1. The Founding of the Fourth International
September 1938 saw the
culmination of five years’ work on the part of Leon Trotsky and at least some of
his followers, in the founding congress of the Fourth International. The
congress (attended by delegates from the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany,
Russia, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Holland, Greece and Latin America) instituted a
new revolutionary international, based not upon a loose organisation of national
sections but upon a world party of Bolshevism. The forces were small but the
tasks they set themselves were no less than the World Socialist
The International was predicated upon the complete bankruptcy of both
Stalinism and social democracy, in a world situation where capitalism was
entering its death agony. The alternative was either socialist revolution or
barbarism. If the mistakes and betrayals of the Comintern were to be avoided
then the international vanguard must be organised to lead along the path of
international proletarian revolution.
In Britain the Trotskyists had a history which went back to the left
opposition groups in the Communist Party, the most famous of these being the
"Balham Group" (c.1931). The Communist Party had, as always, a short way with
dissenters and they were almost entirely expelled. For a time the Trotskyists
worked as a left opposition attempting to secure readmittance to the party and
to reform it from within. This of course was in line with Trotsky’s thesis of
reforming the Comintern from inside.2
By 1933 it became clear to Trotsky and his followers that the possibilities
of reform within the Comintern were nil. The grotesque antics of the Communist
Party in the face of the rise of fascism in Germany made this plain. If the
Comintern was bankrupt then a new milieu was essential. The British Trotskyists
were not long in finding a home. Two groups, divided it would seem more on the
grounds of personal antipathy than anything else, entered the Labour Party –
one, led by Reg Groves, publishing a paper called Red Flag, the other,
led by Harber, publishing The Militant. Alongside this a group existed in
the Independent Labour Party publishing Controversy. This last group
received considerable assistance from the accession to their group of C.L.R.
James, a West Indian cricketer and journalist on The Manchester
In 1936 a group was formed in Paddington, independently of the existing
groups and centred around an ex-member of the Communist Party, Jock Haston. This
last group worked in the Labour Party, largely in the Labour League of Youth.
For a short period this Paddington group joined up with Harber’s Militant
group. But in a very short space of time differences arose over allegations of
misconduct during a strike in South Africa organised by comrades of Haston. The
allegations were farcical and the quarrel degenerated to such levels of abuse
that a split was inevitable, a split which made it impossible to found the
Fourth International with a united British section.
In 1938, as a prelude to the founding congress, a high-powered delegation led
by James P. Cannon (General Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party, the
American Trotskyist party) arrived in Britain to effect a fusion of the various
groups. Unity was in fact achieved between the ILP group, the Militant
group and a small group of Socialist Labour Party members in Scotland. This new
organisation was named the Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL) and at the
founding congress was designated the British section of the Fourth
The Haston Group had opposed the fusion and maintained a separate existence,
publishing two papers, Youth For Socialism and Workers International
News. For this heretical behaviour they were dismissed as "a nationalist
grouping in essence reactionary" by the founding congress.4
The RSL did not maintain its new-found unity for long, and within months of
the foundation of the Fourth International the official British section was
reduced effectively to Harber’s Militant group.
From this period Trotskyism in Britain was represented by two tendencies, the
Workers International League (Haston’s group) and the RSL. The WIL was certainly
the more active of the two, based upon the organising ability of Haston and the
dedication of its small membership.5 The RSL, although an older group
and at this stage with a larger membership, was superior to the WIL only in its
ability to give birth to factional disputes, and in respect of organising
ability was decidedly inferior.
Both these groups were pursuing an entrist tactic in the Labour Party
although the emphasis of the WIL was more on the Labour League of Youth, where
they met with modest successes, despite the fact that the League of Youth was
very much under the influence of the Communist Party.
2. The War Period
At the outbreak of the war the line of the two
groups differed widely. A section of the WIL leadership were directed to Ireland
to prepare a parallel section to publish the papers and maintain the
organisation against expected attempts to smash the "revolutionary vanguard".
This revolutionary romanticism, which does more credit to the comrades’ fervour
and willingness to sacrifice than to their good sense, proved unnecessary and
after experiencing some considerable privation they returned to England intent
upon turning the war into civil war.
The RSL remained safely ensconced in the Labour Party and with the electoral
truce which followed the formation of the Churchill-Attlee coalition government,
they vegetated with the moribund Labour Party electoral machine.
Haston and his followers now began to move out into the open6 and
from this time onward the story of British Trotskyism is the story of the
activity of the WIL and the inactivity of the RSL. Nearly all the recruits to
Trotskyism were taken into the WIL, while the RSL stagnated and declined.
In their paper Youth For Socialism the WIL told the workers: "The main
enemy is at home ... Down with the war ... Defend the Soviet Union."7
They denounced the Russo-Finnish war and in an article by Gerry Healy called
upon the workers to stand firm in defence of conditions and hours.8
The call was made for the breaking of the electoral truce and for the Labour
Party to take power the better to expose themselves.9
With splendidly impartial favour they castigated the Labour, Independent
Labour and Communist Parties thus: "The role of the Second International has
been even more openly chauvinist and traitorous than in the last war ... The
workers cannot fail to observe the unprincipled nature of the twists and turns
of the leadership of the Communist Party ... The policy of the ILP is covering
the downright betrayal of the ’defenders of democracy’ and the Stalinist
International, and fails to place before the workers the revolutionary
alternative to transform the war into civil war."10
With the fall of France they called for the arming of the workers, and with
the Nazi attack on Russia for "defence of the Soviet Union", while denouncing
the social patriotism of the Dutts and Pollitts.
By June 1941 the need was felt for a paper with a wider appeal than Youth
For Socialism, and Socialist Appeal was launched. The paper was
distinctly agitational in tone, and the politics, contrary to the revolutionary
defeatism of the more orthodox Trotskyists, were what can best be called
revolutionary defensist. The programme in the first issue of the Appeal
"Labour to Power on the following programme:
1. Arming and organising the
workers under their own control to resist any danger from invasion or Petainism
2. Election of Officers by Soldiers.
3. Establishment of special
Officer Training camps financed by the Government and controlled by the Trade
Unions, to train workers to become officers.
4. Expropriation of the arms
industry, the mines, banks, land and heavy industry.
5. Workers’ control of
6. Freedom for India and the colonies.
7. A socialist appeal
to workers in Germany and Europe for socialist struggle against
Apart from the direct appeal of the Socialist Appeal programme, much
of the WIL propaganda was directed to the Communist Party and against its
pathetic capitulation to the Churchill government after Russia’s entry into the
war. The Communist Party was designated "His Majesty’s Communist Party" in the
pages of the Appeal. Their strike-breaking activities were denounced and
a policy of industrial militancy advocated in opposition to the Stalinist line
of class collaboration in the interests of the ’"Anti-fascist
The Communist Party were not long in reacting. A pamphlet, Clear Out
Hitler’s Agents by William Wainwright,13 appeared in August 1942.
This pamphlet, a prime example of what Trotsky called "The Stalin School of
Falsification", is a piece of ignorant viciousness compounded of straightforward
lies and the more tortuous variety of the Moscow Trials. "Trotskyists", it said,
"oppose and hate the leaders of Russia. They want to see Russia defeated and
Hitler victorious ... Hidden behind their slogan ’Workers’ control for Britain’
is the Trotskyist aim to smash workers’ control in Russia." In an attempt to
build up a lynch mentality the pamphlet concludes, "Expose every Trotskyist you
come into contact with. Show other people where his ideas are leading. Treat him
as you would an open Nazi." This rubbish was followed by even more grotesque
nonsense in the Sunday Dispatch, which suggested that "Directives from
Germany were transmitted to the British Trotskyists via a Workers’ Challenge
The WIL were undeterred by this smear campaign, which served to confirm them
in their already inflated view of their own importance. Their outlook was one of
extreme optimism. In the material for their conference in August
194214 they saw Britain entering a pre-revolutionary situation. In
their perspective the Labour Party was heading for a split, with the left
possibly joining up with the "centrist" ILP which would for a short time attract
workers in large numbers. The need to enter the Labour Party and assist in this
supposed differentiation was scorned. The entrist tactic "was to enter a
reformist or centrist party which is in a state of flux, where political life is
at a high pitch and where the members are steadily moving left. It is
essentially a short-term perspective of work in a milieu where favourable
prospects exist in a short space of time ... such work must be subordinated to
the general strategy of building the Fourth International
With the benefit of hindsight we can see that this perspective was almost
laughable in its arrogant wrongheadedness. But, despite its crudities and lack
of economic analysis, it represented the spirit if not the letter of Trotsky’s
perspective. The revolutionary upsurge was to be expected in a short space of
time. In his recorded speech to the Socialist Workers Party (American section of
the Fourth International), Trotsky said:
"Ten years were necessary for the Kremlin clique in order to strangle the
Bolshevik Party and to transform the first workers’ state into a sinister
caricature. Ten years were necessary for the Third International in order to
stamp into the mire their own programme and transform themselves into a stinking
cadaver. Ten years, and ten years. Permit me to finish with a prediction. During
the next ten years the programme of the Fourth International will become the
guide of millions and these revolutionary millions will know how to storm earth
For Trotsky, there was no other way. The Russian bureaucracy were a parasitic
caste, consciously counter-revoltutionary, incapable of defending Russia against
world capitalism. Social democracy could no longer exist on the crumbs from the
table of failing imperialism. The workers would be forced to take up a
revolutionary stand under the leadership of the Fourth International.
In Britain the WIL were frantically waving this same banner under the noses
of the proletariat. Tremendous efforts were made in selling Socialist
Appeal and by 1943 the sale of the paper had been forced up to between
18,000 and 20,000 per issue and the organisation had grown to some 250 members.
What made this circulation possible, aside from fantastically hard work, was the
growth of militancy in industry, which had been repressed by three years of war
production. Conditions of work and safety were deteriorating and Socialist
Appeal supported all attempts by workers to defend their conditions. Besides
industrial reporting the paper carried news from members and readers in the
forces exposing conditions in the detention centres as well as in the army
itself, this in a period when the Communists were opposing strikes,
blacklegging, and allowing safety requirements to fall below the minimum.
During all this period the RSL remained stagnant and could report no advances
comparable to those of the WIL. The Fourth International was in similar straits.
Its European sections were smashed or ineffective and contact with other
sections was practically nil. The International Secretariat was in Canada,
afflicted by personal difficulties between members. The "World Party of
Bolshevism" was, in fact, moribund.
3. The Revolutionary Communist Party
The disproportion between the
successes of the British organisations gave rise to pressure for fusion between
the two leagues. For 12 months, from 1943 to 1944, meetings were held and the
form of the new organisation hammered out. The WIL needed the fact of official
recognition by the Fourth International and the RSL needed the WIL’s energy.
But, as is invariably the case in such matters, there were difficulties. The RSL
was, despite its small numbers, split into three factions: the majority around
Harber and The Militant; a "Trotskyist opposition" led by Hilda
Lane;17 and a "left fraction" violently opposed to the fusion with
the WIL, whom with unfortunate consistency they still characterised in the same
terms that the founding congress had used in 1938. The "Trotskyist opposition"
were sympathetic to the WIL and approved of their open activity, while the
Militant group were in the hands of the International Secretariat. The trouble
was that the WIL, on the basis of limited successes and a crazy perspective,
favoured the formation of an open party while the RSL (at least as far as Harber
and the "left fraction" were concerned) was firmly wedded to the Labour Party
tactic. It was here that the International Secretariat took a hand. They made it
clear that no British section, apart from the fused organisation, would be
recognised by the International.
The fusion conference was held on 11 and 12 March 1944. 69 delegates
attended, 17 from the RSL and 52 from the WIL.18 The resulting party
was the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). It was agreed that the position of
the RSL elements would remain the same as before, with The Militant as
the party’s paper in the Labour Party, while Socialist Appeal and
Workers International News would be the organs of the RCP. Hasten was
elected the General Secretary and the air was full of optimism. (During the
conference a strike of 100,000 miners was taking place.) The party was launched
on the expectation of rising industrial militancy and war-weariness leading on
to revolutionary victory.
In mid-1944 contact was established with a group of Tyne engineering
apprentices who were opposed to the Bevin ballot scheme which was being used to
conscript young workers into the mines. Socialist Appeal came out
strongly in support of the apprentices and assistance was given in the
preparation of leaflets calling for nationalisation of the mines under workers’
control and for a strike against the conscription of apprentices. The police
became interested in the agitation and the apprentices were questioned at
length. The result was a prosecution under the Trades Disputes Act of 1927.
Those arrested were Heaton Lee, Roy Tearse, Ann Keen and Jock Haston. Tearse and
Lee received sentences of 12 months, Haston of 6 months and Ann Keen 13 days.
All the defendants took their stand on revolutionary principle but were somewhat
handicapped by the fact that their barrister, Curtis Bennett QC, was not
prepared to bring out the revolutionary lessons of the trial. The verdict was
hailed in Socialist Appeal as an attempt to gag the vanguard leadership
of the Fourth International party.19
Defence committees were set up,20 protest meetings held, and the
support of MPs canvassed. Prominent among those supporting the imprisoned
Trotskyists were Aneurin Bevan and Jimmy Maxton. In September 1944 the
convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal. But the trial and conviction
further embittered the RCP towards the Labour Party. (Bevin was the instigator
of the prosecution under the Trades Disputes Act, a piece of Tory legislation
resulting from the 1926 General Strike.)
The construction that the RCP put on the trial has some measure of truth. The
industrial scene in 1944 was one of rising militancy. Some 3 million days were
lost in strikes and the government were concerned at this serious threat to war
production. Egged on by the Communist Party, they spoke darkly of agitators and
subversives. The truth, of course, was that the RCP were only important in so
far as they gave assistance after the accomplished fact of a strike. They were
never in any continuous sense in contact with large numbers of workers.
By 1945 it was clear that the war had not long to run. But the promise of
European revolution was not materialising. In 1944 the partisan activity in
Italy had been hailed as the beginning of Europe’s revolution. It was not to be;
the partisan movement which set up Soviets in some of the northern Italian towns
swiftly came under Stalinist control and the continuity of Italian capitalism
was assured. This was no surprise to the Trotskyists. Even if they overestimated
the revolutionary possibilities of the European proletariat, they certainly did
not underestimate the counter-revolutionary behaviour of the Stalinists. As a
party competing for the leadership of the class they directed much of their
effort to the CP-oriented militant and polemicised against the attitude of the
The call of the Communist Party for a continuation of the coalition
government after the war was denounced in round terms.21 Their answer
to the twin reformism of both Stalinism and social democracy was the
revolutionary programme of the Fourth International and the RCP, which regarded
the Labour Government as a necessary stage through which the workers would have
to pass before they realised the correctness of the revolutionary
At a by-election in Neath in early 1945 Jock Haston stood as the RCP
candidate. All the stops were pulled out and the workers of Neath were given the
opportunity to respond to the voice of revolutionary Socialism. In Socialist
Appeal, February 1945, the Neath workers were reminded that "A vote for
Labour is a vote for Churchill and the Tories".
The campaign resulted in a regurgitation of all the Stalinist filth and
slanders against the Trotskyists. The Labour candidate,
D.J. Williams23 was not averse to this form of electioneering.
He was reported as saying "Haston is a Fascist" and "Haston is subsidised by the
same people who subsidised Lord Haw Haw".24 The Communist Party went
even further. In a debate with Haston before an audience of some 1500 Alun
Thomas, secretary of the West Wales Communist Party, stated, "If I had my way
all those on this platform would be shot"25 (presumably he excluded
himself from this blanket condemnation). Despite the smear campaign and a press
blackout on the RCP campaign, some 3000 copies of each issue of the paper were
sold in Neath together with considerable quantities of Trotskyist literature. In
his report to the Central Committee of the RCP on the by-election, John Lawrence
(South Wales organiser of the RCP) reported that half the Independent Labour
Party branch in Neath had joined the RCP. (The Neath ILP had 4 members.)
The vote however was disappointing:
D.J. Williams (Labour) 30,847
W. Samuels (Nationalist) 6,290
The headline in Socialist Appeal, "1781 Vote Revolutionary Communist",
could not conceal the fact that reformism had deeper roots in Neath than the RCP
had thought possible.
The RSL-WIL fusion, as has been suggested earlier, was not unaccompanied by
difficulties. The "left fraction" of the RSL (comprising about 20 people) had
been violently opposed to unity with the WIL and had only joined after an
ultimatum from the Fourth International.26 Further difficulty of a
more serious nature arose from opposition led by G. Healy on the old vexed
question of Labour Party entry. Healy and a minority of the membership were for
entry, while the majority were for maintaining a small group in the Labour
Party, but concentrating the main work in the open party and building the
As is usual in faction fights, accusations were bandied back and forth of
empiricism, eclecticism, menshevism (both right and left varieties), left wing
infantilism and, of course, the party regime was likened to Stalin’s.
The perspective of the minority was one of deepening capitalist crisis with
masses of workers turning to social democracy, which would be unable to solve
the crisis. At this juncture a differentiation would take place with the defeat
of the right wing rump and, if the correct tactic were pursued, with the
Trotskyists in a position to lead the left to victory. The minority’s view that
there was not time to build a revolutionary party and that the field of work
should be in the Labour Party was the only sensible part of their analysis. The
majority denied the short-term catastrophe analysis of Healy (a view of
capitalism to which Healy remains attached) although they were of course firmly
wedded to it in the rather longer term. They suggested, with some justification,
that postwar reconstruction together with the fag-end of Lend-Lease would ease
the situation for British capitalism. The need to build the RCP was the primary
task: entry into the Labour Party was still a tactic to be used only at the
height of a left wing in social democracy and then only as a short-term visit,
more in the way of a raid, and this only necessary if the revolutionary party
was weak and unable to compete openly.
The arguments were all laid out in a succession of interminable internal
bulletins. Conferences of the RCP were each year taken up with wrangles on the
question of entrism. The minority received considerable support from the IEC
whose perspective for the European revolution was closely followed by
Healy.27 It is possible to look back now and to see that the minority
were correct in their demand for entrism, although their theoretical basis for
entry was nonsense. The majority’s views were less nonsensical but led them to
the false position of the open party.
With the coming of Marshall Aid (a possibility excluded by all the Trotskyist
factions and tendencies) the situation altered radically. Reformism and
capitalist expansion got a new lease of life and the arms economy later secured
their continuity. Stalinism was not dead and had in fact extended its empire
into Eastern Europe. The possibility of short-term spectacular gains inside or
outside the Labour Party became a dream. In 1948 Healy and about 50 of his
followers were designated the official Labour Party group by the Fourth
International, answerable only to the International and not to the RCP, and with
their own organisation. Although no formal split occurred, the effect was the
same. The Haston majority maintained the RCP for a few months with diminishing
results and a growing tiredness on the part of the leadership, and in 1949 the
party and the press were dissolved. Some of the members joined Healy in Labour
Party work, some the Communist Party, while others disappeared into the
political wilderness and apathy.
The period up to the dissolution was one where an
attempt was made to explain the current world reality in terms of Trotskyist
orthodoxy. The class nature of the Eastern satellites was in this respect rather
baffling. Trotsky had defined Russia as a "workers’ state" (albeit degenerated)
on basis of its state property, planning and the monopoly of foreign trade,
together with its alleged continuity with the October Revolution. At the same
time he made it clear that the bureaucracy were consciously restorationist and
counter-revolutionary, incapable of defending state property except under
pressure from the masses. In one respect therefore (state property etc) the
eastern satellites were "workers’ states" but the class as an active force had
not intervened in the installation of the Stalinist regimes. Indeed they had
largely been installed at the points of the Red Army’s bayonets, at the
instigation of the "restorationist, counter-revolutionary bureaucracy". The RCP
in the person of Jock Haston and the party’s theoretician, Grant, toyed for a
while with the theory of state capitalism, only to reject this in favour of a
form of abridged Stalinism which designated the Eastern satellites as workers’
states requiring unconditional defence.
At the second world congress of the Fourth International, in 1948, this RCP
thesis was rejected at the instigation of the IEC. The congress characterised
the "People’s Democracies" as capitalist countries with Bonapartist police
regimes. This analysis did not outlast the Stalin-Tito rift when, with rare
opportunism, the Fourth International jumped smartly on to Tito’s band-wagon.
Yugoslavia was welcomed into the fold of workers’ states and so, by the same
token, were the other less independent satellites who must have been pleased to
learn (if they ever knew about it) that they were deformed workers’ states just
like Mother Russia. The situation became theoretically impossible and laid the
basis for subsequent splits in the Fourth International. The RCP went full
circle and became once again a left critic of Stalinism, cheered by Stalin’s
victories, but unable to affect their course; likewise without influence or
effect on British politics. It died of lack of success, false perspectives, and
wrong tactics – a sad and chastening experience.
The demise of British Trotskyism (and it died some time before the corpse was
formally interred) cannot be blamed only on its tactical inadequacies. Although
it is true that with a more realistic appraisal of the world they could have
continued for much longer. But like Trotsky, they founded their attitude on an
erroneous analysis of reformism and imperialism with a fundamental misappraisal
of Stalinism.28 The characterisation of Russia as a
counter-revolutionary abortion hid the fact of the profoundly capitalist nature
of Russian economy, its dynamism and ability to survive. Far from being a
shallow-rooted caste, the bureaucracy was, and is, an integral part of the
Russian body politic.
Similarly with reformism. To assume in face of all the evidence to the
contrary that reformism affected only a thin layer or crust of workers, with a
revolutionary mass seething below, was to deny the facts of working-class life,
the tendency for differentials to narrow and for larger and larger layers to
become permeated with reformism. Capitalism and imperialism changed and the old
simplistic ideas were not enough. The RCP foundered on its irrelevance and
inability to accept reality. The chances for revolutionary change did not exist
in Britain, and on the continent they were murdered by Stalinism.
In The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth
International Trotsky had suggested that the proletariat were crushed
between the upper and nether millstones of reformism and Stalinism. The Fourth
International in this scheme were to lead this same proletariat and smash both
millstones. It did not happen, and as the story unfolded, it was clear that the
Fourth International itself was being crushed by the self-same millstones,
veering on occasions to Stalinism and on others to social democracy.
The sterility and iconography of the present-day Trotskyists is a chastening
sight to behold. The ossification of the living thought of Leon Trotsky is a
crime to the memory of a man who was always ready to jettison outmoded ideas.
His whole political career is an example of the application of the marxist
method to real situations. His epigones in doing honour to his every jot and
tittle have obscured much that remains valid in his thought and turned what
should be a continuous road of revolutionary consciousness into an obscure blind
The history of Trotskyism in Britain is a history of failure but it is also a
history of struggle and high endeavour ensuring that Trotsky’s revolutionary
message was heard, if only in a distorted form. It is on this that we can
1. Statutes of the FI.
2. "... the proletariat of the USSR has not forfeited the possibility of
submitting the bureaucracy to it, of reviving the party again and of mending the
regime of the dictatorship – without a new revolution, with the methods and on
the road to reform." Problems of the Development of the USSR, Thesis of
the International Left Opposition, New York 1936, p.36.
3. Author of World Revolution 1917-1938 and Black Jacobins,
both published by Secker and Warburg.
4. The Death Agony of Capitalism and the tasks of the Fourth
International (available, with foreword by C. Slaughter, from the
Socialist Labour League, price 1s.).
5. In 1939 the membership of WIL was 30; the RSL 80. Despite this clear turn
to open work the members of the WIL did not relinquish their Labour Party
membership. This was the case even in the period of the RCP – neither the WIL
nor the RCP was proscribed, an indication of the state of the LP machine at the
time, which seems incredible today. From this period onward, however, the main
activity and propaganda was away from Labour Party work.
7. Youth For Socialism, September 1939.
8. "Trade Unionists Stand Firm", Youth For Socialism, February
9. "Expose The Labour Leaders, Force Them to Take Power", Youth For
Socialism, June 1940.
10. "A Year Of Imperialist War, Its Lessons For the Workers", Youth For
Socialism, September 1940.
11. Socialist Appeal, June 1941.
12. In August 1941 Pollitt sent a letter to all CP branches in which he said,
"... In supporting the Churchill government, we do it wholeheartedly and without
13. At present assistant editor of the Daily Worker.
14. Preparing For Power, WIL, September 1942.
16. Recorded address to SWP conference 1938, reproduced in Socialist
Appeal, June 1942.
17. Subsequently St Pancras Labour Councillor, and then a member of the CP:
18. At the rate of one delegate per five members, the RSL had 75 members and
the WIL 760. The RSL was however split into three delegations, seven from the
Militant group, six from the Trotskyist Opposition, four from the Left Fraction.
Information from the Fusion Conference minutes.
19. Socialist Appeal, July 1944.
20. The Anti-Labour Laws Defence Committee. Chairman Jimmy Maxton.
21 The London District Committee of the CP issued a pamphlet in April 1945
which said: "... provided we get a new House of Commons with a strong majority
of Labour, Communist and Liberal MPs. I believe the Labour Party should then
form a new National Government and invite others, including Tories like
Churchill and Eden to participate."
22. "Where Is The Communist Party Going?", D. James, Workers Intemational
News, November 1945.
23. D.J. Williams, a "Labour Left" who in his earlier days as an NCLC tutor
had been sympathetic to Trotskyism.
24. Socialist Appeal, mid-May 1945.
26. The Left Fraction was eventually expelled for refusing to accept the
authority of the leading committees of the RCP.
27. The IS had a theory that Anglo-American Imperialism would set up
Franco-type dictatorships in liberated countries, similar to De Gaulle in France
and Bonomi in Italy. America would not aid the European countries and the
subsequent miseries would lead to revolutionary action. See "First Phase of the
Coming European Revolution", RCP Internal Bulletin, December 1940.
28. For a full treatment of this question see: "The Roots Of Reformism",
T. Cliff, Socialist Review; "Imperialism, Highest Stage But One", M. Kidron, International Socialism, 9, Summer 1962; Stalinist Russia, A Marxist Analysis, T. Cliff, London 1955.
First published in International Socialism, No.14,