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Reva Craine

World Politics

(26 March 1945)

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 13, 26 March 1945, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Big Three Domination

In typically blunt and cynical fashion, Prime Minister Churchill told the House of Commons that Yalta had indeed made a distinction between the rights of the small and big-nations, and that there was nothing in the Yalta plan which would prevent a conflict among the leading powers. The editors of the New York Times enlighten us with the following:

“First, while it is true that there is nothing in the Yalta plan to prevent aggression by any of the five great powers – Britain, Russia, France, China and the United States – this omission is more important in theory than in practice. Surely the reality of the situation is that if a point is ever reached when one of the five great powers must be coerced by force, then peace will have been lost anyway, beyond the possibility of salvage by any voting procedure that can possibly be devised; and a new world war will be in the making. The Yalta plan provides a method of preventing smaller wars which could easily grow into larger ones.”

One of the ways of “preventing, smaller wars,” that is, wars over issues not fully recognised as necessitating an immediate world conflict, is by eliminating the “danger zones” from the San Francisco conference. If in this manner several of the “smaller countries” lose representation at San Francisco, so much the worse for them.


India Again

With a population of nearly 400 million, this by no means small or insignificant country will be represented at San Francisco by three titled gentlemen chosen by the British Governor-General. Not one of them represents the Indian masses or their aspirations for national freedom! A spokesman for the India League justly declared: “These three titled collaborationists have no following whatsoever anywhere in India. At San Francisco they can accept no obligations for the prople of India.”

The bothersome and disagreeable problem of Indian independence, at any rate, won’t disturb the peaceful proceedings at Frisco.


Lebanon and Syria

Another embarrassing (for the Big Three) problem is eliminated by the exclusion, from the confab of Syria and Lebanon. Following the Yalta conference they were invited to join the United Nations by declaring war against the Axis, which they promptly did. Now they are busy fighting their “friends” for recognition and representation at the United Nations Conference.

Syria and Lebanon have been trying to throw off the yoke of the French mandate, and in this they had been encouraged by England. Recently, however, a change has crept into the British policy toward the matter of independence for these two countries: In February of this year, it was rumored, the London government upheld the French in their decision to retain troops in the two Near Eastern countries. This is undoubtedly part payment for French friendship in Europe.

Best way to avoid the awkwardness of confronting two small nations betrayed by Perfidious Albion is to keep them away. Hence no tickets to San Francisco.


Polish Struggle

The arrangements made at Yalta with regard to “broadening” the Russian-controlled Lublin government have hit a snag. The three-power commission sitting in Moscow has not yet been able to agree on how to “broaden” and have thus far failed “to get Mikolajczyk, former Premier in London and Peasant Party leader, who was slated to act as window-dressing for the Lublin set-up, to go to Moscow.

Since there is no Polish government, the Polish people will not be represented at San Francisco. A simple solution to a harassing problem.


Big Three Conflict

Not all the conflicting interests of the Big Three can be wiped out by exclusion from the April meeting. The Yalta decision that problems arising in the “liberated areas” be settled by the cooperative efforts of the Big Three is beginning to crack. Each of the powers tries to act independently of the others in order to get into the strongest .possible position. Thus we have England going ahead in Greece, Russia in Romania, and the U.S. in Latin and South America.


The Pot and the Kettle

The Russian-engineered change of government in Romania has evoked protest from the United States and England. A three-power commission is now supposed to be investigating the events which led to the establishment of the Groza government and the swift return of Transylvania by Russian agreement.

England expressed her disapproval by granting refuge to the ousted Radescu in the British legation. In retaliation, Russia broke her silence on Greece (which was maintained during the entire, period of fighting between ELAS and British troops) by declaring in Pravda that the regime of Plastiras “reminds every Greek of all the horrors of the Metaxas dictatorship and of the German occupation.”

Says England to Russia: According, to Yalta you must consult with us if you want to make any changes in Romania.

Says Russia to England: If you don’t keep your nose out of my sphere of influence, I’ll rake up all the dirt about your fair-haired boy in Greece, and maybe even encourage a little more trouble.


“Free Elections”?

Finland is the first of the “liberated areas” to hold elections. These are supposed to be the free expression of the people, uninfluenced and unhampered by foreign powers. Stalin’s party paper, Pravda, has thrown an ominous hint to Finland about what he considers the proper outcome should be. “The present elections are not to be considered an internal affair of the Finns,” the Russian paper wrote, and concluded with the warning that “some leaders must understand that friendship with the Soviet Union is the main guarantee of Finnish independence.” The results of the election have not yet been announced, but early reports seem to indicate that the pro-Russian Popular Democrats, a sort of popular front composed: of dissident Social Democrat, Communists and pro-Russian politicians did not make out too well.

If this is true, what will be the concrete consequences of Pravda’s threat?

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