Correspondence: I.L.P. compacts in Manchester

To the Editor

Comrade,—In the last issue of THE SOCIALIST STANDARD Mr. Swan again charges me with “a deliberate lie” for stating that the evidence of a compromise appeared in the Clarion, and asserts that I have read into the Clarion letters, etc. “something they do not contain.”

Let your readers note the italicised passages of J. Nuttall’s letter and the amendment of Messrs. Hunt (Bradford) and Jones (Ardwick) to the resolution moved and seconded by Councillors Fox and Sutton, and then consider in what way the prospects of Messrs. Kelley and Clynes would have suffered by the introduction of a third Labour candidate in Manchester, unless by the Liberals opposing Kelley and Clynes.

Mr. Swan states that “certain verbal or written communications” can only form the basis of a compact, and he denies emphatically that any such communications passed between the L.R.C. and the Liberal Party. This denial proves nothing, especially as he does not seem sure as to the veracity of his denial, ”if I am speaking the truth” writes Mr. Swan; “if” implies a doubt, or want of knowledge of the subject dealt with. As “verbal communications” may form the basis of a compact it would be a waste of time to trouble the local L.R.C.

The charge of using statements from the Liberal and Tory press without verifying them fails, as every reference in my first letter, with one exception—that from the Courier—was from the Clarion. Is Mr. Swan of opinion that the Clarion is a capitalistic newspaper ?

I submitted the Courier extract in order that a refutation of the charge therein contained might be forwarded to the Courier office. Arising from that refutation we should see what information the Courier had at its disposal, and what facts formed the basis for the statement. The place to deny statements is through the columns of the journal printing them. That Mr. Swan has taken this course in the case of the statements in the S.S. I admit—will he do so with reference to the Courier extract ?

If it be “stupid pugnacity” to bring forward what one considers evidence in proof of a statement, then I plead guilty.

I also desire to see the truth prevail, and on evidence being produced which disproves my statementsts will apologise through these columns.

The S.P.G.B. deem the L.R.C. one of the “mutual foes” to Socialism which Mr. Swan refers to, and that is why the L.R.C. are opposed and exposed.

The Daily News, Jan. 11th, 1906, stated—

“The Labour vote is an important factor in most of the divisions, and particularly in those in which Mr. Balfour, Sir James Fergusson, Mr. Galloway, and Mr. Schwann are candidates. If Mr. Horridge gets a large proportion of this vote Mr. Balfour’s political association with Manchester will cease.
“At the recent municipal elections the Labour Party with the Liberal aid, carried all before them.
“In East Manchester Mr. Horridge has made great progress, and though the Socialists will not make any public recommendation, I have it on the authority of a well-known member of the I.L.P. that the Liberal candidate will get their support.
The official Liberals intend to issue a manifesto urging the members of the Party to support the two Labour candidates, … if this advice is generally adopted, and the Labour men in the other four divisions vote for the Free Trade candidates, there should be a clean sweep of Toryism on Saturday.”

The Manchester Guardian, Jan. 12th, 1906, informs us that the Liberals advised their supporters to vote for Kelley and Clynes. The L.R.C. constitution, which candidates running under its auspices sign, contains the following words: (candidates are) “To abstain strictly from identifying themselves with or promoting the interests of any section of the Liberal or Conservative parties.” Evidently the interests of the Liberals were promoted by only two L.R.C. candidates standing in Manchester, otherwise they would not have instructed their adherents to vote “Labour.”

Having been elected by Liberal votes one understands why Kelley and Clynes are useless as Socialists in the House of Commons. They cannot go beyond their electorate and are therefore doing Liberal work whether they are paid for it or not. I cannot understand Mr. Swan’s dislike to having his party alluded to as compromising with Liberals, as I and others have heard him say “It does not matter how they (L.R.C. men) get to Parliament, as long as they get there.”

The only point of difference between Comrade Evans and myself is whether the arrangement at the election was “a compact” or a “tacit understanding.”
—Yours fraternally,

P.S. The Daily News (Jan. 15, 1906.) also stated that “Mr. Clynes (Lab.) said ‘The victory is due to a combination of forces, which, by their united power, had given a great blow to Chamberlainism, and paved the way in the coming Parliament for dealing with labour and social legislation of which the people were so much in need.’ “

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