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September, 1925

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The history of the alleged "Red Letter" constitutes a political revelation in more ways than one. It is a political revelation as to the extent to which the British bourgeoisie are prepared to stoop to gain their objects, and it is also a revelation as to the credulity of the Labour movement of this country and most certainly of most of the leaders of the Labour movement.

We question if there is any other such incident in history which demonstrates the power and force which can be contained in a lie provided the operation of the lie is manipulated with sufficient skill.

It is now some ten months since the first publication of the alleged "Red Letter" and the summary of its effect makes interesting reading. We said quite clearly and definitely at the time of its publication that the Letter was a sham and a forgery, and we also urged the entire Labour movement to be aware of the motives of those who had been responsible for its production and publication.

The Tory Party organisation is to be complimented on its efficiency in connection with the "Red Letter." A survey of the comments of the Tory candidates in the last election reveals an astounding unanimity both on the “authenticity" and "diabolical" character of the letter, that in itself ought to have been sufficient to have aroused the suspicions of even the most credulous. Yet its production found the Labour Party hopelessly demoralised. Mr. J. Ramsay MacDonald, then Prime Minister, was fooled by the letter to such an extent as to be driven to the point of addressing a communiqué to the Russian Chargé d'Affaires, M. Rakovsky-a communiqué over which he has, we are sure, spent many regretful moments. Mr. J. H. Thomas, Mr. J. R. Clynes, Mr. Arthur Henderson and practically all of the outstanding Labour leaders with the unique exception of Mr. Sidney Webb, were all fooled by this document. Mr. Webb and Lord Thomson alone proclaimed it an ostensible forgery. Probably they know the ethical code of their caste much better than do the others.

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