[Book] Ted Grant Writings: Volume Two


WIL conference resolution on international affiliation

July 1943

1. Workers’ International League declares its first and only allegiance to the Fourth International, it unconditionally adheres to the programme and basic principles of the Fourth International; accepts the authority of the International and bases itself upon and educates its cadres in the spirit of democratic centralism.

2. WIL accepts the general principle that all the adherents of the programme and principles of the Fourth International should be united in one organisation and that there should be one section of the Fourth International in each country with full official status.

3. WIL agrees with the International Secretariat that the Trotskyists in Britain should be united into one organisation but believes: that such a unification must be based not only upon agreement in words with the fundamental programme and principles of the Fourth International, but also upon the main perspectives and political and tactical tasks of the Trotskyists in Britain; that the policy of the united organisation must be based upon a majority agreement, granting the minority the normal rights within a Bolshevik organisation.

4. The WIL believes that a pre-revolutionary situation is maturing in Britain: that the political clarification of Trotskyist policy and an agreement in practice is the precondition for unification; furthermore, the WIL believes that fresh forces are needed to eradicate the stale and sterile faction struggles and sectarian strife which belong properly speaking to the pre-history of Trotskyism, and that toleration of sectarian policies in the present period are crimes against the Fourth International and the international working class.

5. The WIL believes that it would be criminal to repeat the disastrous blunders of our French comrades, who, in the revolutionary period in France 1934-1938 turned nearly the whole of their attention inwards instead of outwards to the masses propagating the policies of the Fourth International, organising and training fresh cadres; the result was that at the end of the revolutionary period Trotskyism was almost as weak as at the beginning.

6. Basing ourselves upon the above stated ideas, and as the result of our direct experience in Britain, the WIL frankly states that it has no enthusiasm for turning the whole attention of the organisation inwards to solve the split and is not convinced that it is necessary to do so, nevertheless in response to requests from the IS to solve the anomaly in Britain, WIL has opened up discussions with the RSL for the purpose of unification and has explored every avenue to end the split and fuse the genuine Trotskyists together; WIL declares that despite the refusals and evasions of the RSL it will continue to seek a unification on the basis of a majority decision on the political, tactical and organisational tasks in Britain; an agreement to be arrived at at a joint conference guaranteeing minority rights.

7. The WIL declares that for the purpose of the unification discussions, it is prepared to recognise the RSL with its expelled factions as a single organisation; it is prepared also to recognise the existing factions as separate organisations, to fuse separately or collectively; that real steps can be taken to unify our movement of the so-called “Trotskyist Opposition” with the WIL, since the former body declared for the Trotskyist policy of the WIL twelve months ago, before it was expelled from the RSL.

8. In view of the protracted discussions that have already taken place within each group on the political and tactical questions which separate us, the WIL believes that together with, and in agreement with the IS, a six months discussion period be opened up, at the end of which period unification be effected, on the basis of one policy and one tactic, at a fusion conference by a majority vote.

9. Meanwhile, to end the ambiguity and aid the unification discussions, and in line with the universally accepted and established facts: that WIL is in political agreement on the most important questions with the IS, whereas the RSL is in opposition; that WIL is the recognised Trotskyist organisation by the bourgeoisie, labour fakers and Stalinists, the ILP, the advanced workers in Britain, and is a recognised Trotskyist organisation by the American party and by other sections of the international; in view of this, the international is faced with the historic obligation to clearly and precisely establish the status of WIL. The WIL asks that either it be recognised as an official section of the Fourth International on an equal status as the RSL and its expelled factions (which in our opinion would be the best solution) or as a sympathetic section of the Fourth International with full rights of discussion, etc., but without a vote; a decision on either of these lines would not conflict with the statutes of the Fourth International, with the statement in paragraph 2 of this resolution, or with the principles of democratic centralism; the precedent for both contingencies has already been established in the Communist International under Lenin.

10. We appeal to the International Secretariat that a speedy and favourable solution to the status of WIL be arrived at, and that the proposals of WIL as stated in paragraph 3 be the accepted basis for unification of the Trotskyist forces in Britain.