Gordon Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Paul G. Stevens

In the World of Labor

(24 February 1939)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 10, 24 February 1939, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

How Leon Blum Saved the Present Fascist Mayor of Barcelona

A certain Matteu was named mayor of Barcelona immediately upon Butcher Franco’s entry into Barcelona at the beginning of the month. Senor Matteu is the head of the trust that has for years controlled the electrical industry, not only of Spain, but of Central France as well.

At the time of the heroic uprising of the Barcelona workers on July 19, 1936 against the Franco insurrection, Senor Matteu, among other reactionary capitalists and their lackies, was fast in the grip of the revolutionary workers committees.

What happened? How was Matteu released? Who is responsible for his escape and for his transformation from prisoner to jailer of the Barcelona workers?

An amazing revelation of the facts in the case is made in the February 3 number of the French journal Juin 36. An article signed Rous reveals the following facts:

Senor Matteu was linked to international and particularly French finance through Forgeot, director of the famous Hispano-Suiza concern and a former French cabinet minister in the days of the Andre Tardieu premiership. Hispano-Suiza has been defended in French courts by none other than Leon Blum.

On July 30, 1936, the socialist and communist workers in the region of the Eastern Pyrennees learned with astonishment that Matteu had been released and thus saved from the course of revolutionary justice. At the Catalan border, where the news was tracked down finally, it became known that this arch-capitalist was released on demand of Leon Blum, then heading: the first French People’s Front government!

In fact, he had crossed the French-Catalonian border that day in the company of the “Socialist” Montel, confidential secretary of Leon Blum, who came to call for him in his automobile!

Thus, while Blum and his French Socialist Party were participating in the farce of the “Non-Intervention Committee” and denying aid to the hard-pressed Spanish workers under the pretext that it would involve Europe in a world war, he was actually giving aid to the forces that were out to crush them.

For Matteu, once released, continued to aid the Franco rebellion with his financial resources, being rewarded with the appointment as mayor of Barcelona upon the Fascists’ occupation of the city.

These facts speak volumes about the inner corruption of the People’s Front. They are a demonstration of the baseness of its proponents in the so-called socialist and communist parties.

* * *

Rumanian Fourth Internationalists Under the Blows of Reaction

The recent attacks upon the Fascist “Iron Guard,” culminating in the murder of its leader, Codreanu, were followed up by the enrollment of some 70,000 Fascists in King Carol’s Rumanian Guard. With the “Iron Guard” out of his way, the King-Dictator of Rumania has concentrated his fire on the left.

Among the latest victims of Carol’s drive are comrades Stegan-Stefanov, Ion Donitrescu, Lucia Niculescu and Oscar Fraenkel, of the Rumanian Section of the Fourth International.

All honor to the Rumanian Bolshevik-Leninists who have fallen victims to the royal-fascist terror by their valiant struggle in the front ranks of Rumanian labor! Aid them by supporting the American Fund for Political Prisoners, which acts in the cause of such heroes as these.

French 4th Internationalists join the P.S.O.P.

On January 28, the Socialist Workers and Peasants Party (P.S.O.P.) carried through a mass demonstration in the heart of the Paris boulevards, calling for the opening of the French-Spanish border (that was just before the fall of Barcelona) and for the right of asylum to the Spanish refugees. No less than 1,500 arrests were made in the course of the demonstration.

In light of the P.S.O.P.’s development, the minority of the French Fourth Internationalist party has recently joined the P.S.O.P., following the convention of their party. The statement of these Fourth Internationalists is printed in the official organ of the Socialist Workers and Peasants Party, prefaced by a note from the leadership greeting it. It declares that the leadership of the P.S.O.P. did not accept such a proposition. Pressure of time and the fact that important numbers of advanced workers who have broken with the People’s Front have rallied to the P.S.O.P., the statement continues, have convinced the signers that they must at once join these forces in the closest daily activity in order to develop the resistance of the working class as a whole against the assaults of capitalism, war and Fascism.

“To be sure,” the statement concludes, “it is known that we have not at all abandoned our ideas and that, particularly, we retain our complete loyalty to the Marxist transition program adopted by the Congress of the Fourth International in September 1938. We believe that this program would constitute an incomparable weapon in the struggle for the P.S.O.P. While we have given up our affiliation to the Fourth International we must, however, declare that we do not at all renounce the right reserved to us within the framework of P.S.O.P. discipline, to work for the unification of our party with the World Party of the Fourth International ...”

* * *

Mr. Arthur Horner in Footsteps of Ramsay MacDonald

Among those who are beating the drums for British war preparations is Mr. Arthur Horner, a Stalinist leader who after many years has reached eminence as President of the South Wales Miners Federation. While miners are engaged in a hard strike struggle to unionize the Cory Pits in South Wales, Mr. Horner is feted as a dinner guest by ... Mr. Iestyn Williams, Secretary of the Coal Owners Association (South Wales Echo, January 23, 1939).

Another guest at the same dinner, the Echo informs us, was Sir David Morgan, intimate friend of the late Ramsay MacDonald.

Arthur Horner is well on the road of Ramsay MacDonald and only picking up speed. “Stalinism is Twentieth Century MacDonaldism.”

Gordon Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 9 March 2016