Page 1, 24th October 1947

24th October 1947
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Page 1, 24th October 1947 — Have Communists Declared War On Catholic TU Leaders?
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People: Gardner, Some
Locations: London

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Have Communists Declared War On Catholic TU Leaders?

By a Staff Reporter Some time ago I was informed by a leading trade unionist that the time was not far off when the Communists would start a series of intimidations against their opponents in the unions, so as to curb the activities of the obvious new militant members.

This week I was informed of what looks like a coming threat of intimidation, not merely to the rank and file, but to a distinguished and highly placed trade union official.

He is a leading Catholic, a Lon. don County Councillor, and a full time Secreary of a Union. He spoke at a meeting of the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists on August 31. In his speech he pointed opt how the Communists controlled the Amalgamated Engineers' Union. A few days ago Mr. Gardner. the General Secretary of the Amalgantated Engineers Union sent a letter to the Gimeral Secretary of this Catholic official's union and drew attention to the latter's remarks about the A.E.U. I understand that comments were invited from the executive of the Union concerned by the A.E.U.

This looks like an attempt to silence this Trade Unionist and stop him making anti-Communist speeches. What is even more serious is the fact that the compkiint from the A.E.U. has been sent to this official's employers.

UNHEARD-OF SITUATION

It is a situation unheard of in industry, that a man's political opinions should he brought before those who employ him, by a group who are dominated by a different political thought. especially when this group is a part of a movement which has as one of its main objects the defence of the rights of the individual, including political freedom.

I can say with conviction that the main. reason for this complaint is because the Communist Candidates in the recent A.E.U. election have had many votes cast against them, and one or two of the leading members have been defeated. This, of course, weakens the Communist influence in the A.E.U., and has retarded their programme of exploitation.

CREDIT ALSO NON-CATHOLICS Whilst much of new militant action against Communism within the trade unions has been through the work of the Catholic trade unionists, many non-Catholics have also been active, and should he given credit.

Two of the leaders of the recent protest of Builders in London, who carried posters maligning the Poles to which the Cardinal referred on Sunday, are known to have Com munist. sympathies, The banning of the Poles in the A.E.U. was not the desire of the majority of members and they were not consulted. The directive came straight from the executive committee which made the decision. In fact all of the recent incidents of unrest in industry, could be traced back to extreme

left agitation. In many cases the connection would be hard to prove --hut that is part of the plan.




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