By DOUGLAS HYDE In the event of war between this country and Russia the British Communist Party would work against the cause of victory and on behalf of the enemy.
This appears to be a fair interpretation of a week• end speech by Mr. Harry Pollitt, the party's general secretary.
Mr. Pollitt thus comes into line with his opposite numbers, Thorn in France and Togliatti in Italy, both of whom made similar statements last week.
But although the British press But although the British press has reported the French and MEMO
Italian leaders' speeches and the political concern which has followed them, the Pollitt speech has been largely ignored and there have as yet been no repercussions from it. At the Communist Party conference, held at the week-end in London, Mr. Pollitt declared that:
"In the event of an imperialist aggressive war against the U.S.S.R., we will .reply in the sante way as Ernest Bevin in 1920 — organise strikes and Councils of Action to prevent the war from being carried through."
This declaration must be seen in the light of the speech of Thorez a few days earlier, who suggested that, in the event of a Soviet army arriving on French soil, the French people should offer no resistance. He staled categorically that " the Soviet Union cannot by definition practise a policy of aggression and war."
In other words, any war in which the Soviet Union might be engaged would be characterised by the Communists as an " imperialist aggressive war," and so in Britain would be met by Councils of Action and Communist-organised strikes.
And, said Togliatti : "If the Soviet Army should pursue the aggressor on to our territory I think the Italian people would have the duty of aiding the Soviet Army in the most effective way."
ONE PATTERN, ONE PURPOSE The three speeches are parts of a single pattern with a common purpose. They are intended as threats to the Governments of the Western democracies, including our own, that should they become involved in war with Russia they must expect councils of action (or Soviets), sabotage, mass desertions and all forms of political, industrial and military opposition, By such means they hope to force the West into policies of appeasement which will enable Russia to gain all the fruits of war without having to fire a single shot. Communists in Britain and elsewhere have for years known that in the event of war with Russia, and at all times, their first loyalty is to the Soviet Union and not to their own country.
At the last Seventh World Congress of the Communist International Communists were given their line in the following resolution: " The defence of the Soviet Union must be considered paramount. If the commencement of a counterrevolutionary war forces the Soviet Union to set the Workers' and Peasants' Army into motion for the defence of Socialism, the Communists will call upon all toilers to work, with all the means at their disposal and at any price, for the victory of the Red Army over the armies of she imperialists."