1940s >> 1943 >> no-472-december-1943

This Interesting World

Turkey in the War?
Newspapers these days make interesting reading. An example is an article by the “diplomatic correspondent” of the News Chronicle (5/11 13), who presumably gets his cue from the Foreign Office. Many moons ago it was stated that Turkey is “Britain’s formal military ally,” but despite this the Turkish Government have taken no active part in the war. It is to be presumed that the Turkish Government would prefer to keep clear of either side in the conflict, but small nations, in a world of big capitalist powers, are not the masters of their fate which they would like to be. After the Moscow Conference, Mr. Eden, on his way home, had an interview in Cairo with the Turkish foreign minister, and the News Chronicle purports to show what might have been discussed. The article states that “Russia thinks that Turkey should abandon her neutrality,” while the “diplomatic correspondent” states that in view of the victories now being achieved by the allies “Turkish statesmen must naturally be reviewing present Turkish policy in the light of future
probabilities” and “the weight of any influence she could exert in the settlement of problems in which she has an interest will be in direct ratio to the contribution she has made towards bringing peace about.” What this curious diplomatic verbiage really means is : “Join in with us now, and you shall have a slice of the cake.” It also seems to indicate the suggestion of a threat. If Turkey does join in—on the right side—it will be just one more dictatorship fighting for “democracy.” Turkey has a one-party system of government similar to that of Russia.

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The Sergeant Wants His
The same issue of the News Chronicle contains a report of a discussion in the House of Commons regarding a Sergeant, serving in India, who was told by his former employers that they could not guarantee to take him back after the war. Mr. Bevin, Minister of Labour, admitted that the firm had not committed any legal offence, and stated that he had communicated with them, but that they had shown no desire to change their attitude. Mr. Bevin’s comment was—”I must express my astonishment at their stupidity in not realising the effect such a letter must have on its recipient and my condemnation of their apparent disregard of any considerations other than those directly affecting their own interests.” It will be observed that Mr. Bevin was concerned that a letter should have been written which might disturb the man’s “morale.” It is to be presumed that other employers, at any rate, will make a note of this. Even if they are unable to take back workers after the war, at least do not tell them so !

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Food, Work and Home
Mr, Churchill, however, does realise the necessity of keeping up the fighting man’s “morale,” and in his recent speech in the Mansion House, he said (News Chronicle, 10/11/43):—

“I regard it as a definite part of the duty and responsibility of this National Government to have it set about a vast and practical scheme to make sure that in the years immediately following the war there will be food, work and home for all.
“No airy visions, no party doctrines or party prejudices or vested interests shall stand in the way of the simple duty of providing before the end of the war for food, work and home. Each plan must be prepared now during the war, and must come into action—just like when war breaks out general mobilisation is declared—as soon as victory is won.”

Either Mr. Churchill is or is not aware of how capitalism works, but despite any guarantees, however sincere they may be, of security after the war, capitalism just won’t provide it—not even if Mr. Churchill still heads the British Government. Capitalism is based upon the ownership oi the factories, mines, railways, etc., by the capitalist class, and upon the production of goods and services for profit. No profit, no work, is a constant factor in capitalism, and when goods have been produced so that markets are glutted, and no further outlets can be found, the necessary consequence is that the factories, etc., will be closed or put on short time until the markets revive again. Factory owners will not employ workers to produce goods when those goods cannot be sold at a profit.

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£1,250 Millions in Six Minutes
Another paragraph in the News Chronicle of November 5 reports the voting in the House of Commons of another £1,250.000,000 for carrying on the war. This huge sum, it is stated, was voted in six minutes. Most of this money will be raised either by taxation of the British capitalist class or by loans from that class. When the war is over we wonder whether unemployment relief will be voted for with the same alacrity and on the same generous scale.

R. M.

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