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Paul G. Stevens

Events on the International Scene

(8 March 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 10, 8 March 1948, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Italian Socialist Youth Leave Saragat Party

“We are leaving the Saragat Party because it stands irrevocably outside the Socialist Movement and is moving further and further away from the working class to become a left cover for the bourgeoisie,” Comrade Maitan, general secretary of the Italian Socialist Youth said in an interview to the Rome daily Republica.

Refuting reports circulated by the Saragat party leadership, Comrade Maitan categorically stated that this was not a resignation of the Socialist Youth leadership, but a split which takes almost all the Socialist Youth outside the ranks of the Socialist Party of Italian Workers (PSLI) led by Saragat. He added that all over Italy, regional congresses of left militants belonging to the parent party were taking place, to discuss the regional details of the split and to determine the orientation of the new independent movement.

In the interview published in the daily Republica of Feb. 8, Comrade Maitan likewise defined the class position of the new movement and clearly indicated that the split was not the result of a difference of opinion over tactics, but of a principled incompatibility between a reformism bogged down in the mire of collaboration with the bourgeoisie, and a sincerely revolutionary tendency, placing in the forefront the defense of the class interests of the proletariat.

The Revolutionary Left of the Saragat party drew up their political platform before the Congress which, led to the split. It appeared in No. 3 of their tendency publication Riscossa Proletaria. We publish, below the text of this platform, which specifies the following points after. demanding the withdrawal of the Saragat Ministers from the government:

  1. Return of the party to its proper domain, namely, the class struggle, in order to convince the workers that the PSLI will not serve as an instrument for the consolidation of the capitalist regime, but remain the political instrument indispensable to the workers for the defense of their class interests.
  2. Define a clear-cut policy offering the proletariat the alternative of revolutionary socialist initiative as against the Stalinist policy, which is absolutely incapable of defending the interests of the working class, because it is an expression of the diplomatic-military apparatus of the Russian bureaucracy on a world scale.
  3. The essential task of a real Socialist Party must consist in an unflinching defense of the proletariat. against the offensive of the capitalist bourgeoisie and its agents, particularly the Christian Democrats, as well as against the opportunism of the Stalinist apparatus.
  4. The Ministers in the Christian-Democratic Government who are party members, must leave this government.
  5. Presentation of Socialist unity lists at the elections, and where this proves to be impossible, of autonomous PSLI lists.
  6. Activity directed toward the unity of the world proletariat, indispensable precondition for a socialist construction, and, consequently, opposition both to the Stalinist position which wants to adapt the policy of the proletariat to the interests of the Russian state, and to the Laborite position, which is openly endeavoring to tie up the activity of international Socialism with the diplomatic plans of the British government.
  7. Solidarity with the movements of the proletarians, peasants and toiling people of all categories, which arise from the ever growing misery and increased capitalist oppression. The party must reassume the leadership of these workers’ struggles in order to bring them back to the field of the class struggle and forestall their tactical utilization by the Stalinist party.
  8. Struggle for the recognition of. the management councils, and condemnation of all attempts to split trade union unity. Denunciation of the attempts of pseudo-reformists and Stalinists to tie the trade unions to the state apparatus.

Viet Nam Workers Arrested in France

We have received the following resume of a statement to the press on the arrest of Viet Nam workers, published by the Association of Viet Nam Workers in France. It speaks for itself:

“On Saturday, Jan. 31, and Sunday, Feb. 1, large police and mobile guard forces in the whole of France proceeded to encircle the camps of the Viet Nam workers and arrested 150 of them, consisting of old and newly elected delegates and rank and file workers.

“Clearly, this is a classical ‘concentration’ in a world of concentration camps, and not, as the communique of the Ministry of the Interior says, a simple ‘regrouping.’ Many of those held have to sleep on the floor. Those arrested at Balfort were only allowed to wear light clothing. At the Bias camp, they are allowed only one meager meal a day. Drinking water is severely rationed. 40 mobile guards armed with sub-machine guns patrol the camp day and night. Everywhere the prisoners are accompanied by policemen, it is the worst form of prison life.

“We Viet Nam workers who are still ‘free’ appeal to the French workers, to all men devoted to the cause of justice and freedom, to join forces with us in order to save the arrested workers from the brutality of the colonialists. Only the international solidarity of all the oppressed can stop the imperialist oppression.

“French workers, from your workshops, your offices, your trade unions, everywhere, send motions to the government to protest against police arbitrariness, against the arrest of the Viet Nam delegate Tran Ngoc Danh, against the incarceration of Viet Nam workers at, Bias, for their return to their comrades!”


The Central Committee of Viet Nam
Workers in France

February 8, 1948

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