1st March, 1973 Camden Branch Statement on Conference Resolution on “The Socialist Party and Economic Organisation”.

(1) It is not in dispute that the Party always supported the class conscious organisation of the workers on both the Political and the Economic field. Discussion took place in the Party about the application of this to the existing organisations of the workers in view of the fact that a trade union which limited its membership to socialists would not be able to function effectively while socialists are only a small minority of the workers. Haringey Branch Conference Resolution refers to articles in the SS in July, 1915, November, 1937 and May, 1966. The article in July, 1915 was the second part of an article by A.B. Jacomb of which the first part appeared in April, 1915- If all four articles are considered it will be seen that all three writers opposed the SLP conception of industrial unions, which were not based on class-conscious workers. All three writers emphasised that before Socialism can be established the working class will be overwhelmingly socialist and that this will show itself both in the Socialist political organisation and in the Economic organisation; with Eaowever the difference that Jacomb wrote of "Economic Organisation"5 Reynolds (SS November 1937) wrote of the "existing unions" and Melvin (May 1966) wrote of "organisations". All three writers opposed, as Reynolds put it, the SLP concept of industrial unions as "the basis of the economic organisation for the establishment of Socialism, or to use their own phrase 'Industrial unionism is the embryo, the un-developed form of future society'". (Reynolds, November 1937) . All three writers dealt with the need for socialists to be prepared for the running of industry at the point at which political control of the machinery of government has just been achieved. ("At the very moment that the worker§ have gained control of the State machine". Reynolds November, 1937; "The Running of industry in the newborn Socialist Society'' Melvin May, I966) Jacomb and Reynolds explicitly stated the Party case that control under Socialism will be social not industrial. (Melvin May 1966 opposed the SLP concept that "these unions would then form the framework of socialist society and become its permanent administration".) (2) Article in SS May 1972 In opposition to the Party case and in contradiction to all three writers the May 1972 SS contained the statement that "Socialism can only be established by a conscious participating working class organised not only politically to capture and destroy the State machine but also, outside Parliament ready to take over and run industry and society generally", (our italics) The EC issued a statement repudiating the statement in the SS. (EC 15 August 1972) pointing out that our Declaration of Principles holds that socialist society will be based on "common ownership and democratic control by and in the interest of the whole community"; not on "independent, sectional decisions in each industry by the people who happen to work in it". Haringey Branch had written to the EC asking why the EC objected to the statement in the May SS. Haringey conference resolution does not specify the function of the economic organisation and it would seem that they have in mind the kind of economic organisation referred to in the May SS, 1972 "to take over and run industry and society generally". (3) Jacomb's Article Of the three writers only Jacomb dealt in detail with the place of the economic organisation in the establishment of Socialism. In the first part of his article (SS April 1915) Jacomb wrote:"The armed forces of the State are to be controlled, through the conquest of the machinery of government, and used for the overthrow of the capitalist system. So far from true is it that the "only conceivable source of power" with which the workers can back up the ballot is that to be found in economic organisation, that it is the economic organisation which will need the backing of the organised military force - controlled by the politically triumphant proletariat - to enable it to perform its penultimate function, the placing of the

instruments of labour upon a social foundation". Jacomb referred to it as "penultimate function" because it is the Party's case that with the establishment of socialism class organisation will disappear, to be replaced by social organisation. Jacomb described this in the statement that the control of industry will then come under "the representatives of society elected to control in the interest of society" (July 1915) He pointed out that "Industries will never embrace all the people. The needs and requirements of the industry are not a matter for the industry alone, but are part of the social needs, and can, in the last resource, only be satisfied through the co-ordination provided by the control of social man".

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