1930s >> 1939 >> no-423-november-1939

Notes by the Way

The Communist Yes—No—Yes Policy on Colonial Peoples
The following pronouncements by Communists need no comment. Made at different dates, they reflect the Communist double-somersault on war.

Mr. T. A. Jackson, Communist writer and speaker, in 1937 : —

“I have neither love nor liking for that evil thing—the British Empire. But rather than see a ‘ single African, Asiatic, American or Polynesian pass under the control of Fascism (whither Hitlerite, Mussolinite, or of any other brand), I would fight in the same way, and urge others to fight to preserve the British Empire. . . .—(Plebs, February, 1937.)

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Communist Party Central Committee, September 2nd, 1939.

The Manifesto which the Central Committee issued on September 2nd, 1939, giving reasons why they supported the war, contained, as one of the Communist war aims : —

“Extension of full democratic rights to the Colonial peoples.”

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Mr. Harry Pollitt, in “How to Win the War” (September 16th, 1939).

“When Abyssinia was attacked by Italian Fascism some people in Britain said it was not our business to do anything about it; Abyssinia was an autocratic and feudal state, and it made no difference to the Abyssinian people whether they were ruled by their own monarch or by the Italian imperialists. The Communist Party did not accept this standpoint.”

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The Daily Worker, October 7th, 1939 (after the Communists had stopped supporting the war) : —

“And now Hitler repeats his demand for colonies. Shall British workers fight to decide whether the colonial people are to be oppressed by the imperialists of London or of Berlin ? The only fight we will wage is for the freedom of the colonies from all imperialistic masters, for democracy in the colonies, and the right of self-determination.”

War-Time Powers of the Government

The following Editorial was published by the Sunday Express (October 22nd, 1939): —

“Under Section 18B of the Order in Council amending the Defence Regulations, a Secretary of State can make an order—
a) Prohibiting or restricting the possession or use by any person of any specified articles;
b) Imposing on any individual such restrictions as may be specified in respect of his employment or business, in respect of his association or communication with other persons, and in respect of his activities in relation to the dissemination of news or the propagation of opinions;
(c) Directing that he be detained.
“So long as such an order is active against any individual he may—according to the regulations—be detained in such a place and under such conditions as the Secretary of State may determine and shall while so detained be deemed to be in legal custody.
“Such an order obviously destroys at the will of a Secretary of State the Habeas Corpus Act, which is the basis of the liberty and freedom of the citizen.
“In past wars there have been restrictions on liberty, but nothing so sweeping and so potentially dangerous as this.
“M.P.s ought to demand some limitation of these powers before it is too late. They might also ask whether any persons have already been detained in such circumstances—and why.”

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The Times, October 27th, 1939, published further details :—

Another regulation deals with the causing of disaffection, and provides that no person shall “endeavour to cause disaffection among any persons engaged (whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) in his Majesty’s service.” A regulation on the subject of “propaganda” begins by laying it down that no person shall “endeavour, whether orally or otherwise, to influence public opinion (whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) in a manner likely to be prejudicial to the defence of the realm or the efficient prosecution of the war.” The expression “public opinion” is denned as “including the opinion of any section of the public.”
This regulation also includes the following sections: —
(2) The Secretary of State may make provision by order for preventing or restricting the publication in the United Kingdom of matters as to which he is satisfied that the publication, or, as the case may be, the unrestricted publication, thereof would or might be prejudicial to the defence of the realm or the efficient prosecution of war . . . .

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Yes, But Which Attitude ?

From the Daily Worker (October 16th. 1939):-

“The Communist Party’s attitude towards the war is attracting a flow of new members to the Party.”

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The Strange Case of “Professor Mamlock”

“Professor Mamlock” is a powerful anti-Nazi film produced in Russia, and shown to 30 million Russians since it was made in 1937. It was banned by the British Censor before the war, but in the first week of the war the Censor reversed his decision and it is now being shown in London.

In the meantime, Russia had signed her Pact with Nazi Germany, and according to the Daily Herald (October 7th, 1939) the film has now been banned in Russia !

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The Man Who Did Not Know There Was a War On

The newspapers have been satirical about the German prisoners taken by the French, who said they did not know they were at war. They were told by the German authorities that they were on manoeuvres, and the explosions they heard were blasting and target practice. A strange but true story.

We know another equally strange. We know of millions of workers who have been suffering from capitalism all their lives, and yet, so powerful are the uses of advertisement, they are convinced that capitalism does not exist, and that poverty is an act of nature.

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Suppose There is a Military Revolt Against Hitler, What Then ?

Mr. Duff Cooper, former First Lord of the Admiralty, recently gave an interview in New York in which he predicted that Hitler’s dealings with Russia would finally produce a revolution in Germany (Daily Telegraph, October 23rd, 1939). According to the Telegraph’s correspondent, he said that “it was likely that the revolution, although originating in the army, would produce a new monarchy rather than a military dictatorship.”

All of which looks very much like re-creating in Germany a military-bureaucratic Government like the Kaiser’s Government, against which the war of 1914 was said to be waged.

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Children, We Have Need of You

“Germany is returning to the employment of child labour on farms, according to an agricultural expert, speaking on the German radio.
“On my own farm,” he said, “I employ children whose average age is 12.”—(Daily Telegraph, October 30th, 1939.)

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“The Isle of Ely Education Committee have decided that, owing to the serious scarcity of labour, they will raise no objection to boys and girls of 12 years of age and over being absent from elementary schools in the Isle of Ely at any time from September 27th to November 17th, to assist in agricultural work. “—(Times, September 28th, 1939.)

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Truth, The First Casualty in War

From an article on Nurse Cavell, in the Evening Standard (October 10th, 1939): — “Her terrible inability to tell a lie.”

H.

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