1900s >> 1908 >> no-44-april-1908

A Resolution on Unity and the Socialist Answer

Tooting Branch.
16/2/08.

 

Dear Comrade,

 

This branch of the S.D.P. considers that the time is ripe for concerted action on the part of all Socialist bodies in the Borough of Wandsworth in the matter of elections and propaganda. I have therefore been instructed to ask you to send two delegates to a meeting to be held at above address on Monday, Feb. 24th at 8, to consider the advisability of forming a Socialist Council on the lines of Battersea and elsewhere. Hoping you may be able to do this.—Yours fraternally,

 

J. Butchart.

 

 

Tooting Branch S.P.G.B. 
23/2/1908.

 

Dear Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 16th inst. re concerted action on the part of ourselves and other organisations in the district and also asking us to send two delegates to a meeting called to consider the advisability of forming a local Socialist Council.

 

At the meeting of the Tooting Branch of the S.P.G.B. held on the 19th inst your letter was considered and I was instructed to reply as follows:—

 

  The Declaration of Principles adopted by the Socialist Party of Great Britain at its formation in 1904 (a copy of which is enclosed) definitely lays it down that we are in hostility to all other political parties, and therefore the Tooting Branch of the S.P.G.B. believing those principles to hold as good to-day as on the first day of their adoption must decline to violate those principles by sending delegates as requested.

 

  That these principles are amply justified from a Socialist point of view is easily seen without going further afield for evidence than the Borough of Wandsworth. On the 1st November, 1906, there was an election of Borough Councillors for the Tooting Ward. There ran three candidates on a Socialist platform with Socialism as their object and with Socialism as their election programme. There also ran three Labour candidates on whose election programme no word about Socialism appeared, but instead were more than 34 items, the carrying out of the whole of which would have left the workers where they are—in wage slavery. Both the S.D.P. (then S.D.F.) and the I.L.P. publicly supported the “in wage slavery” programme and therefore necessarily opposed the Socialist programme, thereby showing the difference in the object of the parties named and justifying the hostile attitude of the S.P.G.B. towards them. Obviously common ground for election and propaganda purposes does not exist.—Yours sincerely,

Paul Dumenil

 

Branch Secretary.