May I be permitted, in reference to the query of “Ignoramus” in your last issue, to offer the following remarks on this subject.

When we consider the large number of examples of what the man in the street terms “Municipal Socialism,” it is well that we should explain our position on the subject and thus prevent further confusion—at least, amongst our readers. The action of municipalities in undertaking certain industries is not so much from a desire on their part to benefit the workers in those industries as it is from a wish to obtain cheaper or better services than would be supplied by the ordinary capitalist. It is only when things reach a point where the middle-class in a locality think they are not having their requirements met in a sufficiently economical manner that we hear the cry for municipalism—miscalled municipal-Socialism.

As a rule the result is that these municipal enterprises are—from a capitalist point of view—fairly successful. The L.C.C. tramcars, the Nottingham municipal enterprises, and others—too numerous to specify—have made large profits which have been used in relief of the rates, This is a direct gain to the middle-class ratepayers. Take another side of the question. Take the municipal electric lighting or gas supply. In a town containing a large number of large shops and factories a large quantity of gas or electric light is consumed. It can readily be seen that, in such a case, a small reduction in price per unit or thousand feet will make quite a difference to the quarterly bill of a large consumer, whereas to the worker, who has at most but a few jets or lamps, the difference is so trifling as to be hardly appreciable. Municipalism even if undertaken with the intention to benefit the worker could do but little. Its sphere is so limited and the local bodies are always under the control of the central governing authority which strictly limits its operations. Municipalism can only be tolerated by Socialists when viewed as examples of collective ownership. It is one of the technical means which class-conscious workers can, when in control, use in a limited manner to benefit themselves. While there are profits workers are being robbed of the results of their labour. This operates just the same whether caused by individual or collective capitalists. The operation of trusts on the one hand and municipalism on the other will cause all industries to become monopolies. The monopolies will, in their turn, be nationalised when it is to the interests of the capitalist-class to protect themselves from the encroachments of the financial magnates. Thus so-called State Socialism will be brought into being. A superb State and Municipal organised robbery of the workers. It is our duty to teach the workers what production for profit and class-ownership really mean—to point out the Social Revolution that is necessary and that The Socialist Party of Great Britain is the working-class party of that Revolution.—E.J.B.A.


In accordance with the invitation of the International Socialist Bureau we publish the following correspondence. Any moneys received in response thereto will be at once forwarded to the Bureau. Remittances should be sent to C. Lehane, General Secretary, The Socialist Party of Great Britain, 107, Charlotte St., London, W.


International Socialist Bureau,
Maison du Peuple, Brussels.
12.2.05. Dear Citizen,
We have just received a letter from Citizen Roubanovitch, and we hasten to transmit to you the enclosed copy.
We place ourselves entirely at your disposal for the distribution of the sums collected.
We would ask you to bring the matter under the notice of the Socialist press of your country in which subscription lists have not yet been opened, in order that they may be enabled to answer the appeal of our Russian comrades fighting for the common cause of the International proletariat.
Fraternal greetings, (signed)
Cam. Huysmans,

To the Secretary,
The Socialist Party of Great Britain.


50, rue Lhomond, Paris (5).
Dear Comrades,
Subscriptions are being collected in all countries by the Socialist press on behalf of the Russian Socialists to aid the revolutionary movement or render assistance to the strikers and their families.
I have just been notified by the Central Committee of the Russian Revolutionary Socialist Party, of which I am the delegate to the International Socialist Bureau, that at the present time funds are very urgently required.
I therefore ask you to kindly take the initiative in appealing to the various Socialist Parties and newspapers, requesting them to remit the amounts collected to the International Socialist Bureau, which will distribute the funds between the Russian and Polish Parties in accordance with an arrangement which can easily be come to by the common consent of the Russian and Polish delegates.
Very fraternally yours,
E. Roubanovitch.


Peckham Branch.
Feb. 14, 1905.
To the Editorial Committee,
Dear Comrades,—My comrades in Peckham request me to convey to you their warm appreciation and approval of the general tone and get-up of the socialist standard, and trust that the same may continue.
Yours in the Cause,
WALTER WREN, Secretary.


Answers to Correspondents

E.J.B.A. (Fulham).—Kindly note that articles intended for publication should be written on only one side of the paper.
W.W. (Pembroke Dock).—Thanks for good wishes.
F.C.H. (Rochester).—The final paragraph in the Declaration of Principles of The Socialist Party of Great Britain proceeds from the position laid down in the previous paragraphs. To explain the final clause in the Declaration would involve going over the ground already covered in the first seven articles thereof. If you will carefully study the document in its entirety you will find your difficulties vanish. If not, we will try and make any point clear. But study the Declaration.
J.G. (Oxford).—Thanks. Any information you may require will be gladly supplied.

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