2010s >> 1907 >> no-35-july-1907
Party News: Party Notes
The Delegate Meeting will be held at the Communist Club on Saturday, 13th July at 3 p.m. Important business will be brought before it, and a full attendance of delegates is requested.
Full particulars were promised last month of the correspondence that has passed between the Tottenham Branches of the S.P.G.B. and the I.L.P. The Tottenham Herald has since published the correspondence. Our branch challenged the I.L.P. to debate the proposition: “Does the I.LP. deserve the support of the working class?” Two of their local champions had expressed their willingness to meet a representative of this Party on the question, but the branch replied : “Your challenge to debate the claims of the I.L.P. to the support of the working classes duly came before the branch for consideration at our business meeting. I am instructed to inform you that our platform is open to you, or to anyone else who disagrees with us, and that you will be treated with consideration and courtesy at any of our meetings. In view, however, of the extravagant and slanderous statements made by your Tottenham speakers, we cannot see our way to meet you further. Furthermore, we suggest that it would be more honest and straightforward if, instead of allowing irresponsible spokesmen to bring the whole Socialist movement into disrepute by a policy of abuse and misrepresentation, you were to publish in your Journal the charges you bring against us, so that we should know definitely what your Party was prepared to support, and what we were expected to reply to.”
The Tottenham S.P.G.B. said: “I am instructed to acknowledge receipt of your letter in which you decline our challenge to debate. Your reference to the “working classes” is typical of that looseness of expression, or ignorance, or both, which characterises the utterances of so many of the members of the I.LP. May I remind you ; that there are but two classes—the working class and the master class. This branch is unaware of any “extravagant and slanderous” statements having been made by our speakers. We ask you to name the occasions, the speakers, and the essence of the alleged statements. The charge that we bring against the I.LP. is that it is not worthy the support of the working class. We have given the evidence in the manifesto of the S.P.G.B., and month by month, in the columns of The Socialist Standard. . . . If we are pursuing a “policy of abuse and misrepresentation” why not meet us in debate and expose us? Your failure to do so will be accepted by the public as evidence that you cannot justify your position, and that you know our charge is true.”
A reply to this communication is already somewhat overdue!
Up to the date of going to press the first instalment of the discussion on Trade Unionism had not been received from the advocates of Industrial Unionism.