1990s >> 1992 >> no-1056-august-1992

50 Years Ago: A Challenge to Mr. Bevin on 
Post-War Reconstruction

The S.P.G.B. has throughout its existence urged that the conversion of private ownership of the means of production and distribution into common ownership is the only way to solve the poverty problem; but Mr. Bevin does not subscribe to this. He is a member of the Labour Party, and that Party, far from seeking to abolish the rentier, prepares to establish him more firmly than ever by setting up state industries or public utility corporations and compensating the present owners with Government bonds, or stocks guaranteed by the Government. Has Mr. Bevin noticed, for example, how the rumours of nationalisation of the railways gladdened the hearts of the railway stockholders?The Sunday Express (June 7th. 1942) reported “a slow upward move in home rail stocks. The buying is based on the theory that Britain’s railways will never return wholly to private ownership”. The Express went on:—


  That would have most important results for the 500,000 investors in railway stocks. Instead of a fluctuating income dependent on operating results, their revenues would be fixed.

In short, Mr. Bevin. these stockholders are counting on the Labour Party establishing them in permanent security as rentiers.


[From the Socialist Standard, August 1942.]