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Wartime

Editorial: Where Common Wealth Stands

 Sir Richard Acland's Common Wealth is a party of small membership, substantial funds, big ideas and monumental confusion. Formed in July, 1942, it had a membership at the end of that year of 5,000 (1943 Conference Report, page 18), though by April, 1943, it claimed nearly 10,000. Its income from subscriptions and donations in its first nine months was £7,000, of which only about half Was in amounts of under £50. Two individuals. Sir R. Acland and Mr. Alan Good, a wealthy Midlands business man, guaranteed between them £1,000 a month for two years (page 6). For 1943 the Party budgeted for an expenditure of £22,000, and plans to put up candidates in 120 constituencies (News Chronicle, February 16th, 1944). The latest move was to call a meeting of Labour, Liberal, I.L.P.

The Docker's Problems

 Having witnessed the spectacle of millions of their fellows chasing the will o* the wisp of steady employment in the long years before the present war, to-day in 1944 the workers are performing miracles of constant, unremitting toil. Their numbers reduced by the calls of the armed forces, they are feeding the mammoth war machine of Britain and simultaneously providing the civilian population with at least that minimum of creature comforts necessary. Intriguing speculations are rife in the world of the industrial workers, contrasting tho pre-war scene with the present one. One vivid contrast is that which prevails in the great ports.

Are The Workers Better Off During The War?

 As happened during the last war there is much exaggerated talk about the supposed high wages earned by workers in munition factories and the demand is frequently made that the Government should put a stop to all wage increases or even reduce the level of civilian pay to that of men in the armed Forces. The policy of the Government is, however, the more cautious one of deprecating all-round increases of wages while leaving the various arbitration and negotiating bodies free to sanction wage increases in certain cases, "particularly among comparatively low paid grades and categories of workers, or for adjustment owing to changes in the form, method or volume of production." This policy of trying to stabilise the general level of wages is linked with the policy of preventing the prices of a number of essential foodstuffs from rising above the present level.

The Priest and His Piffle

  One, Father Bernard Vaughan, of the Roman Catholic Church in England, has been setting about his congregation with the jaw-bone of an ass. The jaw-bone was the reverend father’s own. The oily priest has been ass enough to attempt to answer the question: Why does not God stop this war? and he had better have kept his jaw-bone engaged upon the comparatively un-asinine occupation of chewing thistles. He couldn’t have made such a mess of thistles, and thistles couldn’t have made such a mess of him, however they may have revolted his belly.

 The thesis of this detestable churchman’s onslaught, delivered at his church in Farln-st, W., on December 12th, is thus given by the “Daily Chronicle” (December 13th):

       Why does not God stop this war? If he were Almighty and All-loving he would have done so long ago.

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