Source: Workers’ Weekly, January 9, 1925
Publisher: Communist Party Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2009). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
During recent weeks the capitalist press of this country has been very busy circulating its “reliable information” concerning Comrade Trotsky.
The Times and the Daily Telegraph especially have been very well “informed” with rumors of Trotsky’s arrest, party splits, expulsions, and so on. We ask all our readers to dismiss these reports as fantastic rubbish.
Trotsky is not arrested, nor prohibited from writing, nor expelled from the Party, nor is there a split in the Russian Communist Party or the likelihood of there being a split.
What are the facts of the situation? First, we all know there is a fierce discussion proceeding arising from Trotsky’s book dealing with the October Revolution of 1917, especially after the publication of a new edition to which Comrade Trotsky wrote a new preface. The preface came after the decision of the XIII Congress of the R.C.P. and the Fifth Congress of the Communist International. Both these Congresses had discussed most thoroughly the October events in Germany and the party failures in Bulgaria. These discussions, following upon special discussions and inquiries at preceding meetings of the Enlarged Executive of the Communist International, closed with the Comintern drawing definite lessons and conclusions which were accepted.
Comrade Trotsky participated in these discussions, with the exception of the Fifth Congress discussion—and this exception was due entirely to Comrade Trotsky, who was offered two hours (which means four if he wanted them) in which to state his views. His views had already been rejected by the previous congresses referred to.
In spite of these decisions, Comrade Trotsky now opens up an attack again in a new preface. This is regarded as, and is, a grave breach of discipline, nevertheless there has been no suppression of Trotsky. The leaders of the Russian Communist Party and the Comintern have replied to the new preface and to Trotsky’s version of the October Revolution. But Trotsky has not ventured to answer the case of our comrades.
It may be that his illness prevents him, but certainly it is no arbitrary or even disciplinary act on the part of the Party which prevents him.
By virtue of his position as a member of the Political Bureau of the Party his articles must be printed without censorship. Lest it still be thought that some organisational measure is being taken against Trotsky it should be publicly stated that Trotsky has been invited to defend his position before the next Enlarged Executive of the Communist International, which meets in February.
In view of this situation and the dearth of real information as to the discussion, the Political Bureau of our Party has decided to publish in book form at the earliest possible date the preface to “1917” by Comrade Trotsky and the replies of Comrade Zinoviev, Stalin, Kamenev, Bucharin, with our own views on the controversy.