Mr. Burgin is the Minister of Supply. Speaking at a luncheon given by the Institution of Production Engineers on November 17th (The Times, November 18th), he told an admiring audience of the vast sums of money being spent on the war; how “in the 75th day of the war £160 millions had been expended by his Department alone. In the week ended November 7th the amount in sterling of new orders was over £20 millions.”
So pleasing was this news that one of Beaverbrook’s papers hailed Mr. Burgin as one of the real discoveries of the war. Sir John Simon says that the war is already costing the Government over £6 millions a day.
On Friday, November 10th, the Director-General of Munitions Production in Mr. Burgin’s Ministry of Supply, Vice-Admiral Sir Harold Brown, spoke enthusiastically about the way the workers are working: —
We are all grateful for the way in which employers and labour have joined in. I do not recall a single case as regards labour where the men have not given of their utmost.
The behaviour of the men in the shops and the way they have worked has been simply splendid. They have not only given of their utmost, but in a most astonishing way they have tackled jobs they had never done before.
lt is amazing to see how those who may have £3,000 or £4,000 worth of work under their responsibility at a lathe, but who are not paid large amounts, accept responsibility quite cheerfully and successfully. —Daily Telegraph November 11th.
It is often stated that the Soviet Union is not a democracy in the British sense because very few elections to the Supreme Soviet are contested, so the electors have no-choice between candidates.
“But with the end of the class struggle it is natural that electoral contests should also become unusual.”
German agents in Portugal have been instructed to say that Nazism is only another name for a better form of Marxism; both meet in the triumphant cause of anti-capitalism. The aim here is to disrupt the Republic and to confuse popular opinion.
From Spain comes evidence (confirmed from German sources) that the Germans have established contact with the anti-Francoists and Communists still in Spain, and are actually supporting them financially.
They want to put pressure on General Franco, and they hope that by creating anxieties within Spain they will at any rate prevent Spanish exports from being sent to Great Britain and to France.
This is cynical, but no more so than the German dispatch of arms secretly to the Spanish Republicans over a year ago . . .
“My experience as a prisoner in one of the concentration camps agrees with the White Paper; but I feel obliged to raise my voice in favour of a category of camp prisoners repeatedly mentioned in the reports. These are the so-called “professional .criminals.” Maybe they were employed as “overseers” by the camp commander and were intended to act as tools of cruelty and for the disparagement of the non-Aryan prisoners. But in my personal experiences they did not behave like that.
They did not try “to curry favour with the S.S. by maltreating us” (page 35-6), but they declared themselves from the first day not to be our superiors but our comrades. They had to fulfil the commands given by their superiors, the brutal and cruel S.S. men, but when they could avoid it and be helpful to us they did.
If ever I had a prejudice against the sentenced criminal I lost it in the camp. Most of the “professional criminals” were never inclined to the sadistic brutality of the S.S. I dare to say that without the buffer formed by our criminals life in the camp would have been far worse than it was.”
- Restitution to victims of aggression, but no revenge; peace by agreement of all nations, not by dictation of a few.
- Recognition of the right of all nations to live and to develop their own civilisation.
- Complete abandonment of aggression; outlawry of war; and acceptance of the rule of law.
- Protection of minority rights by international authority.
- Europe must federate or perish.
- No imperialism; equal access for all nations to markets and raw materials.
Mr. Attlee’s pronouncement yesterday on Labour’s peace aims was clear and decided. It matches well, though it was the speech of the Leader of the Opposition, with the declaration of the Foreign Secretary the day before. In no essential particular is there any divergence of opinion, and once again it is proclaimed to all the world that this country is of one mind and purpose in choosing the terrible resort to war rather than submit to the repetition of faith-breaking aggression which makes life intolerable for nations of free and civilised instincts.
It should be given the task of preparing international minimum standards of wages, hours and industrial conditions, in order that by increased production, by a more just distribution and by the wealth released from expenditure upon arms, the standard of living of the workers shall everywhere be raised.
We are told that this is a war in defence of peace against aggression and that therefore all defenders of peace and collective security should support it. There never was a bigger lie.—P. 8.
This war is a fight between imperialist powers over profits, colonies, and world domination.—P. 4.
This war is not a war for democracy against Fascism. It is not a war for the liberties of small nations.—P.. 4.
The Communist Party supports the war, believing it to be a just war which should be supported by the whole working-class and all friends of democracy in Britain.—P. 3.
These fundamental principles of liberty, peace, and Socialism now at stake have determined the decision of the Communist Party. To stand aside from this conflict, to contribute only revolutionary- sounding phrases while the Fascist beasts ride roughshod over Europe, would be a betrayal of everything our forbears have fought to achieve in the course of long years of struggle against capitalism.—P. 4.
Not only is every European people viewing the fate of the Polish people with sympathy. It is also viewing it with apprehension. Where will the next blow fall? Who will be the next victim?
That is why it is impossible for the British and French people to even contemplate a surrender to Nazi aggression. The war to halt Fascist aggression must go on with redoubled energy, and the British people will insist on a people’s Government capable of prosecuting that war.
It would be wrong to see the situation to-day, therefore, as a mere repetition of 1914-1918. In the last war, two alliances of great Powers, equally anxious to seize each other’s territory, equally aggressive, confronted each other.
To-day there is only one alliance of aggressors— Germany, Italy, and Japan—which is, however, being tolerated and encouraged by the pro-Fascist big business elements in other countries.