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H.F. Roberts

French C.P. Pleads with Laval to Jail the Fascists

Stalinists Outraged by Fascist Insistence on “Right of Insurrection”;
See Salvation in “Purification of Police Force”!

(16 November 1935)

From New Militant, Vol. 1 No. 47, 16 November 1935, pp. 1 & 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

“Let no one try to intimidate us. At the present time it is insurrection which is legal.”

“Insurrection is the most sacred duty!”

The voices speaking are those of French Fascists. In the mouths ofrevolutionary workers what meaning these words could have! But how dothe French Stalinists react to these lines?

L’Humanité quotes them (Oct. 24) and adds:

“As incredible as it seems, this declaration has not been made a case for the courts.”

Incredible as it seems!

Here is another Fascist quotation:

“The best way of succeeding is through violence. We will mobilize the tractors and use them as tanks.”

Does l’Humanité remark, perchance, that the only thing wrong with these words is that they come from a Fascist instead of from the leaders of the French proletariat? No, friends, that would be outright counter-revolution. “Laval did not see in it (the Fascist declaration) a plot against the state. No prosecution took place.”

Demand “Arrest” of Fascist!

The Stalinists want Laval to arrest de La Rocque. They want him to bring these naughty Fascists plotting against the state into the courts of the French bourgeoisie. And why not? Pick up another copy of l’Humanité. It is the issue of Oct. 23. Once again on the menace of a Fascist coup d’etat. What has Vaillant-Couturier to say?

“Once again our party, in the face of this plot against the safety of the state, concealed by M. Laval, declares itself ready to throw all its forces alongside of those, ALL THOSE (emphasis in original – H.F.R.) who are determined to repulse this plot and maintain order.”

A little further on: “Mass action must obtain the liquidation of the Fascist Leagues and the arrest of their leaders.”


“Vigilance. Coolness. Discipline. Union of all those who wish to defend the Republic!”

Such are the Stalinist slogans. Let the incredulous pick up any current issue of the leading Stalinist organ outside of Moscow and any day he can read the same kind of foul drivel.

Decree Laws – Against Workers

On Oct. 23 Laval issued a series of decree laws, already dealt with in a previous article in these columns, ostensibly aimed at the Fascist leagues. These decrees were aimed at and will be used against the workers. They were issued on that particular date because Laval had to give Herriot something with which to come before the Radical Socialist party congress. This was derisively pointed out by the Fascists themselves who received the decrees not with shudders of mortal fear but with jeers. Laval issued them, said Echo de Paris on Oct. 23 “to calm Herriot and the Radicals.”

How about the Stalinists? “Decree laws against the Fascists? They have been taken,” writes l’Humanité, “but they are already violated.” They are insufficient and ineffective. “It is necessary to disarm and dissolve the Fascist leagues.” (l’Humanité, Oct. 25) There’s our anti-Fascist program! And oh yes, there’s another fault that has to be rectified, says l’Humanité.

“Purify the Police Force”!

“The decrees threaten to be ineffective ... these decrees are useless unless” – what can be coming? – “unless they are accompanied by a serious purification of the police.” The police chiefs, it seems are Fascist, but the “great majority of the police are of republican tendencies.” That is why the chiefs, it seems, are withholding some extra ammunition from the cops. L’Humanité won’t stand for seeing the cops go short of bullets

“It was only after the campaign conducted by l’Humanité that Guichard (high police official) finally consented to give nine new cartridges to his guardians of the peace – in order to face Fascists armed to the teeth!”

The police must be better armed and above all – purified. For this purification, “demanded by the policemen themselves – is an essential condition for the security of the French people.”

These are only some of the vile lengths to which the degeneration of Stalinism has led. Columns could be given over here to quotations, nothing but quotations from the columns of l’Humanité which are enough to make any honest Communist want to spit upon everything he’s ever been taught at the feet of the Great Leader, Stalin the Great, or Stalin the Little, alias Browder, Cachin or Pollitt.

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