CO-OPERATORS AND THE LABOUR PARTY.
[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR:1
Sin,—Mr. Keir Hardie's article in this month's Nineteenth Century is an eye-opener for Co-operators. He is, I am afraid, far too sanguine in the matter of expected financial assistance for his party from the Co-operators. True, several Societies in Scotland have become affiliated with the Labour Representation Committee, and a number of others have sub- scribed to its funds; but indications are not wanting that a strong reaction against direct interference in party politics is setting in. The Co-operative Congress held at Paisley in June last decided against alliance with the Labour Repre- sentation Committee by a majority of nearly six to one, and it is not difficult to see that such an alliance would be a sad tactical blunder. There is also, I think, good reason for believing that the Co-operative Charter, the Industrial and Provident Societies Act of 1893, does not permit of Societies allying themselves with any political party or devoting any portion of their funds for purposes other than those sanctioned by the Act and laid down in their rules.—I am, Sir, &c.,