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on its bloody policy of terror and massacre in the colonies under the banner of a fascist National Government. Therefore, it was not surprising that during the elections none of the capitalist parties - Labour, Liberal, or Conservative, dared to raise the question of India and Colonial Policy. Only the Communist Party proclaimed the right of the colonial people for self determination. Neither the National Government nor the Labour Party "Opposition" of Henderson dare bring the colonial question into the open. Their solutions for every issue - whether unemployment, finance, foreign trade or the balancing of the Budget - depend basically on holding the colonies in subjection and increasing the tribute wrung from them by the British ruling class. But the Empire crisis and the revolt of the colonial peoples, faring up again and again in ever greater dimensions, exposes the precariousness and impossibility of this basis. The recent news from the colonies alone is a warning signal of coming events. Uprising in Cyprus. On a small scale Cyprus is a typical example of British imperialist rule in the colonies. The workers in the mines, the peasants in the fields are ruthlessly oppressed for the benefit of British imperialism. "Democratic" Government is non-existent. Strikes are a criminal offence. The Press is throttled by special legislation. Nevertheless, a mass revolt has broken out against British imperialism. In this revolt the workers and peasants have come forward under the leadership of the Communist Party. In spite of the fact that the Party is, to all intents and purposes, illegal, and its newspaper suppressed, it leads the fight for the complete independence of Cyprus. New Struggles in Indies. From India comes news of a gathering storm. The special correspondent of the "Daily Mail" says the conditions of the peasants are "undeniably desperate", and the Congress extremists are planning a new revolt. A new struggle is arising in India. The present news means that the Indian landlords and capitalists, acting through the Indian National Congress, have failed in their endeavour to break and disperse the mass movement. The Round Table Conference of Princes and flunkeys, with Gandhi put as the central figure to deceive the masses, stands exposed as a device for strengthening the stranglehold of British imperialism in India. The Congress has surrendered the struggle for independence. But the masses of workers and peasants are already moving forward outside it under their own leadership. The lesson of the Meerut trial and the message of the imprisoned working-class leaders are bringing forward the mass struggle against British imperialism to a new stage. Terror in Ireland. In Ireland British imperialism acts through the terror regime of the "Free State" murder gang. A new law known as the Public Safety Act gives the police the full power to arrest and detain anyone on suspicion of misbehaviour, "actual or contemplated", and to require any individual to give full particulars of his movements and actions over stated periods. 14 They may enter and search any house without a warrant. The old pretence of capitalist law that a man is treated as innocent until he is proved guilty is openly thrown overboard. Not only are all political offenders to be tried by special Military Tribunals with power to inflict the death penalty, but these trials will be conducted in secret, and any newspaper publishing an account of such a trial will be fined (for a first offence) £1,000. This new reign of terror has been launched in the hope of crushing the growing revolutionary spirit of the Irish workers at a time of desperate crisis for capitalism. The economic crisis in Ireland is a part of the crisis throughout the British Empire, and the capitalist Government of the Irish Free State is acting in conjunction with the Imperialist Government of Britain in imposing a new dictatorship. Ireland is still bound to Britain, not merely by the tribute she has to provide — the loans and annuities by which she is still paying off British landlords, officials and police. She is also bound by the other provisions of the Treaty which gave her "Dominion status". The "defence" of the Irish Free State, for instance, is Britain's responsibility; in time of war or "strained relations", the Free State must give harbour and any other facilities the British Government requires. Peasant Unrest in Africa. The peasant masses of West Africa are organizing and fighting against the oppressive taxation policy of the Government. Revolts have already broken out among the peasants of Southern Nigeria, in the course of which the white officials, then responsible to the Labour Government, openly shot down over fourty unarmed women, many of whom were pregnant, while others had children in their arms. Since then, an uprising occured in the Kambia district of Sierra Leone, where the peasants refused to pay taxes due to the crisis and the great depreciation in the value of their produce. Here again soldiers were set to shoot down the natives under the excuse that their leader, Haidra, was a Mohammedan fanatic preaching disloyalty among the natives. Demonstrations and revolts against taxation are taking place everywhere in West Africa. Despite this reign of terror, the African and other colonial peoples are determined to carry on the fight for national freedom from the yoke of the British overlords. Empire going to the Dogs. The British Empire is going down in ruin and collapse. The revolt of the millions of subject peoples is the rock on which the whole policy of the imperialist Labour Party is being shattered. The alternative to sacrifice and starvation for British workers is not the "mobilizing of foreign investments" (as the Trade Union Congress proposes) or balancing the Budget by squeezing the colonial workers and peasants, but the ending of the Empire system in solidarity with the struggle for freedom of the exploited colonial peoples. The growing revolt in the colonies is a bulwark for the struggle of the British workers. It is a guarantee of victory against the rule of plundering, parasitic British imperialism. Support the Colonial Struggles. Therefore, the British workers must support the struggle for the removal of the murderous forces of imperialism from the colonies, for the rights of working- 15
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