ECCI

RESOLUTION OF THE EIGHTH ECCI PLENUM ON THE SITUATION IN ENGLAND


May 1927


Inprekorr, vii, 62, p. 1303, 14 June 1927

EXTRACTS



1.

The plenum of the CI Executive confirms the theses of the ECCI Presidium adopted in June 1926 on the general strike, which described the fight of the English workers in the memorable days of May 1926 as a turning-point in the history of the English labour movement, and also confirms the resolution of the seventh enlarged Executive on the situation in England, put forward in connexion with the defeat of the miners. The enlarged Executive's prediction that the miners' defeat would give the signal for a reactionary offensive, both domestically and in English imperialism's foreign policy, has been completely confirmed.

(. . .)


3.

A series of provocations against the Soviet Union instigated by the English Government, particularly the raid on the Soviet trade delegation and the rupture of commercial and diplomatic relations, as well as incitement of the States bordering Russia to attack the Soviet Union, and the feverish effort to organize a Holy Alliance against the Soviet Union, reveal the true role of English imperialism, which is now the greatest danger to world peace. The danger is all the greater because English imperialism's war on China, as well as its ideological and technical preparations for world war, enjoy the open support of Labour Party leaders like Snowden and MacDonald, and General Council leaders like Thomas.

(. . .)


5.

The general strike and the miners' strike awakened the class consciousness of hundreds of thousands of workers and undermined their confidence in the political parties of capitalism. The inability of the Government to satisfy the needs of the petty bourgeoisie alienates many of their former supporters in this section of the population.

(. . .)

6.

The greater intensity of the class struggle in England is reflected in an accelerated differentiation within the labour movement. New groups of workers are coming into the movement, and the working masses are inclining unmistakably to the left. The Labour Party and trade union leaders, on the other hand, are moving openly towards the ruling class on all the burning questions of external and domestic policy.

(. . .)

7.

The January conference of trade union executives, which approved the General Council's report on the general strike and thereby condemned the miners' heroic struggle, was the first demonstration of the consolidation of the trade union bureaucracy on the platform of recognizing the necessity of wage reductions in order to stabilize English industry.

(. . .)


9.

The trade union bureaucrats and Labour Party leaders are calling for peace with the capitalists, while at the same time waging a furious struggle against communist workers and adherents of the Minority Movement and the left wing. Local Labour Party branches are being expelled for refusing to apply the Liverpool decisions directed against communists.

(. . .)


13.

On the one hand we see English imperialism incapable of solving the problems confronting it and so arresting its decline.

(. . .)

On the other we are witnessing the steady improvement and consolidation of the Soviet Union's position.

This contrast increases British imperialism's enmity towards the Soviet Union, an enmity nourished by English capitalism's fear of the spread of a revolutionary spirit among the English workers and of the rising tide of revolt among the colonial peoples, particularly in China. This hostility has grown especially great because of the effective support given by the Russian workers to the English miners and because of the Soviet Union's open sympathy for the Chinese revolution.

(. . .)


20.

The Executive confirms the correctness of the political line of the CC of the CPGB laid down in its extraordinary session of 12 April

(. . .)


25.

The plenum of the ECCI regards the General Council's circular of 25 March to the trades councils, in which they are presented with an ultimatum to sign a document undertaking to break off all relations with the Minority Movement, as an attempt to disrupt and demoralize the trades councils (...) and as one aspect of the reformist bureaucracy's campaign to isolate the communists and their adherents in the Minority Movement.

(. . .)

26.

The Executive Committee declares that at the present time all the English party's tasks must be subordinated to the fight against English imperialism's offensive policy, as shown in the trade union Bill, the war against China, and the preparation of a new war, as well as to fighting against the reformist leaders' support of that policy.

(. . .)


29.

The communist party must continue to explain to the workers the importance of unity between the English workers and the Soviet proletariat, a unity which is essential in face of the English Government's militarist policy. The party must explain to the workers that the Anglo-Russian committee has not been able to accomplish its great task because of the sabotage of the entire General Council, from Hicks and Purcell to Thomas. On the question of unity with the Russian workers the General Council has played a double game. In words it came out for unity, but in practice it prevented the establishment of a real alliance between the workers of the two countries.

(. . .) The communist party must particularly make clear to the workers the real meaning of the last meeting of the committee in Berlin, at which the General Council, instead of extending the committee's functions, insisted on limiting them and pushed this policy through.

(. . .)

30.

... In connexion with the foregoing, the CPGB must carry out the following work:

(i) A thorough exposure of the campaign of forgery and provocation directed by the English Government against the Soviet Union.

(. . .)

(ii) Information about the Soviet Union's achievements in building socialism (...) which enable the Soviet workers to support the workers of all countries in their fight against oppression.

(iii) Clear explanation of the fact that the Government's policy (...) will damage English trade, and so create unemployment.

(iv) The party must link the campaign against the rupture of diplomatic relations and the war danger with the campaign against the antitrade union Bill, and insist on a campaign against both by the Labour Party and Trade Union Congress.

(v) The party must emphasize the necessity of forming workers' committees of action everywhere to prepare the struggle against the Bill and the war danger, and must strengthen its agitation for a general strike to force the Government to resign.



 

Comintern

III. International