Editorial Notes

The Return of Gerry Allard

(September 1931)

Source: The Militant, Vol. IV No. 22, 5 September 1931, p. 4.
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The return of comrade Gerry Allard to the ranks of the Left Opposition is of itself a matter of interest to those who are fighting under the flag of Marxism. In a time of reaction against the basic principles of International Communism [1], when those who remain faithful to the banner are numbered by tens, and not by hundreds or thousands, every man is important. And when one of the most outstanding militants of the younger generation of revolutionary miners – as comrade Allard is without a doubt – finds his way for a second time to the platform of the Opposition, after a long period of study and conflict, it can be regarded only as a victory for our cause and a significant sign of hidden developments taking place deep within the ranks of the conscientious and uncorrupted Communist workers.

Comrade Allard, who supported the Opposition at the time of its expulsion from the party three years ago and then a few months later capitulated to the Stalinists, accompanied his application for readmission into the Communist League with a manly and straightforward acknowledgement of his mistake and a declaration of solidarity on all the important principle questions. The National Committee readmitted him to membership with a six months probationary period. This action is to be regarded as an extraordinary one which is not designed to set a precedent. The reference, of course, is not to the question of probation – that goes without saying – but to the readmission of a capitulator. Only an exceptional set of circumstances could justify such a decision. As a general rule it cannot even be thought of.

There were a number of extenuating circumstances in this particular case. Comrade Allard came to us in the first wave of protest in the party against the outrageous violations of party democracy committed by the combined forces of Lovestone and Foster against the Opposition. He did not remain with us long enough to assimilate the more profound principle conclusions at the bottom of the dispute – another illustration of the truth that party democracy alone is not and cannot be the basis of the faction.

Comrade Allard was caught by the argument, which was Foster’s contribution to the education of the miners, that “mass work” in the mine fields, unobstructed by disputes with the party leadership, was the most important and decisive question – proof again that the ballyhoo about “mass work”, without regard to the principle basis upon which it is conducted, is a capitulatory tendency. Lacking at the time of the great questions in their worldwide scope, comrade Gerry allowed himself to be swayed by personal attachments and the immediate issue of agitation among the miners – a further confirmation of the necessity of a principled and an international orientation.

A closer examination of the fundamental issues of the struggle, during the course of which he also had the opportunity of testing the practical policy of the Opposition as against that of the Centrists in concrete action, enabled comrade Allard to clarify his views and take his stand. In view of all these conditions the National Committee, having confidence in his seriousness and good faith, could not do otherwise than welcome him back into the ranks of the Communist League. We believe that we will justify that confidence and that the organization as a whole will approve the action taken.

Footnote by MIA

1. In the printed version “Commission.”

Last updated on: 27.1.2013