E.T.U. — RED TACTICS MAY BOOMERANG
By DOUGLAS HYDE
WORKING on the principle that the best form of defence is to attack, Communists are sponsoring resolutions in trade union organisations condemning the T.U.C. for "intriguing" against the Electrical Trades Union whose affairs have become something of a national scandal, The E.T.U. is, of course, Britain's most Communist-dominated union.
Its leaders have been accused of rigging elections, of intimidating their opponents. and of allowing the affairs of the union to be directed by "advisers" from the Communist Party headquarters who are not even among its members.
The union's affairs have been discussed in public to such an extent that the general council of the T.U.C. quite naturally feels that the reputation of the entire trades union movement may be damaged by the unsavoury goings-on within a single union.
Somewhat belatedly. some people would argue, the general council two years ago tried to force a show-down on the matter. But its repeated invitations to the E.T.U.'s leaders to explain their position and to account for themselves met with nothing but evasion.
The general council has very much less power to control the activities of its affiliated organisations than some people imagine. Its disciplinary powers are very limited. In no way does it represent some sort of " high command " of the trade union army.
For this reason it did not specifically charge the E.T.U. with the offences publicly alleged against it. It merely invited the union to conskier instituting proceedings against newspapers and journals which have accused the E.T.U.'s principal officers of malpractice. It also invited them to issue an official and precise denial of charges that some of the Union's principal officers were associated with a committee set up by the Communist Party to influence and direct the union's affairs.
But its attempt to enquire into the allegations by this subtle. but somewhat roundabout, means met with no success. The proposed meeting was postponed time after time and, finally, last week, the general council sent a circular letter to its affiliated organisations explaining that it will not engage in any further discussions with the ,E.T.U. about the matter.
The Communist Party's reply to this has been to tell its members and their sympathisers to propose resolutions in trade union branches condemning the general council and deploring " the persistent interference " in the affairs of the E.T.U. by the T.U.C.
As usual, the arguments used are aimed at playing on the deeprooted loyalties of British trade unionists.
British unions have prided themselves on their independence and their right to manage their own business. They have believed that this was something which should be defended at all costs. The Communists are using this and are, therefore, hoping to get the support of union members who are not Communists at all.
The irony of the, situation is that, if, as is likely. the unions have to face Government interference in the shape of legislation to curb activities like those alleged against the E.T.U., it will be precisely because of the activities of the Communists themselves, particularly within the Electrical Trade Union.
Pope John sets up Vatican Film Library
The Pope has recently established the Vatican Film Library by conferring legal status to it, giving It an office in Vatican City, and approving its statute. Three categories of films are being put together to form the collection: films and TV films already in the possession of the Holy See; copies of films and TV films produced in the Vatican City; and films which in the future come into the possession of the Pope, departments of the Holy See. or the Library.
The Library aims at collecting films referring to the life of the Church, and especially those covering (a) the Pope; his representatives, and the Curia; (b) the apostolic and charitable activities of the Universal Church and cultural activities under Catholic auspices;
(c) religious life in the world; and (d) high-class works on art and general culture. The Library will he under the direction of the Pontifical Commission for Motion Pictures, Radio. and Television.