Communist Party of Great Britain
Source: Communist Party 25th Congress Report, 1957
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
Congress condemns the Tory Government’s policy set out in the White Paper on Defence, to concentrate Britain’s strategy on the aim of nuclear war and to reorganise the armed forces for the purpose of nuclear war.
Such a policy is suicidal for Britain.
Congress warns against the attempt to deceive public opinion and cover up the aim of establishing a highly trained professional regular army for nuclear war and colonial war by conditional promises of a possible ending of conscription in five years’ time. These promises are made conditional on a great increase in the recruitment of regular soldiers to be used for reactionary imperialist wars. Failing such an increase in the number of regulars it is intended to maintain the system of two years conscription in a dangerous selective form.
Neither the policy of nuclear war and the reactionary professional nuclear army planned by the White Paper, nor the continuance of the present two years conscription, are in the interests of the British people.
In the present situation the strongest united fight should be waged for an immediate cut in the call-up to twelve months to be served in this country.
Congress calls for the most energetic campaign to compel the Government to abandon its policy of nuclear war, cancel the Christmas Island tests and join with the Soviet Union in the demand for the banning of all nuclear weapons and pending such a ban, the immediate cessation of all nuclear tests by international agreement.
This Congress expresses its appreciation of the work of the Commission responsible for the revised draft of our Party programme—The British Road to Socialism, which has evoked the most widespread and creative discussion of our fundamental aims throughout the whole Party.
It likewise expresses its thanks to all the very numerous Party districts and branches who have devoted so much time and serious study to the revised draft and sent in so many valuable and important amendments and comments. These will help considerably in strengthening the final text of the programme.
Congress endorses the main, general political lines of the revised draft as it has emerged from the discussion of a number of key principles at this Congress. Congress remits the revised draft, the amendments and the comments to the incoming Executive Committee and instructs it to prepare a new text on the basis of the Congress discussion and the material sent in by the Party organisations. The Executive Committee to submit the new text of the Programme to Party districts and branches for their comments, to finalise it in the light of these comments and then to publish it as the Party programme.
This Congress endorses the principles of the Majority Report of the Commission on Inner-Party Democracy as amended by the Congress.
It instructs the new Executive Committee to publish a finalised text of the Majority Report as amended.
It further instructs the new Executive Committee to draft new Party Rules and a statement on Congress procedure for submission to the Twenty-Sixth Congress, and to prepare a statement on Party discussion procedure.
It refers all amendments which have not come before the Congress to the new Executive Committee for consideration in the light of the decisions of the Congress.