4 AUGUST 1961, Page 4

The ETU Case

THE ETU case ran for so many weeks in the courts and Mr. Justice Winn's judgment consequently had to run to so many words the; although the newspapers gave the affair reason- able coverage the picture that emerged for readers was episodic. We are glad, therefore, 10 provide this week a survey of the events that led up to the case being brought against the ETU. and of what transpired at the trial itself.

It is a complex story, and some of the allcg. ations are still: disputed; but the general outlines, are clear, and they make a very ugly, picture—' though a revealing one.. Rarely has. there: been so well documented a revelation of how. Com- munists acquire-power, and maintain themselves in office with the help of deception, dishonestY and fraud. In. microcosm, what, happened. in the Electrical Trades Union is what can happen to any organisation—even to a State, as Czecho- slovakia found—which allows Communists to acquire control. It is a one-way ride: there can be no return to democracy unless, as in this instance, there are laws which can be invoked, and men resolute and courageous enough to fight their cause, in spite of the risk to their livelihood.

But the. present, safegnards are insufficient, There may be a need for legislation, certainly there.' is a need for tighter TUC control, and at long last it looks as if the' TUC has been jolted into recognising that fact. In the meantime, the more publicity that can be given to what hail' pened in the. ETU the better. The electricians are proud of their union, and they resent outside interference and criticism, as do all such bodies But they are perfectly capable of seeing for selves how they have been defrauded, if the fact' are set before them, and we hope that this stir: vey, compiled by Peter Benenson and LOU'S Blom-Cooper. will be disseminated as wide!! 3' possible.