The Anti-Socialist Union runs away again
Years before the war the Anti-Socialist Union decided that it would not debate with the Socialist Party, although it was willing enough to meet the numerous bodies which misrepresented the Socialist case, because they were afraid to accept the full implications of Socialism. The excuse of the A.S.U. was that we had printed a scurrilous article on the occasion of the coronation of George V. They declared that such vile matter ought never to have seen the light of day and they would not countenance it even to the extent of opposing us in debate. Yet the declared object of the A.S.U. was precisely this work of opposing Socialist propaganda ! The Anti-Socialist Union promptly demonstrated its sincerity by circulating this same scurrilous article among potential givers of donations, in order to scare them into paying up. We pointed out then, that the A.S.U. was a fraud. It obtained money under false pretences, since it was unwilling to carry out its nominal purpose of fighting Socialism. It has now changed its name to “The Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist Union,” but it has not grown either more honest or more courageous.
On March 28th, a Mr. Norman, speaking on Tower Hill, expressed to one of our members his willingness to debate, and invited us to approach the Union to make the necessary arrangements. Their reply and our subsequent letter are printed on facing page. No further comment is needed.
The Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist Union,
58 and 60, Victoria Street,
April 5th, 1927.
In reply to your letter of the 1st inst., I have to say that it will be impossible for us to arrange for Mr. Norman to take part in a debate with you, owing to the very large number of meetings which have been arranged for him in different parts of the country.
I may say, however, that Mr. Norman has debated on many occasions, during the past winter, with prominent Socialists, under the auspices of this organization.
The Director, Public Speaking Class.
Socialist Party of Great Britain.
8th April, 1927.
The Director of Public Speaking Classes,
The Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist Union, 58, Victoria Street, S.W.I.
I learn with surprise that Mr. Norman will not be able to debate with the Socialist Party. It would seem reasonable to suppose that Mr. Norman was aware of the large number of meetings he is engaged to address at the time of accepting the offer to debate with us; why then did he accept it ?
The fact that Mr. Norman has already debated with representatives of other Parties hardly seems to have any bearing on his expressed willingness and your refusal to debate with a representative of the Socialist Party.
Acting General Secretary.
(Socialist Standard, May 1927)