22.8.39.

Foreign & General
1. Officially stated in Berlin that Ribbentropp°  flies to Moscow tomorrow to sign non-agression° pact with U.S.S.R. News later confirmed from Moscow by Tass Agency, in a way that seems to make it clear that pact will go through. Little comment in any of the papers, the news having evidently arrived in the small hours of this morning & the Russian confirmation only in time for the stop press. Reported suggestion from Washington that it may be a Russian manoeuvre (ie. to bring England & France to heel) but everyone else seems to take it at face-value. Shares on the whole have dropped. Germans still buying shellac etc. heavily. The military talks were still proceeding yesterday. Daily Telegraph [a]; Daily Mail [b]; News Chronicle [c]; Daily Mirror [d]
Social
1. Illegal radio, somewhat on the lines of German Freiheit movement’s radio, has been broadcasting anti-conscription propaganda. Secretary of P.P.U. (Rowntree?)[1] denies knowledge but does not dissociate himself from the talks. P.O. engineers state that they have tracked down location of radio to within a few houses & will soon run it to earth. Indication is that it takes at least some days to locate an illegal radio Daily Telegraph [e]
[1] Palmer [Orwell’s note]
Party Politics
1. Letchworth “Citizen” reprints long article on Sir A. Wilson from Sunday Pictorial with evident approval Letchworth Citizen, no date
2. Soc. Corresp. Prints long statement on war issue by Comm. Opp. setting forth hoplessly complicated programme of supporting anti-Fascist war & at same time disillusioning the working class etc., etc. But makes statement (probably true as Thalheimer & others would have knowledge of Russian conditions of at any rate a few years ago) that tho’ the Red Army is now more or less as other armies, the reserves still receive more or less the training of a revolutionary army. Also violent attack on I.L.P. signed by 3 sets of initials one Audrey Brockway’s[2], launching slogan of 4th International. Socialist Correspondence

[a]Daily Telegraph 22-8-39 Page 1Daily Telegraph 22-8-39 Page 13 [b]Mail 22-8-39 Page 2Mail 22-8-39 Page 8Mail 22-8-39 Page 9Mail 22-8-39 Page 10 [c]NC 22-8-39 Page 1NC 22-8-39 Page 2NC 22-8-39 Page 8NC 22-8-39 Page 10NC 22-8-39 Page 11 [d]Mirror 22-8-39 Page 1Mirror 22-8-39 Page 2Mirror 22-8-39 Page 11Mirror 22-8-39 Page 28 [e]Daily Telegraph 22-8-39 Page 7
[2] Audrey Brockway was Secretary to the ILP Guild of Youth, and was married to Jim Wood, a member of the Trotskyist group in the ILP. Peter Davison

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7 Responses to 22.8.39.

  1. …..long statement on war issue by Comm. Opp. setting forth hoplessly complicated programme of supporting anti-Fascist war & at same time disillusioning the working class etc., etc.

    By ending this sentence with the one-two punch of dual abbreviations, Blair lends it a suggestive, attitudinal edge.

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  3. Max says:

    Does anyone know what he means by saying that the Russia army was trained as a more or less revolutionary army? I can’t see any mention of this in the newspaper clippings.

    Wasn’t this about the time when ‘George’ decided he was going to fight?

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  7. Stormcrow says:

    You got the quote wrong. TFA reads

    “tho’ the Red Army is now more or less as other armies, the reserves still receive more or less the training of a revolutionary army”

    Note the distinction between army and reserves.

    In fact, the Red Army, and its officer corps in particular had been through considerable retraining by the German Army in accordance with secret clauses of the Treaty of Rapallo, in the late 20s and early 30s.

    Unfortunately for the Soviets, the better part of these officers were stuffed into GULAG camps after Tukachevsky was murdered in 1937. I’ve often wondered just how long the Wehrmacht would have lasted if they’d run into _that_ in 1941, rather than what was left after the purges.

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