snowden’s scheme agricultural land is to be exempted, so that the new duties will not affect farmers and small holders.

Such being the circumstances, it may be difficult for the Conservative leaders to prove that the proposed land tax is unreasonable, when it is regarded by the majority of voters as overdue. There could be no worse point upon which to fight an election when the next dissolution comes. The now scheme should then not be condemned out of hand.”
The Daily Herald’s Lobby Correspondent confirmed this :—
“Now the Conservatives realise that the taxes on urban land will be popular in most quarters, especially among business men, and that it would be bad ground to fight on.”—(Daily Herald, April 30th.)
The Daily Express’s Lobby Correspondent reported similarly : —
“The Conservatives, acquiescing in the principle of Mr. Snowden’s plan, will concentrate their attack on the details.”—(Daily Express, May 4th.)
Sir John Corcoran, director of the National Union of Manufacturers, gave his opinion, and presumably the opinion of his Association, to the Daily Herald (April 28th) :—
“If Mr. Snowden can levy the land tax without too much cost and in such a way that it will not have the effect of withholding development, the scheme may be practicable.”
Lord Melchett, director of coal, oil, and chemical concerns, also gave qualified approval (Daily Herald, April 28th).

What is true of the Land Tax is true of the Budget as a whole. It embodies no principle of any significance whatever to the workers. It makes no inroads into the power of the capitalists, and is, in fact, hardly distinguishable from former Tory Budgets. Mr. Churchill, the last Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, put the point neatly in the debate in the House of Commons on April 29th : —
“I shall deal with the general question of the Budget, and the House will naturally not be astonished if I say that I listened to the Budget speech with amusement, which almost rose into hilarity. (Laughter.) I could hardly believe my ears as I heard the Chancellor of the Exchequer unfold a long series of proposals which were virtually an acceptance in fact and in form of the financial measures and expedients which I devised and practised, and which he derided and condemned. (Laughter.) As one by one those familiar shades arose from that side of the table, and as I recall to memory all the criticisms and scathing censures he had lavished upon each of them, I wondered whether I had not perhaps left behind some of my old Budget notes and that one of his able secretaries had, by mistake, put them into the Chancellors’ famous red box.”—(Times, April 30th.)
The I.L.P. is, as usual, divided in its attitude, but will, of course, go to the aid of the Government if there is danger of a defeat, no matter what the Government does and no matter what opinion the I.L.P. may decide to express about the merits of the Government’s measures. While Sir Charles Trevelyan supports the Land Tax, another I.L.P. Member of Parliament, described as a “leading member of the I.L.P. Group,” is quoted by the New Leader (May 1st) as saying of the Budget :
“Until Land Values were mentioned, it was a Tory statement. Then it became Liberal. Of Socialism, not a comma ! In other words, it is to be Toryism this year. Liberalism in two years’ time, and Socialism in the year X.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Brailsford, also of the I.L.P., writing in the New Leader on May10th, laments the Land Tax because it will encourage the use of land for commercial purposes and so disfigure the landscape. In the past, other members of the I.L.P. have advocated the Land Tax precisely for the purpose of promoting commercial development.

On the subject of the social reforms promised by the Labour Party, it is interesting to have Mr. Snowden’s admission that his views coincide with those of Gladstone—this from the party that regards Marx as out-of-date !
“I have always agreed with Mr. Gladstone’s rule that in times of industrial depression it is better to use our resources to stimulate trade than to make undue sacrifices. It is in times of prosperity that we can afford to lessen the intolerable burden of debt and so liberate resources for schemes of economic and social reform.”—(Daily Herald, April 28th.)
Any workers who are disappointed with the Labour Party’s Budget may derive some comfort from the announcement by the City Editor of the Daily Express (April 28th) that—
“The Budget was favourably received in the City.”
We can now point out to the Countess of Iveagh that behind the Land Tax proposals and the Budget generally we see, not Socialist theory, but a motley band of Liberal, Labour, and Conservative newspapers, politicians and business men, differing among themselves only on the question of the best method of administering the capitalist system.

India To-Day. (1931)

From the June 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

(Continued from May Issue.)
''India   is   now   one  of  the   eight  most important  industrial   areas   in   the  world" (Simon Report, page 23).                                 
India's industrial importance is the basis of the present strife there. The conditions of the workers in the industrial centres are admitted by all to be terrible, but endeavours are being made, with some success, to direct their discontent into a channel that will not interfere with the continued accumulation of the huge profits that are being made out of their industry. The Nationalists and the Imperialists each seek the support of the Indian worker for their particular brands of exploitation.

Connection with Western culture and Western markets has gradually taught the more fortunate of India's millions the essentials of capitalist enterprise. Native Indian capitalists have acquired large fortunes and have gradually taken a more and more important part in the exploitation of India's resources and of their fellow-countrymen, and they now thirst for unshackled political dominion.

India is predominantly an agricultural country, but its size and population are so huge that the industrial portion, though only just over 10 per cent. of the whole, has an important effect on world industrial relations. The total population is 319 millions, of which 32½ millions belong to the towns.

Bombay and Calcutta, each with a population of over a million, are at present the two principal industrial centres, but other towns are rapidly rising to challenge them in industrial importance.

Bombay is the greatest centre of cotton spinning and weaving in Asia, and the trade and industry of the city are now predominantly Indian. In fact, the pioneers of the textile manufacturing industry were Indians and the first mill was set up by an Indian. The textile industry was originally built upon yarn of low grade, as Lancashire monopolised the trade in higher quality cloths. China and the Far East had supplied India's market. Of recent years the Japanese have gradually captured this trade, mainly by means of the cheap products of their Chinese mills. The Bombay mills, therefore, turned over to the manufacture of cloth. In the new trade, factories also arose in the interior of India, at Ahmedabad, Sholapur, and Nagpur. These new factories offer serious competition to Bombay and tend to expand at its expense. As one writer puts it : "These conditions explain why Bombay, struggling for its life, is the centre of the industrial politics of India." It may be added that India is the largest single import market in the world for cotton textiles. Owing to the native and Japanese grip on the India market, the lifting of the boycott will not go far to restore Lancashire's lost trade.

Calcutta, in Bengal, is the centre of the jute industry. The Bengal production of jute is so great that India holds the virtual monopoly of this trade. Originally the trade was in the hands of Europeans, but most of the share capital of the jute mills is now in native hands. This is also true of the tea gardens of Assam and elsewhere, which were first established and developed by the British. They are now carried on side by side with many that are Indian-owned. In fact, all over India, commercial enterprise is failing more and more into Indian hands.

The iron and steel industry offers yet another important example of native progress. The native-owned Tata Iron and Steel Company, founded by J. N. Tata (a Bombay Parsee who made a fortune in the cotton mills of Bombay and Nagpur), built a steel city in the jungles of Northern India near the coalfields of Bengal and the port of Calcutta. The works produced at full pressure during the war, supplying the essential needs of India and the armies which fought in Egypt, East Africa, and Mesopotamia. Its products are exported to Pacific markets as far east as Japan. British and native steel now divide the home market, but native steel is steadily gaining.

From the above it will be seen that industrial progress is pushing forward rapidly in India and that its principal requirements are being met more and more by the products of native industry. This being so, the native manufacturers are offering greater opposition to the competition of foreign concerns, and more particularly the British competitor who seeks to use his political ascendancy to further his economic interests. Where the natives secure a tariff against the foreign importer, the British firms demand and obtain preferential treatment.

The Indian demand for dominion status or independence rests on the economic interests of the native capitalists. The basis of the British opposition has been briefly put by the Manchester Guardian as follows :—
There are two chief reasons why a self-regarding England may hesitate to relax her control over India. The first is that her influence in the East depends partly upon her power to summon troops and to draw resources from India in time of need. This power will vanish when India has Dominion status. The second is that Great Britain finds in India her best market, and that she has a thousand millions of capital invested there.—(December 30th, 1929.)
It will be noticed that the grounds for and against Indian independence have no connection whatever with the general well-being of India's millions, yet the protagonists on each side pour forth idealistic phrases by the shoal to induce the belief that the special interest of each is a movement for "spiritual and moral'' uplifting. The furtherance of capitalist exploitation has always been bolstered up with similar nebulous nonsense.

There are a multitude, of economic interests involved in India, some of which cut across each other. We can only mention a few of them to illustrate the complexity of Indian affairs.

The most important element is the native Indian manufacturer, faced by severe competition of the highly organised Eastern and Western industries, who demands protection. He sees Indian products being-shipped abroad, to return manufactured and sold in competition with his own goods.

Many native merchants have amassed considerable wealth and have built up extensive selling organisations in India. For long they have been dependent upon the agents of British firms. They now want freedom to make direct foreign connections and cut out the cost of and dependence upon .the middlemen.

Foreign firms, on the other hand (particularly Japanese and American), are establishing their own selling organisations in India and endeavouring to cut out the native merchant altogether. This, together with foreign competition and the development of hand weaving in the villages, supplied the enthusiasm for the boycott of foreign goods, and the sudden cult for village-made cloth, etc.

The educated Indians (the "intellectuals"), who have shared professorships, judgeships, etc., want to keep their lucrative connections. On the other hand, they see a tendency to open these professions to a larger group of people than formerly. Educated Indians (whose education has been obtained at considerable cost) find their number accumulating at a far greater rate than the openings for employment. Consequently, as a mass, they are changeable. Those who have security in the Government service want a continuance of the British occupation; those who cannot get a job, favour the other side; those who are in and out, divide their support accordingly. The recent constitutional reforms give more scope to this group and promise opportunities of a political career. On the other hand, some see in Indian self-government still greater opportunities for employment and advancement. This explains why they are probably the most vocal and most fickle element in Indian politics.

There is a large body of natives that act as agents for importing firms. Where there is little danger of the business being taken out of their hands by direct representatives, they favour a continuance of the old regime.

There are also, of course, the wealthy Indian Princes, who still draw enormous revenues from India and are dependent upon the British occupation for a continuance of their lazy and luxurious modes of living.

Another considerable element in the situation is the conflicting interests of British merchants themselves. The following quotation from No. 11 of "Studies in World Economy," issued by the Carnegie Endowment, will make the position clear:
The large British trading companies in India typically are influenced less by sentiments of nationality than by commercial considerations. Many of them claim to be, and are, strictly international in their trade policy and outlook. It is for this reason that considerations of profit rather than of nationality determine their actions. British officials have frequently called attention to the fact that American manufacturers often have been able to use British houses of established influence to promote the trade of American manufacturers because the American exporter was able to enlist the service of the British house by offering larger commissions, by sending auxiliary salesmen and technical experts, and, in general, by providing greater opportunity for profit than was furnished by manufacturing exporters in the United Kingdom. (Page 149.)
Over 70 per cent. of the Indian population draw their sustenance from the soil. The peasant problem, therefore, has a considerable influence in some directions on the course of affairs. The demands of the peasants for manufactures are few, but there are so many millions of peasants that the aggregate of these demands amounts to a considerable proportion of India's total needs. The vast majority of the peasants live in debt to the moneylender. Their household requirements are supplied by a shop or two in the village, whose owners frequently provide the first market for village produce and add to their earnings by moneylending. Rises in prices immediately affect their demand for goods owing to the fact that the "standard of living is at the very margin of subsistence " (page 158, "Studies in World Economy"). Their small holdings do not provide them with occupation for more than half their time, and consequently they provide the manufacturing districts with a floating supply of labour.

The peasants want their small supplies of manufactured goods at the lowest prices (the foreign product, as a rule), and they want to be free to sell their produce with out the restriction of export duties. In these ways their interests are opposed to Nationalism. On the other hand, they urgently want a reduction in taxation (particularly the removal of the salt tax), and the Nationalist movement for village-made cloth has enabled numbers of them to use their unoccupied time and supplement their meagre earnings by weaving. How little the peasant is really stirred by Nationalist aspirations may be gathered from the following remarks of Lajput Rai, a leading Indian Nationalist : —
The desire for political independence, the sense of shame and humiliation born of being a subject race, of being a political pariah, must, from the nature of things, be confined largely to the educated middle class. Even the mass could not be expected to take a very deep interest in the movement for political independence. Their ignorance, their illiteracy, but most of all the hard struggle they have to carry on for barest existence, prevents them from devoting time or thought to the question. Their time and thought are given to the fight against hunger and want, against disease and distress, against misery and wretchedness. They are easy to please. A slight act of kindness or of consideration makes them happy. They are easily confused on fundamental issues. (Young India, page 31.)
The group we have now to consider is the spectre that haunts the deliberations and celebrations of both Nationalists and Imperialists—the Indian working class. The Indian working class has arisen so recently and is still so much influenced by village associations, that clearness of outlook cannot be expected from it yet. The conditions under which the workers live and work resemble England in the middle of last century. Housing conditions are abominable; 70 per cent. of the tenements of Bombay are classified as single rooms. Their relations with their employers, both native and foreign, have been marked by disastrous strikes. The employers in their unrestricted desire to extract the utmost from the workers have made determined efforts to smash the unions, and there have been bitter conflicts in the. Bombay mills, the Tata Iron Works, on the railways, and elsewhere. As the smashing of the workers' organisations for defence involved too much, an effort is being made to convert them into harmless associations which will eternally bargain (and lose) with the employers—hence the attempt to introduce the Whitley idea into India.

The native Bombay employers have made huge fortunes out of their native workers and they do not want Indian Nationalism to interfere with the continued exploitation of the Indian worker. Their fellow native employers in other industries are at one with them on this point, and their henchmen, the educated professional men, etc. (Lajput Rai's "Middle Class"), are seeing to it that capitalist interests are protected in their programme for independence. The most advanced of the Nationalist programmes, where it refers to the workers, only aims at bringing Indian industrialism into line with modern methods adopted in the more advanced capitalist countries. 

Limitations of space compel us to curtail our further remarks, but before concluding we will quote from an illuminating reply of Gandhi's to a reception given him by the Trade Union of Ahmedabad. From this. it will be seen that Gandhi's sentimental outbursts  are  not born of particular interest in the  Indian worker : —
Your work is making you known throughout the world. The members of your Union are jealous of their rights and are prepared to lay down their lives for them, but their leaders, who guide them, have no ill-will against the capitalists. In their welfare and their power you see your own welfare and power. That is the secret of your strength. Outside people cannot understand your position. They have thought of capitalists and working men as exploiters and exploited. All capitalists, according to some, are born ogres. But there need be no such inherent antipathy between the two. It is an erroneous notion. If the capitalists are apt to be proud of their wealth, the working men are apt to be proud of their numerical strength. We are liable to be swayed and intoxicated by the same passions as the capitalists, and it must be our prayer that both may be free from that passion. I feel that no class war poisons the relations between the millowners and the working men in Ahmedabad. I hope and pray that the present cordial relations may be maintained between them.

. . . . . . . . 

But I do not want to deceive you. I must warn you that I do not bear any ill to the capitalists. I can think of doing them no harm. But I want, by means of suffering, to awaken them to their sense of duty, I want to melt their hearts and get them to render justice to their less fortunate brethren. They are human beings, and my appeal to them will not go in vain. The history of Japan reveals many an instance of self-sacrificing capitalists. — (The Indian Labour Review, April, 1931, p. 19.)
No wonder Bombay mill owners gave dinners to Gandhi !

The foregoing brief review of the position will give some idea of the welter of conflicting interests in India, but, apart from the peasants and workers, they are in agreement on one basic fact—that the Indian worker shall be exploited. The point of contention that is the centre of the turmoil is—Who shall be the exploiter?

To the Indian worker it matters not a jot whether he is exploited by Hindu, Moslem, or foreign capitalists. The Irish have secured a measure of independence, but the Irish worker is exploited just as of yore—only the exploitation has been more intensified. And so would it be with the Indian worker. The interests of the workers all over the world are identical, and opposed to the interests of the capitalists, national and international. When the Indian workers have learned this lesson, they will cease to be led into the blind alleys of Nationalist movements and will concentrate their attention upon the throwing off of capitalist domination, native and foreign.                                 

England’s Prosperity—India’s Poverty. (1931)

From the May 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

Viscount Rothermere has contributed a couple of articles to the “Evening News” (the first of which appeared on April 15th) under the heading “If we lose India——”

The first article concludes as follows :
“Nowhere in the world, therefore, is it brought home to one more vividly than in Portugal what India means to Britain.

Here is a country that was once, like ours, the proud Mistress of the Seas. She has now sunk to the third rank among the nations of Europe. What raised her to the first place was her connection with India. What brought about her downfall was its loss.

Yet at this very moment there are ignorant and weak-kneed politicians in England deliberately working to lose our grip on that historic key to National Greatness.”
There is something to be said for the position put forward by Rothermere though not perhaps in the way he intended. A good deal of the early accumulation of wealth in England that was converted into capital and helped to speed on the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries was obtained by the wholesale plundering of India.

It had been the practice in India for all, from the highest lo the lowest, to lay by the means to help tide over periods of famine. For this purpose what silver they came by was buried to be later dug up and used. When the Portuguese, French and English adventurers entered India, like Columbus in the New World, they found an Eldorado which they plundered to the best of their abilities ; the last and most successful plunderers were the British. Brook Adams in “The Law of Civilization and Decay,” writes: “Possibly since the world began, no investment has ever yielded the profit reaped from the Indian plunder, because for nearly fifty years, Great Britain stood without a competitor” (page 263). The way the booty was obtained is explained in some detail by Adams, from whom the following extracts are taken :
“Upon the plundering of India there can be no better authority than Macaulay, who held high office at Calcutta when the administration of Hastings was still remembered; and who wrote more as a minister than as a historian. He has told how after Plassey “the shower of wealth” began to fall, and he has described Clive’s own gains : “We may safely affirm, that no Englishman who started with nothing has ever, in any line of life, created such a fortune at the early age of thirty-four.” But the takings of Clive, either for himself or for the Government, were trifling compared to the wholesale robbery and spoliation which followed his departure, when Bengal was surrendered a helpless prey to a myriad of greedy officials. These officials were absolute, irresponsible, and rapacious, and they emptied the private hoards. Their only thought was to wring some hundreds of thousands of pounds out of the natives as quickly as possible, and hurry home to display their wealth.

“Enormous fortunes were thus rapidly accumulated at Calcutta, while thirty millions of human beings were reduced to the extremity of wretchedness.” . . .

Thus treasure in oceans flowed into England through private hands, but in India the affairs of the Company (the East India Company) went from bad to worse. Misgovernment impoverished the people, the savings of long years of toil were exhausted, and when, in 1770, a drought brought famine, the resources of the people failed, and they perished by millions : “the very streets of Calcutta were blocked up by the dying and the dead.” Then came an outbreak of wrath from disappointed stockholders ; the landed interest seized its opportunity to attack Clive in Parliament; and the merchants chose Hastings to develop the resources of Hindustan.

Hastings was, indeed, a man fitted for the emergency, a statesman worthy to organise India on an economic basis. Able, bold, cool, and relentless, he grasped the situation at a glance, and never faltered in his purpose. If more treasure was to be wrung from the natives, force had to be used systematically. Though Bengal might be ruined, the hoards of neighbouring potentates remained safe, and these Hastings deliberately set himself to drain. Macaulay has explained his policy and the motives which actuated him.   . . .

How he (Hastings) obtained his money, the pledges he violated, and the blood he spilt, is known as few passages of history are known, for the story has been told by both Burke and Macaulay. How he robbed the Nabob of Bengal of half the income the Company had solemnly promised to pay, how he repudiated the revenue which the Government had covenanted to yield to the Mogul as a tribute for provinces ceded them, and how, in consideration of four hundred thousand pounds, he sent a brigade to slaughter the Rohillas, and placidly saw “their villages burned, their children butchered, and their women violated,” has been described in one of the most popular essays in the language. At his impeachment, the heaviest charge against him was that based on his conduct towards the princesses of Oude, whom his creature, Asaph-al-Dowlah, imprisoned and starved, whose servants he tormented, and from whom he wrung at last twelve hundred thousand pounds as the price of blood. By these acts, and acts such as these, the treasure which had flowed to Europe through the extermination of the Peruvians was returned again to England from the hoards of the conquered Hindoos.” (Pages 255-258.)
In 1901 a book by W. Digby was published entitled, “Prosperous British India.” In this book, which runs to 650 pages, Digby presented a detailed record of the terrible story of India’s connection with Britain, and the woe it has brought to the Indian population. He points out that millions of pounds have been drained from India with no return whatever, and gives what he contends is a conservative estimate, that there were, at the beginning of the twentieth century, 70 million continually hungry people in British India (page 85). He points out “that the Pioneer, the ever-ready apologist for British rule in India . . put the Indian people who are living’ in extreme poverty’ at ‘one hundred millions.’ ”

On page 7 the same writer states :
“230,000,000 out of 231,085,132 people in British India have an income, before any taxation is imposed, of only about 12s. per head per annum, or less than one halfpenny per head per day.

"Out of that 12s. at least 2s. 6d. are taken by way of taxation, or twenty per cent. of the total income.”
Digby points to the ruthless exploitation of the peasantry by the Government through taxation which ultimately put many of them deep in the clutches of the moneylender, in illustration of which he writes :
“In one district in 1800 85 per cent. of the land revenue was directly paid to the Government officials by moneylenders, the cultivators being wholly without means to fulfil their obligations, while the leading medical journal in the world ( The Lancet, June, 1901) through its correspondent in Bombay, estimates that nineteen millions of British Indian subjects have, during the last decennium of the nineteenth century, died of starvation, and one million from plague.” (Page 64.)
As an illustration of how the impoverishment of the people under British rule had lessened the power of resistance to the forces of nature, Digby points to the fact that while between 1800 and 1825 there were, only four famines, between 1875 and 1900 there were twenty-two famines.

Digby supports his case by masses of evidence drawn from official sources.

Another writer, Dadabhai Naoroji, provides evidence of a similar kind in a book entitled, “Poverty and Un-British Rule in India.” In 1928 Sir Stanley Reed writes, in “India: the new Phase,” “The poverty of the Indian peasant still dominates the situation.”

Such has been the nature and result of British exploitation in India. Is it any wonder that part of the population gives ready ear to those who urge (for their own private ends in the main) that India should rid itself of the foreign exploiters ?

To obtain an idea of the forces of work in India at present, and to grasp what lies behind the Nationalist movement it is necessary to understand something of India’s economic development, particularly during the last twenty years or so.

The following is a brief sketch to aid in understanding the present situation.

India Yesterday.
The economic revolution in India began about the middle of the last century. Until then India was made up of village communities of varying sizes. The artizans were village servants paid in kind by the local community to supply its needs. What trading existed was almost entirely by barter. Money was very little used until the British Government demanded the payment of the Government assessments in cash. The export trade was very small. The chief factor that kept India in the village community stage for such a long period was its comparative isolation from the outside world owing to lack of transport facilities. Roads were few and in such poor condition that they were impassable during rainy periods. Except at a few places along one or two of the larger rivers, navigation offered little help to internal traffic.

In a few years all this was changed.

Indian cultivators produced cotton on a small scale from early times and some of the more refined fabrics were exported to Europe. “With the cheapening of the cotton goods by the introduction oi machinery in England, Indian products were unable to compete and the export declined. America was the principal source of England’s new cotton up to the American Civil War in the 1860’s. This event closed the ports of the Southern States to the export of cotton and produced a cotton famine in Lancashire. The eyes of English manufacturers immediately turned to India and feverish efforts were made to turn India into a cotton producing tributary of the Empire. In the ’50’s of the last century Lord Dalhousie was appointed Governor-General of India and at the instigation of the British Government he immediately set about ending India’s economic isolation. Cotton commissioners were appointed and roads and railway construction was pushed forward.

A Public Works Department was formed. Thousands of labourers were recruited from among the agricultural labourers, the poorer cultivators, village artizans and the weavers. The cotton cultivators were enabled to go ahead to meet the sudden tremendous demand for raw cotton as they were assured of security of tenure against the old village communal arrangement by the operation of the Land Settlement Act. Before 1860 a class of general casual labourers were practically unknown in India. After the new development schemes casual labour became a common feature of Indian life and the stagnation of centuries disappeared. Co-operative and forced labour of cultivators was replaced by wage labour.

The Government’s activity in India rapidly bore fruit. The first line of railway was opened to traific in 1854. Bv 1869 over 5,000 miles of railway were opened to traffic. Between 1859 and 1866 the price of cotton rose more than threefold and the quantity available for export to England more than doubled. It rose from half a million bales in 1859 to one and a quarter million bales in 1865.

For a few years the effect of the American Civil War, together with the discoveries of precious metals in Australia, California, and Mexico, with the consequent rise in prices made cotton growing a profitable industry to the cultivators of the Indian cotton trade. The end of the Civil War and the resumption of export by America brought about a sharp fall in the demand for Indian cotton and the position of the Indian cultivators suddenly became very bad. Many prominent Bombay merchants, who had risen on the tide of prosperity, failed. At the same time the benevolent Government, who wished to re-imburse itself for its expenditure on development works, taking the period of prosperity as normal, raised the assessments for revenue purposes and helped the ruin of the peasants, who were compelled to resort to borrowing to meet the increased demands.

In 1875 the Government of India entered on a policy of more and more expenditure in military expeditions and establishments, and as the money had to be found by the Indian population, the burden of taxation pressed more and more heavily on the mass of the people, and the grip of the moneylenders tightened. The resulting distress was greater than had previously been known by the Indian people and was one of the earliest of the “benefits” of British rule in India. Before the coming of the British,, money-lending to cultivators was checked by the restrictions on the transfer of lands and by the refusal of the superior powers to aid money-lenders in recovering debts. But the British had driven a nail into the coffin of the old communal system by permitting the transfer of land and its absolute ownership, which the cultivators had never possessed before. It had also introduced a judicial system which gave the money-lender a great power over the debtor, and a Limitation Act, making the renewal of the debt-bond in short periods compulsory. The debtor was practically reduced to the position of a serf, and the money-lender had a tight grip on his land. Thus commenced the gradual transfer of the lands of the peasants to the money-lenders. In 1879 “the condition of the agriculturist was one bordering on extreme poverty” (see Gadgil—”Industrial Evolution of India”).

In the textile industries generally, as well as in the metal and other industries, the opening up of India by the improved transport facilities brought in the cheap products of the European manufacturers and ruined the finer industry of the village handicraftsman. With the extension of British rule over India, the easy flow of Indian life, interrupted, it is true, by periodical severe famines, was gone forever. India was drawn into the maelstrom of capitalist commerce and industry, and a large portion of its population was rapidly converted from co-operative cultivators and handicraftsmen into a replica of their Western brothers—wage-slaves. The opening up of the country had resulted in the killing of the native industry.

In the nineteenth century, European exploitation of Indian resources began with the introduction of indigo, tea and coffee plantations. These plantations were granted to Europeans and worked by Indian coolies drawn from different parts of India. During their transportation a large proportion of the coolies died, and when the others reached the gardens their miseries were aggravated by the ill-treatment of their employers. The early planting speculations exhibited familiar features of capitalist commercial investment. Land companies were formed, which sold land that existed in places impossible of cultivation. In many cases the surveying had been purely fanciful and the buyer found that the land he had bought in no way resembled the specifications, and was situated in a district occupied by hostile tribes who would have very rapidly claimed his head if he had attempted to claim the land. After 1860, plantations sprang up everywhere.

Factory industry also commenced about this period and represents another of the “benefits” conferred on India by British rule. The cotton boom and the corresponding reckless floating of companies for all purposes was followed by the inevitable crisis and the collapse of credit in 1865. India was now experiencing for the first lime the inevitable accompaniment of capitalist rule. Industry did not recover until 1871. By 1879 there were 56 cotton mills in India, employing 43,000 people, most of them situated in the Bombay district. In 1882 there were 20 jute mills, employing 20,000 people, nearly all of them in the vicinity of Calcutta.

Coal mining also began to grow alongwith the cotton and jute industries, and in 1880 employed 20,000 people.

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 was an important factor in the increase in India’s export trade, and between 1880 and 1895 there was a tremendous increase in the export of Indian raw products.

By 1898 the number of cotton mills had risen to 144, and the people employed to 139,578. The export of Indian yarn rose from 26,701,716 Ib. in 1879 to 170,518,804 Ib. in 1890. In the jute industry and in coal mining there was a corresponding growth. The export of coal from India commenced in 1900, and by 1894 had reached nearly 54,000 tons. The tea industry was also rapidly growing, but the system of recruiting labour for it was denounced by a member of the Tea and Coal Labour Commission as a “vile pest to society.”

Along with the growth of the commerce and industry there was also growing up a landless labour class, and in 1891 the first Factory Act was passed, against the opposition of the manufacturers. This Act only provided for the regulation of the working hours of children below the age of twelve. The working hours of children between seven and twelve years of age were limited to nine hours. There were no sanitary provisions. The Act only applied to factories employing 100 or more hands and using mechanical power. Tea, coffee and indigo establishments were excluded from the operations of the Act.

The “benefits” of British rule, in India were accumulating !

It is interesting to notice the movement in favour of Factory Acts in India was instigated by Lancashire and Dundee, who complained that they were subject to unfair competition of India on account of the lack of a Factory Act. A further Act was passed in 1891, which was a slight improvement and raised the minimum age limit for children to nine years of age. In coal mining there was no regulation at all and women were largely employed in this industry.

As usual, many of the provisions of the Act were ignored, and in some mills men, women and children worked from sunrise till sunset. The following quotation from Gadgil gives a picture of the conditions at the time in the Kandesh industiy :—
“The evidence before the 1884 Factory Commission was of a terrible nature. One witness stated, “In the busy season—that is in March and April—the gins and presses sometimes work both night and day and the same set of hands work both night and day, with half-an-hour’s rest in the evening. The same set continue working day and night for about eight days.” It was ail the worse because the hands were mostly women. Another witness stated : “The women are looked on as part of the gins, and they belong to the establishment, and two or three hours is longest time they can be absent out of twenty-three without any notice being taken of it.” After working eight days without stopping, they (the gins) are compelled to get another set of hands from Bombay! ” (Page 95.)
In Bombay the employers kept nearly three weeks’ wages in hand and paid monthly.

In the coal mining industry in Bengal, women and children were employed extensively underground.

A Socialist Searchlight. (1931)

From the June 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

Can a Catholic be a Socialist?

Pope Pius XI, addressing a gathering of “pilgrims” on Friday, May 15th, declared that “no good Catholic can be a good Socialist.” This is, of course, the familiar and natural view of the Catholic Church, and one with which the Socialist fully agrees.

The Pope’s words were reported in all of the London daily papers on May 16th, with one exception—the Daily Herald. The reason for this deliberate omission of a piece of news is obvious. The Labour Party has a large number of Catholic supporters whom it does not wish to offend, but at the same time it does not wish to make a formal declaration of opposition to Socialism. The Herald’s line, therefore, is to pretend that Socialism and Catholicism are not incompatible. On a previous occasion when the Socialist Party’s attitude on the question had been misrepresented by the Editor of the Herald, he declined to allow us to state our position in his columns. The Herald under its new Editor and new proprietors evidently follows the same policy of avoiding discussion.

But although the Herald did not publish the Pope’s statement at the time when it was made, they published some comments on it. On May 22nd their Rome correspondent sent a reassuring message, in which he quoted the Pope’s Under-Secretary for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs as saying that the Pope quite understood the position of the British Labour Party and had no intention of attacking them. The Under-Secretary said :—
“For instance, we know there are bishops and many Catholics in England who belong to the Labour Party.

This fact may be easily explained by the special situation of the Labour Party, many points of whose programme coincide with those of Catholic Syndicates, and which also admits in the political field class collaboration, as is proved by the present Government.”
In other words, the Catholic Church is not opposed to the Labour Party because that party is not a Socialist party. This point of view received confirmation from Sir James Sexton, a Labour M.P. who is also a Catholic. He explained (Daily Telegraph, May 18th) that the Labour Party’s aim is not Socialism, but “what I might call the nationalisation of essential commodities, such as water, gas, the railways, mines, and so on.”

It is because Socialists do not want nationalisation or state capitalism that they do not support the Labour Party. For the same reason, Catholics who are opposed to Socialism can, and do, join the Labour Party. Readers who are interested in the whole question should read our pamphlet, “Socialism and Religion.”

* * *

The Bank Rate and the Workers. 

On September 26th, 1929, the bank rate was raised from 5½ to 6½ per cent. This meant that the industrial capitalists who had to borrow money from the banks would have to pay a higher rate of interest, and it was only to be expected that they should howl with rage. By pretending that the question was one that concerned the workers, they were able to get many influential members of the Labour Party and the I.L.P. to join the chorus of protest. Maxton and Tillett were two of the decoy ducks; and the late Lord Melchett was particularly vociferous among the employers. The protest was based on the claim that a high bank rate would mean more unemployment and less money for wages. If the theory were a sound one from a working-class standpoint, a fall in the bank rate ought to cause a reduction in unemployment and an increase in wages. It has not caused either.

The bank rate was reduced on May 1st, 1930, to 3 per cent., and on May 1st, 1931, to 2½ per cent., but unemployment, instead of going down during 1930 and the early part of 1931, mounted up to 2½ millions—upwards of a million more than it was when the bank rate was at 5½ or 6½. The same period has witnessed a rapidly growing volume of wage reductions. One case is of special interest. The late Lord Melchett was chairman, and his son (the present Lord Melchett) a director, of Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries, Ltd. This company, helped, no doubt, by the fall in the bank rate, increased its profit from £289,000 in 1929 to £443,000 in 1930. Did it then increase the wages of the miners it employs? On the contrary, it reduced their pay, in keeping with the lowered pay of South Wales miners generally. What have Messrs. Maxton and Tillett to say to that?

Another point of interest is that the present 2½ per cent. rate is the lowest since 1909. Was unemployment low in 1909, and were the workers well off? On the contrary, the rate of unemployment in 1909 was 7.7 per cent., which (except for 1908, when the unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent.) was the highest rate of unemployment since 1886, and was higher than in any succeeding year until 1921. It was also about this time that Mr. Lloyd George endorsed the statement that about a third of the population were in a state of perpetual poverty.

The bank rate is a question which matters a great deal to the industrial and financial capitalists in their mutual relations, but one which matters nothing to the workers, who by one section of the capitalists no more and no less than by other sections.

* * *

The pot calls the kettle. 

The Labour Party’s Secret Funds.
For years the Labour Party has denounced the Liberals and Tories for having secret funds and for soliciting donations from wealthy men. As soon as the Mosley Party was launched, some of the Labour Party ministers used this line of attack against Sir Oswald Mosley. Mr. Tom Johnston, Lord Privy Seal, said that the Mosley Party had spent from £30,000 to £40,000 on a poster display, and that the money came from secret sources. But while Johnston is only a recent recruit to the inner circle of the Labour Party, and possibly did not know very much about its affairs, Mosley is an old hand, and promptly replied with a similar attack on the Labour Party. Speaking in the Drill Hall, Ashton, on Monday, April 27th, he said (Manchester Guardian, April 28th) :—
"Now I am going to say something about the cant and humbug talked by the Labour party. They say I refuse to publish a list of my individual subscribers. I do, and the Labour party also refuses to publish their list. I refuse because if I published it subscribers might be subject to intimidation.

Would you like to see the appeal sent to me and other rich men by the Labour party for their secret funds? It is sent out to rich men, and rich men alone. That private and secret fund is never published. I don’t blame the Labour party for it, but I do blame them for coming on the platform and pretending they get their funds only from the workers.”
The Labour Party has not replied to Mosley on this point.

The political correspondent of the Daily Mail wrote as follows (April 29th, 1931) :—
“Socialist leaders are unwilling to reply to an allegation made by Sir Oswald Mosley in a speech at Ashton-under-Lyne that the party has a secret political fund which is replenished by subscriptions obtained from rich men, and details of which are never published.

Why should we advertise that man? was the only reply of one leader, when asked to confirm or deny the statement.

The late Mr. Bernhard Baron, the tobacco millionaire, was a regular and generous contributor to Socialist election funds. Wealthy and titled members of the party also make substantial gifts.

In the Lobby yesterday the absence of a reply to the direct charge was accepted as confirmation of a general suspicion that, like other parties, the Socialist party in office is not so hard up as it used to be when in opposition.”
Of course., when the Daily Mail writes “Socialist” it means the Labour Party.

* * *

The value of insurance shares. 

In the midst of the investors’ complaints about the hard times they are going through, the Economist (May 2nd) publishes a list showing the current values of the shares of 25 insurance companies.

£1,000 invested in insurance company ordinary shares in 1913, after receiving high rates of dividend in the intervening period, would now, if sold, fetch, on the average, £3,207, i.e., more than three times the original sum invested. One thousand pounds invested in the General Accident Insurance Co. would now fetch £8,000 ! In the company whose shares have risen least of all, the original investor could sell out and receive more than 30s. for every £1 invested in 1913.

* * *

Religion is the opium of the people.

Did Kingsley Forestall Marx?
A writer in the Freethinker (March 22nd, 1931) claims that the Reverend Charles Kingsley, Canon of Westminster, preceded Marx in describing religion as the opium of the people. The writer in the Freethinker appears to be mistaken.

This is the passage in which Kingsley deals with the subject :—
“We have used the Bible as if it were an opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they were being overloaded–a mere book to keep the poor in order.”
The above occurs in “Politics for the People,” published in 1848.

Marx’s famous phrase was published four or five years earlier. It was as follows :—
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feelings of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of unspiritual conditions. It is the opium of the people.”
This passage is taken from an article entitled “Introduction to a Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right,” published in 1844 in the “Franco-German Year Book.” The translation is by Eden and Cedar Paul, and is given on pages 57 and 58 of “Karl Marx,” by Otto Ruhle (Allen & Unwin).

It will be noticed that the two writers, Marx and Kingsley, used the same telling comparison, but in rather different senses. Kingsley appears to be protesting against the use to which religion has been put; while Marx was accounting for the hold that religion has on the minds of the oppressed.

* * *

Miss Jennie Lee on the uses of trade unions. 

Miss Jennie Lee, M.P. at the I.L.P. Annual Conference at Scarborough on April 5th, spoke against a resolution which proposed that the I.L.P. should leave the Labour Party. The Labour Government, she said (Times, April 6th), “stood for Imperialism and capitalism, and rested on an amalgamation of Conservative and Liberal elements,” and she was “sick and tired of being entangled in Liberalism and compromise” (Manchester Guardian, April 6th). Yet, in face of that, she thought that the I.L.P. ought to keep in with the party of Imperialism and capitalism and go on making her sick and tired, because “at present the Labour movement had strong Trade Union backing, and they (the I.L.P.) had not” (Manchester Guardian, April 6th).

It is, of course, very noble of Miss Lee to go on sacrificing her feelings in this way, but it is not entirely irrelevant to point out that Miss Lee is very much dependent in her constituency on the support of the Miners’ Federation. If she were to oppose the capitalist programme of the Labour Party and lose its support and that of the Miners’ Federation, she would have to say good-bye to her Parliamentary seat and her present prospects of a political career. But it is no new thing for Miss Lee to oppose Socialism for the sake of cadging votes and support. She had chosen that path when first she set eyes on Westminster. When she was elected at North Lanark in March, 1929, her election address contained no reference whatever, direct or indirect, to Socialism. It even contained no mention that she was the nominee of the I.L.P. She fought as official Labour Party candidate and gave prominence to the fact that she accepted the programme of the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain, thus committing herself, incidentally, to the queer doctrine that while the royalty-owning capitalist is an exploiter, his brother capitalist who invests in mining shares is not ! She backed all of the silly—and in some cases harmful—reforms of the Labour Party, and it was admitted by one of her prominent supporters that there was little to choose between her programme and that of her Liberal opponent. Mr. P. J. Dollan, of the I.L.P. National Administrative Council, writing up the election campaign in the New Leader on March 15th, 1929, said of the Liberal candidate (also a woman), “She is advocating a Radical programme which would have horrified the late Lord Oxford because of its similarity to most of the Labour reforms now commonly advocated.” What, in fact, won Miss Lee the election was the backing of the Miners’ Federation. Hence Miss Lee’s determination to “sacrifice” herself by staying in the Labour Party, with the Trade Union votes and Trade Union funds, rather than oppose the party of “Imperialism and capitalism” and lose her seat in Parliament.

The delegates at the I.L.P. Conference overwhelmingly endorsed the official policy, urged by all sections of their National Administrative Council, of staying in the Labour Party. The motion to disaffiliate was rejected by 173 to 37 (see News-Chronicle, April 6th).

* * *

The Over-Population Myth.

Professor T. E. Gregory gave an address at Manchester University on February 2nd, 1931, on the subject of population and production. The following extracts are from a report published on February 3rd by the Manchester Guardian : —
“He pointed out that up to the war we had all been largely influenced by the teaching of Malthus, and had feared that our era of prosperity could not last if the population continued to increase. In 1920, after the war, this pessimism had greatly increased. “I confess,” he said, “I was a “pessimist of that kind myself. Indeed, we were all pessimists in those days, from Mr. Keynes to the editor of the Manchester Guardian.”

But since 1920 there had been a curious alteration in theory and in the facts. Great importance as a social factor could be placed upon the birth control movement and its increasing recognition. Again we were clearly caught up in a phase of expanding production. Production was increasing more rapidly than the population of the world. Between 1913 and 1928 the world’s population increased by about 10 per cent., the world’s production of food-stuffs by 16 per cent., and the world’s production of raw materials by no less than 40 per cent. Thirdly, there was every chance that the population of this and other European countries would become stationary and even decline. We were, approaching the ideal postulated by John Stuart Mill—the ideal of a stationary state in which there would be no further increase in population”
The Editor of the Manchester Guardian made the belatedly wise comment that the “more production” campaign engineered after the War by the Government, the employers, and the Labour leaders, was apparently unnecessary.

We would draw particular attention to the fact that while all the economists and newspapers and politicians, including Professor Gregory, were flatly wrong on the question of over-population and the need for more production, the Socialist Party, correctly guided by its Marxian theories, ridiculed the Malthusian nonsense over 20 years ago and showed up at the time the true nature of the post-war campaign to get the workers to work harder.

Just to show that experience does not teach him anything, the Editor of the Guardian complacently dismisses capitalism’s constant over-production in relation to the demands of the market as “growing pains”!
Edgar Hardcastle

The Rise and Fall of the Communist Party. (1931)

From the June 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

From information that has been published from time to time about the number of its members, it is possible to judge of the varying fortunes of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Of late those variations have been consistently downwards.

A Communist Party member, writing to the New York Militant (March 15th, 1931), a “Trotskyite” organ, states that the Communist Party began with 5,000 members. Statements made at the time put the membership higher, but it has not been possible to obtain authoritative information to that effect.

In March, 1921 (see Communist, April 2nd, 1921), 5,000 members of the were reported to have joined the Communist Party en bloc. The Editor of the Communist remarked that this was the virtual end of the I.L.P., which henceforth “can have no share or part in the Revolution.” Within a year or two the Communists were pushing the “United Front” campaign and asking the I.L.P., to join hands with them, not, indeed, to further the “Revolution,” but to secure the election of MacDonald, Thomas, Henderson, and the rest of the Labour Party leaders.

International Press Correspondence (August 12th, 1924), an official Communist publication, gave the 1923 membership as 5,116, and the 1924 membership as 3,000. The Report of the Central Committee to the 1927 Conference of the British Party (see Manchester Guardian, September 29th., 1927) gave the membership for 1925, 1926, and 1927 as 5,000, 10,800 and 7,377. Of the 7,377 members, 2,300 were in South Wales, 1,500 in Scotland, 1,321 in London, 737 on Tyneside, 534 in Manchester, and 420 in Sheffield.

With regard to the 1926 membership, it was stated at the Moscow Congress in July, 1930, by Manuilsky, that the highest point reached in 1926 was 12,000 (see Daily Herald, July 8th, 1930). The figure 12,000 probably relates to a later date in 1926 than the figure 10,800 given in the preceding paragraph.

Pravda (October 25th, 1930), the Russian Communist paper, gave the membership for the middle of 1928 as 9,000, and for February, 1930, as 3,200 (see Observer, October 26th, 1930). It also disposed that, out of a total membership of four millions in the Communist International, only 500,000 were outside Russia.

At the Bermondsey Communist Party Conference in January, 1929, a delegate, Miss Budden, said that the membership was then 3,700 (Daily Telegraph, January 21st, 1929).

Manuilsky (see above) gave the membership in July, 1930, as 3,500 (Daily Herald, July 8th, 1930).

The Tyneside District Committee of the Communist Party questioned the accuracy of the official figures and gave the membership at the middle of 1929 as not more than 2,500, possibly less (see Communist Review, October, 1929).

Finally, the Communist Party member who supplied information to the New York Militant states that the present membership is under 1,000. He states also that the circulation of the Daily Worker has dropped from 10,000 a day to less than 5,000; as compared with a circulation of 70,000 for the former Workers’ Weekly, and a circulation, at its highest point, of 110,000 for the Sunday Worker.

The following table sets out the estimates for the various years. The figure for 1921 is made up by adding the 5,000 I.L.P. recruits to the previous 5,000 members.

Year Membership
1920 5,000
1921 10,000
1923 5,116
1924 3,000
1925 5,0000
1926 10,800
1926 12,000
1927 7,377
1929 3,700
1930 3,200
1930 3,500
1931 1,000

The Communists’ chief criticism of the S.P.G.B. has been that our method, with its insistence upon educating the workers in Socialist principles, is too slow. What do the Communists now think of their own “quick” methods? We wonder if the Russian Government and the Russian workers are satisfied with value received for the money—which must run into hundreds of thousands of pounds—spent here on propaganda, little of it having anything to do with Communism?
Edgar Hardcastle

Answer to a Correspondent: Are there Socialists in Parliament? (1931)

From the June 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard

A correspondent tells us that our reply last month to a question concerning the £150 election deposit gave the impression that there are Socialist M.P.’s already in Parliament. The reply was not ambiguous, and we think that no reader would have been left in any doubt provided that he read the whole of the reply. However, for the benefit of any readers who failed to understand that the reference was to Socialist M.P.’s who will be elected at some future date, we make the following statement. There are not now, and have not been at any time, in the Parliament of this country and at any time M.P.’s elected as Socialists on a Socialist programme. Some M.P.’s have on occasion described themselves as Socialists, but in every instance these individuals, whatever their party, have owed their election to non-Socialist votes deliberately solicited and received on a programme of capitalist reforms. This applies equally to the Labour Party, the I.L.P., the Social Democratic Party, and the Communist Party.

We hope we have now made onr meaning clear to our correspondent.