50 Years Ago: The policies of the Liberal Party

The Report of the Liberal Party Industrial Enquiry has at last appeared, but is should be called “The Capitalists’ Whitewashing Programme”. From beginning to end it tails attention to bad conditions but never once does it enquire into the cause. The remedy proposed is more of the conditions that caused the evils. More capitalism. Empire Development — of Capitalism. More shareholders — in Capitalism. More Free Trade in goods — and labour power. Less taxes for the industrial lord. Cheaper coal. More roads, and similar pills for the economic earthquake.

All these quack doctors can suggest is that the workers should buy shares where they work and get a share in the profits in large concerns, and when jobless they can work on the roads or in the forests — developing capitalism for the capitalists. They tell us that ownership is far too concentrated, and while they report thus, the Liberal capitalists, like their Tory friends, are busy amalgamating, centralising, combining and trustifying modern capital in more powerful concerns, whether like Sir Ernest Benn in the publishing world or like the Brunners in the chemical industry.

The Labour Party are angry because the Liberals have pinched their policy and put it in the Liberal Report. The MacDonalds and Hendersons say the Report embraces much of Socialism, but any Socialist who looks into the Report to find the Socialism will wear his eyes out in vain.

From an editorial “The Liberal Industrial Fraud” published in the Socialist Standard in March, 1928.