Walton Newbold

Speech at Session of Enlarged
Executive of C.I.

Fourth Day of Session: Morning

(14 June 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 45, 22 June 1923, p. 443.
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.

June 14, 1923

The British delegates took exception to the tone of Comrade Zinoviev’s speech on the subject of Nationalism and the Colonies, but they would explain their point of view in the Commission.

The tactic of the United Front was bringing the Party increased influence throughout the country. The lead of the Communists was being followed in many of the Trade Unions, especially the engineers and miners, the hold in the Trades Councils had been strengthened.

At the Edinburgh Conference last year the leaders of the Labor Party got a resolution passed attempting to exclude the Communist Party. At the forthcoming annual Labor Party Conference, at least 13 Trades Councils and 2 big Unions would support the affiliation of the Communists.

Turning to the new slogan the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, the British C.P. enthusiastically welcomed it, but preferred Varga’s modification: a Workers’ and Working Peasants Government. The land workers in England had always been neglected by the advanced Labor Movement. There was no peasantry in England; they had been driven to the Colonies or the towns in the eighteenth century, in Ireland, there was a large peasantry and the slogan would furnish the impulse the Irish Party needed for its development.

On the subject of religion, the British C.P. is agreed as to the necessity of attacking the Churches, but this could be dose best by the Party’s direct and indirect educational institutions. The communist strongholds were in the turning areas of West Scotland and South Wales, and amongst the miners there was a large religious population. Similarly, almost the whole of the Irish peasantry were staunch Catholics. An attack upon religion in Ireland would make the development of the Party there impossible for many years. The British Party was always reproached with having no hold on the masses. Would it not therefore be better to attack religion indirectly and not directly?

Last updated on 13 October 2021

Last updated on 13 October 2021