1930s >> 1935 >> no-368-april-1935

Politics and Party Funds

The possession of huge funds will not alone create a movement nor will lack of funds destroy one, but money can go a long way towards achieving speedy success where conditions are otherwise ripe. Nothing shows so clearly as the inflow of funds the gulf between the Socialist movement and its many rivals, from Labour to Conservative. The S.P.G.B. is always hampered by lack of resources, and even its present limited expenditure is only met with difficulty from the small donations of workers who cannot afford more. Not so with the other parties. There is going on at the moment a revolt led by Churchill against Baldwin’s leadership of the Conservative Party. At once it is announced in the News Chronicle that “associates of a well-known millionaire are willing to spend £200,000 in forcing both the resignation of the Prime Minister and the withdrawal of the India Bill.” (News Chronicle, March 4th.) Parallel with this is the Government’s semi-official propaganda organisation managed by the Postmaster-General, Sir Kingsley Wood. When this was first announced some months ago it was widely reported that wealthy business men had supplied the necessary campaign funds.


Mr. Randolph Churchill, a member of his father’s rebel Conservative group, stated on February 24th that “he was already assured of powerful financial backing.” (Evening Standard, March 4th.) Rumour has it that Lady Houston is one of the backers, and Lord Rothermere another.


Everyone knows that Sir Oswald Mosley’s political adventures have not been financed on the subscriptions of his misguided or place-hunting followers. When he formed the New Party tens of thousands of pounds must have been spent on propaganda by poster display and on financing his short-lived journal. Mr. Tom Johnston, Lord Privy Seal in the Labour Government, said that from £30,000 to £40,000 had been spent on the poster display alone. Mosley did not offer to disclose the source of his funds, and of course neither he nor his Fascist organisation will do so now, but he promptly hit back at Mr. Johnston by pointing out that the Labour Party was in the habit of sending out a special appeal to rich men for donations to its secret fund. (Manchester Guardian, April 28th, 1931.)


The way in which wealthy men subscribed to the Liberal and Tory funds is, of course, notorious, and Hitler and the other new political Messiahs who promised a clean sweep of old-gang methods have not shown any intention of getting rid of the method of collecting big funds from, big business.