7 NOVEMBER 1952, Page 14


Attlee and Bevan

Snt,—The article by the Rev. Mervyn Stockwood in your last issue has no doubt a considerable interest for members of the Labour Party. For non-members it may serve as an exemplar of the mind of the middle-class ,Socialist, assuming that the writer is indeed a genuine middle-of-the-roader and not a Bevanite in disguise. (There is just that doubt left in one's mind, perhaps because we all know so well that for a man without working-class roots to have any influence in a Socialist Party he must " go left.").

But why, Sir, should you trouble your helpless but unoffending readers with matters more proper to a Socialist weekly ? Are you not unreasonably trepassing upon the educational duty of the B.B.C. ? And what have we done, anyway ?

There is just one other thing that puzzles me. Mr. Stockwood thinks that if the party splits one-half will go the same way as the European Socialists and the other that of the Liberals (presumably the Liberals in this country). I should have thought that these two contrasted cases are basically the same; that of a party struggling with not too much success to maintain its working-class connections, and avoid being branded as " bourgeois."—I am, Sir, yours faithfully,

[The dispute in the Labour Party is of national importance for the reason that it decides whether'there is to be a strong and united Oppo- sition, such as the country needs at allatimes, whatever Government is in office. For that reason an article on the personalities of the leaders of the two sections of the Labour Party, by a Labour writer who knows them both well, is very relevant, and its place in a non- party paper, it may be submitted, both proper and useful. It in no way claims to represent the Spectator's own opinions.—Ed., Spectator.]