Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The New International, December 1942


N.I. Down Under


From New International, Vol. VIII No. 11, December 1942, p. 347.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


A few days ago we received a letter from an Australian correspondent, who informed us the The New International was quoted in a Senate debate by the Labor Minister for Aircraft Production, Senator Cameron. The minutes of the senatorial debate were forwarded to us. Upon examination of the remarks it appeared that Senator Cameron was engaged in a debate in defense of labor against the wartime encroachments of big business and the profiteering of the ruling classes in all countries.

Referring particularly to the black market conditions in Great Britain, where inequality in rationing was rampant and where big-time speculators were amassing fortunes from the misery of the people, Senator Cameron quoted from the statistical evidence contained in an article in The New International of June 1942. Said Cameron:

“I quote now from the issue of June 1942 of The New International, published in America. The reference there to black markets is brief, but very significant.”

The quotation cited by the senator and reproduced here is from the article, England’s Political Crisis by Henry Judd:

The black market in England has become a gigantic war racket by means of which the rich manage to retain fairly well their pre-war standard of luxury. It is estimated now that the black market has a yearly cash turnover amounting to $60,000,000 – and this business is definitely on the up-and-up! All sorts of foods, clothing, textiles, gasoline, cigarettes, whiskey, cooking fats, etc., are handled on the black market. Naturally, the prices are prohibitive to the working class (cigarettes, 50 cents a pack; a bottle of Scotch, $7.00, are a couple examples). One of the cleverest (and these British aristocrats are clever) means devised to evade the stringencies of rationing is hotel life. A member of the English bourgeoisie, with money, can live almost in accord with his customary standards by moving to a hotel “for the duration.” The hotels have become a beehive of black market and illicit sales activities. In addition, the characteristic pleasures of the British ruling class, dog racing, horse racing, fox hunting, boxing, etc., have been restricted and curtailed, but not liquidated. All in all, the Tory set thrive infinitely better when it comes to eating, housing conditions, entertainment and special privileges.

There is an interjection:

Senator Leckie: “That is an American authority?”

Senator Cameron: “Yes; British authorities have reported similarly ...”

Top of page

Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 18 January 2015