1940s >> 1943 >> no-468-august-1943

Work – the Only Hope

The January, 1943, issue of Time (New York) divulges the contents of a hitherto secret Memorandum prepared by the Allied Governor of Tunisia, General Giraud, presented last Spring to Marshal Petain. After deploring the reduction of working hours in France, before the War, as the explanation of France’s “failure,” General Giraud speaks most enthusiastically of the German regime.

  Admittedly, he says, the Germans have not perhaps got liberty, but there is certainly neither disorder nor Anarchy. Everywhere it is work, the only hope for a people who wish to live and live happily. May France remember and profit by it.

How on earth the French worker can he expected to support General Giraud, who quite openly expresses his admiration for Hitler in Germany, is hard to understand—to be consistent—he might just as logically be expected to support Hitler himself.
But then, quite a number of other people have said almost the same thing in days gone by; among them Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Croft, Lord Londonderry—and Mr. Churchill.
So, incidentally, did Mr. Charles Bedaux, whom lots of British workers will remember as originator of the notorious “Bedaux” system of speed-up. He said : “I am an out-and-out-Fascist”—he has now been charged with trading with the enemy (in this case, Germany).
It is said that he tried to buy the North Africa orange crop for the Nazis. He was a friend of the Duke of Windsor. He now faces ten years’ imprisonment.
The correspondent of the New York Times, nevertheless, considers that “90 per cent. of Frenchmen here still believe democracy can work.”
Chas. Bedaux—like General Giraud—is a self-appointed authority on the great subject of work. So is Sir William Beveridge and Ernest Bevin, and Harry Pollit, with his appeals to the miners. The Socialist Standard is not the first to notice that the one thing all these experts on work never dream of doing is a spot themselves, of the kind they urge on others,