Churchill was a competent commanding officer

May, 30th

No. 11-1940

Socialist communications

News for German Socialists in England

This news-letter is published for the information of Social Democratic
refugees from Germany who are opposing dictatorship of any kind.

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Government with powers

The new British government, headed by Winston Churchill and with Labor Ministers Attlee, Greenwood, Alexander, Bevin and Hugh Dalton in the cabinet, is faced with the task of using all the forces in the country to carry out the war, to defend against it from outside and inside to summarize the threatening dangers and the victory over the Hitler regime. The seriousness of the situation and the size of the task required extraordinary powers such as no English government has had for centuries. On May 22nd, Mr. Attlee, as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, tabled a draft Enabling Act to give the government authority to dispose of the property and person of citizens as it sees fit and to extend this authority until June next year . This means that the British government can use the property and labor of the people of the country where the situation makes it necessary, and this provision, as Attlee said at the end of his speech, will also affect certain classes of refugees extend. Both houses of parliament discussed and approved the bill in the course of a day.

On the basis of this law, the war production is to be increased extraordinarily, the still idle capital and the as yet unused manpower are to be used in the production and the production of war material is to be brought to a maximum. A special task is the new labor minister Ernest Bevin, the previous leader of the transport workers' union[1] who came up with a plan to mobilize labor

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and presented it to a conference of union representatives the previous Saturday, who unanimously agreed to it. Under the chairmanship of Labor Party's deputy leader and current Minister, Greenwood, a production council is being set up with supreme control over the entire economy and labor distribution in the country. He will give the instructions for the necessary production and labor input determined by the war and armaments situation. A Labor Supply Board will be set up under Bevin's chairmanship to work with unions and employers. The task of the committee and its local representatives across the country will be to direct the workforce to those branches of production where they are most needed.

The first sign of the new increase in production was the fact that the seven-day week was introduced in aircraft and ammunition factories and work was carried out on Sundays. Most of these factories will operate in double shifts day and night. Another sign of the increase in labor input was Bevin's appeal to workers who used to work in the mining industry to return to their old jobs where they are most needed.

As far as the hitherto unused labor of the refugees in England is concerned, a wide field will open up, especially in agriculture and forestry, and efforts are already underway to divide refugees in large numbers into harvest and forest work.

The breakthrough

The great Nazi offensive, which began with the invasion of Holland and Belgium, led to the breakthrough through the northern French defense line at Sedan and from there to the advance on the French coast at Boulogne and Calais. The shock, initially according to the Schlieffen plan[2] It seemed directed towards Paris, so it turned to the west and directed towards the Dover Strait: the Nazi army is Ludendorff's tactic[3] of March 1918, which followed a disagreement

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different detonation of the British and French troops and aimed at the immediate threat to the English coast. Just as the pressure of the British blockade prompted this tactic in the spring of 1918, this time an attempt was made in the first stage of the war to push the North Sea coast to threaten England, whose blockade measures the rulers of the Third Reich apparently considered the most serious danger appear.

The fact that Hitler's army succeeded in advancing to the canal can be traced back to circumstances that must be taken seriously by those responsible for the warfare of the Western powers. The swift occupation of Holland was only possible because there were Hitler's agents and traitors in this country who made common cause with the attackers and thus taught them a terrible lesson, the warnings of illusions of neutrality, of belief in Hitler's peace assurances and of Hitler's allies abroad did not follow suit in good time. The breakthrough through Belgium to northern France was only possible because Hitler used the new attack tactic, which combines planes, tanks and motorcycles, with ruthless use, while his opponents limited themselves to outdated defense tactics and, as French Prime Minister Reynaud noted, " Incredible mistakes "committed to the dismissal of General Gamelin and 15 other generals and the appointment of General Weygand, the former collaborator of Marshal Foch[4] and previous commanders of the Orient Army in Syria, led to the commander in chief. He managed to consolidate the French front on the Somme. Whether he will succeed in rescuing the British army surrounded by the Canal cannot be said at the moment as these lines are being written. The Belgian king has issued a proclamation, the background of which may lie in the field on which Hitler wages his wars more effectively than on the battlefield.

There would be no point in ignoring the seriousness of the situation. The Nazi army is halfway between Paris and London. England's coast is threatened, Holland and Belgium are lost for the time being. But it would be criminal to feel a pessimism of despair about it

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to add. The only conclusion to be drawn is: increased determination, increased resistance, and full awareness of what is at stake.

One must not overlook the fact that Hitler's army suffered unheard-of losses in people and material when it broke through in the West, that a large part of the fully mobilized army of the Third Reich was sacrificed, while England has so far only marginally thrown its war potential into the scales and thus still over has very large reserves. The tremendous commitment of Hitler proves that he wants to force a quick decision of the war. The large reserves of the other side justify the hope that he will not succeed. And even if Mussolini thinks the time has come to enter the war on Hitler's side, the hope remains that the United States of America, where the mood is increasingly turning to aid for the Western powers, will appear as allies on the other side .

Let us not forget that territorial gains are not decisive for the outcome of the war, as the war of 1914-1918 taught. Let us not forget that in addition to the profit there is the danger that threatens every army in a foreign country. And we believe that even the most diabolical attack tactic Hitler uses does not make effective defense and counterattack impossible if his opponents adapt to the demands of the new warfare.

Nobody can predict how the fight will go on. Nobody can know how the fate of each individual and entire peoples will be affected by it. We only know this much that Europe's future depends on the outcome of this struggle and that no sacrifice is too great for the war against Hitler. Whatever may come, we do not want to lose confidence and belief that our ideals, for which we have so often sacrificed, are invincible.

The publications of the Sopade,

the "Neue Vorwärts" and the "Deutschland -berichte" are temporarily unable to appear due to the measures taken by foreigners in France.

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Increased vigilance

The approaching danger prompted the British authorities to take the toughest action against those circles in the country who are suspected of being able to act as participants in a "fifth column", as helpers in attempts by the Nazis to land in England, as traitors and agitators in favor of Hitler. The arrest of Conservative MP Ramsay proved that this time it is determined not to stop at anyone who is suspicious[5] and the arrest of the leader of the fascist "British Union", Sir Oswald Mosley, with 33 of his closest associates after a house search on the premises of the fascist headquarters in London. Suspicious Irish people were arrested in England at the same time. The Minister of the Interior has been given the power to arrest and detain any suspect. The events in Holland have shown the need for such timely arrangements.

The fact that some of the refugees in England were also affected by the measures is a fact that is regrettable, but must be understood for reasons that have been discussed here many times. It is to be hoped that the internment of those who can prove their reliability will remain only a temporary measure. In addition to the internment of all Germans and Austrians who stayed in the areas bordering the east coast, there has been the internment of all male Germans and] Austrians between the ages of 16 and 60, which the tribunals classify as "B" cases were not exempt from the restrictions. In individual cases, "B" cases over the age of 60 and suspicious "C" cases were interned. Foreign women classified as "B" cases were also detained on Monday. The 12 Advisory Committees, which should be tasked with reviewing all "B" cases, will now review the men over 60 years of age classified as "B" cases.

The assumption that there are Nazi agents among the refugees who have recently come from Holland and Belgium has led to strict surveillance of the refugee transports, and a number of

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Liability has been made in the circles of these refugees. It has also been ordered that all refugees who arrived in England after May 9, 1940, should be subject to the restrictions that came into force for enemy foreigners when war broke out, which means that they are not allowed to travel or have a camera or car without a police permit . The possession of firearms has now been prohibited to all foreigners without exception.

Help for internees

As far as is known so far, there is a prospect that internees who are "C" cases and were only visiting the East Coast area at the time of internment will be released if they can provide evidence that they will be able to stay in an area after their release that is not in the danger zone. There is also the possibility that sick people who have been interned will be released. People who work in agriculture and can prove that they can continue to work in an area not in the danger zone after their release should also have the option of being released from internment. The same applies to internees who have an overseas visa. The question of how the internees can be given support is currently being discussed by the various refugee organizations.

Voluntary contributions

to cover the costs of SM: R.T., London, sh 2 / -; Sudeten. Social 20 / -; Koloman N. 1 / -; Lod., London, 3 / -; O.S., Farmer, 5/10; Hertha G. 1 / -; Dr. B. - / 6; H. So. 1 / -; Hans H. 2/6; Hans L. 1/6; Seg. - / 6. - We thank all friends for their contributions. - The increase in postage and production costs for the SM allows us to continue delivering only to those readers who have made a contribution.

Socialist literature is bought

Offers requested from L.M. to: International Sol. Fund, Room 62, Bloomsbury House, London W.C.1.

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The British Labor Movement and the War

On May 21st, R. Crossman, editor of "New Statesman and Nation" and MP for the Labor Party, spoke at the second meeting organized by the "Social Democratic Union", which was chaired by Comrade Wenzel Jaksch in the YMCA hall in London. on the current political situation and the attitude of the Labor Party. Crossman's lecture in German was extremely impressive in content and form, and just in a moment of critical tension his serious, brave and believing words were encouraging and thankful. Comrade Crossman began by stating that in a difficult hour he did not want to talk about the military situation, which was not in the hands of politicians but was decided by fighting armies. It was our duty at this hour to remain calm and to do nothing to weaken the confidence and resolve of the English people. Because the people are healthy and should not be burdened with the worries of the intellectuals. It is the duty of the English comrades to think of this as well as that of the Germans.

Comrade Crossman then spoke of the Labor Party's position on war. From the beginning of the war it took the position of affirming these wars, but of ruthless criticism of the government, the leadership, whenever necessary. There was some unclear feeling in the ranks of the party. Because the government was conservative, some good socialists have doubted that this war is their war and have asked whether the men in that government are really leaders of Western democracies. In addition, there was the tradition of the socialist movement in England, which grew up in the struggle against the army and for Christian freedom of belief. Only those who understand the pacifism of the British labor movement will understand its political development over the past few decades. For the British socialists, the League of Nations was seen as a substitute for war; they believed that they could solve foreign policy problems with disarmament and collective security, and so did it

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It was a particular mishap that their demands began to prevail just as the Hitler threat from Germany began to threaten the world. The representatives of the younger generation in the Labor Party, who pointed out that world peace does not depend on the fact that there are millions of pacifists in England, have long had a very difficult time.

The confusion that arose in the Labor Party was not entirely overcome with the outbreak of war. There was little confidence in the Conservative government, and the old pacifist influence continued. It gradually became clear that the Conservative government was incapable of conducting an effective war economy and serious war. But it was only when they were close to the abyss that the workers and the people realized that a decision was necessary, and so the formation of the new government, in which the Labor Party participated. The unity and determination shown at the Labor Party conference in Bournemouth was amazing. The party has become aware of its great duty and its great tasks, which lie particularly in the implementation of war socialism and in the implementation of those war aims which it announced some time ago.

Comrade Crossman emphasized that the Labor Party was never anti-German and that it is not today either. She knows that the struggle is not against the German people, and she knows that she has her comrades among the German people.

At the end of his lecture, Comrade Crossman issued a warning not to be discouraged and short-sighted in considering an episode of the war as a decision. There have been worse situations in the last war than we are in now. And we socialists in particular must not lose our faith, the faith that is the basis of socialism in the English labor movement even more than in the continental one. Whatever happens, we should never forget that our ideas are immortal

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and that these ideas are higher than our personal fate.

At the request of the speaker, his lecture, which was received with enthusiastic applause, was followed by a debate in which Comrade Crossman gave information on questions and on the question of propaganda during the war (which in his opinion should concentrate on the workers of all countries) and on the question of the war economy (in which he sees the real task of socialist participation in government), made statements that also met with unanimous and strong applause.

The attitude of the Soviet Union

Moscow's foreign policy has become conspicuously passive after the "victory" over Finland (the fruits of which Hitler reaped in Denmark and Norway).Economic needs have prompted the Moscow government, in spite of all previous statements against the Western powers, to state that it would like to start negotiations on a trade agreement with England. The British government agreed to this on the condition that the Soviet government would give guarantees that the goods to be delivered by England would not be used to supply Germany. So far the Moscow government does not seem to have wanted to give such a guarantee, but both the London Russian Ambassador Maisky and Molotov himself are said to have made statements that "leave the door open to further negotiations". in London the intention is now to send a special negotiator to Moscow, and it is the name of Sir Stafford Cripps[6], the former Labor MP who came into conflict with his party as the organizer of a "socialist union" and an agitator for an English "popular front". Also the name of the former Liberal Prime Minister Lloyd George[7] has been named. - According to recent reports, large Russian troops were relocated from the Romanian border to the German-Russian border in Poland.
(Sir Stafford Cripps has already left England.)

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On the surrender of the Belgian king

On Tuesday Prime Minister Churchill made a statement in the House of Commons in which he said, among other things: "I have no intention of suggesting that we should try at this moment to pass judgment on the conduct of the King of the Belgians in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Belgians This army has fought very bravely and has suffered and caused very heavy losses. The Belgian government has renounced the action of the king and declared itself the only legal government of Belgium and in all forms declared its determination to start the war to continue on the side of the Allies who came to Belgium's urgent appeal for aid.[8] Whatever our feelings in the face of the facts, as far as we know, the feeling of brotherhood between the many peoples who have fallen under the violence of the aggressor and those who are still facing it will be in better days than these who we live through, play a role. The position of the British and French armies, now embroiled in an extremely difficult battle and attacked on three sides and from the air, is evidently extremely serious. ... I have only to add that nothing that may happen in this battle can in any way relieve us of our duty to defend the cause to which we have surrendered. Nor should our trust in our strength be destroyed, as on previous occasions in our history, to pave our way through misfortune and grief to the ultimate victory over our enemies. "

On Wednesday Léon Blum wrote in the "Populaire": "King Leopold is neither the spokesman for his people nor the millions of refugees who have found and will find hospitality on French soil. Had it not been for our loyalty to Belgium, we would not be the British and French divisions now fighting on Belgian soil have in our lines. We will courageously be able to limit the effects of this terrible blow. Indignation will fuel courage. "

Issued by the London Representative of the German Social Demo-
cratic party, 33, Fernside Avenue, London NW7.

Editorial notes

1 - Transport and General Workers' Union.

2 - Plan by the Prussian Field Marshal Alfred Graf von Schlieffen (d. 1913) in the event that Germany becomes involved in a multi-front war. If the German defense was delayed in the Vosges and in the east, the French army was to be surrounded in the north by a strong German right wing. The violation of Belgian neutrality was accepted.

3 - Erich Ludendorff (1865 - 1937), Chief of Staff on the Eastern Front in World War I, then Quartermaster General, after the German defeat of anti-republic and anti-democratic politicians.

4 - Ferdinand Foch (1851 - 1929), military leader of World War I, signed the armistice treaty with Germany on 11.11.1918 for the victorious power France in the forest of Compiègne.

5 - Archibald H. M. Ramsay (1894-1955), Conservative MP (Unionist) 1931-1945, imprisoned 1940-1944.

6 - Richard Stafford Cripps (1889-1952), Labor MP since 1931 (member of the House of Commons until 1950), member of the Labor Party board of directors in 1934; In 1939 the "British Trotsky" was expelled from his party, ambassador in Moscow from 1940-1942, Minister for Aircraft Construction from 1942-1945, back in the Labor Party in 1945, Minister of Commerce 1945-1947, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1947-1950.

7 - David Lloyd George (1863 - 1945), 1916-1922 British Prime Minister (Liberal Party), politically uninfluential in the UK after 1929, temporarily sympathized with Hitler.

8 - The surrender by Leopold III. took place on May 28, 1940; Belgium was placed under German military administration, and from June there was a Belgian government in exile in London.

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