Mr. Wheatley’s Lapse
Strange Story of a Little Child
During 1924 Mr. Wheatley, M.P., was Minister of Health in the Labour Cabinet, described by the “New Leader” as being “to an overwhelming extent an I.L.P. Government” (see “New Leader” of February 8, ’24). In the present Labour Government Mr. Wheatley has been supplanted by the Right Hon. Arthur Greenwood, M.P.
Speaking in the House on July 15, Mr. Wheatley found occasion to criticise his successor and, in passing, to pat himself on the back for his Housing Act of 1924. He said :—
The one piece of Socialistic legislation that has been placed on the Statute Book is the Act of 1924. Members opposite have said that, as far as they can manage it, it will be a long time before there is an increase in the family. We must, therefore, go on with this one little Socialist child while they control the House of Commons. (Hansard, 15 July, 1929.)
Those who know of Mr. Wheatley’s political associations and activities, or have seen his Act, will hardly need to be told that the description of the child is grossly inaccurate.
Young Wheatley’s capitalist parentage stands out in every feature, and the birth certificate bearing the father’s signature and dated June, 1924, certifies to this effect. It is, moreover, worded quite emphatically, because the father had had to repudiate certain malicious assertions on the point made by a man called Jix.
Speaking in the House on June 3, ’24 (see Hansard of that date) Mr. Wheatley said :—
I notice that the right hon. Member for Twickenham, in criticising my proposals the other day, said, “This is real Socialism! ” I can compliment my right hon. Friend on many things, but I cannot say that he is good judge of Socialism . . . The proposals which I am submitting are real capitalism—an attempt to patch up, in the interests of humanity, a capitalist ordered society.
“Why, then,” the reader may well ask, “does Mr. Wheatley so malign his own five-year-old son?” The truth is, perhaps, that the father, like his friend Jix, is not a good judge of Socialism and cannot be held fully responsible. Certainly, the real fault lies with the mother, a Labour person, calling herself I.L.P., who has time and time again been found misrepresenting herself as a Socialist party. This leads many uninformed persons to believe that the progeny of the Labour Party which the I.L.P. perambulates about are Socialist children, whereas in fact they are only the same little brats as before, dressed up in new clothes. I.L.P. is, however, fairly smart, and it is not often that she allows herself to be caught in the very act of kidnapping capitalist children like this and attempting to pass them off merely by dressing them up differently. She and her 200 members in Parliament are engaged in the business of administering capitalism. Mr. Wheatley, while still standing in some rather uneasy relationship with the Labour firm, has lost his previous lucrative position as producer of capitalist Housing Acts, and in his desire for revenge tries to embarrass his former employers and their new Minister of Health by disseminating these untrue stories about his own favourite son. It can therefore be stated quite definitely that this child of Wheatley and the I.L.P. was born and remains a capitalist child. It has not in the meantime suffered a strange transformation as his callous parent pretends.
All of which goes to show the value of birth certificates when parents are so forgetful or dishonest.