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Henry Judd

Real Disputes Argued Outside of Paris Conference

“Peace” Conferees Battle for Power

(19 August 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 33, 19 August 1946, p. 8.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The knock-down fight between America’s representative, Byrnes, and Russia’s Molotov continued to dominate the scene at the Paris royal battleground, sometimes mistakenly referred to as a peace conference.

Name-calling, accusation and counter-charge, abuse and mutual slander marked the exchange of opinion between the two leading spokesmen of their respective imperialist governments. The dove of peace is still hovering outside the Luxemburg Palace, waiting to be called in to the ring. Poor bird ...

It has been suggested that the Russian delegates are using filibustering tactics at the conference, with deliberate intention. This may well be the case. Behind the Russian “iron curtain,” cutting Europe in two, the Stalinist agents are busy at work completing the job of (a) destroying any and all opposition; (b) imposing unwanted and dictatorial regimes upon the occupied countries; (c) carting off the last pieces of loot, plunder and machinery; (d) moving whole sections of peoples about, into Russia and other lands, for the Stalinist slave labor camps, and (e) taking steps to bring the economic life of these countries into line with Russian economy. All this requires time. Stalin needs time to finish his murderous assignments and face the other nations with accomplished facts. This lies behind his stalling tactics at the peace conference and elsewhere.

Cold Shoulder to Italy

On every conceivable question, big or small, that has arisen to date, America and Russia have sharply clashed. This is the basic note of the Paris gathering, underscoring this fundamental world disagreement that exists between the two major imperialist powers of the globe. As yet, the conference has not even discussed any important issues, such as the actual treaties themselves. This discussion will prove even more bitter than those held up till now.

But it must be noticed that when it comes to the question of “ganging up” on a helpless, defeated nation, even the two conference giants manage to get together, for the sake of extracting their rewards. Such is the case with Italy, whose Premier de Gasperi made a pitiful appeal for mercy from the hostile, cold delegates. Molotov has denounced this appeal, along with his six satellite stooges, and America has had nothing to say on Italy’s behalf as yet. Byrnes’ handshake with the Italian Premier will be cold comfort to Italy’s 45,000,000 people who must suffer the iniquitous terms of the robber treaty about to be imposed upon them.

Where They Act

Concurrent with the conference, the big powers continue their war of nerves and unilateral action in Europe proper, each seeking to out-maneuver the other. These acts are far more important than the empty words of the conference and will shape the clashes of the future. Among them are:

  1. The open struggle between Russia and America in Austria over the issue of nationalization.
  2. The merger of the British and American zones of Germany, already in process and aimed at creating a solid Allied Germany to confront the solid Russian Germany.
  3. Russia’s threatening notes and moves against Turkey and her reported demand for reopening the question of control of the Dardanelles.
  4. The vast strategic shift in British imperialist line-ups in the Mediterranean. involving the entire Palestinian and Near Eastern areas.

The rubber-stamping conference continues, with much sound and fury and less “peace” than ever. But the real game goes on outside the conference chambers, where action and the shifting of forces takes place.

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