Blimps with Little Red Flags

By Peter Fryer

Encounter October 1969

History of the Communist Party of Great Britain Vol II, by James Klugmann

PETER FRYER was in Hungary as a correspondent for the Communist Daily Worker when the 1956 uprising broke out, and his brief book on those events was a remarkable document. He has since published "The Birth Controllers" (1965, Secker& Warburg) and "Private Case: Public Scandal" (1966). His most recent article in Encounter was "A Map of the Underground" (October 1967).

IN 1937 a British communist wrote an unofficial history of his party, and it was attacked by a fellow-communist with such ferocity that an apology had to be made; the book, by Tom Bell, was nevertheless repudiated by the party’s Secretariat. Its critic, Allen Hutt, had held that "a strong case can be made out against the conception of a separate History of the Communist Party at this stage." Three decades later, the British communists have at last plucked up courage to examine their own history[2] In 1956, following the Soviet-Yugoslav rapprochement and the Khrushchev revelations, this book was withdrawn. Its author has never ventured publicly to explain how he came to write it, or to subject it to any kind of self-critical examination, or to draw any lessons from having allowed himself to be so grievously misled by fabricated evidence. But he does seem to have learnt one thing. Throughout the first volume of his new history there is no mention of Trotsky, who was one of the most prominent leaders of the international communist movement in those early years (and whose informed interest in British politics was to be shown in his Where Is Britain Going?, written early in 1925). And the second volume dismisses the C.P.G.B.’s early encounter with "Trotskyism" in just one page. No doubt it is better to play safe than be sorry a second time.

If Klugmann’s new book, unlike his earlier one, has no villain, it certainly does not lack a hero. The hagiography is a shade subtler than it used to be when personality cults were unbridled. Nevertheless, a young Lancashire boilermaker, not yet thirty years of age when the Communist Party of Great Britain was founded, is here credited with a degree of political wisdom and initiative that would have been remarkable in one twice his years. Almost single-handed, it appears, he carried through the party’s reorganisation from an uneasy conflation of propagandist sects into a democratic centralist proletarian vanguard, with "fractions," "nuclei," and  "Party training" (and with an elaborate apparatus of Political Bureau, Organising Bureau, and Secretariat to run a party of a few thousand members) - a process known at the time, though Klugrnann coyly conceals the fact in the first volume and is understandably apologetic about it in the second, as "Bolshevization." This young man alone, if Klugmann is to be believed, was immune from political error. Glancing neither to Right nor "Left," flirting with neither opportunism nor sectarianism, he "personally" stopped the Jolly George, carrying munitions for use against Soviet Russia, in 1919; corrected the sectarian approach of the British Bureau of the Red International of Labour Unions (Profintern) 1921; and edited the party’s first daily newspaper in 1922.[4] It is unlucky for Klugmann that the "Zinoviev letter" affair forces him to name the still unluckier Zinoviev - though even then he cannot bring himself to admit that Zinoviev was at that time president of the Comintern Executive. Klugmann’s otherwise very detailed account of the party reorganisation in 1922 - 3 makes no reference to the Comintern Commission, appointed to investigate the British C.P.; nor to the Commission’s failure to arrive in Britain; nor to a certain Comrade Peet’s successful trip to the Continent to "seek out the commission" and bring it home with him; nor to its subsequent "exhaustive inquiries into the whole of the party’s affairs"; nor to the special meeting of the Comintern Executive, held in Moscow in February 1922 to discuss the British party’s problems, attended by its chairman Arthur MacManus (whose ashes rest in the Kremlin wall)[6]  (According to Klugrnann (II, p. 349), the Comintern Executive did not have a Presidium to do any insisting; this is an outrageous error.) Only one passing and exceedingly uninformative reference is made to the role of the official Comintern representatives in Britain, Michael Borodin ("George Brown") and D. Petrovsky ("A. J. Bennet"), and they are not named.[8] and only four months after the party’s journals had been presenting Trotsky’s case with scrupulous fairness. So when Klugmann, towards the end of the second volume, at last brings himself to record the British party’s anti-Trotsky resolutions of November 1924, May-June 1925, and August 1926 - the discussions within the Russian C.P. and the Comintern having been mysteriously "brought to the attention of the British Party" (II, p.327) - he writes, misleadingly, as if this had been the start of the struggle against "Trotskyism" in Britain. No mention of Petrovsky’s report. No mention of the way the party Executive condemned Trotsky’s The Lessons o[ October (1924) without having read more than a summary of it - or the way the inimitable Andrew Rothstein told those who objected to this hasty decision that "they have a terrible deal to learn yet before they become real Communists. No mention of Rothstein’s reference to Lenin’s so-called "Testament" as "a gross forgery," or of R. Page Arnot’s statement that the Trotsky opposition in Russia was confined to a few students and of no interest to the Russian workers.[10]

How a historian of British communism treats the Trotsky controversy of the 1920s is a touchstone of his integrity. Klugmann’s page on this topic falls below the standard, low as it is, of .the rest of his book.

AS FOR DOMESTIC DISPUTES, Klugmann omits them whenever he can; and when he cannot, he glosses over them by choosing the less outspoken contributions to controversies and parading these as if he had done all that scholarship requires. For example, he refers in a footnote (I, p.325) to criticisms of the leadership made A. Hawkins and E. W. Cant early in 1924, but omits J. T. Murphy’s complaint about the lack of discussion in the party and T. A. Jackson’s still more trenchant and prescient words:

Is an ignorant membership necessary to the working of the plan of organisation... ?... Our job .is only to carry out all instructions at the double, and stand to attention until the next order comes .... This... is... the sort of Party that seems to be desired by many who have had a hand in the process of re-organisation during the past 16 months,[12]

lN HIS SECOND VOLUME, Klugmann’s main concern is to glorify the British Communist Party’s contribution to the 1926 General Strike. His chapter on this topic runs, with appendices, to 140 pages. He admits there were weaknesses in the party’s political appeals and statements during the Strike, but he finds them “overwhelmingly correct.’" As for its practical activity, that was nothing short of "magnificent" (II, p. 193 ).

Validating this claim causes the Official Historian some embarrassment. He has to show that the communists were the most active, energetic, courageous, self-sacrificing, and altogether magnificent members of the various local committees that sprang up during the Strike. But he has to do so without offending non-communist readers, who may be aware that a certain number of non-communists also organised, picketed, and got themselves arrested and sent to prison. So he hops gingerly from one foot to another. On the one hand, "the Communist Party had pioneered the campaign for many of the forms of action which became essential parts of the activity of the most effective strike committees and Councils of Action." On the other hand, "no one should attempt to paint the tremendous apparatus of strike committees and Councils of Action... as the monopoly of the Communists." On the one hand, "Communists were everywhere in the most active mass pickets, editing and distributing bulletins, manning key positions in the strike committees and Councils of Action," and "Communist Party members were initiators, organisers, activists" on "many of the best" of the Councils of Action in London. On the other hand, "thousands and tens of thousands of non-Communist miners and other militant trade unionists, I.L.P.ers, members of Constituency Labour Parties, helped to form and man the Councils of Action. ’’[14] The first detailed C.P. analysis of the strike, by J. T. Murphy (soon to be expelled), recognised that its start had caught the Party by surprise. According to Laski, writing a few months after the Strike, "the communists played practically no part at all." On the Strike’s seventh day (10 May 1926), Hamilton Fyfe wrote in his diary: "The Communists have.., kept, very quiet .... They have sunk out of sight.[16] George Hardy, another leading communist, declares in his memoirs that "the Councils of Action, with a few exceptions, functioned only in a limited way." P. Braun, a Comintern functionary, admitted that the party had not believed in the possibility of the General Council’s calling off the struggle; the party, he added, "did not do all it should have done to warn the workers against betrayal and to make betrayal impossible.” And Murphy wrote in 1934 that the party tried unavailingly to stem the return to work," but "held no decisive positions" which would have made that possible. [18]  The third principle, affiliation to the Communist International, was formally abandoned in 1943, when the moribund Comintern apparatus was finally wound up. But only a political innocent would deny that the Comintern tradition of finding out what the Russian comrades wanted doing, doing it at the double, and standing to attention till the next order came, died hard at No. 16, King Street. Now that this principle, too, has finally been abandoned, in practice as well as theory, it is difficult to see what role remains for the British Communist Party. No longer a revolutionary organisation, no longer the local apologist for the Socialist Sixth of the World, overtaken on the Left by youthful militancy, regarded by politically aware young people as a joke, unable to face its past record with any degree of honesty, dolefully contemplating a future in which it could easily follow the I.L.P. into oblivion - why on earth should it not wipe the slate clean by dissolving itself? This is the logic of its backing Czechoslovakia against the Soviet: Union. Klugrnann;s book is clearly part of yet another effort to rally the ranks, furbish the party’s image - primarily amongst its own members – and show how essential the C.P.G.B. was, is, and always will be.

FOR THE OFFICIAL HISTORIAN is not so much concerned with history as with current politics. His history is basically a running polemic against his party’s present-day critics. His insistence that the party "was not in any sense a foreign creation" is the key phrase in his first two volumes. This is the thesis he sustains for over 700 pages; but he can sustain it only by telling half the story. It is true enough, so far as it goes, that the C.P.G.B. was home-grown, in the sense that it developed out of existing organisations in this country; but to state this without qualification is to sidestep the Comintern’s derailing of a whole generation of revolutionary socialists in Britain. So the Comintern is systematically played down. We are given Hamlet without the King and Queen and Prince. Thanks to the Comintern, international solidarity was twisted into bureaucratic docility; revolutionary zeal was transformed into a sort of Left-wing Blimpishness; and Marxism was reduced to a set of formulas learnt by rote. This process began in the period Klugrnann covers, and it is his aim to conceal its beginnings from his readers. That he fails, despite all the omissions and evasions, is the sole redeeming feature of these impudent volumes.


[2] James Klugmann, From Trotsky to Tito (Lawrence & Wishart, ~95I), p. ~57-

[4] From its first issue (May 1921) to the end of 1924, the Communist Review ran five articles by Zinoviev, four by Trotsky, three each by Bukharin and Radek, and one by Stalin.

[6] Speeches & Documents of the Sixth (Manchester) Conference of the Communist Party of Great Britain (1924), p. I. The changes "insisted upon" (my italics - P.F.) included the reorganisation of the Political Bureau, with Pollitt and William Gallacher replacing J. T. Murphy and Bob Stewart, and the addition of Arthur Horner and Wal Hannington as full members and J. R. Campbell and J. Walter Newbold as substitute members

[8] Cf. Workers’ Weekly, 6 June 1924

[10] W. N. Ewer, Labour Monthly, VII (1925), p. 250. Arthur MacManus, Communist Review, VI (1925-26), p. 47- The Plebs, XVII (1925), p. 214

[12]  J.V. Stalin, Works, vol. VIII (Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954), p. 173.

[14] "Joseph Redman" (Brian Pearce), Labour Review, III (1958), pp. 11-12. I am indebted to this article for several of the quotations which follow.

[16] As quoted by O. Piatnitsky, Communist International, IV (1927), p. 175.

[18] The British Road to Socialism (1951), document which held it slanderous to suggest that the party aimed at setting up "soviets" in Britain. The party’s 1935 programme had been entitled For Soviet Britain., but this did not prevent Stalin’s personally insisting - as I was informed in 1956 by a then member of the C.P.’s Political Committee - on the insertion of this oblique repudiation into the draft of the 1951 programme

WHAT NOW IN FRANCE?

The Labour Monthly, March 1956, pp. 124-127

PETER FRYER

THE fundamental question now before the people of France is whether they will enjoy the fruits of their great electoral victory of January 2, 1956. Will the forces of reaction succeed in robbing them of that victory, in dividing the Left, in prolonging the disastrous, crisis-ridden eight years' record of governing France without the Communists and against the working class? Or will the forces of democracy manage to compel the far-reaching political changes for which 11 million voted—above all, the formation of a Government of the Left based on the entire Left-wing majority in the National Assembly?

The second alternative has dismayed France's enemies in France and abroad, who are displaying every sign of panic at the possibility of these 11 million imposing their will for Left-wing unity on the Socialist and Radical leaders. 'A way out of the dilemma is hard to see' (The Times); 'a frightening picture of discord and confusion . . . Democracy is poised on a razor's edge' (New Statesman); 'the whole future of French politics depends on the [Socialist] Party's continuing to refuse coalition with the Communists under the seductive name of "popular front" ' (Manchester Guardian); 'the one vital question [is] whether the very regime is in danger .. . A Popular Front in France .. . is the most fearsome of all the spectres raised by the French elections' (Sunday Times): these apprehensions on the Right, 'Left' and Centre alike are the measure of the salutary shock that has been administered to the complacency of those who had written off both the French working class and its Party. What shocked them more than anything else were the Communist gains, the solid core of 5½ million Communist votes, the solid core of 151 Communist deputies that has transformed the balance of the National Assembly. They recognise the hard, if to them appalling, fact that the electoral triumph of the Left was first and foremost the work of the French Communist Party, which started preparing for it the day after the 1951 General Election. It was the Communists who led the swing to the Left, who re-awakened the confidence of the ordinary people of France in the Popular Front as the road out of their difficulties and in their ability to create it and carry it to victory. For the tens of thousands of British Labour Party members who rejoice at the swing to the Left in France there is surely food for thought in the part the Communists have played.

This call for a new Popular Front, which was the thread tying together the Communist Party's electoral programme, finds an echo in the hearts of a whole generation of French workers, peasants and petty bourgeoisie, who remember vividly the achievements of 1936: the 40-hour week, the holidays with pay, the wage increases, the breaking-up of the fascist gangs. Of course a Popular Front victory is not yet Socialism. Nor, on the other hand, is the Popular Front an occasional electoral tactic or slogan. Nor, again, is it merely a Parliamentary coalition of the Leaders of the Left-wing parties. It is essentially a mass movement of the working people, of the working class and the middle strata—a firm class alliance against reaction, for the improvement of the people's conditions within the framework of capitalism. The unity and coalition achieved in the National Assembly are the Parliamentary expression of this mass movement, the reflection of the popular pressure. Since January 2 the pressure has been mounting steadily. L'Humanité's front page is a national thermometer registering daily the amazing clamour from workshops, pits, transport depots, universities and villages right across France, where Communists, Socialists, Radicals and democrats of no party affiliation are forging the class alliance, setting up Popular Front committees and sending their demands to the Socialist leader Mollet and the Radical leader Mendes-France. These demands can be summed up in the one word 'unity'. It was this tide of popular feeling, this unmistakable mood of determination, that frustrated the scurrying backstairs efforts of the Right to paste together a 'Centre-Right' coalition during January, and that forced the confirmation of Mollet as Prime Minister on February 1 by 420 votes to 71, with 83 abstentions. To the jaundiced eye of the Manchester Guardian's Paris correspondent it was a 'frustrated Assembly', which gave Mollet 'sullen support', and in which 'the Communists, spreading over a quarter of the seats of the Palais Bourbon, pushing the Socialists towards the centre and the Centre parties to the right, were the only cheerful people'. If the Right Wing were sullen, it was because Mollet's investiture with Communist support represented an undoubted check to their plans. Not that either Mollet's team or his policy are without big shortcomings. They are not what the majority of the French people voted for. But his declaration that he wanted to reach a settlement of the Algerian question; his willingness to satisfy certain of the workers' long-standing economic demands {e.g. the demand for a three-weeks' holiday throughout France); and his declared support for disarmament and international agreement: these promises were welcomed by the French people. By voting for Mollet the Communist deputies were giving him the opportunity of turning these promises into actions. At the same time the Communist leader Jacques Duclos spoke out in the Assembly for the adoption of measures which alone correspond to the needs and demands of the French people—which are what the majority voted for and which are the real basis for an understanding among the three Left-wing parties. He called for a peaceful solution of the Algerian problem through negotiations with qualified representatives of the Algerian people. He called for a foreign policy of peace and disarmament. He called for all-round improvements in the people's living standards. He called for the ending of the state subsidy to Catholic schools. Amid applause from the Socialist benches and the public galleries, he called for a united struggle against the new fascist danger in France—the rise of the demagogic, anti-semitic Poujadist outfit. And Duclos forecast boldly that mass pressure and the widespread desire for unity would tip the scales on the Left— 'sooner, perhaps, than certain people expect'. Next day The Times, in accents of deepest gloom, took up this forecast:

If the present Government should fall, and if no regrouping of the 'parliamentary' parties offered a workable substitute, the pressure to rely on the Communists' support, and even to bring them into the Government, will become very strong. It would be hard to overestimate the dangers . . . of such a development. The inevitable effect of an alliance with Communism—formal or informal—would be to reverse the international policies which have been pursued by every Government of the Fourth Republic. Internally the Republic would be exposed to the gravest perils.

But the 'peril' of unity in face of the tremendous hostile pressure (and possible counter-offensive) of French reaction and of British and American imperialism has already reached the 'informal' stage, if by informal is meant the rank and file. The 'formal' stage of this unity depends on the responsibility with which the leaders of the Socialist and Radical Parties decide to act. The influences that are being brought to bear on them and the alternatives that lie before them are quite clear. On the one hand the reactionaries are engaging in every degree of pressure, from soft words and whispers about 'reconciliation' and 'burying the election hatchet' to the hisses, boos, stones and rotten vegetables with which the fascist rioters pelted Mollet in Algiers. To succumb to this pressure implies not merely the resignation of a new Minister-Resident before he has properly assumed the post: it implies betraying very quickly all the promises made by the 'Republican Front' during the electoral campaign and afterwards. It means the continuation for France of the old, discredited policies, the same unstable governments, the same succession of crises. It means acute resentment on the part of the millions who voted in precisely the opposite sense. On the other hand, the people are insisting more and more that the leaders of the Socialist and Radical parties, basing themselves on everything that is best and healthiest in the French nation, should go forward with the Communists in a new Popular Front, pledged to peace and social progress.

For Mollet, Mendes-France and the men around them there can be no standing still in the present. They are hardly likely to be able to muster 420 votes again. Sooner or later they will have to choose. Either choice has its own logic. If they close their ears to the voice of the French people and decide to buttress their Government with support from the Right—and even from well to the Right—of Centre, they will inevitably be surrendering themselves to the control of the reactionaries. Yet they will not stop the Popular Front marching forward from success to success. If they turn a deaf ear to Anglo-American shrieks of alarm and give the French people the Government and policy they are waiting for, they will be acting as real statesmen and patriots—almost the first French non-Communist politicians to display either statesmanship or patriotism for eight years. For only a Government backed up by the majority of the French people and acting according to the people's will can solve France's problems in the people's interests. And without the support of the 151 Communist deputies there can be no such Government of the Left, no new policy, no break with the past.

Such a Government will undoubtedly have to meet and conquer enormous difficulties. But it will enjoy what none of its predecessors since 1947 has enjoyed—the warm sympathy and active, militant support of Frenchmen and Frenchwomen who passionately love their country and her great republican, progressive and democratic traditions. With an élan and enthusiasm that hold the promise of a real French Renaissance, these citizens are discussing, rallying, uniting and acting so that the hopes born on January 2 may be speedily fulgilled.

"To Deprave & Corrupt"

 

Encounter, March 1967, pp. 41-43

As we go to press we learn that the Director of Public Prosecutions has now decided to proceed against John Calder & Boyars for publishing Hubert Selby’s "Last Exit to Brooklyn."

ACCORDING TO A persistent piece of folklore, the Director of Public Prosecutions (D.P.P.) is guided by an official who reads books all day long to find out whether they are obscene. The official s test, it is said, is a simple one. If his reading provokes the physical manifestation of desire, the D.P.P. prosecutes. If not, the book is spared. This rule of thumb, if it were in fact operative, would be scarcely more absurd than the present confusion which arises whenever the law is invoked against art or literature.

The Obscene Publications Act of 1959, sponsored by the present Home Secretary, was designed to strengthen the powers available to the authorities for suppressing the traffic in pornography, and at me same time to protect reputable artists, writers, and publishers. For the latter it provided a special defence of "public good" and admitted the opinions of expert witnesses for or against the literary, artistic, scientific, or other merits of an article. In the seven-and-a-half years since the Act became law, certain shortcomings and anomalies have become increasingly plain.

1.The traffic in pornography, far from having been suppressed, is in a more flourishing state than ever. To the hallowed paraphernalia of erotic books, magazines, photographs, and films, readily available to the customer of Soho bookshops, there has been added the écouteur’s dream: tape recordings of coitus and flagellation. On occasions of State importance, when an unusually high number of foreign visitors is expected in central London, the police warn shopkeepers to go easy. The warning is heeded, and for some weeks the "strong" material is shown and sold to regular customers only. At other times police interference is light, and organised (it appears) on the same rota basis that brought prostitutes into court before the Street Offences Act of 1959. It is hard to see what difference it would make in practice if the sale of pornography to adults was legalised, with suppression only of window displays and advertisements.

2. It is open to any person whose sexual anxieties are aroused by a book (or by a painting in an art gallery) to complain to a magistrate. Even where the Attorney General and D.P.P. have refused to take proceedings, a private individual may apply for a search warrant enabling a constable to search premises and seize articles, and may initiate proceedings for the forfeiture and destruction of the articles which disturb him.

3. When such proceedings are contested in a magistrates’ court--i.e, when the publisher, say, appears before the court to defend his book and show cause why it should not be forfeited and destroyed there is no right to trial by jury. As recently as 3 June 1964, Mr. Roy Jenkins referred to this omission as a flaw in the Act[2]

4. Though an order for forfeiture is technically restricted to the petty sessions area it is issued in, booksellers elsewhere almost invariably withdraw the book. Thus a single individual can in practice cause a book he personally thinks is obscene to be banned throughout the country.

5. It is becoming increasingly clear just how vague and unsatisfactory is the test of obscenity in the 1959 Act:

An article shall be deemed obscene if its effect or (where the article comprises two or more distinct items) the effect of any one of its items is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.

What does "deprave and corrupt" mean? The plain answer is: nobody knows. Mr. Justice Byrne, summing up in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case (1960), said it meant to make morally bad, morally unsound. So it cannot mean causing an erection, for tumescence is an involuntary process. Does it, therefore, mean causing sexual activity of a kind society disapproves of? No sexologist has yet been so bold as to analyse the relation between reading and sexual activity of any kind?[4]). Nevertheless, private proceedings were started by Sir Cyril Black, M.P.

Sir Cyril Black is a man much preoccupied with other people’s sins, and is in the fortunate position of knowing what causes sin and what prevents it. His knowledge is derived from the scriptures and, ultimately, from God; and it never seems to occur to him that he may be mistaken. At various times he has opposed the sale of condoms from automatic machines; the opening of the Festival of Britain fun fair on Sundays; the advertising of alcoholic drinks on television; the liberalisation of the law relating to homosexuality; psychiatry "as a substitute for rigorous conditions and stern discipline" in her Majesty’s prisons; and mini-skirts, which he thinks have been "carried to great extremes."

Professional opponents of sin run the occupational risk of losing touch with reality. They always seem to themselves to be living in a period of unprecedented moral decline. Everything around them tends to confirm this, including the works of literary moralists when these are couched in an unfamiliar idiom. To such writings they react rather as did the German officer who went to see William Tell and reported to his commander: "It was all about civilians shooting at fruit."

The parliamentary agitation against Last Exit to Brooklyn began--without the book or its author being named--just after the original Sexual Offences Bill received its second reading by ~64 votes to IO7 and went to a standing committee. The opposition to this Bill (which sought to legalise homosexual acts between consulting adults in private and fix the age of consent at or) was led by Sir Cyril Black. Someone seems to have decided, at some stage, to make an example of a book with a homosexual theme. Last Exit to Brooklyn (which is only in part concerned with homosexuality) was not publicly named as the offending book until July r, and then only because six M.P.s tabled a motion congratulating the law officers and the D.P.P. on the decision not to prosecute the publishers, but regretting that the main reason for the decision was that a prosecution might fail.

As many men of letters, testifying for the defence in Marlborough Street, argued, Last Exit to Brooklyn is in fact, in one reading, as stern a moral tract as any produced by Sir Cyril Black’s fellow-Baptists. Hubert Selby takes an old-fashioned view of human frailty and human responsibility. Three of his principal characters, miserable sinners, come to a miserable end. Each of them had willed the means. The moral of Last Exit, according to its author, is "the disastrous results of the loss of control." Thus, in theme as well as technique, Selby has affinities with the America naturalists, especially Stephen Crane, Dos Passos, and Dreiser. He presents a vision of hell, inhabited by urban savages whose lives are unlit by pity, tenderness, or love.

Although the passages of explicit sexual description make up only a small proportion, of the book, prosecuting counsel, prosecution witnesses, and magistrate alike treated Selby as a pornographer. To Mr. Michael Havers, Q.C., Sir Cyril Black’s counsel, the book was merely a "collection of dirty stories." In Mr. Montgomery Hyde, it aroused only nausea. Captain Robert Maxwell, M.P., said it was filthy, written to titillate, and likely to undermine the morals of the young. Asked whether he was in favour of banning the Decameron, this leading publisher and expert witness replied: "What is the Decameron?" (He later admitted, when in television debate with Mr. John Calder the matter of Joyce came up, that he had not read Ulysses.) Dr. Ernest E. Claxton, who possesses the doubtful distinction of having told a Buchmanite gathering a couple of years ago that chastity would remove-fear of "children of mixed blood that are becoming an increasing problem,’’

[2] The Publishers’ Association were told there was no likelihood of further legislation until the session beginning October 1967.

[4] One of them said he did not know its name, or the name of the author, or even who the publishers were, but all the same he was amazed by the Attorney General’s refusal to prosecute