Page 8, 10th December 1937

10th December 1937
Page 8
Page 8, 10th December 1937 — The Clenched Fist

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The Clenched Fist

Catholic members of the Labour Party may be shocked by the news that Major Attlee and his companions freely made use of the salute of the clenched fist during their tour in Red Spain. Even non-Catholie members of that Party may be a little perturbed by the encouragement given to one side in the Civil War by an English gentleman, speaking not in his own name, but in the name of His Majesty's Government, as he hopes it will be when his party attains to power. That he should have spoken in this sense and done all he could to put new heart into the International Brigade, even allowing his name to be used for one of its battalions, immediately after having undertaken to refrain from any action that could be construed as hindering the British policy of non-intervention, makes one anxious as to whether the name of " British gentleman can properly be used in this connection.

On the whole, however. we doubt whether the tour will do much harm. The French Left has washed its hands officially of a losing cause, and it is typical of the recent leadership of the British Left that it embraces a cause which can only further weaken its attempt to lead the British working-man to international Socialism. Meanwhile the tour has made one fact pretty plain to everybody. If the Left resent the help given to Franco by certain powers, it has no intention of applying to itself the lesson it would teach others. The International Column, the sole force that has prevented so far a complete Franco victory, will in future be in the forefront of pro-Franco propaganda as " Major Attlee's Column." It will not be easy for the English Left to find a suitable rejoinder in kind when referring to the Black Arrow Brigade.

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