Page 1, 6th April 1956

6th April 1956
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Page 1, 6th April 1956 — Communist admits the Bishops were right
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Organisations: British Communist Party
Locations: Melbourne, Glasgow, Leeds

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Communist admits the Bishops were right

By DoUglas Hyde

WHEN the Archbishop and Bishops of the Province of Glasgow last December, in a pastoral letter, condemned the Rolls-Royce strike—which kept 7,500 workers idle for six weeks --as being Communist-inspired, the Communists at once denied responsibility.

The Communists even pretended it was tinder predominantly Catholic leadership.

But at the British Communist Party's congress at Battersea, Mr. W. Batchelor, leader of the Communist Party in the RollsRoyce Scottish factories, last Friday openly claimed that it had been a Communist victory.

A polisher in a Rolls-Royce factory . was expelled from his union for working too hard. The workers struck when the management then refused to dismiss him as a non-unionist.

Attempts were made to bring out the company's workers throughout England and Scotland and to extend it to other engineering works.

In their outspoken pastoral letter, issued whilst the strike was still running, the Bishops made a clear reference to the strike and said that they did not hesitate to name the people responsible for it : "They are the Communist Party."

Since the majority of the workers and some of the shop stewards in the factories concerned were Catholics, the Bishops' condemnation played a considerable part in bringing the strike to an end.

But the Bishops' charge that the strike was Communist-run was at once denied by the Communists and by people Moo condemn Catholics for " seeing Communists everywhere."

Now the truth has been revealed by the leading Rolls-Royce Communist himself.

Mr. Batchelor claimed the strike as a " victory." The Communist organisation in Rolls-Royce, he said, was one of the strongest in the land, with a party unit in five main departments, having an average membership of 20 in each.

Within the Rolls-Royce organisation there is, he continued, a Communist branch committee which meets weekly and provides leadership for the workers as a whole.

The Party, he said, had recently bought premises near the factory " with money coming mainly from non-party folk."

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