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Fourth International, June 1947


Against the War in Indo-China!

Appeal of the International Executive Committee of the Fourth International to the Workers of France and the Entire World


From Fourth International, June 1947, Vol.8 No.6, pp.176-177.
Transcribed, edited & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.



The heroic resistance of the Indo-Chinese people to the French imperialist armies is inspiring the oppressed throughout the colonial empire. The reactionary war of French imperialism is becoming drawn out, the imperialist calculations are being upset, while new quakes are shaking that empire in Madagascar, Morocco and Algeria.

The French imperialists see before them the terrifying prospect of the break-up of the empire they founded on the blood, exploitation and misery of the colonial masses. They know that their power, already seriously undermined by the Second World War, won’t have any chance of getting the least bit stronger, or even of maintaining itself, without exploiting the vast colonial domain that their war-like expeditions of plunder and brigandage assured them in the past.

It is with blood and iron that they want to break the back of the liberation movement of pies the the colonial masses which is spreading impetuously from Indo-China to Algeria. They want to do this by using, behind the false front of the recently adopted “democratic constitution of the French Union” the worst methods of violence and oppression; methods which once were the “glory” of the French Lyautey, Jules Ferry, Bugeaud and Gallieni.

In Indo-China, tortures, massacres and the destruction of entire villages follow one upon the other. In Madagascar the French planes bomb groups of unarmed peasants and the Madagascar native members of the French Parliament are arrested and thrown into prison despite their parliamentary immunity. In Algeria, where police oppression grows ever greater, the French army’s tanks and troops patrol the roads.

This war in Indo-China and this policy of oppression in all the French colonies are possible only because of the downright treachery of the so-called “Socialist” and “Communist” parties who, since the “Liberation,” have consistently participated in the governments of the Fourth Republic of France.

Under the cover of liberal demagogy the Socialist Party has wedded itself completely to the cause of the French colonialists. Its ministers are in charge of organizing and conducting the war in Indo-China and of the bloody repressions going on right now in Madagascar.

The Communist Party is shackled by its policy of class collaboration and its dependence upon the international dealings of the Russian Stalinist bureaucracy. It has thus engaged in a series of bargains and shameful maneuvers with its bourgeois partners in power, without ever actually breaking with them and without calling on the masses to carry out a direct struggle against the colonial war and oppression. In defending the idea of retaining the colonies within the framework of the “French Union” the CP is actually obliged to make deals with all those in the colonies who obstruct and betray the mass liberation movement, and in France itself with the capitalist class which can maintain its “French Union” only by force and violence.

The Stalinist and Socialist ministers by participating in the bourgeois government have made themselves the direct accomplices in all the crimes which French imperialism is now committing against the colonial masses.

The Communist Party controls the overwhelming majority of the French working class. But the CP has systematically sabotaged any mobilization and any genuine solidarity of the French’ workers with the struggling colonial masses. The simple truth is that thereby the CP has allowed the war against Indo-China and thus encouraged the French colonialists in their present policy of violence and oppression. Nothing better illustrates the CP’S treachery towards the colonial masses as well as towards the French workers than the recent parliamentary comedy when the vote occurred on the military credits for the war against Indo-China. The CP deputies abstained, but the CP Ministers in the government voted for wordy babble for the masses, deeds for the capitalists of the Bank of Indo-China .

Only the PCI, the Internationalist Communist Party, French Section of the Fourth International, together with the other Trotskyist organizations throughout the world, has courageously and completely supported the emancipation struggle of the colonial people from the beginning. Only they have called upon the workers of France and the entire world to give effective aid to the masses of Indo-China, Morocco, Madagascar and Algeria.

The International Executive Committee of the Fourth International proclaims its complete solidarity with the colonial peoples struggling to shake off the century-old tyrannic yoke of French imperialism. It sends its fraternal greetings to the courageous fighters of Viet-Nam and to the Trotskyist militants of Indo-China who are in the forefront of the struggle for the national and social emancipation of the Indo-Chinese masses. The Indo-Chinese section of the Fourth International, on the morrow of the country’s “Liberation” and at the very beginning of the Indochinese revolution, was deprived by the criminal hands of Stalin’s GPU of many of its leading elements, among them the heroic figure of comrade Ta-Thu-Thau.The IEC calls upon the Indochinese section to relentlessly continue its struggle both against French imperialism and against all betrayal of the revolution from within by the Stalinist agents, leading the Viet Minh, in their deals with the native bourgeois elements.

The International Executive Committee salutes the strikers of Singapore and the Calcutta workers and the demonstrations in support of the Indo-Chinese masses that have taken place throughout the world.

It calls upon the French section of the Fourth International to continue its struggle for the victory of the Viet Nam people and for the defeat of the French capitalists. It calls upon the French party to make known to the French workers and more particularly to the arsenal workers, the dockers, the sailors and the workers in uniform, the example set by the workers of Singapore and Calcutta who by their strikes and demonstrations showed in concrete fashion their solidarity with the people of Viet Nam. It calls upon the French section to develop the class action of the French workers to force upon the imperialists the stopping of tbe war, the immediate ending of hostilities and the signing of a peace which recognizes clearly and without reservation the complete independence of Viet Nam.

It calls upon all workers’ organizations to demonstrate their solidarity with the struggle of the Indo-Chinese and colonial masses and to boycott the production and transportation of war material to the imperialist armies.







The International Executive Committee of the Fourth International

April 1947

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Last updated on 13.2.2009