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A Short History of the Labour Party by Henry Pelling (auth.)

By Henry Pelling (auth.)

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Extra resources for A Short History of the Labour Party

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The first Russian Revolution was greeted with great enthusiasm on the Left, as was shown by the success of a special conference at Leeds in June, summoned by the United Socialist Council. P. , which were both now affiliated to the Labour Party. The conference was attended by over a thousand delegates from local Socialist branches, from trade-union branches, and from trades councils. It expressed great gratification at the overthrow of Tsarism and saluted the prospect of a peace without annexations.

The third principle was summed up as 'The Revolution in National Finance', which meant in practice the subsidisation of social services by heavy taxation of large incomes and, more specifically, an immediate capital levy to payoff a part of the cost of the war. Finally, the fourth principle was 'The Surplus for the Common Good', which proclaimed that the balance of the nation's wealth should so far as possible be devoted to expanding opportunities in education and in culture for the people as a whole.

Believed like the other members of that organisation in a form of conscription known as 'the citizen army', which was based on the idea that a revolution could best be effected when all members of the working class had some training in the use of arms. In general, however, the realities of Britain's diplomatic and military commitments made little impact upon the Labour Party. Nor was the party very much to blame for this: fearful of hostile reaction among their own supporters, Asquith and Grey took care not to reveal the nature of the military and naval agreements made with France.

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