Labour Leader and the Bolsheviks 2003

Ian Bullock

For Labour Leader, official organ of the Independent Labour Party (ILP), during its final years between 1917-22 the Bolshevik Revolution was extremely divisive. The conflict generated would help bring about the paper's demise. And it set a pattern broadly recognisable in the Labour Party for decades.

With the new constituency parties in their infancy, the ILP was still the main means by which individuals participated in the Labour Party. Its membership fluctuated between c.30,000 and perhaps twice that number in the immediate post-war years.1 The Leader's circulation rose from 51,000 in the summer of 1917 to about 62,000 by the time of the Bolshevik Revolution2. It had been edited since 1916 by Katharine Bruce Glasier, though Philip Snowden – ILP Chairman from 1917 till 1920, and MP until defeated in the post-war election of 1918 – was 'Supervising Editor'. A regular contributor throughout 1915 and 19163, his role now encompassed a weekly signed 'page of comments on political events', and 'leading articles'.

The Bolshevik Revolution made the relationship between socialism and democracy a central issue. Previously there had been little support for the idea that socialism could be imposed by a well-intentioned elite. Socialism and democracy were almost synonymous. Some might profess themselves prepared to use 'physical force' to overthrow an oppressive – and undemocratic – status quo. But socialism meant the social ownership of the economy; inconceivable unless the people themselves exercised control. Yet if there was near unanimity about the necessity of democracy, there was less agreement about its proper form.

Socialist views ranged from simply demanding universal suffrage and abolition of the Lords, through advocates of proportional representation, or of Labour MP Fred Jowett's campaign to replace 'undemocratic' Cabinet government with a national version of the local government committee system, to supporters of 'direct democracy' via the referendum and initiative to transfer power from elected representatives to citizens. But should democracy be citizen democracy at all? For those influenced by syndicalism, 'geographic' constituencies were artificial - citizens had little in common. But workplace representation was 'real' and 'organic'.4 That revolutionary Russia appeared to be governed on the basis of workers' councils – or soviets – seemed to vindicate 'worker democracy'.


The October Revolution and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly

On the 15 November 1917, Snowden reported that 'Extremists' had taken power in Russia. He blamed the Allies' failure to respond to pleas from 'the Russian Government and the Soviet' for peace negotiations. The following week Edward Bernard foresaw the emergence of 'a coalition Socialist Government' following negotiations between other left-wing parties and 'the Lenin-Trotzky group.' with 'undoubtedly … a majority in the Constituent Assembly.'5 Snowden thought early results of the Assembly elections showed that the 'Bolshevists' were 'far more representative of the Russian people than we have been led to believe' and would be the single largest party in the Assembly. With the 'Peasants' Social Revolutionary Party' they would be able to 'form a responsible and representative government.'6 He was cautious following the dissolution of the Assembly in January. He feared internal divisions would weaken peace negotiations with Germany.

With the limited knowledge we have of the actual state of affairs in Russia it would be foolish to dogmatise or take sides definitely in a temporary conflict. We are naturally prone to look at what is happening from our British point of view and to come to conclusions… influenced by our tradition and training in constitutional methods.'

Snowden was to retain some optimism about Bolshevik Russia throughout 1918.

Meanwhile, the Leader's 'International Notes' explained:-

The Bolsheviks believe – apparently with good reason – that they alone are able to secure a democratic peace. The Bolsheviks were, therefore, faced with the alternative of dissolving the Constituent Assembly or allowing Russia to give way to Germany and to compromise with the capitalist forces. They chose the former knowing that it was a definite breach of the accepted standards of democratic government.

The same issue reported the standing ovation given to Litvinoff, 'Plenipotentiary for Great Britain of the Russian People's Government' at the Labour Party Conference. He told his audience that 'The land has been given to the peasants, the factories are under the supervision of their Shop Steward Committees', a reference – said the report – 'to the developing British organisation which the conference appreciated.' 7 On 31 January there was a sympathetic report of the recent Soviet Congress which 'takes the place of the Constituent Assembly'.

Even when criticisms were made, the tone was broadly supportive. On 4 February readers were invited to 'ponder the historical fact' that the meeting of the 'All-Russian Congress and hence the executive government will be composed of delegates from provincial Soviets' and that the electorate 'is to be limited to persons engaged in active labour.' (original emphasis) The 'soviet democracy' factor was crucial.


Belief in Soviet Democracy and early critics

The Leader had been a promoter of the Leeds Conference in June 1917 which called for the immediate establishment of 'soviets' throughout Britain. 8 The Bolshevik seizure of power in the name of the soviets was presented initially as an almost disinterested experiment in democratic form. 'If the moderate Socialist elements will recognise the system of Soviet government … an experiment in solving the theoretical dispute between the industrial and political State, as represented by the Constituent Assembly, might be set on foot.' 9 Responding to a call from the SR party in Russia to exclude the Bolsheviks from the Socialist International because they had 'violated the most elementary principles of democracy' the ILP paper explained, in May 1918, that these were in fact the principles of Western representative government as embodied in the Constituent Assembly.

But is the Western system really the only possible method of representative government? Is not a system of indirect elections from workshop to local Soviet, from local Soviet to central Soviet, also a form of representative government?

The Soviet system is an experiment; it does not conflict with the principle of representative government, though at present the idle rich are excluded from political power.10

The notion that what was happening in Russia was an experiment in working-class democracy persisted. In May 1919, for example, Norman Angell wrote that 'the attempt to give democracy a new meaning by grafting onto its political forms some methods of industrial self-government , however blunderingly that attempt may be made, is an experiment which mankind truly needs.'11 In January 1919, Joseph King voiced a widespread view. 'The Soviet system of Councils, elected from time to time, revised by the elections four times a year, its members always liable to recall and co-ordinated from localities into districts, provinces and so on up to the National Congress, which appoints commissaries, who are the Government, is a system very different to Parliamentary government'. But it was 'acceptable to the people, and certain to continue even were a national Assembly also established'.12 Belief in the reality of Soviet democracy, and the notion of what was taking place in Russia as 'an experiment', though not preventing criticism, allowed general support for the Bolsheviks and for the soviets perceived as authentic independent organs of working-class democracy.

The fervently pro-Bolshevik atmosphere on the Left in early 1918 is evident even in the first real criticism of the Bolsheviks to appear in the Leader. The prominent pacifist Dr Alfred Salter contested the democratic legitimacy of the Bolsheviks. But only after applauding them at length 'for their unflinching courage, their incorruptible devotion to first principles, their uncompromising devotion to the ideal (called fanaticism by the worldly-wise) their openness and frankness'. However, 'with full allowance for the dangers and isolated position in which the Bolshevik movement finds itself, we must definitely dissociate ourselves from its violence, its suppression of opposing criticism and its disregard for democracy.'

'It is fashionable in certain Socialist circles,' Salter went on, 'to decry Constituent Assemblies and Parliaments elected by universal suffrage, to sneer at them as "bourgeois" and to extol the method of Soviet government as "proletarian". But except by universal suffrage how can every single citizen make his voice heard and his influence felt?' And 'with the Soviets as they are today, less than half the nation is represented. Only a very few women are organized in the Workmen's and Soldiers' Councils, and probably a bare third of the total population of Russia can at present make its protest against, or give its sanction to, the acts of the Bolshevik Government.'13

It was not until August 1918 that the Leader carried the first reader's letter unequivocally condemning the Bolsheviks. For Richard Robinson, 'The forcible dissolution of the Constituent Assembly was a crime against Democracy which should be emphatically repudiated by all Socialists'. An ambivalent editorial note followed.14


1919: 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' and Intervention

At the 1919 ILP conference, Jowett's motion demanding electoral reforms and the substitution for the Cabinet system of departmental committees triggered an amendment calling for the adoption of a soviet system – with the monarchy and House of Lords abolished 'in the meantime'. When this was withdrawn, C H Norman 'deplored the fact that that a revolutionary gathering should send the message to the revolutionary movements on the Continent that it considered the method contained in the resolution sufficient.'15

While the 'bottom up' democracy of the soviets was still frequently invoked, the term 'dictatorship of the proletariat' and references to the 'vanguard' role of the Bolsheviks now increasingly appeared. One example of the new emphasis came from Charles Roden Buxton in May 1919. For the Communist, the starting point was recognition that 'the present state of society is the dictatorship of the minority that owns property in considerable quantities. which 'controls our minds, particularly through education and the Press' (original emphasis). The initial step to change this 'must be taken by a minority acting on behalf of the non-propertied … it is futile to expect that you can convert a majority of the people at once to the new view of things. Universal Suffrage and Parliamentary Democracy, under the prevailing conditions, will merely register the acquiescence of the mass in the present condition of society.' Therefore 'an "advanced guard" as Lenin calls it … must take control of the Government. This minority will in practice be found among the industrial workers.'

Eventually the propertied would 'come over to the regime', a process hastened by penalising those who did not. In the meantime, the transition would be 'essentially a stage of civil war, but it need not be carried on by methods of violence.' The revolutionary government must refuse its opponents any share in political power; at this stage there could be no Constituent Assembly chosen by universal suffrage and 'It must keep in its own hands the machinery by which public opinion is formed'. There would be no free press, freedom of assembly or uncontrolled education. 'This process must be clearly recognised as one of transition only': the 'ultimate goal' was 'complete democracy.'16

Allied intervention muted criticism. A leader in May 1919 summed up a common ILP view. 'We are not Bolsheviks, if by Bolshevism is meant a permanent system of Government in which any section of the community is denied its proportionate share of representation in a democratically elected assembly.' But they had to be defended against the 'vile É and in large measure unfounded charge of barbarism and terrorism'. Intervention must be opposed in accordance with the 'the right of self-determination'.17 July 1919 saw headlines, 'STOP THE WAR ON RUSSIA. IT IS A WAR AGAINST DEMOCRACY! IT IS A WAR ON SOCIALISM!' And Labour Leader went on to proclaim 'LONG LIVE THE RUSSIAN SOCIALIST REPUBLIC'.

Even Ramsay MacDonald was as critical of the Allies as of the Bolsheviks.

In supporting the Russian Revolution we are not necessarily taking sides either for or against Soviets or Bolshevism. We are recognising that during a revolution there must be Jacobinism, but that if that Jacobinism be evil the way to fight it is to help the country of the revolution to settle down and assimilate the revolution. Bolshevism can be tested only by the free operation of political opinion and experience in Russia. If it be said that it is maintaining itself by force and repression, it is the Allies who are creating the conditions which allow it to do that.

If the Russian Revolution survived…

…its Soviets may disappear by being modified into some new type of democratic government, but it will start a new liberal movement of thought which will be as fruitful later on in the century as the French Revolution was in the century that was gone. Lenin will occupy in the 20th century a place akin to that held by Rousseau in the 19th century.18


'One or Three Internationals?'19

Meanwhile, at the ILP annual conference a National Administrative Council (NAC) motion welcoming the Bern congress of the revived Socialist International included an addendum taken almost verbatim passage from the congress resolution on 'Democracy and Dictatorship' endorsing the 'principle of democracy'. This was defeated by 290 to 203 because, said C H Norman, it 'was taken from the resolution supported at Berne by the reactionary parties, which were unsympathetic to the Soviet Government, and the acceptance of it would be construed as an endorsement of the principle of condemnation of the Russian Republic.' Later when A Ponsonby ' refused to condemn the Soviets and Lenin' the Leader reported 'this straight declaration was met with loud applause.' An editorial in the same issue commented:

If the Conference showed a new trend it was in the direction of a movement towards the Left of the International. The gross misrepresentations of the Russian Soviet Government by the capitalist Governments and Press had created a sympathy with the Bolsheviks which was probably the cause of the determination of the Conference not to support any resolution which could possibly be construed as a reflection upon the Bolsheviks, rather than any approval of the Soviet form of government as a system which should be advocated in this country.20

By summer 1919, international affiliation had become the crucial issue. 'The whole Socialist International', wrote Ramsay MacDonald, 'is anti-Bolshevist. It is indeed the only real bulwark against Bolshevism.'21 Fred Longden, President of the Aston Branch in Birmingham, denied MacDonald's claim and expressed 'great dissatisfaction' that Labour Leader 'did not contain severe criticism' of MacDonald's article. The Bolsheviks should be defended.

A proletarian dictatorship in the hands of Lenin and Trotsky and their like, on behalf of the masses of 85 per cent of the people, is far more decent and far preferable to either despotism by a Tzar and Black Hundred or so-called 'constitutional' rule at the behest of a few nobles and upper middle class tyrants like Lloyd George… The Soviet Democracy is at least as admirable as the best in Western Europe.22

For MacDonald, Longden's letter revealed a 'movement which is being assiduously worked in the ILP',23 but the latter insisted he was not 'a member of any disruptive group' and continued to challenge MacDonald, describing as 'monstrous his presentation of the Socialist International as a 'bulwark' against Bolshevism'.24

MacDonald's Parliament and Revolution was greeted with a fanfare. 'No socialist writer' wrote J Bruce Glasier, 'not even Kautsky, has more thoroughly digged down to the roots of political institutions, or searched out the implications of Socialist dogmas.' But 'perhaps the most surprising thing in the book is his proposal for a sort of Soviet Second Chamber of Parliament. Coming from one who was the mortal enemy of the Irish Second Chamber proposal, and who has implacably opposed all devices calculated to lessen the responsibility of the popularly elected House of Commons, this is a piquant innovation'.25

David Marquand, in his biography of MacDonald, described Parliament and Revolution as 'in many ways the most effective polemic he ever wrote.' 26 The part that so surprised Glasier, defended 'territorial' constituencies representing 'citizens' rather than 'constituencies of narrow influences – whether of trades or profession'. But MacDonald conceded, Parliament is 'moved by class interests and class assumptions just as much as if it were elected by a stockbroker's guild, a guild of city merchants, a guild of landowners, a guild of lawyers' and that reform is urgently needed to bring the country's 'industrial life … into more direct contact with its political life'.

A reformed Second Chamber based on citizenship, however elected, would demand equality with the Commons, while 'A nominated Second Chamber, though from the point of view of practical politics the most convenient form of such a body, is so contrary to democratic assumptions that it will not be adopted.'

Let us, then, have a Second Chamber on a Soviet franchise… Guilds or unions, professions and trades, classes and sections could elect … their representatives, just as Scottish peers do now. It would enjoy the power of free and authoritative debate (no mean power); it could initiate legislation, and it could amend the Bills of the other Chamber; it could conduct its own enquires, and be represented on Government and Parliamentary Commissions and Committees.27

This was clever. Soviets - controlled by the workers and elected in the workplace – was a large part of the Bolshevik appeal nudging ILPers towards Third International affiliation. The attraction of guild socialism, which attempted to combine both 'geographic' and 'industrial' representation for citizen and worker, was great at this time especially for the younger members such as Clifford Allen, who Marwick tells us, 'hoped to bring the British Labour movement, or at least its vanguard, the I.L.P., into communion with the new Third International'.28 MacDonald's new line had much more appeal than a conventional defence of parliamentary government. And MacDonald's 'Open Letter' on 1 April 1920, 'To a Young Member of the I.L.P.' cleverly associated the Bolsheviks with both the pre-ILP 'cataclysmic' socialism and Fabian elitism. 'At that time there was no word of "the Dictatorship of the Proletariat', but there was the corresponding Fabian idea that by clever manipulation you could capture the Government and thus give an innocent nation the benefits of the rule of an enlightened Junta.'29

There was little support for the Socialist International. Early in December a leader lambasted it. It would 'deservedly collapse, unless it can do something to justify its existence'30 it predicted. This theme was taken up by MacDonald'. The Socialist International seemed 'a gathering of compromised sections' unable to 'give a pure sounding call to the working classes.' To commit to 'Moscow 'would mean becoming 'a mere wild revolutionary minority, and throw back the movement to where it was generations ago'. If the coming Socialist International meeting at Geneva failed the ILP should try to 'recreate a new International' of 'national sections which, standing firm upon Socialist ground, recognise national differences and see the necessity of keeping in touch with every manifestation of the working class spirit – even the most extreme forms born of the war and its mischiefs'.31

On New Year's Day 1920 in 'A Talk with Jean Longuet', Francis Johnson quoted the French socialist as calling for 'a meeting of what might be termed the left wing element in the Second International' with others including, crucially, 'representatives from the Russian section of the Moscow International.' It was not 'essential or necessary', Johnson urged, 'that the International should be divided into Parliamentary and Soviet sections32 and G D H Cole described the soviet/parliament split as 'a great calamity'.33 It was in this conciliatory spirit that the ILP took part in the 'Vienna Union.' – the so-called 'Two-and-a-half International' – which attempted to reconstruct a united international.


'Our ILP Debating Column'

Kautsky's Dictatorship of the Proletariat, published by the ILP in January 1920, was advertised as 'An incisive criticism of Class Dictatorship and a powerful defence of democratic government, by the greatest Socialist writer on the Continent.'34 An article by its translator, H H J Stenning, was preceded by an editorial note announcing the reopening of 'our Debating Columns'. Stenning identified Bolshevism as 'A Recrudescence of Blanquism', claimed that though Marx had toyed with such ideas in his earlier years, 'It is quite easy, however, to produce from Marx's works of a later period telling quotations against Bolshevist proceedings' He then considered 'Some Defects in Soviet "Democracy". However liberally 'worker' was defined many would be excluded from the soviet franchise. 'The dictatorship of the proletariat' had been used by Marx to describe the Paris Commune 'which was, however, elected by universal suffrage.'35

Mark Starr countered with the familiar point that 'Soviet Democracy' was based on industrial rather than territorial constituencies.

Another point Soviet critics seem invariably to miss is that delegates and not representatives are the means for carrying out the voters.

In our miners' lodges we already have an approximation to this. When questions are discussed the delegate is mandated to vote upon particular questions instead of being elected to 'represent' his fellows for a lengthy period. This with the power of recall is certainly a step in the right direction. (original emphasis)36

George Benson replied. 'There is no magic in a Revolution to bring a man from the wrong side of a ballot box to the right side of a barricade.' The franchise was 'more than an instrument of government. It is a symbol of personal liberty.' He ridiculed 'our British Sovietists' for wishing 'to run complex affairs of the Nation and indeed the world, as if they were the comparatively simple business of a Miners' Lodge.'

Also in that week's debate R K Weaver questioned whether there was any essential difference between the soviets disfranchising non-workers and the disfranchisement in Britain of 'certain classes such as women under thirty'. In Russia the disenfranchised could 'always obtain representation by becoming workers'. The Bolsheviks' survival demonstrated their acceptance 'by the majority of the Russian nation'. C Manne believed that an 'intelligent minority' must always be in control in revolutionary periods and that the length they stayed in power depended on 'the number of people who they are able to make class-conscious'. P McOmish Dott thought that if the Soviet government 'adopted the Swiss method whereby no law becomes effective until voted on and approved by the whole people at the half-yearly election, even Kautsky's criticism would fall to the ground.' And Snowden was still confident that 'Peace will certainly abolish the dictatorship and result in the formation of a democratic government which will be able to show the world what can be done by the proletariat to firmly establish the Socialist State.'37

Reviewing Kautsky's Dictatorship of the Proletariat, John Scurr anticipated a 'storm' when readers realised that 'Kautsky regards the revolution in Russia as being the last middle-class revolution rather than the first Socialist.' It was 'middle class or bureaucratic inasmuch as a party seizes power and exercises it.' And, like so many others, he stressed that the soviet republic was 'an experiment' carried out under exceptional circumstances and concluded with a ringing endorsement of Kautsky's book.

In the 'Debating' column that week, R C Wallhead, accepted the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' as a temporary expedient, but believed this 'totally different from exulting it into a philosophy or adopting it as an integral part of a programme.' Acceptance of precisely this was a condition of affiliation to the Third International.38

Clifford Allen joined the debate.' He complained that:-

We are left to pick up what we can from rather superficial controversies in the LABOUR LEADER, and when we do publish any considerable work on Socialist policy, we choose Karl Kautsky's attack on Russian ideas and leave our members to go to other organisations for almost all the original documents of Soviet Russia.

Our leaders blame us for offering our platforms to speakers from other sections of the Socialist movement. But is not this partially due to the fact that the N.A.C tends to ignore important Socialist developments and by refraining from encouraging us in careful and impartial study, forces us into the hands of sectional propagandists?39


Third International support in the ILP in early 1920

As the 'Debate' proceeded, the divisions of the ILP were holding regional conferences. The first reported, early in January, was the Scottish ILP Conference. The Leader summed up the result succinctly.

…by decisive votes [it] decided in favouring:-
The Labour Alliance
The Third International
Prohibition of Alcoholic Liqueurs

There had never been any doubt as to how the vote would go on the proposal to affiliate to the Third International, and, when it was announced the resolution: That the I.L.P. sever its connections with the Second and affiliate to the Third International had been carried by 158 votes to 28 there followed a demonstration of enthusiasm such as had never been equalled at a Scottish I.L.P. Conference. Delegates jumped to their feet in one delirious frenzy, surprised and gratified that they were united in their desire to link up with the Moscow International.

It was a spontaneous outburst of cheering which astounded the Press agents, who asked what it was all about.

However, a motion condemning 'members of the I.L. P. who are so blinded by thoughts of governmental power as to assist the enemies of the first Soviet Republic' was rejected by 103 to 51. No 'enemies' were named in the motion, but – inevitably – MacDonald was mentioned the debate.40 Snowden noted that several more divisional conferences had passed similar resolutions in favour, due he believed to ignorance among the membership, including a failure to understand that the Third International had categorically declined to negotiate with a number of parties including the ILP which it deemed unfit ' to enter the temple of the elect.'.41

Some divisions were hesitant about Third International affiliation. One frustrated delegate thought 'those who wanted more information about Russia, in view of all that had been published, should change their song from the "Red Flag" to "Lead Kindly Light".42 Among the most hostile was the Yorkshire conference. Leach of the Bradford branch insisted 'the Soviet system is not governed by delegates of the people but delegates of delegates etc ad infinitum, the rulers at the peak of this complicated pyramid were so far removed from public control that the recall was of no value' The affiliation motion was lost by 43 votes to 10. In contrast 'a long resolution from Bradford in favour of the Committee System', moved as ever by Jowett, was passed unanimously without discussion.43

But, as the Scottish conference exemplified, there was a groundswell of enthusiasm for Third International affiliation. So, as it had done before the War at times of internal crisis, Labour Leader urged branches not to mandate delegates but to leave them a free hand to consider the arguments put forward at the annual conference.44 The most important question was the relationship of the ILP 'to the International Socialist Movement.'

…it would be in the interests of the Party, and of the International, if branches would refrain from sending their delegates to the Conference definitely pledged to support certain resolutions.45

This went to the heart of the debate on the 'soviet system' since its perceived democratic superiority rested not only on its 'industrial' basis but also on the belief that delegates were mandated by their electors at the equivalent of branch level, and could be 'recalled' and replaced, unlike parliamentary systems where representatives – as distinct from delegates – enjoyed a free hand between elections.

Following the ILP conference Snowden commented on 'The Tied Delegate'. At the Conference of the Russian Communist Party, the chair, Kamenev, had 'announced to the Conference that certain delegates had come pledged to vote in a particular way. He pointed out that by the tradition of the Party, the decision of the Conference would be binding on all members and that no tied voting was permissible. "Every delegate," he said, "must vote according to his own conscience, and not according to the views he and others had formed before the debates"'. This, said Snowden 'runs counter to the whole idea, as we have been given to understand it, of Soviet Government.' The pro-affiliation vote at the conference would have been smaller 'if the delegates had followed the Russian plan of voting according to their own consciences, after hearing the debate, instead of following instructions given on very inadequate knowledge and information.'46

Meanwhile, just before the conference, McOmish Dott, supporting a new International for 'all genuine International Socialists ' insisted it was unclear whether the Third International demanded 'a forcible revolution as a necessary means of establishing Socialism' nor whether the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' necessitated 'a minority governing even for a transitional period' . For him 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat simply meant 'the holding of power by the army and police to compel the people to obey the Government [original emphasis]. This would end when 'the capitalists agree merely to use their voting power and give up recourse to Koltchaks, Denikins and Entente Allies.'

In the same issue, Clifford Allen, rejecting 'the old Parliamentarianism', wished the ILP to 'become identified with the new industrial thought of the trade union world.' It should disaffiliate from the Socialist International and attend 'the International Conference of Left Wing Socialist bodies'. But it should also announce its desire to become part of the Third International. It should set out the Party's own opinions on three points and ask for the Third's reaction to them. The ILP should reject the 'Armed Revolution of the Workers', as applied to Britain, accept 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' – 'Democracy is meaningless until economic equality is established.' – and should refuse to accept the 'soviet system as a 'general "must"'. But 'if they say that the fundamental idea of government by Soviet is government through working class organisation then we agree.'47


The 1920 ILP Conference

At the start of the conference a 'Third International gathering' chaired by C H Norman and addressed by Helen Crawfurd, Walton Newbold and J R Wilson drew about 200. It was agreed to 'act together' and 'to hold further meetings during the Conference proceedings.'48

The mover of the affiliation motion, Herron, insisted 'the Communists would not seek to impose upon them something that was absolutely foreign to their nature.' MacDonald's 'wonderful book' had shown that 'Parliament could not express the will of the people; it could not function for the working class' If they could not accept 'the whole Soviet system, at least some modification of that system was the only thing for them.' The 'dictatorship of the proletariat' was about 'declaring an economic blockade against the parasites of society.' The seconder declared that 'Whether the Soviets were a failure or a success, its principle was to govern from the bottom not from the top'. As regards the dictatorship of the proletariat, they had had a dictatorship ever since the institution of private property, the only difference being that the wrong people had been the dictators.49

MacDonald was 'enthusiastically received' but 'constantly interrupted by a few delegates.' He was conciliatory. Listening to Herron's speech his 'heart had gone up' as he saw at last a chance for agreement. But faced with an international almost on its last legs, the conference was being asked to join another 'which is bound to slap revolutionary conditions on every sentence it issues'. They could not duck the issue of bloodshed 'the manifestos that have been issued calling the Moscow Conference say you must arm the proletariat and disarm the bourgeoisie'. This brought applause from the supporters of Third International affiliation.

George Benson responded to Herron by insisting that '"The Third International favoured not merely the defence but the capture of the State by armed force" which brought cries of 'No' from part of the audience.' John Barry from Merthyr denied that the Third International laid 'inflexible' conditions. 'The question of force only arose as a weapon of defence.' Clifford Allen, making as Fenner Brockway later wrote 'his first mark as a national figure in the I.L.P.'50 supported the motion to postpone the affiliation decision until the ILP had made further enquiries. Those in two minds could rally behind his reminder that 'The majorities in the branches were narrow, a thing that extremists on both sides were apt to forget.'

Three votes were taken. Delegates voted 529 to 144 to disaffiliate from the Second but affiliation to the Third International gained only 206 votes. Further consultation and a future special conference was carried by 472. The conference closed on a less dramatic note with Jowett's 'abolition of the Cabinet system' motion carried with a large majority.51

Snowden's editorial presented the outcome as historic. 'Not since the I.L.P. came into existence has it been called upon to deal with a more critical situation than at this week's Annual Conference.' Affiliation to the Third International would have meant abandoning 'its anti-militarist and civic principles'. He was left 'with a feeling of relief rather than satisfaction.' Supporters of the Third International affiliation were misleading themselves. 'The kind of Socialist International they approved would bear little or no resemblance to the Moscow International with which they desired the I.L.P. to affiliate.'52


Reports from Russia

Until this time, Labour Leader had had to rely on journalists like Ransome (Daily News) and Phillips Price (Manchester Guardian) for first-hand accounts of Bolshevik Russia. Snowden now criticised George Lansbury's Daily Herald dispatches, soon to form the basis of his book What I Saw in Russia, based on a short visit to Moscow, 'The Third International stands for everything which Mr Lansbury declares himself to be opposed.' It aimed at 'what it calls the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, which is a euphemism for the establishment, as in Russia, of an autocracy as tyrannical as that of the Tsar.' Affiliation meant 'being committed to a silly and futile attempt at armed revolution: it means violence as the method of Socialism: it means autocracy and not democracy: it means dishonest and disingenuous propaganda; in short it means the complete reversal of everything the ILP has preached and practised up to the present.'53

Of more serious consequences for the ILP was the joint Labour Party/TUC delegation to Russia in May and June. Attached to it was an 'unofficial' ILP duo, Clifford Allen and Richard Wallhead whose mission was to clarify the terms on which the ILP might affiliate to the Third International.54 Reports on their way to Russia claimed that 'the Norwegian Party' had been allowed to affiliate subject to the 'equal treatment of peasants and workers 'and – crucially from the ILP perspective – the rejection of 'arming' of the proletariat. An editorial in the same issue seemed to confirm this, encouraging the belief that affiliation terms were negotiable.55

In June, 'What we saw in Russia', by Ben Turner, who chaired the delegation, received front-page treatment. They had seen what they wanted; there had been no 'organized camouflage'. They had had free access to Mensheviks. There was no 'anarchy', and 'The Trade UnionsÉtake part in the actual government of Russia as well as in the government of their respective industries.' But the Bolsheviks did not 'deny that they have used repressive measures. They say that, so long as a great part of the world is plotting against them, they must have exceptional powers to arrest the counter-revolutionaries, monarchists, and officers of the old White Guard who act as agents and spies for the enemies of Russia.' The Extraordinary Commission was 'above ordinary law, but its members assured us that they always give the prisoners a trial and provide the indictment within 24 hours. The members of the delegation were given every opportunity to see the British prisoners and the Concentration Camp.'56

Brockway reported the delegation had returned with 'very differing views about the Soviet regime. A A Purcell and Robert Williams can find no words of praise too unbounded, Mrs Snowden … finds it difficult to criticise sufficiently strongly. Reading the various accounts, one gets nevertheless an intelligent picture of the whole. It is not so much the facts which are disputed as the interpretation of the facts.' He went on to note that 'Bolshevism … is shown to involve great restrictions on personal liberty – suppression of freedom of speech, Press, and association, and industrial conscription with an almost military discipline. Apparently, too, even in the Soviet system there is little rank and file control'.57

In late July the Leader reported the questions put by Allen and Wallhead to the Third International58 and on 19 August Allen announced that he could not recommend 'unconditional affiliation to the Third International until it agrees that the policy of violence as a means of attaining power shall be an open question for the decision of each national party.'59 At the Albert Hall welcome for the Labour delegation, 'Arthur Purcell and Robert Williams declared out and out for Bolshevism'. Haden Guest's 'plucky speech' criticised 'the method of violence' Margaret Bondfield noted the 'pragmatism' of the Bolsheviks in re-introducing 'one-man management' and.60

In September, Wallhead, now Chairman of the ILP, wrote:

A short time ago, for anyone to question the immediate practicality of Workmen's Committees controlling industry, was to run the risk of having one's personal integrity impugned and drawing on one's head the charge of treachery to Socialism. If one dared to suggest that this particular experiment in Russia might fail, the effect was to arouse antagonism of the most violent character.

Yet the Bolsheviks were saying precisely that and introducing 'one-man management'.61

Meanwhile, at the beginning of July, Emile Burns complained about 'the Times and Morning Post … making great use of interviews given them in Stockholm by Dr Guest and Mrs Snowden.'62 Protests 'against the hostile interviews on Soviet Russia being accorded to the Capitalist Press by Mrs Snowden' asking the NAC to take action followed.63 Her book Through Bolshevik Russia further angered her critics. Leybourn says, it was 'the party's treatment of his wife' which he took as a 'personal insult' that drove Snowden from 'the mainstream of ILP politics' although conflict with the Leader's editor was, surely, another – related – factor.64


The 'Left Wing of the ILP' and the 1921 Conference

Although the initial meeting of Third International supporters at the 1920 annual conference was reported, it is only at the very end of that year that the term 'Left Wing of the ILP' began to appear regularly in the Leader. Soon after that conference A T Rogers wrote in saying it was now the 'bounden duty' of every Third International supporter to 'immediately withdraw from the I.L.P,'65 but alarmed leading figures of the 'Left Wing' expressed the hope that no one would take this advice. They were 'seeking to unify the movement, not disrupt it'.66

At the beginning of December Snowden noted that the Communist International had 'instructed' all the Communist groups in Britain to unite, including 'The Left Wing of the I.L.P'.67 while in the correspondence column H Parker attacked 'the attempt to establish and build up within the I.L.P an undemocratic and questionable group, namely "The Provisional National Committee of the Left Wing of the I.L.P.68 Others still emphasized unity, Jim Simmons, chairman of the Midland Divisional Council, praised the 'Left Wingers' in his division 'who had refused to take part in any "wrecking movement" inside the party,' and he was later to plead for tolerance of 'loyal Left Wingers, like Fred LongdenÉwho have refused to take part in the wrecking tactics of the last twelve months'.69

Meanwhile, MacDonald was contesting the Woolwich by-election. Brockway's eve of poll report confidently predicted a large majority.70 But MacDonald was defeated. Angry letters followed. H Parker wrote; 'The Labour Party candidate at Woolwich was an I.L.P member and the National Labour Party is entitled to the satisfaction of knowing that in future our nominee cannot be fought "relentlessly, ruthlessly and in the open" by members (?) of the I.L.P. who have sought to purloin our title and malign our name.' The Rev. William J Piggot blamed the Communists, who 'torpedoed their Comrades' work.' The editor, Katharine Bruce Glasier, summarized these letters concluding with another critic of the 'Left Wing'.

Mr R Sedgwick writes with our full sympathy, that he thinks it will be agreed that the time has now arrived when Mr Walton Newbold and his like must conduct their 'relentless and ruthless fight out in the open' of Mr MacDonald and our other I.L.P. leaders, outside the ranks of the I.L.P… It can hardly be doubted that these men are out to smash our Party… Therefore let the Party give them clear notice to quit.'71

Under severe pressure from all sides she refused to publish 'defamatory libels on individuals unsupported by evidence' including both a letter attacking Walton Newbold and one from him written, she said, 'under the kindly title "MacDonald Must Go"'.72

Once again, the 1921 ILP conference at Easter was dominated by the affiliation issue. But now it was clearly a lost cause. P J Dollan noted that there had been 'some surprise' at the rejection by the Scottish ILP of a motion for joining the Third International by 93 to 57 in the light the previous year's vote.'73

Wallhead's chairman's address slated the 'criminal record' of the British government towards Russia and referred to 'the great Socialist experiment'. But he was clear that:-

In the end Socialism can only be effectively established upon the freedom and frank acceptance of the new order by the mass of the people. Permanent dictatorship and repression is its very negation and could only result in a hideous travesty…

As for the 'Left Wing', 'There cannot be permitted allegiance to an outside body whose mandates are to be carried out against the expressed will of the Party … they should leave and join with an organisation to which they can honestly give their allegiance.' A request from the Communist Party for Arthur MacManus to address the conference on the Third International was rejected.

.John Beckett attempted to refer back the section of the NAC report on Walton Newbold's ILP candidature at Motherwell 'because it was absurd of the Party to put up candidates who were active members of another and hostile association.' He withdrew after Newbold's wife – he was not a delegate – insisted that he was 'never a member of the Communist organisation'. But she also explained that 'He had received sanction to stand from Moscow so long as he stood on the maximum program (sic)… She had, she said, returned from Moscow with a message to the Left Wing of the I.L.P. that their duty was to remain in the I.L.P'.

Becket also tried to block Ethel Snowden's nomination to represent the ILP on the Labour Party Executive. Though defeated on a card vote by 235 to 191, this led to acrimonious debate. Beckett 'drew special attention to the article that appeared in the London Magazine. It was accompanied by pictures which had never been outdone for bestiality by the capitalist press in their propaganda against the Germans (Hear, hear) The Bolsheviks were shown dragging women half-naked from their homes.' Mrs Snowden had her defenders. R L Outhwaite said that 'During the war Mrs Snowden played a braver part than any man or woman in the country in her championship of the liberty of the I.L.P.ers who withstood conscription (Hear, hear). When she found that Trotsky shot C.Os she was naturally revolted.'

George Benson, moving the motion rejecting the '21 conditions' of the Third International, said that acceptance would hand over the I.L.P., 'bound hand and foot, to a foreign organisation'. There was 'loud dissent, general exception being taken to the word "foreign"'. Referring to the requirement to change the leadership of the organisation he asked 'was the I.L.P. a political party or a Christmas party?'

'The Moscow amendment', sought acceptance of the 21 conditions. Wilson, the mover, argued that the' Communist Party was using the power of the dictatorship on behalf of the mass of the Russian working class.' Seconding, Helen Crawfurd insisted dictatorship was 'a temporary institution.' But the majority of delegates were more convinced by Paton's argument that 'in the Communist International as at present constituted there was no place at all for freedom of discussion.'

Following a contribution from Shaphurji Saklatvala, MacDonald picked up on Mrs Newbold's admission that 'his Party had been officially instructed from Moscow to remain inside the I.L.P. to disrupt it'. Charles Baker gave yet another view of the meaning of the dictatorship of the proletariat, arguing that it simply meant nationalisation since that would involve 'the imposition of the will of the masses upon a dissentient few.' The 'Moscow amendment' was lost by 97 to 521.

The Conference ended with many empty places owing to the secession of the Communist minority. There are many whom we shall miss, but we believe it will be better for them and for us that the two sections pursue their separate courses. The secession will probably not number more than a thousand.74

Afterwards, the Rev Gordon Lang attacked what he called 'Communist Efforts to Disturb I.L.P. Branches' in Scotland. He recalled branch officials selling The Communist rather than the Leader and other ILP literature, and the heckling and bullying of chairs and speakers at meetings. The 'wild men' should be careful, he cautioned.

They had better remember … that they cannot all sit at the desk signing the death warrants of sentimental ILPers and the like. The plain truth is that they do not believe in their own vaguely defined 'dictatorship of the proletariat'. What is desired by them is a dictatorship of the Party.75


Beginning of the end of the Leader. Snowden v Mrs Glasier

At the end of 1920, Snowden insisted that:

…Winston Churchill has done more than any living man to strengthen the Bolshevik Government. If it had not been for his policy the Russian people would themselves long ago have dealt with the gang of despots who usurped power by force and maintain it by tyranny aided by the help of British and French Bolsheviks like Churchill and Poincaire (sic). The best way to kill Bolshevism is to give the Russian people goods. Even if some of the men in power remain their methods will not survive the opening up of intercourse with the rest of the world.

This was followed on his page by 'An Appeal to British Labour' from 'A number of well-known Russian Socialists living in England.' It was right to denounce the blockade and demand recognition of the Soviet Government but Labour was silent about 'the suppression of liberty and every form of democracy by that Government.' Socialists should 'make it a condition of moral support that the Bolsheviks should show at least as much consideration for Russian Socialists as for American capitalist concessionaires.'

This was too much for Katharine Bruce Glasier who appended a long editorial note. 'The Editor feels compelled to disassociate herself once and for all from Mr Snowden's bitter denunciations of the Bolshevik leaders'. She had, she said, no sympathy with their 'crude materialism', or their 'absurd attempts to interfere with the free self-government of the Socialist movements in other countries' but she believed them to be 'sincere' and 'ready to die for the cause.'76 Undeterred, Snowden returned to the attack the following week, applauding the refusal by the Labour Party of the affiliation of the CPGB.

Any other decision would have been an act of suicide. A great deal of harm has been done already to the Labour and Socialist movement in this country by its uncritical support of Bolshevism and by its support and toleration of Communist speakers. The Communists stand for the dictatorship of a minority which has seized power by force.77

But while that week's Leader' included a letter from Walter Ayles, a member of the Executive of the NAC, supporting Snowden, Mrs Glasier reported that she had received 'a number of warm-hearted letters thanking her for her editorial protest' and, a week later, that she had received 'A veritable summer shower of kindly letters and resolutions' supporting her position 'and usually asserting it represents the general feeling of the I.L.P. membership'. She had decided to print only one from Clement J Bundock, a member of the NAC – but not of its Executive which criticised Glasier.

Bundock defended Glasier's rights as editor and maintained that 'the editorial footnote more accurately expressed the attitude of the majority of members of the I.L.P'. He was concerned lest 'these unsparing comments upon the Bolsheviks were to be regarded by our comrades on the Continent as the opinion of the I.L.P.' He admired Snowden's work but believed that 'we cannot endorse such phrases as "gang of despots" and the general tone of the paragraphs in question'.78

Meanwhile the ILP Executive deeply regretted 'the Editor's comments at the foot of Mr. Snowden's Notes… Mr Snowden was appointed by the N.A.C as the writer responsible for the Editorials and the Notes on Current Affairs and any such criticism affecting policy should have been made first to the NAC.' The Editor's reply was 'implied in her last week's note, which was only the culmination of a series of differences between herself and Mr Phillip Snowden on the special matter at issue.' The NAC met only once a quarter. 'The harm done to the movement by an unquestioned statement in the 'Labour Leader' is immediate.'

A special meeting of the NAC on 16 and 17 December tried to calm things by confirming the Editor's full discretion and responsibility for the contents while accepting that Snowden should be should be responsible only to the N.A.C. for his signed articles.79 But he had had enough. On 6 January, he announced that 'With the writing of this paragraph my contributions to Labour Leader cease.'80 His was not the only exit. The following week readers learned that from Easter the editor had asked for 'a release from her duties which will enable her to come out once again, with, she hopes a veritable host of other willing propagandists, to the market places and village greens.'81

In her last weeks as editor she found herself refusing to print more letters, including one from 'C H Norman in which he chided the 'Vienna Union' for accepting Martoff (sic) as the Russian representative on its Executive Committee describing him as 'an ex-ally of Koltchak, and Denikin.'82 A fortnight later came an announcement that 'Mrs Bruce Glasier has had a rather serious nervous breakdown and has been ordered complete rest by her medical adviser.' Tom Johnson, the editor of Forward, would take over for the time being.83 And early in July it was announced that Bertram R Carter would become editor from August onwards.84

The former editor, whose husband, a leading member of the ILP for decades, had died the previous summer, seems to have recovered quite quickly. By mid-June she was reported addressing large meetings in Middlesbrough.85 She was appointed as a 'special propagandist' and spent much of following 18 years on the road for ILP and Labour Party. She died in 1950 aged 83.86 It is difficult not to feel some sympathy for the besieged editor.

The conflict was a defining moment for Snowden also. He refused to accept renomination as Treasurer and though he remained an ILP member till 1927, played little or no part in its affairs after early 1921. And, as with the related issue of the treatment of Ethel, he seems to have taken the 'unseemly wrangle' with Glasier very personally.87 In his autobiography Snowden refers to her as the 'Acting-Editor' – never by name. The chapter following his account of the 'wrangle' celebrates the lives and contributions to the socialist cause of W C Anderson and J Bruce Glasier. But whereas William Anderson's wife, Mary MacArthur, gets a two-paragraph mention, there is no hint that Bruce Glasier was married to a woman so prominent in the ILP.


The End of the Labour Leader

The impetus behind the replacement of Labour Leader with the New Leader in 1922 came from the new treasurer, Clifford Allen, later described by Brockway as 'in effect the directing head of the Party'.88 According to Marwick, the NAC voted to transfer publication from Manchester to London with three dissenters 'probably R. C. Wallhead, Ben Riley, and Fred Jowett, who represented the core of the old-stagers' resistance to Allen's innovations'.89 In David Marquand's words 'He forced through a radical transformation of the worthy but unreadable Labour Leader, which was rechristened the New Leader and put under the editorship of the well-known socialist journalist, H. N. Brailsford'.90

Readable ness is subjective. As Marwick says, 'Unhappily … the Party membership did not take too kindly to the new paper… What the Party as a whole really wanted was a vigorous propaganda paper, with space devoted to branch activities…91 There is little doubt that Allen's project was greatly aided by the almost simultaneous resignations of Snowden and Glasier. The prolonged battle over Third International affiliation made the wider debate on the nature of Bolshevik Russia crucial and increased its bitterness. A casualty was Labour Leader itself.

As a competitor of the Nation, the New Statesman and the Spectator Brailsford's enterprise was a success. Its circulation rose to 47,000 and Brockway, who took over as editor after Brailsford's resignation in October 1926, after the 'Allen régime' had given way to that of Maxton a year previously, agreed that. 'Brailsford produced a paper of great literary merit, loved by school teachers for its Nature Notes, adored by artists for its woodcuts, and revered by intellectuals for its theoretical features.'92

For those seeing the episode as a transfer from a plebeian to a comfortable bourgeois ambiance the fact that Brailsford began with a salary of £1,00093 in contrast to Katharine Bruce Glasier's £2.17.0 rising to £3.5.0 a week94 was probably conclusive. 'ILP salaries were high under the Allen rĊ½gime' noted Brockway.95 Indeed the editor's salary was criticised by a Sheffield delegate at the 1923 annual conference as being contrary to the traditions of the ILP and extravagant at a time of mass unemployment.96

In his biography of MacDonald, David Marquand summed up the significance of victory or defeat in the ILP in 1919/1920 like this:

In Britain, only a few tiny and unrepresentative Marxist sects, with no significant following in the working class and no hope of building a mass party, had so far made overtures to Moscow. The I.L.P. was a very different proposition. In comparison with the Italians or the German Independents it was a small party. But its membership was booming, its morale was high and it enjoyed influence out of all proportion to its size. If the I.L.P. decided to affiliate to the Third International, there was a distinct possibility that a strong Communist party, able to speak in native accents and appeal to native traditions, might come into existence on British soil. In the turbulent climate of 1919 and 1920, such a party might have made considerable headway. 97

That this did not occur is probably more attributable to the combined effect of growing disillusion with the Bolsheviks, the fading of beliefs in the reality of 'soviet democracy' and, above all, the intransigence of the Third International, than to the efforts of opponents of affiliation. To most ILPers, the '21 Conditions' were outrageous. But MacDonald's apparent espousal of something approaching guild socialism, and the final judgement of erstwhile affiliation supporters like Clifford Allen must also have contributed.

Attitudes towards Communism remained diverse in the ILP. The corollary of relatively few defections to the CPGB was the continued presence of members who had voted for Third International affiliation even in 1921. Longden, complained of 'stupid statements' critical of Russia in April 1922'.98 The spectrum of views foreshadowed those of Labour Party opinion for the next seven decades ranging from support of Communism to outspoken condemnation. Occupying an extensive middle was the view so succinctly summarised in Dollan's Labour Leader report of the 1921 ILP conference; 'The delegates did not repudiate Bolshevism for Russia, but they were not prepared to accept it for Britain'.99

[9,995 words including endnotes]


Notes and references

1 Walter Kendall, The Revolutionary Movement in Britain, 1900-1921. The Origins of British Communism, London, 1969 p 269. Philip Viscount Snowden, An Autobiography. Volume One 1864-1919, London, 1934. pp484-5.

2 Laurence Thompson, The Enthusiasts. A Biography of John and Katharine Bruce Glasier, London, 1971 p230.

3 Keith Leybourn, Philip Snowden: A Biography. 1864-1937. London, 1988 pp68-9.

4 For the debate on democracy within the British socialist movement before 1917, see Logie Barrow and Ian Bullock, Democratic Ideas and the British Labour Movement, 1880-1914, Cambridge, 1996.

5 Labour Leader, 22 November 1917.

6 Labour Leader, 6 December 1917.

7 Labour Leader, 24 January 1918. For Snowden's continued optimism see especially 23 May 1918 and 2 January 1919.

8 Labour Leader, 10, 17, 24, 31 May 1917. The Leeds Convention: a report from the Daily Herald with an introduction by Ken Coates, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation/The Spokesman n d.

9 Labour Leader, 16 May 1918.

10 Labour Leader, 30 May 1918.

11 Labour Leader, 29 May 1919. For other instances see, for example, 30 April, 1 May 1919; 29 January, 12 February, 24 June, 16, 28 September 1920 , 31 March 1921.

12 Labour Leader, 9 January 1919.

13 Labour Leader, 7 March 1918.

14 Labour Leader, 15 August 1918.

15 Labour Leader, 1 May 1919.

16 Labour Leader, 15 May 1919.

17 Labour Leader, 22 May 1919.

18 Labour Leader, 17 July 1919.

19 Borrowed from an article by Fritz Adler in the Austrian socialist organ Der Kamf which appeared in translation in Labour Leader. 16 October 1919.

20 Labour Leader, 24 April 1919.

21 Labour Leader , 14 August 1919.

22 Labour Leader , 28 August 1919.

23 Labour Leader, 4 September 1919.

24 Labour Leader, 11 September 1919.

25 Labour Leader, 16 October 1919.

26 David Marquand, Ramsay MacDonald, London 1977, p257.

27 J Ramsay MacDonald, Parliament and Revolution, Manchester, 1919, pp 50-54.

28 Arthur Marwick, Clifford Allen. The Open Conspirator, Edinburgh and London, 1964, pp195-6.

29 J Ramsay MacDonald, Parliament and Democracy, Manchester, 1920, p65.

30 Labour Leader, 11 December 1919.

31 Labour Leader , 18 December 1919.

32 Labour Leader, 1 January 1920.

33 Labour Leader, 5 February 1920.

34 Labour Leader, 29 January 1920.

35 Labour Leader, 1 January 1920.

36 Labour Leader, 15 January 1920.

37 Labour Leader, 22 January 1920.

38 Labour Leader, 29 January 1920.

39 Labour Leader, 12 February 1920.

40 Labour Leader, 8 January 1920.

41 Labour Leader, 12 February 1920.

42 Labour Leader, 12 February 1920.

43 Labour Leader, 19 February 1920.

44 For earliest occasions see Barrow and Bullock p. 81.

45 Labour Leader, 2 December 1920.

46 Labour Leader, 15 April 1920.

47 Labour Leader, 25 March 1920.

48 Labour Leader, 8 April 1920.

49 Labour Leader, 8 April 1920.

50 Fenner Brockway, Inside the Left. Thirty Years of Platform, Press, Prison and Parliament. London, 1942, p138.

51 Labour Leader, 8 April 1920.

52 Labour Leader, 15 April 1920.

53 Labour Leader, 1 April 1920.

54 Stephen Richards Graubard British Labour and the Russian Revolution 1917-192, Cambridge, Mass. and London 1956, p214.

55 Labour Leader, 13 May 1920.

56 Labour Leader, 17 June 1920.

57 Labour Leader, 8 July 1920.

58 Labour Leader, 22 July 1920.

59 Labour Leader, 19 August 1920.

60 Labour Leader, 22 July 1920.

61 Labour Leader, 16 September 1920.

62 Labour Leader, 1 July 1920. L Haden Guest had been joint secretary of the delegation visiting Russia.

63 Labour Leader, 15 July 1920.

64 Leybourn, p86.

65 Labour Leader, 22 April 1920.

66 , 6 May 1920.

67 , 2 December 1920.

68 Labour Leader, 23 December 1920.

69 Labour Leader,, 31 March 1921.

70 Labour Leader, 3 March 1921.

71 Labour Leader, 10 March 1921.

72 Labour Leader, 17 March 1921.

73 Labour Leader, 13 January 1921.

74 Labour Leader, 31 March 1921.

75 Labour Leader, 22 April 1921.

76 Labour Leader, 25 November 1920.

77 Labour Leader, 2 December 1920.

78 Labour Leader, 2 and 9 December 1920.

79 Labour Leader, 30 December 1920.

80 Labour Leader, 6 January 1921.

81 Labour Leader, 13 January 1921.

82 Labour Leader, 31 March 1921.

83 Labour Leader, 14 April 1921.

84 Labour Leader, 7 July 1921.

85 Labour Leader, 16 June 1921.

86 Thompson, pp233-43.

87 Snowden, Autobiography II pp537-8.

88 Brockway, p142.

89 Marwick, p77.

90 Marquand, p277.

91 Marwick, p79.

92 Brockway, p145.

93 Marquand p277.

94 Thompson, p230.

95 Brockway, p143.

96 Marwick pp79-80

97 Marquand, p256.

98 Labour Leader, 20 April 1922.

99 Labour Leader, 13 January 1921.