Party News: Activities in Wales

Swansea branch had an unofficial literature stall at the annual conference of the National Union of Mineworkers which was held in Swansea at the beginning of July. Many pamphlets [and] a few Socialist Standards were sold to the delegates and visitors.

Debate with Young Liberals

The merits and demerits of capitalism and Socialism were discussed on 16 July when our Swansea branch debated the local Young Liberals. Our comrade Buick, for the branch, said that as capitalism was the cause of workers’ problems, a Liberal government would no more be able to solve them than Tory and Labour governments had been. Capitalism was based on the exploitation of the workers and could not be made to work for the good of all. The Liberal policy of co-partnership would not work as there was an irreconcilable conflict of interest between workers and their employers, which could not be bridged by giving workers shares or putting a few on the board of directors. The Liberal party was a capitalist reform party. The solution in fact lay in Socialism, a world community, without frontiers, based on common ownership, with production solely for use, not profit.

David Davies, for the Young Liberals, said that Liberals supported capitalism as this system was in the interests of all. Socialism was all very fine but it wouldn’t work because there would be no incentive to produce. Abundance for all was not possible. Capitalism accepted scarcity and that human beings were motivated by self-interest. The profit motive ensured that the maximum amount of wealth was produced. There were inequalities in sharing out this wealth as some people were more able than others. But the Liberal Party did not believe in complete laissez-faire. Their policy could be summed up as controlled capitalism.

Obviously, Jeremy Thorpe has nothing to fear from Swansea YLs!

Caerffili by-election

The voice of Socialism was heard, if not heeded, at the by-election at Caerffili on 18 July at which the nationalists reduced Labour’s majority by 19,000. Over 60 copies of the May Socialist Standard (which puts the Socialist view on Scottish and Welsh nationalism) were sold mainly to members and supporters of Plaid Cymru.