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The daily worker. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1924-1958, March 10, 1924, Image 5

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Monday, March 10, 1924
Ashleigh Tells About
Militant Dockers
NOTE.—This is the first of a
series of descriptive articles on the
great British dock strike by the
DAILY WORKER’S own corres
pondent—Charles Ashleigh. The
articles came by mail.
poet and journalist, served a tttrm
in Leavenworth penitentiary au a
class war prisoner and was after
wards deported to England. The
first article follows:
* * * *
i Special to The Dolly Worker)
LONDON, Feb. 19 (By mail). —On
Saturday, February 16, at noon, the
great British dock strike began. This
i strike is unequalled in the annals of
the struggle of the dock workers, as
it is the first completely nation-wide
conflict in which they have engaged.
All previous strikes have been of a
sectional nature, confined to one or
more ports, but never has there been
a strike which affected every port in
Britain, from the largest to the
smallest. Thus begins a new chapter
in solidarity.
I went to-day for a walk in the
great dock neighborhood of London.
It was like a Sunday or other holi
day. Hardly a man was to be seen
on the water front. Here and there,
perhaps, in the long vista of miles of
docks, you would see a little group
of half a dozen strikebreakers, en
deavoring to cope with the immense
accumulation of goods which lie upon
the wharves. But most of the docks
were completely deserted.
There was one exception to this,
however. And that was in the case
of the National Amalgamated Steve
dores’, Lightermen’s and Dockers’
Union, an organization which posses
ses members only in London, a small
union whose numbers were some
what swollen after the unofficial
strike of last year. The members of
this union remained at work—or,
rather, were ordered to remain at
work, for many of them did not
respond to the order. Many of them
tore up their cards in their union and
came over to the striking union, the
Transport and General Workers’
Union. On the South side of the
river, however, some of the men re
mained at work. Now, even those are
on strike, for, last night, the smaller
union ordered its men to come out
with the rest. So, now, complete
solidarity prevails.
Nearly 150,000 men are on strike.
From all parts of the country come
reports of the firm attitude of the
men. There is general satisfaction
among both leaders and rank-and
file militants at the success of the
At the Dock Gate.
The dockers are striking for two
shillings a day increase in wages, and
for the guaranteed week. This last
means the decasualisation of the
work. The method at the British
docks is that, in the early morning,
cr before .each shift, the dockers
stand in their crowds at the dock
gates. At the appointed hour, the
gates open, and the foremen step out.
He then selects, one by one, the men
whom he requires, and the rest go
disconsolately home. By this method,
a docker is never sure of employ
ment. When a ship has been dis
charged or loaded, he does not know
when he will get his next job. This
insecurity is one of the worst fea
tures of the industry. The workers,
besides the increase in pay, also wish
to stabilize their employment. They
demand that a fund be created, by
which each doocker may be guaran
teed a fixed minimum weekly wage.
Ten Dollars a Week.
Owing to the iniquitous system,
above described, there are about 50,-
000 dockers in the country who aver
age about three days’ work a week,
thus earning under two pounds
weekly—a miserable wage, which, in
the case of a married man with
children, is less than he would receive
as unemployed pay from the author
ities. It is against these degrading
conditions that the dockers are now
In 1921, when the employers
started their offensive, the dockers
were forced to retreat. The retreat
went on until they had lost, thru a
series of wage reductions, six shill
ings a day.
Now, at last, the retreat has stop
ped. The dockers are desperate.
They are striking for the bare neces
sities of existence—and they are
determined to win.
The port employers’ organization,
in reply to the men’s demand, stated
that they could not afford to pay the
two shillings daily. They offered
one shilling, and to submit the other
shilling to arbitration. This, the men
But, could the employers afford to
pay the two shillings? Let us look
into the facts, and see what truth
there was in the pitiful wail of the
"Crow under my I promised to f f |L. ""Il’t. -v;—- A V f\ ( \f fl'WJiere's tkft.
yg tijwh
Zinoviev’s Speech to Leningrad Communists
WORKER publishes the first in
stallment of Comrade Zinoviev’s
speech on the situation within the
Russian Communist Party to a
conference of party members in the
Leningrad district. Zinoviev was
One .of Lenin’s closest associates
and is chairman of the Third In
* * * *
COMRADES! At the present time
the Central of the Party is en
gaged with the discussion of those
same questions which are now being
dealt with publicly. The Central has
formed a comprehensive commission,
participated in by some members of
the political bureau, for dealing with
this question. This commission will
begin work within the next few
days, and we are firmly convinced
that within the next few days the
Central will lay before the whole
Party a definite and unanimously ac
cepted resolution containing proposi
tions towards the solution of the
whole of the burning questions which
have been recently' debated in the
Perhaps, comrades, I really acted
somewhat wrongly in giving the title
of: “New Tasks of Our Party” to the
article which I wrote as subject for
discussion. A number of opponents
have pointed out that these are
merely old questions which have
never been answered, and that the
title of my article does not, there
fore, quite correspond to its contents.
To be perfectly accurate, I should
have indicated that I was writing on
the topical tasks now set our Party
—whether they be old or new tasks
will be seen later.
NEP—Necessary Chapter.
At the present juncture, however,
wc are faced with a number of
bosses. Let us see whether they are
really so poverty-stricken that they
cannot afford the two shillings.
What Profits.
If we take the reports of the capi
talists themselves, we see that the
profits of the ship owners, for one
year only, are 88 million pounds. The
Cunard Line made a net profit of
£12,844,164 during the years from 1
1913 to 1922. Between 1914 and 1922 1
the White Star Line made £8,428,000
clear profit. In the year 1922, the
Royal Mail Line’s profits amounted
to £708,808.
And so on, taking company jfter
company, these fabulous profits were
piled up, after all expenses had been
met for wages, maintenance, expan
sion, the cost of new ships, etc. And,
out of all this tremendous profit,!
coined from the workers’ labor, they
cannot afford the two shillings daily
which their slaves ar.e demanding.
And this increase would only mean
about four million pounds per year
out of their profits of 38 millions!
Beginning of Offensive.
The great significance of this strike
is that it is not an answer to a new
attack of the employers upon the
standards of the longshoremen. In
this case, the workers are not upon
*he defensive. They have launched'
an attack upon the masters’ profits,
in their effort to gain for themselves
improved conditions.
And that is the vitfcl importance
of this strike. It is the first offen
sive move of the British workers
since the long series of defeats which
started with Black Friday. It means
that, at long last, the ‘ workers of
Britain are recovering from their dis
couragement, and are once more pre
paring for battle. They are at last
on the aggressive. This strike must
be won—and that will be the battle
cry to other sections of the British
proletariat to assume the offensive,
to carry the .fight on into the enemy’s
Chamber of Commerce
ff as Dick on Guard
at State Capitol
SPRINGFIELD, 111., March 9.—The
Illinois chamber of commerce, which
wants to put a state police bill thru
the 1926 legislature has an agent at
the state capjtol here closely watch
ing the primary nomination petitions
filed for prospective lawmakers with
the secretary of state.
Legislators running for re-election
are divided into sheep and goats. The
sheep are those who voted for the
state constabulary in 1923; the goats
those who sucoessmully opposed it.
The chamber’s agent reports on
senators as follows: “Senators who
voted for the bill who are candidates
for reflection are: Hicks,
Lantz, Meents, Bailey, Dunlap, Wood,
Swift, N. E. Smith and Gray. Hold
over members who supported the bill
are: Boyd, Carlson, Essingtoir, Mac-
Murray, Mason, Roos and Wright.
•“The ten who voted against the
measure and are candidates for re
election are: Van Lent, Schulze,
Dailey, Hanson, Hamilton, Cuthbert
son, Forrester, Telford, Sneed and
problems requiring solution, authori
tative solution on the part of the
For two years the Party has been
working under the conditions induced
by the New Economic Policy. At
the Twelfth Party Congress I em
phasized the fact that we must make
a distinction between two things. In
the first place the New Economic
Policy is a historically necessary and
very earnest chapter in the history
of our struggle for the world revo
lution. But when we speak of the
NEP we have often in mind the capi
talist commercial view of it, the
speculative moment. I believe, com
rades, that we must not forget this
difference for a-moment.
To what degree this NEP influ
enced our Party? Are those adver
saries right who croaked their
prophecies that the NEP was bound
to transform our Party into a petty
bourgeois Party? Is it true that
the fundamental nucleus of cur
Party organism has degenerated? Is
it true that we have ceased to be the
Party of the World Revolution, and
have become transformed into a
Party of democratic petty bour
It seems to me, comrades, that the
best answer to these questions is as
follows: The German revolution is
developing, but the period of its de
velopment is proving longer than
the estimate made by us, in the
month of October,' on the basis of our
information. The German revolution
is postponed for some months, but
the fact that our Party took action,
and the manner of this action is and
remains, in view of the impending
events, a point of the utmost import
Severe Test LTndergone.
The Party, from the top to the
bottom, down to the last man, re.
Youth Views
Young Investigator Finds Job
Hunting Hard Work.
* * *
OB NE of the big capitalist dailies
has employed a young fellow
to look for jobs. His stories make
interesting reading to a rebel. They
show how heart-breaking it is for
the young fellow or girl, without any
outside help, like his family or
friends, to exist. Jobs are almost
impossible to get, and where the
young worker is offered an oppor
tunity to work, he must do the thing
at lower wages than the older work
The Western Electric Company in
Chicago and other cities is a pretty
good guage of unemployment for the
youth. The Hawthorne plant, for
instance, employes 40,000 workers,
27,000 men and 13,000 women—near
ly all of the women are under 30 and
most of them are under 21, while half
of the males are very young, a great
deal of them only sixteen.
Five thousand men and boys make
application for jobs at the Chicago
Western Electric Company every
week. Out of this veritable army ofr
job seekers, only 800 are employed,
and many of these are kicked out in
a very short time. The wages are so
.low that a good deal of the growing
crime at the present time can be
charged to the inability of many of
the young workers to live decently
on the money they get.
At the same time, we find that the
Western Electric Company spends
hundred thousands of dollars in pro
paganda to keep the workers con
tented in mind if they are not
exactly so in their stomachs.
There at\e entire industries that
are run on youth labor in the United
■States. Every day so-called “light
factory” work becomes more com
mon. The youth are used almost ex
clusively in the light factory institu
tions, which also pay “light” wages.
Unemployment is affecting all of
the factories that hire the young men
and women. Others which formerly
employed older workers for the light
factory work, let them go and take
younger people in their places at less
wages. This is a regular procedure
for tne bosses when hard times and
unemployment comes.
The problem of remedying the eco
nomic conditions of the young work
cos is extremely hard because there
is no organization whatever indus
trially among them. The Young
Workers League is working hard
wherever it can to urge the unions
to organize the youth, but results
are slow and hardly perceivable.
Meanwhile the organization of shop
nuclei (units of tne Young Workers
League on the job and in the fact
ories) is being pushed in the effort
to get the youth themselves to fight
against the miserable conditions im
posed on them.
For information concerning the
Young Workers League of Amer
ica, address Y. W. L., 1009 N.'
State St., Chicago, 111. , •
acted upon the impending events in
Germany just as the revolutionary
Party of the proletarian should react,
and not as would have been expected
of a NEP party.
This test is very important. It is
the test in the light of histpry.
The Party reacted in such a man
ner that, had the expected events
taken place in Germany, our Party
would have regarded itself as the
corner stone of the Communist In
ternational, and would have been pre
pared to fulfill to the utmost the
duty of the revolutionary party of
the proletariat.
The test thus undergone by the
Party must serve to prove to us that
it is essenitally sound, quite apart
from the way in which events actual
ly developed.
Had there been any real decay in
the Party, had there, been any degen
eration of the TOndamental nucleus
of the Party organism, then our
Party would have reacted very dif
ferently with regard to the matur
ing events in Germany; it would have
hidden its head in the sand. But it
did nothing of the sort. On the con
trary, if there is any reproach which
can be made to us, it is what we
over-eßtimated to a certain extent the
speed at which events were develop,
ing. and that we expected in October,
in November, and in-December, 1928,
that which will perhaps happen in
Germany in May, 1924—but no one
can reproach us that we have suc
cumbed to the NEP, and that we
made any attempt to avoid following
up the world revolution.
' Our Weak Points.
This does not by ajiy means sig
nify that we possess no weaknesses
whatever within the Party. We have
many weak points. In connection
with the NEP we can observe, in my
opinion, two departures from the cor-
Dissolves Barcelona Re
gional Commune
(By The Federated Praia)
MADRID, March 9. —Primo de Ri
vera, the Spanish dictator, has
granted votes for women. Thus he
imitates his great model, the Dicta
tor Mussolini, who granted the ballot
to women in Italy. But while Mus
solini gave that cherished privilege
only to Fascist women thru decrees
limiting the vote to property holders,
wives of war veterans, wives of Fas
cists, etc., Primo has gone him one
better and given it to all women.
It is significant that woman suf
frage, once ultra-radical doctrine, in
this day of Fascist versus proletar
ian dictatorships, should prove a
fitting instrument in the hands of
reaction. It is a fearful commentary
on the conservatism of the Spanish
women, that Primo de Rivera should
have granted the ballot to all of
A Castillian Patriot.
De Rivera is a Castillian patriot
and in the dominance of Castille over
the other regions of Spain, he thinks
should be included an edict that ev
eryone should talk Spanish with a
Castillian accent. lie has forbidden
the teaching of the Catalonian dia
lect, the Basque dialect and other
regional variations of the general
language family of the Spanish pen
This decree has strengthened the
already powerful movement toward
regional autonomy and even inde
pendence. He permitted the Basques
to sing religious songs in their own
language during the fiestas of Santa
Agueda, but otherwise none of the
regional languages must be sung in
public or taught in schools.
Barcelona Boycott.
To greater enrage Catalonia, the
industrial center of Spain, he has dis.
solved its regional commune or
ernment and replaced it with hano
picked members, all of them of the ,
National Monarchist union. The peo- j
pie of Barcelona have responded by
boycotting the members, who, being
prominent patriots are also big busi
ness men. One of the boycotts is
against the biggest department store
•in Barcelona.
Hard-won parliamentary institu
tions, such as exemption of members
of parliament from arrest until they
have been impeached or expelled, a
privilege slowly conquered thru the
middle ages in long fights with em
perors and kings, has been abolished
by a decree of the directorate. It
has decided that it can try its par
liamentary critics for treason or any
other offense without asking pcrmis
j sion from parliament.
How many of your shop-mates read
1 THE DAILY WORKER. Get one of
them to subscribe today.
rect line, two false views of the na
ture of the Party itself.
On the one hand, those comrades
who are up to the eyes in adminis
trative economic work look upon the
Party as an institution provided for
the purpose of aiding the successful
execution of administrative or eco
nomic work. The others go to the
opposite extreme and look upon the
Party as a sort of debating so
ciety, a kind of “parliament of
opinions.” - *
Neither extreme is right. We mus l
reject both, and must look upon our
Party, as it is right for Bolsheviki
to do, as a political organism, con
nected with the masses by thousands
of threads, and setting itself the gi
gantic task of leading the whole
What is the present qualitative
standard of our Party? We have
statistical data up till Sept. 1, 1923.
Speaking generally, our statistics
are somewhat lame in this direction.
As you know, the latest statistics
were compiled with special care and
accuracy, with the aid of the Central.
I believe that they correspond very
fairly with the truth.
The figures are somewhat surpris
ing. We had all assumed that we
have about half a million, or even
600,000 Party members. It appears,
however, that up to Sept. 1 we had
in the whole federation only 351.000
communists {including the commun.
ists in the Red Army), and 92,000
candidates for Party membership.
To this "the C. Y. must further be
added. I am, however, dealing with
the members of . the Party in the
strict sense of the word.
We have 54,000 Party members ac
tually working in the shops and fac
tories (not including candidates);
this is but few.
(To Be Continued Tuesday)
Wagner’B Misery Hit
Responsive Chord in
Hearts of Hearers
Selections from Richard Wagner’s
love tragedy, “Tristan and Isolde,”
occupied half the program of the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert
at Orchestra Hall on March 7 and 8.
The music was an outgrowth of Wag
ner’s own tragic experience, and
more than any of his operas gets
close to the souls and frustrated
hopes of his hearers. Three excerpts
were played, taking in the best music
of the drama. The prelude is a long,
sombre study in despair, the love
duet and death of Isolde reach the
highest degree of artistic expression
to which love inspiration can carry
Another Brahms work, the over
ture “Academic Festival,” opened
the concert. This consists of some
student songs of Qermanv, particu
larly of Breslau university, woven
together in a singularly brilliant or
chestral pattern.
A somewhat similar work is Rubin
Goldmark’s “Negro Rhapsody,” play
ed also on this occasion. Goldmark
has taken a number of Negro melo
dies and made a splendid, in the lit
eral sense, orchestra piece out of
them. The finest thing about the
work is that, in treating the themes
symphonically, Goldmark has not lost
their Negro character.
Next week, Wanda Landowska, a
Polish pianist, will be the soloist.
Miss Landowska is an enthusiast
over old music, and has had con
structed a harpischord, the instru.
ment that was in use before the mod
ern piano was invented. On'this she
will play a concerto by Handel and
three short solos. She will also play
a piano concert by Mozart. The or
chestra will play a suite by Gretry,
the Brahms third symphony, and two
nocturnes of Debussy.
Every new DAILY WORKER reader
means a new recruit in the ranks of
militant labor.

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‘Chervonetz’ Notes Are
Stabilizing Currency
(SDecinl to The Dolly Worker)
MOSCOW, March 9.—A Central
Agricultural Bank of the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics was au
thorized by the Soviet Congress on
the recommendation of Acting Presi
dent Tsurupa of the council of peo
ple’s commissars.
The government bank is to have a
paid-up capital of 40,000,000 “cher
vonetz” rubles and is organized to
provide the peasants with cheap credit
and to develop the agricultural co
operative movement.
Stabilizing Currency.
Mr. Vladimiroff, making a report
for the People’s Commissariat of Fi
nance, stated that the monetary re
form, consisting in the introduction,
along with “chervonetz,” of stable
treasury notes, would be completed by
the end of the month. The speaker
stressed the importance of this reform
to the peasants, who must have a
stable currency.
With references to the state budget
of the Soviet Union, Mr. Vladimiroff
pointed out that it was for the first
time that, in the working budget year,
not only was a certain equilibrium be
ing established between revepue and
expenditure, but there was actually
an accumulation and growth of na
tional capital of the Union.
Thus the State budget for 1922-23
had been balanced at 1,400,000,000
gold rubles, while the estimates for
the year 1923-24 were computed at
1,750,000,000 gold rubles.
In the course of the ensuing de
bate, Mr. Larin insisted on the in
crease of the income tax. Mr. Bog
danoff stressed the necessity of a
larger unification of the taxing sys
tem in the urban and country dis
In a resolution, unanimously
adopted, the Congress approved the
reported financial reform.
/ Including Labor and Material /
£ Davenport - - $9.50 /
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Paint.ri and Dceeratsrt
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A wonderfilm based on the story
■Produced by the MOSCOW ART
Will be shown in
March 14,
Queens Co. Labor Lyceum
March 18, Labor Temple,
243 E. 84th St.
March 19, Park Theatre
March 19, Orchestra Hall
March 22 and 23,
Engineers’ Auditorium
Presented by
Room 701, 32 So. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, 111.
Any Book Mailed Free
Anywhere on Receipt of Price.
Ask Us—We Know Books.
Stationary—Greeting Cards
» Office Supplies
O O K SHO * Well. 1281
3145 Broadway, Chicago, 111.
People'are judged by the hooka they
read. All the best books, old and
new, can be obtained from
Morris Bernstein's Book Shop,
3733 West Roosevelt Road.
v Phone Rockwell 1453.
Stationery, Music and all Periodical*.
Come and get a Debs calendar free.
3546 ARMITAGE AVE. Albany MM
Work Called For And Delivered
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Page Five

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