By Henry Pelling (auth.)
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Extra info for A Short History of the Labour Party
Morel, Charles Trevelyan, and Arthur Ponsonby, to form in September 1914 a body called the Union of Democratic Control. C. demanded democratic control of foreign policy, no annexations, an international organisation to maintain peace, and disarmament. New alignments thus cut across the ranks of the Labour Party, and threatened its continued existence as a political force. Yet at the time, there were few who thought that the war would last as long as a year. Although Henderson had disagreed with MacDonald and had taken his place as party chairman, he did not want to expel the anti-war minority from membership of the party, for he expected an early return to the peace-time condition of politics.
5 It was a striking demonstration of the leftward trend in the unions that this constitution was adopted in February 1918 with only one amendment of any importance - the addition of two more seats for the affiliated societies (in effect, for the trade unions), bringing the Executive to a total of twenty-three. P. really disliked the changes, for it lost its guaranteed seats on the Executive and its influence was rivalled by that of the local Labour Parties. Only four months later - in June 1918 - the party held another conference, the first under the new constitution.
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.
A Short History of the Labour Party by Henry Pelling (auth.)
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