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James P. Cannon

Proposal on Comrade Pepper

6 April 1925

Source: James P. Cannon and the Early Years of American Communism. Selected Writings and Speeches, 1920-1928 © Spartacist Publishing Company, 1992. ISBN 0-9633828-1-0; Published by Spartacist Publishing Company, Box 1377 G.P.O. New York, NY 10116. Introductory material and notes by the Prometheus Research Library.
Transcription\HTML Markup: Prometheus Research Library
Copyright: Permission for on-line publication provided by Spartacist Publishing Company for use by the James P. Cannon Internet Archive in 2005.

The following is an uncorrected and unpublished transcript of some of Cannon’s remarks at the seventh session of the American Commission which convened around the Fifth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International.

I want to suggest an amendment to the organizational proposals. This deals with the section relating to comrade Pepper, which is as follows:

In particular the Executive Committee wishes to state that it considers a personal campaign carried on between and against comrade Pepper and other leading comrades, is uncalled for, firstly because comrade Pepper is needed for other work in the Comintern, and has no intention to return to the United States, and secondly, because it needlessly injures the standing and effectiveness of these comrades. The Executive Committee knows that comrade Pepper during his brief stay in America performed political services for the Workers Party, for which he deserves praise.[1]

I bring this here before the whole commission and propose it for the consideration of the small commission.


1. Cannon’s proposal was adopted with minor amendment. The wording of the final resolution as published in the Daily Worker, 19 May 1925, was as follows: “In particular, the Executive Committee must point out that it regards a campaign conducted against comrade Pepper as absolutely uncalled for, all the more since, firstly, comrade Pepper himself has no intention of returning to work in the Workers Party, and secondly, the Executive Committee desires to use his energies for other important tasks. The Executive Committee knows that comrade Pepper during his brief stay in America performed services for the Workers Party for which he deserves praise. The Executive Committee demands that all personal polemics between the two sides should cease.”