1940s >> 1942 >> no-455-july-1942

The S.L.P. Still prefers to say nothing

In a column and a half of wild words the Socialist (June, 1942) continues to denounce THE SOCIALIST STANDARD for “shuffling,” but still prefers to keep mum about the extent to which the Communist Party in 1920 was formed out of former members of the S.L.P. The assertion is now made that the S.L.P. “had no connection with the formation of the Communist Party. It was not even asked to take any part because the C.P.’ers knew very well it would refuse. No member of the S.L.P. joined the C.P.”

If the last sentence is meant to imply that no member of the S.L.P. left that party to join the Communist Party it is a falsehood. If it means that at the moment of joining the Communist Party they were not members of the S.L.P. that is an evasion of the issue, though possibly true. All we can do is to leave it alongside Mr. Allen Hutt’s claim that “the main part of the S.L.P. was fused with the Communist Party,” and Mr. G. D. H. Cole’s claim that “most of its more active members . . . passed over to the Communist Party in 1920.”

One other interesting remark in the article in the Socialist is that they cannot remember how they came to issue a joint manifesto with the I.L.P. in 1918—”How the I.L.P. came into it, we cannot remember, and it is beyond the limit of our time to look it up.”

We do not question the accuracy of the statement, but we cannot help remarking that such an explanation comes very badly from the Socialist. When we explained that the incorrect remark of a writer in THE SOCIALIST STANDARD (that the S.L.P. was one of the organisations fused into the Communist Party in 1920) was an error made in good faith, their reply was that “the facts could easily have been verified and there is no excuse for the falsehood unless it be that he lied deliberately. . . .” People with short memories and who have not the time to verify easily verifiable facts might well refrain from such charges against others.


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