Second Speech at Session of Enlarged Executive of C.I.

Fifth Day of Session: Evening

(16 June 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 46, 28 June 1923, p. 454.
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 16, 1923

The British Delegation agrees with Comrade Radek in his criticism of Lord Curzon and the policy pursued by Lord Curzon. But they have reason to believe that Curzon is acting as the tool and mask of the King of England. There is a well grounded belief that the late King Edward bequeathed to his son and grandson large interests not only in Canadian railways and land, but also in Persia and the Middle East. And the threat to these is one of the reasons for the attack upon Soviet Russia.

On the other hand, the Baldwin group reflects the interests of the great English banking corporations, and it does not wish to have the credit system of England still further disorganised. The policy is to threaten Russia into giving concessions not only to the Urquhart group but to another group with 20,000,000 pounds at its disposal. and at the center of which is one of the chief organisers of the Conservative Party.

Radek expressed surprise that In Britain, the most advanced of bourgeois countries, the aristocratic nobility should have such a large influence in the government But the British aristocracy is not a feudal, but a financial aristocracy, who mostly originated in the Sixteenth Century by the plunder of the monasteries. Certain King’s cousins are shipowners, and one is a manufacturer of artificial butter and soap. The British aristocracy is permeated by bourgeois interests.

The Communist Party was unable to rouse the British workers on the question of the Ruhr because the stoppage of steel, iron, and coal exports terminated the competition of Germany, France, and Belgium, increased the European demand for British coal and thus reduced British unemployment in the coal fields and in the metal Industry. But a settlement of the Ruhr, whereby it will become internationally owned, will enable England to secure cheap coal from the Ruhr, which will mean a lowering of the economic standards of the British workers and will permit more successful agitation for international mass action.

The British bourgeoisie maintained good relations with France superficially, but meanwhile entered on a campaign of aeroplane building so as to be prepared for war with France, which she was now too feeble to enter on.

The British bourgeoisie has managed to re-establish London as the credit centre of the world. It intends to rebuild the world supremacy of Britain on the basis of money power, acute diplomacy, and development of aeroplane power.

The British workers depend upon colonial produce for their food supply and the British bankers intend to break the economic and political power of the workers by the threat of stopping their supplies and imposing a hunger blockade. This threat was made to the miners by Lloyd George in 1919. It is therefore necessary for the British Communists to agitate wider the rallying cry: British machinery and coal in exchange for Russian corn. This would make the agitation for Russia more easily understandable by the workers. The maritime workers must be organised to facilitate the corn transport and an agitation must be carried on in the fleet for the same purpose.

Newbold analysed the complex structure of the British Empire and the strategic points of British world power. He showed, in view of the vastness and complexity of the British Empire, how great the difficulties and responsibilities of the British Communists were. They looked for advice from the Congress.

Last updated on 13 October 2021