This article has been taken from LLAFUR Volume 3 – Number 2 – 1981. Llafur is The Journal of the Society for the Study of Welsh Labour History now called Welsh People's History Society. www.llafur.org.
Permission to publis this article is being sought.
The Neath By-Election,1945: Trotskyists in West Wales
John McHugh and B. J. Ripley
The Neath lay-election held on 15 May 1945 was the first occasion on which a British Trotskyist Party contested a Parliamentary election. The Trotskyist Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party, decided to fight the seat in January 1945 thinking there was little prospect of a rapid end to the war. However, the writs were delayed and by the time the election actually took place circumstances had substantially altered to blunt the effectiveness of the Trotskyist campaign. By May, the Coalition Government was clearly on the point of collapse and a General Election was anticipated in the near future. Moreover, the Labour candidate, D. J. Williams, was a noted local left-winger fighting on the party’s neo- ‘socialist’ programme for the first time. 
Each of these factors weakened the force of the Revolutionary Communist Party’s campaign which was based on “a platform of uncompromising hostility to the imperialistic war, for the breaking of the Coalition, for the overthrow of the Churchill Government and for Labour to take power on a Socialist platform”  V.E. day celebrations which paralleled the final l stages of the election campaign, local interest in the ‘cleft-chin‘ murder case, involving a Neath girl and an American soldier in London, served to deflect interest from politics and hinder the RCP ’s presentation of a complicated and controversial case.
The interest for the labour historian in the electoral intervention of the Trotskyist in Neath lies less in the formal campaign between the RCP., Welsh Nationalists and Labour Party than in the parallel ‘shadow’ campaign between the Trotskyists and local communist party for influence over the ‘advanced’ section of the Neath and wider South Wales working class. Certainly the bitter rivalry and recrimination between the two central feature of the long election campaign and gave the whole event its most interesting and dramatic moments. It is this political debate which is the main focus of the article although the wider political issues will inevitably figure prominently throughout.
The Revolutionary Communist Party was formed in 1944 from the unification of the two significant Trotskyist groups in existence, the Revolutionary Socialist League and the Workers’ International League. These groups were themselves the result of the unifications and splits between the various Leagues, Tendencies, Groups and Fractions of the l930s.  While the RSL. was recognised as the Official British Section of the Fourth International the WIL. had developed as the numerically larger group with more industrial support. Given this situation the International Trotskyist Movement and in particular the American Socialist Workers Party worked for the fusion of the groups.
The American S.W.P had instructed about a quarter of its membership to join the Merchant Marine on the outbreak of war in order to avoid the expected conscription and these seamen provided the essential communications link between the British and American groups. Marxist and Trotskyist literature was regularly brought over for the British Trotskyists and the WIL was particularly cultivated by the Americans and guided towards fusion with the RSL.
This was achieved following a Unity Conference in April 1944 but the RCP was seen by WIL. notables as the means whereby they became the Official Section of the Fourth International since they supplied three-quarters of the new Party’s members.
Continuity was maintained in the close concentration on rank and file trade union activity. The industrial arm of the RCP was the Militant Workers’ Federation, founded in June 1943, by the WIL. Its function was to develop Trotskyist influence among shop steward’s movements which had expanded into the vacuum created by the Communist Party’s support for war production since 1941. The WIL had played a crucial role in the major unofficial dispute at the Vickers Yard in Barrow-in-Furness  Trotskyist industrial influence extended among shop stewards in the munitions factory, Fairfields, in Glasgow and more decisively at the Nottingham Royal Ordnance Factory 
By the time the RC was formed Trotskyist influence in the coal mines had grown to the point where it was suggested by Ernest Bevin that the massive crippling unofficial coal stoppage in Yorkshire in March 1944 was the result of Trotskyist agitation. Indeed, the arrest of Jock Haston, General Secretary of the RCP along with three comrades in April 1944 was directly related to growing official concern at mounting industrial unrest and perceived Trotskyist influence. Haston, Heaton Lee, Ann Keen and Roy Tearse were arrested for involvement in an unofficial strike by engineering apprentices on Tyneside against the introduction and application of the Bevin ballot scheme for conscripting men into the coal mines. Public attention on the Trotskyists was heightened by the parallel police raids on the RCP’s London headquarters as well as the houses of noted RCPers.
The subsequent almost certainly orchestrated press campaign against the activities of Trotskyist ‘saboteurs’ and ‘defeatists’ was such that Aneurin Bevan spoke against a campaign which rendered the ‘fair’ trial of Haston and others impossible. Bevan declared in Parliament that … ‘the newspapers were permitted, without any action being taken against them at all, to commit contempt of court, to an extent which had never before been seen in Great Britain. They piled up public hatred, they slandered and abused these people at the very moment when they were committed for trial … The whole thing is disgraceful.’ 
The denunciations of the perceived Trotskyist menace were not restricted to the right-wing press but inevitably involved the Communist Party. The Daily Worker joined in the attack on the Trotskyist saboteurs and in a pamphlet with the same title I R. Campbell declared: ‘In the factories the Trotskyists have advocated the policy of ending the ‘industrial truce’ by the unloosing of a series of strikes. The Conference of the Workers' International League held in October 1943, gloated over the increase in strikes’  D. N Pritt who was politically very close to the Communist Party suggested in the Parliamentary debate concerning Trotskyist activities that all the RCPers should be jailed. Pritt blamed the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, for under-estimating the effects of Trotskyist agitation. ‘1 do not minimise the Trotskyist instigation. I think it is serious and I think it has grown up partly because of the persistent refusal of the Home Secretary to do anything about it 
In fact, Jock Haston, Roy Tearse, Heaton Lee and Ann Keen were sentenced to periods of imprisonment from a few weeks to twelve months in June 1944.  However, the sentence was quashed on appeal at the end of September Throughout the period of their arrest and imprisonment the RCP mounted a campaign for their release under the auspices of a body named The Anti-Labour Laws Victims Defence Committee. In Neath, the local Defence Committee obtained significant support from Miners Lodges which was a contributory factor in prompting the RCP to make its one electoral foray in Neath. Another factor was the existence of an older Trotskyist link with the West Wales coalfield through the person of C. L. R. James. James, a noted West Indian cricket commentator, author and intellectual, had preached a Trotskyist message in Neath and proved a sufficiently attractive orator to draw large crowds to his meetings during the 1930’s. 
However, the most compelling reason for choosing Neath was the general perception that South Wales was an area of ‘advanced’ labour views as indicated by the traditional strength of the Communist Party in its ‘Left’ periods. It was believed that the Communist Party’s virtually unquestioned loyalty to the Coalition in the matter of war production had alienated many advanced workers who were thought to be seeking a revolutionary alternative. This perception was particularly appropriate in the context of relations in the West Wales coalfield. The West Wales coalfield had earned some notoriety during the war within a notorious industry ‘ In Britain in 1944 two thirds of all strikes were in the coalmining industry  Moreover, of thirty collieries in South Wales, which, during the war, experienced more than five stoppages, twenty were in the anthracite district (West Wales) which employed only one sixth of the total labour force. 
Following the massive Porter Award Strike of March 1944, the Western Mail ran a story on ‘Trotskyist Activity in South Wales’ which largely consisted of the odd sighting of a Socialist Appeal Seller  This Story was almost certainly a reaction to the national press coverage of perceived Trotskyist agitation in the Yorkshire coalfield. The South Wales Communist Party also considered the extent of Trotskyist influence in the South Wales Coalfield and issued a long statement including the observation that: There are only a few scattered Trotskyists in the Welsh Coalfields. They have no real influence in the miner s’ Lodges , but the genuine grievances over the Porter Award … gave the Trotskyists their chance to exploit the strike for their own ends, and to slander the elected leaders of the miners especially Arthur Homer, the President. 
Certainly the bitter Porter Award Strike in South Wales encouraged the RCP in its belief that a revolutionary socialist anti-war candidate could gather substantial support in Neath. Along with the evidence of militancy in the coalfield the clearest indication of such support was the fact that ‘one of the biggest miners’ lodges in the area, which has posed anti-war and break the Coalition resolutions at Federation Conferences, requested a militant left Miners Agent to stand as an ‘independent communist.’  This potential candidate, Trevor James from the Swansea Valley, had been blamed by the West Wales Communist Party, for the boys’ strikes of May-June l942,  and was well known for his anti-war and anti-Communist Party stand.
James’s refusal to stand allowed the RCP, which was prepared to give James critical support, the opportunity to put up Jock Haston as candidate. The RCP had few illusions about Haston’s electoral prospects. By deliberately contesting a safe Labour seat the RCP eschewed the kind of anti-Conservative vote which inflated the electoral support of the Common Wealth and I.L.P candidates in Conservative-held seats. In such circumstances the RCP was seeking votes from a Labour and Communist electorate and recognised that ‘The best we dare hope for is to save the deposit.  However, beyond the question of votes the RCP was seeking to bring before a working-class electorate the demand for an end to the Coalition and for Labour to take power committed to a socialist programme. In raising such questions and demonstrating are volutionary socialist commitment and determination, the RCP could hope to usurp the traditional position of the Communist Party in South Wales and build up an alternative revolutionary tradition. 
The announcement of Haston’s intention to stand came in January 1945 and produced an immediate response from the Communist Party in West Wales. Councillor Alun Thomas and Jack Maunder, Chairman and Secretary respectively of the West Wales CP, sent a letter to the local newspapers denouncing the RCP. The letter emphasized that they had no connection with the ‘so-called’ revolutionaries: ‘ In contrast to their policy of disunity and strikes the Communist Party stands for the national unity of all people who are for the defeat of Germany and for a peoples’ peace … We call upon the people to reject the policy of these proved enemies of the workers, as their policy is definitely opposed to the present and future interests of the working-class.  The CP pledged its support for the Labour candidate and promised to work for his election.
This offer of support for the Labour candidate was rejected by the local Labour Party agent, J.S.George, who declared Labour’s absolute independence from all other parties. George said that Labour would fight in support of the ‘undiluted Socialism as laid down in the very explicit Labour Party programme … and without the aid of political crutches, whether they be called Communists or any other name.  The local Communist Party expressed its dismay and alarm at George’s attitude to their offer of support and reaffirmed their intention to work on behalf of the Labour candidate. The RCP’s organiser in South Wales, John Lawrence, intervened by attacking Labour’s claim to be “independent of all other parties.’ John Lawrence emphasized the argument that the Labour candidate was committed to Churchill’s Coalition. Moreover, Lawrence denounced Labour’s rejection of Communist Party support since it ‘was at least a working-class party despite Stalinism.’ 
The RCP ’s election campaign began in earnest at the start of February when Jock Haston began to speak in the constituency. Lawrence had already identified the war-time role of the CP and the Labour involvement in the Coalition as the principal targets. The CP, constantly referred to as ‘His Majesty’s Communist Party’, was attacked for its general commitment to war production and its specific refusal to support miners in their disputes of the previous year. The RCP maintained that it was the genuine Communist tendency fighting ‘to raise seriously before the advanced workers the whole problem of the sell-out by Labour leaders and posing the question of a struggle for workers’ power! 
Haston’s first speech took place in the Miners' Welfare Hall at Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen. It consisted of an attack on Labour’s support for the Coalition and demands for solidarity with German and other European workers. Haston also issued a challenge to the CP to meet the RCP in public debate.  The CP response was to re-declare its support for the Labour candidate despite the Labour rebuff and to taint the RCP with Fascism by reference to the Moscow trials. Jack Maunder, the secretary of the West Wales CP, wrote that the confessions of the 21 defendants in the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyists in 1938 showed the Trotskyists to be ‘proved enemies of the working-classes’. Maunder went on to claim a relationship between Trotskyists and Fascist states and ended: ‘Why should we provide a platform for traitors? There are far more appropriate and effective ways of dealing with them. “ The claim that the Trotskyists were actually assisting the fascist cause remained a central part of Communist Party propaganda. The Neath Guardian reported the C.P claim that RCPers were ‘doing exactly what Hitler and Fascism and men like Sir Oswald Mosley wanted.  This claim was substantially reiterated in a pamphlet entitled ‘Communist Reply to Trotskyist Challenge to Debate 
The RCP countered these charges by issuing a propaganda leaflet which again, challenged the C.P to an open debate and denounced the C.P for its ‘cowardly slander’ The leaflet ‘A Reply to a Cowardly Slander’ argued that the Dewey Commission of inquiry report published in the U.S.A. had conclusively demolished the credibility of the Moscow Trials and the ‘so-called confessions’ of the old Bolsheviks. The RCP also sought to contrast what it claimed to be a consistent record of anti-fascism with the equivocating and unprincipled policy of the Soviet Union culminating in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the peace statements of the British Communists before 1941 and the slavish reversal of policy thereafter. Particular attention was devoted to the claim that the British Communist party’s enthusiasm for warproduction was being pursued at the expense of the gains made by the working-classes in previous decades. This was allied to the RCP’s criticism of the CP’s public commitment to the maintenance of the Coalition Government into the post-war period. All of these points were made to prove that the C.P had abandoned the working classes … ‘theirs is the policy of class collaboration and betrayal. 
The charges of lass collaboration and betrayal were particularly emotive and came in the aftermath of the major coal disputes of 1944 when the Communist Party found itself in opposition to striking miners in South Wales. The RCP intended to use the coal industry as a classic illustration of their general claim to be the true revolutionary socialists in contrast to ‘His Majesty’s Communist Party’ Articles in Socialist Appeal and leaflets handed out at pit heads sought to demonstrate this contrast  Socialist Appeal pointed out that four Trotskyists, Haston, Tearse, Lee and Keen, had been goaled for attempting to defend workers’ rights. ‘The record of the Labour, Trade Union and Stalinist leaders over the same period tells a very different story It is a black record of shameful betrayal and sabotage of the miner’s struggle. Every rotten device known to scabs and strike-breakers has been used by these ‘misleaders’ of the workers in their efforts to shatter the fighting morale of the struggling workers. 
While Arthur Homer and Will Lawther were subject to particular attack for them ‘betrayal’ of the miners the Labour Party was not excluded. An RCP leaflet ‘Haston for The Miners’ claimed that during a coal debate in the House of Commons on June 10 1942 an ILP amendment aimed at securing the nationalisation of the pits was voted against by nine of the South Wales Miners MPs while four more abstained.  This claim brought a counter from D.R. Grenfell MP, a former Secretary for Mines and the principal target of the leaflet, who claimed that the RCP’s allegation was a slander because the South Wales Miners votes were withheld from the I.L.P amendment because they disliked the form of the proposed nationalisation and claimed the right to choose their own course of nationalization. Grenfell pointed out that six months prior to his resignation as Secretary for the Miners he had put forward a plan for nationalisation.”  Will Lawther, President of the NUM also denounced the Trotskyists right to claim to speak on behalf of miners ‘it is a sheer travesty on the part of our opponents to claim that they represent Labour when they have not received the support of a single trade union organisation, and we are opposed to these self-appointed prophets who claim that they alone know the way. 
In fact the only institutional support which the RCP received from outside its organization came from the local I.L.P This amounted to no more than a handful of people and' consequently the RCP’s campaign was mounted on the basis of bringing into Neath as many Party activists as possible. Indeed, virtually the whole active membership of the RCP, probably 400 people visited Neath at some time during the four month campaign. The RCP’s finances were focused on Neath and the presence of a number of full-time organisers as well as the constant influx of rank and file members brought accusations from both Labour and Communist parties about its finances. It was strongly suggested that the RCP’s ability to mount such a campaign over four months indicated a foreign source of finance. This was used as evidence for the Communist allegation that the RCP was ultimately playing into the hands of Fascism: ‘Thus the Trotskyites are not fighting for socialism. Their fight is a fight to save Fascism. They are the Agents of Fascism in the ranks of the working-class. They are Wolves in Sheep’s’ clothing. They are a greater menace and far more dangerous than a Fascist paratrooper.” 
In fact, the bulk of the RCP’s finance was provided by levy on a highly committed membership. Some finance was provided through sales of its paper Socialist Appeal. Indeed most of the full-time organisers were self-funded through sales of the papers. This was not an implausible method of supporting full-timers at subsistence level since Socialist Appeal achieved sales up to 12,000 an issue. There was a limited amount of financial backing from some wealthier sympathizers including at least one significant manufacturer. However, the vast bulk of the finances were generated from within the active rank and file support. 
The presence of so many RCPers in Neath served to maintain interest in the long drawn out by-election campaign. Many of their meetings generated intense interest and were reported by a hostile press to be both lively and well supported. The more important political rallies were chaired by local ILPers but probably the most tangible local contribution came from Tommy Nicholas. In a humorous reminiscence Nicholas recalls how he obtained accommodation for some RCPers: ‘I kidded the Labour Party to lend them their room for them to sleep in and they slept in this office of the Labour Party and then they send meal bill when they went for £S-10s, I don’t know if I’d made an arrangement to pay them or not but I didn’t pay them. I got the bill now, see. 
Although the Trotskyists were clearly very active during the election campaign it is difficult to assess their overall impact. W H. Gregory a local ILP stalwart and WEA organiser recalled that many of the ‘advanced’ workers who attended classes were impressed with the RCPers and especially Jock Haston: ‘Jock was a very able man … bloody magnificent speaker … most Communists hadn’t read ,,, not scholarly people. But this fellow had, Jock and people like him, they had really read it, they knew it?” . Despite the impression created by Haston, Gregory doubted whether any in his class would have voted for him ‘when it came to the crunch’. to vote a Member of Parliament in.’ 
However, the most important clue to the impression which the RCP propaganda campaign was having on ‘advanced’ workers is the response it evoked from the Communist Party. The CP had issued a series of leaflets and a pamphlet Trounce the Trotskyists which denounced the RCP in powerful terms and had steadfastly refused to debate with such ‘traitors’ The demand for such a debate had been a prominent feature in the RCP’s campaign and the Communist Party’s final decision to accept such a challenge can be seen as an indication of CP concern.
The debate itself took place at an RCP eve-of-poll rally which was turned over to the confrontation once Alun Thomas indicated his determination to debate Haston. Thomas began his case by stating that ‘it was not the usual policy of the Communist Party to debate with Trotskyites but unfortunately there were some politically backward people in Neath who had been persuaded by the demagogy of Jock Haston and that was the reason that on this occasion the C.P had decided to do so.  The Communist argument was essentially to denounce Trotskyists as Fifth Columnists, oppose the Trotskyist view of the war as an imperialist With the view that it was a popular war, and to respect the view that the German worker is our ally pointing out that ‘Hitler has created a nation of nincompoops and murderers." 
Haston’s reply was to castigate the role of ‘His Majesty’s Communist Party’ in the pre-war period pointing to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as an example of ‘Stalinist’ duplicity. Haston rejected the references to the Moscow trials as conclusive evidence of Trotskyist counter-revolutionary activity, claiming they were a fraud. On international questions Haston re-affirmed his belief in the German worker an ally and believed that the election “was one of confidence in the policy of the Labour leaders who have capitulated to Churchill and the capitalist class; was the unity of the workers of Britain with the workers of India, of Europe and the world against the capitalist class On the eve of the election the RCPers had been out through the night painting slogans. ‘On main roads and side streets could be seen the hammer and sickle with the words ‘Vote Haston. 43]
The election result represented a massive victory for the Labour Party’s candidate D. J Williams with 30,847 against 6,290 for the Welsh Nationalist and 1,781for Jock Haston. The Western Mail in a Leader column on election day had urged Tory and Liberals to vote Labour presenting Haston as one who ‘prescribes political phobia as a panacea. He would not be tolerated as a political candidate in any other country in the world. He has no message but stark red revolution, no policy but chaos and destruction. htly and deservedly compels the forfeit of his deposit (for his) pernicious trash in existing circumstances is little short of lunacy 
The R.C.P tended to view the result in a more optimistic light. Jock Haston’s immediate reaction was to declare that ‘it was a fighting effort from the best section of the working-class, and a significant vote which, in the next few years, would show itself in a tremendous reflection in other parts of the country.  The newspaper, Socialist Appeal, likewise reacted confidently to the result which, it suggested, indicated that Trotskyism had now laid firm roots in Wales. Moreover the actual statistical result was contrasted favourably with Harry Pollitt’s performances against Ramsay MacDonald in Seaham Harbour in 1929 and at Silvertown in London on an anti-war ticket in 1940.  Nor was this optimistic response by the RCP to the result merely a public response. The party’s internal report on the election reflected the public optimism.
In this report it was suggested that the attack on D. J Williams the Labour candidate as a “Coalition” candidate lost its edge with the growing public knowledge that the Coalition was ending. This deprived the RCP of disgruntled Labour supporters unhappy about Labour’s involvement in the Coalition. Likewise the fact that the RCP deliberately opposed a Labour held seat meant that it was unlikely to poll the same vote as other parties, notably the I.L.P and Common Wealth, which received deceptively inflated votes when standing against incumbent Conservatives. This rationale enabled the RCP to weigh the quality of their vote against the relatively small quantity: ‘1781 votes for a bold policy of class struggle and internationalism despite V.E. day celebrations, Buchenwald horror campaigns, the high pressure slander efforts of the Stalinists, and the very strong Labour traditions of the Welsh workers is sufficient proof of the existence of this ... (revolutionary) tendency … what votes we did get were definitely votes against the Labour Party as a program and for the policy of Revolutionary Communism. 
The RCP was also heartened by the general reaction of workers in South Wales to their policies. In particular it was argued that although the Trotskyist critique of the Soviet Union as a degenerate workers state with increasing capitalist tendencies had amazed many ‘advanced’ workers it did not meet a hostile response. The party’s analysis of post-war prospects was never questioned and the Communist Party’s attempt to brand them as Fascists fell flat. The Trotskyists also argued that throughout the campaign they had ‘emphasised our solidarity with the German and Japanese workers and never once did this receive chauvinistic attacks from our audiences.’
Alongside this more impressionistic, generalised account of the RCP’s campaign in Neath there was a more detailed empirical analysis of their impact. It was claimed that an average of 2,000 copies of Socialist Appeal were sold each fortnight in the constituency although this subsequently dropped to 1,000 shortly after.
The Special Election issue of Socialist Appeal sold over 7,500 and throughout the months long campaign over 30,000 leaflets were distributed, practically all at pit-heads. The RCP had held 70 election meetings including two audiences independently assessed at 750 and 1,500 respectively. The biggest outdoor meetings held in Neath attracted between 300 and 500 but the average attendance was between 30-40. Attendances apparently varied considerably and the RCP’s internal report points o u t that they were most successful in the Swansea Valley where the ‘Stalinists’ had lost support but very unsuccessful in the Dulais valley where the ‘Stalinists’ were strong.
In the immediate aftermath of the campaign the RCP achieved only very modest gains in the Neath area. A branch was set up which had a membership of six, four were new to political activity, one was gained from the ILP and the other from the Communist Party. Study chases were set up in the three towns which attracted an average audience of 15 alongside which party did a useful trade in literature particularly the ‘Little Lenin’ series of pamphlets. However, an attempt to initiate a ‘Save the Deposit’ campaign was less than successful. Hopes still rested on a group of miners in the Swansea valley focussed on the Miners’ Agent Trevor James but nothing came of it.
Excuses for the RCP’s rather poor electoral showing are not difficult to find. The imminent collapse of the Coalition Government, the patriotic outburst at the conclusion of the war with Germany, the presence of a strong-left-wing Labour candidate armed with a radical political programme, all conspired to blunt the main thrusts of the RCP’s challenge. However, there was a more profound failure for the RCP namely, the failure to lay down an alternative revolutionary socialist tradition to that already established by the Communist Party.
The RCP succeeded quite well in exploiting a number of issues where the Communist Party was in a weak position. The lack of inter-nationalist sympathy with German workers, the commitment to both war production and the Coalition were all exploited at the expense of the Communists. But in the longer term the RCP achieved little of lasting gain. in the wider context of post-war British politics, the RCP’s analysis failed to accord with the facts. Coal was nationalised, India was given independence and the Marshall Plan helped stabilise Western Capitalism. In the more parochial context of the West Wales coalfield the RCP’s presence soon evaporated. By 1950 the RCP had collapsed and their Neath election headquarters in Alfred Street had become a funeral parlour.
- Neath Guardian, 19 January 1945
- See John Archer. "Trotskyism in Britain 1931-37”(Unpublished PhD. Thesis Polytechnic of Central London, 1979)..
- Evidence of this close relationship can be deduced from the letters in the I. Deane collection held in the Manchester Polytechnic Library. Now at Warwick University
- J. Deane in conversations with the authors, plus a telegram in the Deane collection.
- Ken Coates, Workers Control ( London )
- Horne of Commons Debates, Vol. 399, Col. 1068.
- J. R. Campbell. 'Trotskyist Saboteurs' reprinted from Daily Woven April 10 1944. Campbell supplied the following pen portraits of three leading Trotskyists: Mr. E. Grant ' chief theoretician all he knows about the British working-class movement might have been picked up on the black veldt.‘ (Grant was a South African). Mr. J Haston ‘All that this man ever did in the working-claas movement in his native city Edinburgh could be put on the back of a penny stamp. 'R. Tearse. ‘a third-rate inefficient shop steward, heads the Militant Workers’ Federation.‘ ” .
- H.C. Debs Vol398, Col 1107
- Cf The Times 20 June 1944
- Ibid 26 September 1944 8 April 1944
- See the interview with T.Nicholas as part of the South Wales Coalfield Project 1974 (The South Wales Miners Library, Swansea
- S.R.Bloomfield ‘South Wales during the second World War. The coal industry and its community (PhD 1979 University of Wales
- Western Mail
- Quoted by S.R.Bloomfield. op cit
- Statement to Members of from the RCPs Polit Bureau 3/1/45. Cf The Jock Haston collection held in Hull University
- S.R.Bloomfield op cit
- Statement to members
- South Wales Evening Post, 17 January 1945. C.f. The letter of John Lawrence
- C.f. The letter of John Lawrence to the Neath Guardian, 2 February 1945.
- Neath Guardian, 9 February 1945.
- John Lawrence letter, op. c i t , 2 February 1945.
- Neath Guardian 2 February I945.
- Neath Guardian 9 February 1945
- Neath Gaurdian 27 April 1945
- Communist Reply to Trotskyist Challenge To Debate(West Wales Communist Party)
- A reply to a Cowardly Slander (West Wales District Commttee RCP)
- See for example the leaflet in the Haston Collections in Hull University Library
- Socialist Appeal, February 1945
- See Haston for the Miners op.cit
- Western Mail, 3 May 1945.
- Western Ma>il, 14 May 1945.
- Alun Thomas. Trounce the Trotskyites (Pamphlet published by the West Wale Area Committee Communist party)
- Conversations with a number of ex-members of the RCP clearly indicate the fervor of members which prompted many to provide virtually all their wages for the party. Frank Ward also recalls that as a full-time organiser he lived at the poverty level but was quite prepared to go from Glasgow to Neath, withoutreal notice and without questioning, or thinking to question the instruction, when the Neath bye-election came up.
- Tommy Nicholas. Interviewee on the South Wales Coalfield Project 1974. South Wale Miners Library
- W.H.Gregory. Interviewee;
- Socialist Appeal May 1945
- South Wales Evening Post, 15 May 1945
- Western Mail, 15 May 1945
- Ibid. 17 May 1945
- Neath Guardian, 18 May 1945
- Socialist Appeal, May 1945
- John Lawrence. Report on the Neath Campaign dated June 1945 an internal party report in the Haston collection op. cit.
- D. ]. Williams had won a Ruskin scholarship in 1920 and wrote a book on the economics of the coal industry. As a Lecturer for the NationalCouncil of Labour Colleges in Scotland he had been accused by Communists of being a Trotskyist. Interestingly, personal relations between Williams and Jock Haston were very good and Williams was largely influential in securing a NCLC lectureship for Haston after the collapse of the RCP. See D. J Williams documents at the South Wales Miners Library, Swanse, The Neath: Guardian, [9 January 1945.