Mr. Alfred intervenes

The February issue of “The Word” published in Glasgow by Mr. Guy A. Aldred and enigmatically describing itself as “organ of the United Socialist Movement,” contains two articles attacking the S.P.G.B. The one with which we are concerned here contains letters sent to us by H. Fullarton and John Robertson which were not published by us. In publishing them Aldred claims that he is “rendering a service to the Socialist Movement”

The facts are as follows. In the October, 1951 issue of the Socialist Standard we published and replied to a letter from John Robertson under the heading “ Organisation—Industrial or Political. A second letter from John Robertson was published and replied to in March, 1952 and a third letter in June, 1952.

We then received a fourth letter from him. also a letter from H. Fullarton and a letter from W. T. Fielding all dealing with the same controversy.

As these three further letters largely went over again the ground that had already been covered and as our space is limited we decided to have an article drafted dealing with all three together and the correspondence was handed over to a member who was to draft the reply. For various reasons the reply was not written and eventually the whole matter was forgotten. For this we express our regrets to the three correspondents.

Readers who are interested in the discussion can see the opposing points of view in the issues referred to.

We are still of opinion that the unpublished letters are largely a repetition of what went before, and after this lapse of time there is no point in pursuing the matter.

We note that in his fourth letter John Robertson holds that our reply to his third letter misrepresents what he wrote. Readers can see his letter and our reply in the issue for June, 1952.

We also observe that though Mr. Aldred says that he thinks he is rendering a service by publishing two of the letters he does not reproduce any of the earlier letters or our replies to them.


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