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Alex Anderson

Notes on Party History: The Trade Union Question

 The Trade Union question was a very thorny one in the early years of the Party. Some of those who founded the Party had a leaning towards industrial unionism, whilst others were inclined to regard the trade unions as only another facet of Capitalism. These conflicting views were reflected in disagreements over policy that were brought to a head in 1906 when a number of meetings were arranged to discuss the Party’s attitude to Trade Unionism..

 Before reaching this discussion we will relate some of the events that led up to it.

Why Can't We All Get Together

 Ever since workers' political organisations were first formed the idea of uniting them has occupied the minds of many members. Frequent attempts have been made among political bodies in this country, but always the S.P.G.B. has stood aside on the ground that effective unity can only be on the basis of agreement on fundamental principles, that is to say agreement about the aim and about the methods. Where there is such agreement, as between the S.P.G.B. and the parties with the same aims and methods, in U.S.A., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, close and harmonious co-operation presents no difficulty. It is obvious, easy and useful.

 The following item about the Easter Conference of the I.L.P. was published in the Manchester Evening News (2/4/47):—

    I.L.P. CONSIDERS ANARCHIST LINK

Party News: Tottenham Branch report

 Like our comrades of West Ham reported in last month's Socialist Standard, we are neither dead nor asleep. We have held our propaganda meetings every Sunday morning and evening all through the Winter at West Green Corner, with very gratifying results. Our Comrade Anderson upholding the position of the Party against all comers, from the defenders of Total Abstinence to Universal Perpetualism, as well as the other usual "political" opponents, all of whom have alike had to depart, defeated.

 The Branch membership is growing and the sale of The Socialist Standard is steadily increasing, over 100 copies having now been sold at one meeting.

Party News: Party Pars


The S.P.G.B. at all points of the compass are meeting the enemy or making arrangements to do so. The Anti-Socialist Union have agreed at four different places to meet us in debate. Early in March a discussion will take place between rep representatives of the two organisations at Paddington. At Tottenham a Mr Farraday  is to meet Anderson as soon as arrangements for hall accomodation have been settled. Islington and Battersea have also negotiations pending.

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