New PDF release: British Labour Party and International Relations: Socialism

By John Callaghan, Mark Phythian

ISBN-10: 0203647122

ISBN-13: 9780203647127

ISBN-10: 0415246954

ISBN-13: 9780415246958

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Extra info for British Labour Party and International Relations: Socialism and War

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Labour overwhelmingly rejected conscription again at Bristol in 1916. It then turned to its first discussion of the war – nearly 18 months since the conflict began. It focused on a resolution identical to one supported by the TUC (with only a handful of dissentients). This considered that the actions taken by the Government were ‘fully justified’. It also denounced German atrocities in Belgium and pledged the The First World War 43 1111 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 4311 conference ‘to assist the Government as far as possible in the successful prosecution of the War’– a sentiment which persuaded Labour to accept conscription four months later.

But the main point was that if Labour was to have a say in the peace it needed to do it ‘as an The First World War 45 1111 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 4311 international force’. The resolution was nevertheless defeated by a two-thirds majority. The conference also rejected a BSP resolution explaining that the war was ‘essentially imperialist in character’ and declaring that it would be in the best interests of the working class if it was speedily terminated.

He cited the Hague Conventions as evidence of the steps already taken to promote voluntary arbitration in international relations via a machinery of international law and conventions – judicial, legislative and even administrative. Then there was that even larger network of 40 The First World War arrangements governing economic intercourse between nations which had been constructed since 1870. An even bigger conception of internationalism was now required to deal with problems as they arose, building on these earlier steps but expanding in ambition to embrace preventive measures.

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British Labour Party and International Relations: Socialism and War by John Callaghan, Mark Phythian


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