7 JULY 1973, Page 17

Of all, by all, for all'

Sir: Much muttering in Labour Party circles, and counter-mutters in the same circles, on 'nationalisation.' Ah, the efforts to find out remedies for national sicknesses — and all that results are palliatives. Trouble? — set up an inquiry, More trouble? — set up a committee; in case anyone else has to take action or make decisions, the committee may not reach findings until the trouble is over, and then it is easy to blame such an anonymous body for faults. Or — nationalise, and when everyone owns everything no one will be able to criticise.

Not a bad theory — but do those who cry nationalise' fully realise what it ought to mean? If a resource is put under national ownership, the nation owns it, runs it, and has the full right to demand productivity if not profit, Surely Then, the labour in a nationalised industry or concern is part of that resource, and is owned by the nation, by everyone, as much as the machines and the products and the money? If an industry, when nationalised, accepts full and complete organisation for the nation, then the workers in that industry should — or should not? — accept being fully and completely organised for the nation. Which ought to mean — or ought it? — no strikes, no complaints, noth ing save full effort — from each man according to his ability so that he can claim his needs — no question of overtime, but 'according to his ability' and if he is able to work sixty hours, that is his ability ' for that week, and pay be blowed.

Oversimplification — I know — but then, so are all the other efforts — simple to set up an inquiry or a committee or end the ownership of the suspect capitalists — and all's well if all accept the implications for the individual — who, sadly enough, often strives to retain his individuality and his individual demands after he has called for the 'rule of all by all for all.'

John Harding Bockleton Vicarage, Tenbury Wells, Worcs