1940s >> 1946 >> no-508-december-1946

Endnotes

What Price Nationalisation? Mr. Shlnwell Tells the Miners
After Mr. W. Lawther, President of the National Union of Mineworkers, had told delegates at the Labour Party Conference that the miners are impatient for better conditions, Mr. Shinwell, Minister of Fuel, disclosed the attitude of the Labour Government.

 

He said:—

    “You are not entitled to ask from us what you were always unable to gain from the private owner.”

(Daily Telegraph, 12/6/46.)
This was received, says the Telegraph, with “cheers and some dissent.” The miners are in process of learning that nationalisation or State capitalism solves none of their problems.

 

“Progress”

 

   “The poorest people in pre-war unemployment areas are certainly consuming more than they did in 1938.”

(C. R. Attlee, House of Commons, 27/2/46. Daily Herald, 28/2/46.)

 

  “Half a dozen social surveys carried out in British cities in the decade before 1939 showed that, at the prevailing wage rates, the normal wage-earner, even in steady employment, barely earned enough to keep two adults and three children out of ill-health.”

(“The Condition of the British People,” 1911-45, Mark Abrams, Gollancz.
Quoted News Chronicle, 28/2/46.)

 

The Worker who Leaves his Brain In the Workshop

   “The man who would at work contemptuously reject a piece of metal which was not true to a thousandth of an inch came home, opened his newspaper, turned on his radio, or went to the cinema and took whatever rubbish was offered him without question. If he only stopped to think for two minutes it could never happen.”

(Professor T. W. Manson,
 Manchester Guardian, 25/7/46.)

 

Bold Mr. Bevan

 

As Minister of Health Mr. Aneurin Bevan issued a circular to public assistance authorities early in July urging them to be firm with “work-shy ” tramps

 

   “The hard core of habitual vagrants, including men who are work-shy, anti-social or recalcitrant, should also be given suitable treatment. For the limited number of men in this group firmness must, when necessary, be applied if reasonable discipline is to be maintained, and a spread of idle vagabondage discouraged.”

(Reynold’s News, 7/6/46.)

 

The Daily Herald (13/7/46) published from a reader a sensible letter of protest. He said that Mr. Bevan’s circular reminded him of another group of individuals who surely come under the same heading —”I refer to the idle rich. They don’t tramp from place to place, but they have been riding around on the workers’ backs for years.”

 

It would be interesting to hear from Mr. Bevan exactly why the poor tramps should be glad to work producing profit for the rich tramps, including amongst the latter the stock-holders who are receiving generous compensation under the Labour Government’s compensation schemes for the nationalised industries.