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Labor Action, 1 August 1949


British Trotskyists Dissolve RCP,
Enter Labor Party as Left Wing

(July 1949)


From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 31, 1 August 1949, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The British Trotskyists, official section of the Fourth International, have decided to dissolve their organization (called the Revolutionary Communist Party) and to enter the Labor Party as individual members. The decision is announced in a folder published as a special July number of the Socialist Appeal, the RCP organ up to now.

The action was taken, explains the statement, at a special national conference of the party in London on June 4, 5 and 6. It is motivated particularly in the following passage:

While the Labor government has introduced a series of economic and political reforms, we do not believe that these reforms have gone far enough, or that they have basically undermined the capitalist structure of the country. The experience of two years of nationalizations has brought to the forefront the problem of workers’ control and management of the nationalized industries; of further nationalization and inroads into capitalist enterprise – key questions for a future socialist development of the country ...

There is dissatisfaction among wide sections of the working class with the policy of the Labor government. They reflect this, however, not by seeking for a new or more revolutionary organization, but by striving to exert pressure through their established mass political organization – the Labor Party. They see no alternative in small left-wing groupings outside that party. The perspective for socialists must therefore be to join the ranks of the politically Party and try to orientate its policy along truly socialist lines.

After outlining their views – still including, unfortunately, the conception that Stalinist Russia should be defended in war, because “the economic base of Russia is historically progressive” – the statement concludes:

We would prefer to have the right to enter the Labor Party as an organized body, affiliated in the same manner as the Fabian Society and other organizations. But this is not possible owing to the 1946 decision of the Labor Party regarding organizations seeking affiliation. We have therefore dissolved our Organization and will fight as individual members, within the framework of the constitution of the Labor Party, for the policy outlined above. By dissolving the Revolutionary Communist Party and entering the Labor Party as individual members we consider we will best play our part in aiding the British workers to reach their socialist goal. We appeal to all friends and sympathizers to take – this step together with us. Our members are confident that by such a step they ensure their fullest participation in the development of the British working class and that in the common struggle for socialism together with other members of the Labor Party, the correctness of our ideas can be demonstrated.


J. Haston
On behalf of the Committee of Dissolution

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