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The Communist Manifesto and the Last 100 Years

Preface (1948)

This year being the centenary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto we are reprinting the latter, together with Engels’s preface to the authorised English translation. Prefixed to these is an introduction we have prepared covering the working-class movement over the past hundred years. Limitations of space have compelled us to be brief; we have had to omit reference to working-class development in Canada, India, China, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere, as well as to make only fleeting references to many important phases of the movement; but we have endeavoured to give a clear and lucid picture of those developments that have had a deciding influence upon the main course of the working-class movement since 1848.


The Racial Problem: A Socialist Analysis


Socialism is an international question that concerns workers of all countries. One of the hindrances to its acceptance is race-prejudice which sets groups against each other on grounds of colour, religion, and so forth. Before the workers can really understand their fundamental unity they must get rid of this false and harmful race-prejudice.

In the pages that follow the reader will find a statement of the attitude of the Socialist Party of Great Britain to the problem. To treat it fully would require a volume, not a pamphlet; but to draw out and explain the essentials of race-prejudice is, we consider, sufficient for our present purpose.


Is Labour Government the Way to Socialism?


The end of the second world war saw the election of a Labour Government in Great Britain. There have been other Labour Governments, in 1924 and 1929-31, but this time the Labour Government was returned with an overwhelming majority of M. P.’s in the House of Commons. On the earlier occasions the Labour M. P.’s were in a minority and the Labour Government was consequently dependent for its continued tenure of office on the support of the Liberal Party. For this reason supporters of the Labour Government pleaded that Labour Party policy had not had a fair trial; it had always to be modified to please the Liberals. Consequently when things went wrong, the failure of the Labour Governments was excused on the ground that they were “in office but not in power.”


Nationalisation or Socialism? (1945)


One of the issues raised at the General Election in July, 1945, and one that will be fought out in Parliament and at future elections, is the issue of State control over industry. Although it is not a new issue, various factors, including the growth of monopolies in many industries and the experience of extensive Governmental control during the war, have combined to give it increasing prominence. Above all is the advent to power of the Labour Party. The Labour Government is nationalising the Bank of England, the mines and railways (as well as other industries later on), and is actively pursuing a policy of intervening in industries, such as textiles, that are said to be in need of reorganisation if they are to be able to compete effectively with more modern and better equipped competitors abroad.


Family Allowances: A Socialist Analysis

This pamphlet should be read by everyone interested in post-war changes. It shows why family allowances will lower the workers’ standards of living instead of raising them. (1943)

Sir John Anderson (Lord President of the Council) announced in the House of Commons on February 16th, 1943, that the Government had accepted the principle of State paid non-contributory children’s allowances. This announcement arose from the consideration of the comprehensive plan for a reform of the social services presented in the Report of Sir William Beveridge, who has been a firm supporter of Family Allowances for a number of years. The Government’s statement follows fairly closely on the decision of the Trades Union Congress to accept a recommendation of their General Council along the same lines, although it should be observed that a similar recommendation was rejected by the Trades Union Congress at Nottingham 1930.


Beveridge Re-Organises Poverty

This pamphlet shows that the Beveridge Plan (*) will not end the poverty of the working-class. It is not a “new world” of hope but a redistribution of misery. (1943)

* All references, except where otherwise stated, are to “Social Insurance and Allied Services,” Report by Sir William Beveridge. H. M. Stationary Office. Price 2s.






THE first edition of this pamphlet, which amounted to 20,000 copies, was sold out some time ago. The delay in bringing out the second edition has been due to that bugbear of working-class organisations— lack of funds. Perhaps those who are interested in seeing more pamphlets produced by us and who are able to spare a little towards this end, will bear that fact in mind. The more funds we have the more literature we will produce.

In bringing out this second edition we have brought some of the illustrations up to date and deleted others that are too old to be interesting and illuminating. We have also revised the text in places where we thought greater clearness of presentation would be achieved by so doing.

Our aim has been to give our fellow-workers as clear and concise a picture of their present position in society as is possible in a pamphlet of this size. How far we have succeeded is for the reader to judge.


Should Socialists Support Federal Union?

Report of a Debate Between Federal Union (Mrs. Barbara Wootton) and The Socialist Party of Great Britain (Mr. E. Hardy)

Chairman Mr. R.G.W MacKay

Debate held at Conway Hall, London: May 6th, 1940

THE CHAIRMAN, in opening the proceedings, said the debate had been arranged jointly by the organisation known as Federal Union and by the Socialist Party of Great Britain. Mrs. Barbara Wootton would answer the question, “Should Socialists support Federal Union?” in the affirmative, and Mr. Hardy would answer it in the negative.

Mrs. Wootton would first speak for thirty minutes and then Mr. Hardy would speak for thirty minutes, after which they would speak in the same order for twenty minutes and then for ten minutes. There would be no speeches or questions from members of the audience.


The Socialist and Conscription

In spite of repeated promises to the contrary, conscription is to become the law of this country during peace time. It is the first occasion that such a drastic denial of democracy will have been brought into operation here when war was not in progress. Already we are warned of the kind of scenes we shall witness—the prosecution of unwilling conscripts, the charges of shirking and the encouragement of tale-bearing by those who suspect their friends and neighbours of avoiding conscription. A Staff Reporter of the Daily Express writes:

“Those who are personally summoned and fail to answer will probably be treated as deserters. As in the great war, the authorities are relying on ‘the next-door neighbour with a son in the Army’ to denounce a shirker” (Daily Express, 28th April, 1939).

It is worthy of note that conscription has promptly received the support of a leader of the Church, the Bishop of St. Albans.


The Socialist Party exposes Mr Chamberlain and his Labour Critics (1938)

So the crisis is over. Representatives of the four major European Powers sat round the table and concluded arrangements that carve up Czechoslovakia, freeze Russia out of Europe, and, we are fervently assured, lay the basis of “peace in our time”. Lest there should be any doubt about this peaceful future, a great drive to develop armaments is proposed, and plans are being made to ensure that everybody will have a niche in defensive and offensive operations. The temporary popularity of Chamberlain, the general relief at the banishing of immediate war danger, and the united support worked up on behalf of the Czechs, are being utilised to push forward the increased armament campaign.


War and the Working Class

The Socialist Party States the Case


The Socialist Party of Great Britain, like a voice crying in the wilderness, has always maintained that capitalism and war are inseparable.


The Socialist Party - Its Principles and Policy 1934

S.P.G.B. Library No.12

The Socialist Party - Its Principles and Policy 1934



Why Capitalism Will Not Collapse


We are in the midst of a crisis that is world-wide. Every country feels its ravages. Millions and millions of workers are unemployed and in acute poverty. Everywhere there is discontent and a feeling of insecurity, and the prestige of even the strongest of governments has been shaken. All sorts of emergency measures have been hastily adopted, but the depression still continues. Working men and women who normally ignore such questions, are now asking why the crisis has occurred, what will be its outcome, and whether it could have been avoided. In some minds there is a fear, and in others a hope, that the industrial crisis may bring the present system of society down in ruins, and make way for another.


Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Great Britain (6th edition, 1920)

Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Great Britain (6th edition, 1920)



Since we issued the last edition of our Manifesto the world has been convulsed with a stupendous war.

Like a consuming fire the militarist fever has swept through countries and continents. Passions which has laid dormant for years broke into fierce activity at the first blast of the war trumpet, and foul jingo sentiment surged over almost every European country at the first tap of the drum.


Should the Working Class support the Liberal Party?

S.P.G.B. LIBRARY, No. 7.

The Socialist Party versus The Liberal Party

Being a Report of a Debate Between J. FITZGERALD,

Representing the Socialist Party of Great Britain

And H. RICHARDSON, M.P. (Peckham)


AT THE Liberal Club, Elm Grove, Rye Lane, Peckham, S.E., on June 1st 1911

SUBJECT - “Should the Working Class support the Liberal Party?”



Should the Working Class support the Liberal Party?



THE CHAIRMAN (Mr. J. E. Dobson)

Ladies and Gentlemen.