50 Years Ago: Labour Foreign Minister Bevin and his Predecessors
Now that the Labour Party is in power its promise to introduce Socialism at home and to pursue the “brotherhood of man” abroad is being put to the test. Instead of attempting to introduce Socialism (for which it did not receive or even seek a mandate at the election) it is extending state capitalism by nationalising various industries while retaining all of the basic features of capitalism—the wages-system, production for profit and the exploitation of the workers for the benefit of the owning class. The only difference is that some of the owners are in future to hold Government Stock instead of company shares and are to have no hand in management of the undertakings.
Being thus confined within the limits set by capitalism their foreign policy is likewise pre-determined in all its broad lines. With the “brotherhood of man” on their lips they are engaged, like all their Liberal and Tory predecessors. in a high-powered drive to capture foreign markets for British exports. On taking office as Foreign Minister, Mr. Bevin was reported to have said: “British foreign policy will not be altered in any way under the Labour Government” (Evening News, 26th July, 1945). This continuity means carrying on the centuries-old policy of controlling trade routes, holding down colonies and protecting foreign investments.
(Article from Socialist Standard, February 1946)