HC Deb 16 November 1917 vol 99 c733

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government are interested financially or otherwise in the formation and/or organisation of the movement known as the British Workers' League; whether a member of the Government has accepted the presidency of this league; and, if so, whether that may be taken to indicate that the Government have sanctioned the programme which this league has published?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the second part, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions has been president of the league from its earliest days, and he saw no reason when he joined the Government for severing his connection with a social and political organisation, one of the main purposes of which is to win the War. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.


Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that the movement, such as it is, praiseworthy though it may be, is a distinct socialistic movement as the programme suggests, and is the member of the Government who is the president of this league echoing the views of the Government, and does the Government appreciate the programme?


The hon. Member must give notice of that.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this organisation has among its objects the bringing of pressure upon the Pensions Ministry, and in those circumstances is it advisable that the Pensions Minister should be the president of the league?