W. Münzenberg

Economic Relief

Reception of the First Workers’ Loan

(January 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 1, 3 January 1923, p. 7.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2021). 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.

The announcement and opening of the first workers’ loan for Soviet Russia through the International Workers’ Relief was greeted with scepticism by many party members, the comrades foresaw a complete political and financial fiasco. But again the Optimists have proved to be right, and not the everlasting doubters and hesitators who, hindered by a hundred perplexities and doubts, accomplish nothing in the aid. The most critical comrade, viewing the political results of the drive up to date, can find no harmful consequences for the Communist Movement and the International. On the contrary, in many countries one need only mention Sweden, Norway, France, Holland and America comrades have seized upon propaganda for the loan as an opportunity for general and effective propaganda for Soviet Russia, for the proletarian revolution in Russia and for the labor movement in all lands. In still other countries the proletarian loan has furnished the occasion for the first widespread propaganda for Soviet Russia, as, for instance, in Japan.

Thousands of posters, a hundred thousand articles, appeals etc. have been pushing the cause of the loan and of Soviet Russia, and at the same time fighting the lying statements of the bourgeois and Social Democratic press. Nor has the loan and the propaganda for bringing it about hindered in the least the work of any communist party, in fact, in many countries, where the decrees of the Communist International have earned respect and esteem, the most encouraging propaganda and political results have developed. But prophecies over the material results were as sceptical as those over the political effects. We were reminded gloomily of the increasing cost of living in Central Europe and of the poverty of the people, of the huge army of unemployed in the western countries, of the heavy drain upon comrades through financial obligations to the party, etc.

But here too, things have turned out better than one had dared to hope. The first workers’ loan for Soviet Russia has received a welcome in the workers’ ranks of all countries. Even in non-Communist groups the belief in the stability and immanence of the present Russian system and the present Russian Government has proved stronger and greater than some of the comrades supposed. Bourgeois banks nave undertaken the sale of shares of the Workers’ Loan, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois groups have invested in shares and bourgeois industrial and commercial enterprises declare themselves ready Io accept the script of the Workers’ loan in exchange.

Besides the Communist Parties, many Trade Unions and Cooperative Societies are showing grat interest in the loan. In certain countries, Sweden, France, England, for instance, several loan committees have been formed with delegates from the Communist party and from the Trade Unions, Cooperative Societies and other organizations as well. One of the members of the London Committee is O’Grady, the well-known English Trade Union leader. Similar committees are in course of formation in other countries.

The loan has been considerably hampered by a multitude of questions which had to be solved regarding technical financial legal and organizational matters. The state of the security market differs in almost every country. Frequent and lengthy consultation with experts was necessary. Great pains were taken over the necessary organization of the loan, the consideration of the general exchange conditions and the gold relations of each country, the loan certificates which are principally to be sold in the currency of each particular country, had to be carefully translated, printed and conveyed to the various committees. These technical preliminaries occupied more than four months’ time. The greater part of these details are settled at last and the time is now ripe for a wide and public propaganda for subscription.

But already, before a widespread public drive was possible, Considerable amounts were subscribed and paid, in several countries. In Holland, alone the payment of subscriptions ensures the receipt of 75,000 Gulden and 10,000 is already paid. In Sweden shares have been disposed of to the amount of 125,000 Kronen, and the Stockholm Committee is confident that this amount will be increased to 250,000 Kronau. In France a large sum has already been subscribed, as well as in Norway, where the various Trade Unions, such as the Goldsmiths’ union have subscribed largely. Switzerland and Czecho-Slovakia show an increasing interest, England plans to raise 40,000 pounds sterling, etc.

Good news arrives from South America, while in North America the labor groups having Russian sympathies have just agreed to raise another million dollars for the American-Russian Co-operative Organisation which was founded by the Garment Workers’ Relief is calling a sitting of its extended executive in non-communist groups, from individuals etc. are coming into the central office in Berlin.

In order to benefit by recent propaganda experiences and to overcome the last technical difficulties, the International Workers’ Relief is calling a sitting of its extended executive at Berlin in the middle of January, the Russian Government will be represented by several delegates.

Naturally, the present condition of the Central European worker, the magnitude of the industrial struggle and the financial support necessary for the same will hinder to a certain extent the prompt and immediate disposal of all bonds of the Workers’ Loan, but there is no doubt that the entire loan will be fully subscribed in a relatively short time, and that the Workers’ Relief will be again enabled to give immediate and practical help and support to Soviet Russia for the reconstruction of her industries.

Last updated on 1 May 2020