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The New International, March 1935


The Press

From New International, Vol. II No. 2, March 1935, Inside back cover.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Comrade Litvinov vs. Comrade Pfordt

THE official Comintern paper, Rundschau (Basel, January 24, 1935), prints the texts of two declarations made to the Council of the League of Nations on the same day, January 17, 1935, in connection with the Saar referendum vote.

The first, sent in the name of his party by comrade Fritz Pfordt, member from the Saar of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Germany (Section of the Communist International), asks the League Council to invalidate the Saar vote:

“The Communist Party of the Saar district has commissioned me to enter a protest before the Council of the League of Nations and the entire world against the validity of the vote cast on January 13, as it was neither a free nor an uninfluenced and honest vote ... We declare before the Supreme Council of the League of Nations and the world: A free, secret and uninfluenced vote can never look like this! This terror-vote can never be declared valid according to the principles which should prevail for this vote, according to the principles of the right of the Saar people to a free referendum. This vote is no genuine expression of will.”

The second declaration on the Saar is contained in a speech made to the Council by comrade Maxim Litvinov, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Section of the Communist International):

“With great satisfaction, we can today record the success of the application of the right of the self-determination of the peoples, which represents one of the basic principles of the international policy of my government. The application of this principle must have the aim of determining the nationality of the majority of the population of a given territory. History has decided that the test of this principle should be made on the nationality of the Saar population. This test, which took place on the 13th of this month, led to results which put an end to all doubts, if any existed, about the nationality of the Saar province. It cannot be expected from the League of Nations that, after the results of this test, it should broach the question of why the Saar people voted as it did. If, as many believe, the voters took into particular consideration circumstances which spoke against their national aspirations, then the fact that these considerations were finally eliminated can only reinforce the significance of the vote from the purely national standpoint. The great majority of the Saar people has told us that it wishes to remain German and that it wishes to share the destiny of its countrymen in every respect. We must confine ourselves to respecting such a decision and to congratulating the German people upon the return of its sons in the Saar.”

Decision, Action, Discussion

WE rescue from undeserved oblivion the following pearl plucked from an article on the labor party policy of the American CP in the Daily Worker (February 16, 1935):

“Question: Why was the question of the labor party raised by comrade Browder before there was any discussion in the party?

“Was this a violation of inner party democracy?

“Answer: The Political Bureau of the party thought that the Unemployment and Social Insurance Congress presented a golden opportunity of presenting the question to 2,500 delegates from all over the country. It was a springboard from which to launch the idea of a class struggle labor party as opposed to a third capitalist progressive party or a reformist party differing from the progressive one only in demagogy.

“The enthusiasm with which the party membership and the non-party masses have received the announcement of the labor party is proof of the correctness of the decision of the Political Bureau. It demonstrated once again that the communists exercize political initiative in all fields.

“There was no violation of party democracy. The widest discussion is being carried on within the party on all phases of the question. Action and discussion is being carried on simultaneously. The Central Committee at its last plenum made decisions concerning the policies of the party with respect to the labor party movement. This decision is being carried out throughout the country. At the same time party discussions are going on which can modify or elaborate this decision as can be done with all other decisions of the Central Committee.

“The Political Bureau could act because it was putting forward a basic principle of the party. This decision like all other decisions is based on the mutual confidence of the membership and the leadership, and its correctness is established by the collective experiences of the entire party. It should be emphasized that the communist party, at those times when immediate decisions are necessary, acts and discusses at the same time.”

Towards the Fourth International

TO THE Workers Party of the United States, the Workers Party of Canada, the Bolshevik-Leninist Party of Cuba, the (Left) Communist Party of Chile, the (when this appears) united Revolutionary Socialist Party of Holland, the Workers Party of Australia, and other parties and groups rallied under the banner of the Fourth International, comes a new adherent, Partido Obrero (Marxista Leninista) of Panama. Its official organ, Organisation (January 31, 1935), contains the manifesto of the Organizing Central Committee of the party, “to the workers and the poor and middle class peasants, and to the intellectuals, students and revolutionary elements of the middle classes”, which announces the launching of the party and sets out its platform.

Somewhat less unequivocally but moving along the same line of development is the recent appeal issued by the socialist youth organization of Spain to the youth organizations of the Communist Party, the Maurin group, the International Communists (Trotskyists) and the proletarian youth of Spain in general. From the appeal, as reprinted in the International Bulletin of the Youth (Stockholm, February 1935), issued by the International Bureau of Revolutionary Youth Organizations, we take the following:

“The Socialist Youth has finally broken with social democratic reformism and it desires, together with the socialist youth of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, England and Austria, to begin the reconstruction of the youth movement on the clear foundation of revolutionary Marxism. The international leadership required for the achievement of victory does not yet exist. The Second and Third Internationals have lost their position of leadership. After Hitler’s triumph a new movement has come to life. We believe that it is urgently necessary to lead this movement to its destination. Let us return to Marx and Lenin. Let us unite the proletarian youth into an International which has broken with the mistakes of the past.”

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