‘The Letters of Lucifer’: Mosleyite economic policy in 1933, as described by ‘The Blackshirt’ contributor William Allen
The four articles transcribed below were first published in various 1933 editions of the British Union of Fascists (BUF) newspaper The Blackshirt, either anonymously or under the pen-name ‘Lucifer’. Each article discusses in turn one of the important socio-economic issues facing Great Britain and its Empire at the time, along with a Mosleyite analysis and proposed solution. I was first introduced to these articles through the 1933 published collection The Letters of Lucifer, assured by the person who provided it that the pseudonymous ‘Lucifer’ was in fact William Joyce, later and more infamously known as ‘Lord Haw Haw’. I was thus somewhat surprised to discover years later that Joyce was not the author after all – ‘Lucifer’, in fact, was instead William ‘Bill’ Allen, a man who was almost as fascinating a character as Joyce. Born wealthy, Eton-educated, fluent in Russian and Turkish, widely-travelled and a respected historian, Allen was a Member of Parliament for the Ulster Unionist Party before he defected to Oswald Mosley’s New Party in 1931. Allen followed Mosley into fascism in 1932, although he never held any kind of official leadership position in the BUF. Instead his importance lay behind the scenes, acting as an early, prolific propagandist for the Mosleyites as well as a key source of donations. Allen not only helped fund the organization from his own pockets, he was also instrumental in setting up the payment channels between Mosley and Mussolini, and additionally was involved in the complex, clandestine effort by Mosley and second wife Diana to organize a commercial radio station in Europe which could serve as a source of income. Most intriguing are Allen’s intelligence connections – there were rumors in the late ’30s that he had been ‘turned’ and was providing information to British Intelligence, rumors which have recently been substantiated. Bizarrely, Mosley was well aware of the MI6 connection at the time and seemed to view no threat in it; he kept close to Allen until the two fell out over money matters in 1940, and was happy to see his old compatriot when the two met again by chance after the end of the War.
First published in The Blackshirt, August 12-18, 1933
In the next four articles we shall show how Fascism can build within the British Empire a civilisation far higher than the world has yet known. That high standard of life will provide our people with a purchasing power sufficient for them to buy the products which modern industry can produce, and consequently to employ the labour of men now unemployed.
We shall show, at the same time, how this national, or Empire, organisation will lead to safer and more peaceful relations with the rest of the world. In this first article, however, we will take an instance of the methods by which Fascism will rebuild our own land of Britain.
The first task which there arises is the housing problem. It is unnecessary for us to stress the disgraceful housing conditions in which masses of our people have lived since the war.
It is the habit of Socialists and others of their breed to spend hours in discussing these disgraceful conditions, and thus to avoid advancing their constructive remedy. For Fascists, it is unnecessary to stress the conditions because we and everyone else know they exist. What England expects of a revolutionary movement is a constructive remedy. We believe that the housing problem has not been tackled and will not be tackled under the present system, because the methods employed cannot possibly lead to any results. It is useless for our old politicians to talk about a great “crusade against the slums” in a palpitating peroration unless they are prepared to adopt the executive instruments by which the slums can be wiped out.
In fact the government has for years past supplied larger or lesser amounts of money to thousands of different local governments to tackle the slum problem. We have had a democratic machine at Westminster and a democratic machine in the local authorities, both of which have hopelessly broken down. The result of the system has been endless talk, but a complete absence of any effective action.
Fascism would make the slum clearance problem a national task in the following manner: We would formulate our programme for clearing the slums and rebuilding over a period of, say, three years. For this period we would give guaranteed employment in the building trade at good rates of wages, which would absorb the labour of the 295,000 now unemployed in that trade. We would divide the slums of each of the great cities into sections to be gutted and rebuilt over the specified period. Outside the city we would erect temporary bungalows to house the inhabitants of section 1, while the slum was being pulled down and rebuilt. We would also provide a State Transport Service to carry them to and from their work.
Moving to New Houses
They would thus live, during the rebuilding of their houses, with the people among whom they were accustomed to live, and the problem of carrying them to their work during the period would be solved by direct State action. When No. 1 section was completed, the inhabitants would vacate their bungalows and go back to their new houses.
The inhabitants of No. 2 section would then vacate their houses and would go to the bungalows and would use the new transport system. When their houses were completed, No. 3 section would take over the bungalows and use the transport system, until their houses were complete; and so on until the gutting and rebuilding of the slums had been completed.
To do this would amount to a national mobilisation of the building trade, and the problem would be treated in much the same way as the problem of providing shells in the war. We know from actual experience that these methods enormously reduce the cost of production. We shall be producing for a demand which is known and can be calculated precisely in advance. A costing system can, therefore, be developed which will reduce the costs of production to the utmost limit. Once the problem is taken as a national problem, it can be organised on the grand scale and every principle of modern organisation and of mass production can be employed.
By these means we could carry through the destruction and rebuilding of the slums at a far lower cost and at far greater speed than the present political system conceives to be possible. The cost of production would further be lowered by the application of the Fascist principle that no landlord who has not properly maintained his property as a trustee to the State will be permitted to retain that property.
In the clearance of slum property under Fascism, therefore, no question of compensation will arise. As the result of treating the matter as a national problem, and in all these ways reducing the cost of production, the cost of clearing and rebuilding our slums can be reduced to a very low point. In fact it is almost certain that under such a system the new houses could be re-let to the tenants at an economic rent which was no higher than the rent they had previously paid. If there was any difference between the new economic rent and the rent which they had previously paid, it should fall upon the State as a national contribution to national health. Few things are more foolish under the present system than the method of pouring out millions to cure disease rather than of spending money to prevent disease by such measures as slum clearance.
The State must be prepared to organise and to finance the maintenance of national health. Foremost among these measures to rebuild the physique of the nation will be the rebuilding of the slums.
These measures, of course, will be combated by all the vested interests of democracy. All the talkative busybodies at Westminster and all the lesser but equally talkative busybodies of the local authorities, will be set aside. The self-importance of many little windbags of democracy will be sadly affected, and loud will be their lamentations at another example of Fascist tyranny! They will talk about freedom – all kinds of freedom, varying from the freedom of the Press to freedom of Democracy. All of which really first means their own freedom to talk. They talk while others starve in slums, and thus become the big important people of Westminster or the local Councils. Fascism believes in a greater freedom, which is the freedom of Britons who have fought for their country to live in conditions worthy of that country. We will give a new freedom to the slum-dweller at the expense of the freedom of the busybody of Democracy.
Could we have a clearer illustration of the difference between what we mean by freedom, and what the old parties mean by freedom?
First published in The Blackshirt, August 19-25, 1933
Fascist unemployment proposals are the only constructive solution before the country for the problem which has afflicted Britain for over a decade. Before we proceed to constructive policy, we must analyse briefly the causes of unemployment.
Fascism believes that two main reasons exist for the present unemployment in Great Britain:
(1) We have always been the largest exporting nation in the world and to-day we have to face the fact that export markets are being closed against us. We have not merely to face the familiar tariff barriers, but new and insuperable barriers such as embargoes, quotas, vetoes in dealing with foreign exchange, etc. Foreign nations to-day are not merely taxing our goods; they are deliberately excluding them, whatever their cost of production, and however cheaply we are prepared to sell. They do this because they are determined themselves to produce the goods which they consume. Therefore, Great Britain has to face the prospect of a declining export trade.
The Power to Produce
(2) The second main reason for unemployment, in this country and throughout the world, is that since the War science has so increased the power to produce that production greatly exceeds the present power to consume.
As a result, men are unemployed throughout the world, while large masses of the population live in desperate want of the goods which the unemployed could produce. Men who can make boots and clothes are unemployed, while not only they and their own children, but many other people, urgently require these goods.
This situation is a disgrace to our civilisation. Science and industrial technique have solved the problem of production; it remains to create a system of the State which solves the problem of consumption. To-day we must raise wages and salaries and the whole standard of life in order to provide more purchasing power. At the present time, however, in the anarchy of competition, wages and salaries are continually reduced. At the very moment that industry requires a larger market, the present system produces a smaller market. However much individual employers may realise that the market for which they are producing rests upon high wages and salaries, they are unable, under the present system, themselves to pay high wages and salaries.
If they do, they are immediately undercut by some rival who reduces wages and salaries, and they are consequently put out of business. Protection has been afforded to a very limited extent against the foreign competition of cheap labour; no protection has been afforded on the home market against the British employer who pays low wages.
Incompetent Trade Union Leaders
The trade unions are supposed to maintain wage standards and to unify labour conditions; in practice, owing to cowardly and incompetent leadership and to the existence of a large body of unemployed which makes hopeless the working-class struggle for better standards, the unions have proved quite unable to maintain wages, let alone raise them. An unemployed man waits to take the job of every man in employment who asks for a higher standard, and over the whole field of industry the trade unions are on the run.
As a result, at the very moment when a larger market is essential to industry, wages and salaries are crashing down, purchasing power is being reduced, and the market is ever diminishing.
Fascism meets this problem by the machinery of the Corporate State. It is useless to issue vague appeals to employers to maintain wages. This is not a matter for sentiment, but for organisation. The Corporate State of Fascism sets up Corporations for the appropriate areas of industry which will be governed by representatives of employers, workers and consumers, operating under a Ministry of Corporations presided over by a Fascist Minister.
These Corporations will be charged, not only with the task of preventing class-war by forbidding either lock-outs or strikes. The Corporations will be charged with the constructive task of raising wages and salaries over the whole area of industry as science, rationalisation, etc., increase the power to produce.
Related to the Corporations will be the instruments of finance and credit, which will supply fresh credit, not for the purpose of speculation, but for financing increased production and consumption. Thus for the first time demand will be adjusted to supply. When more goods can be produced, wages and salaries will be raised to provide a purchasing power for the consumer. This process will not result in inflation or price rise, because the higher purchasing power will be balanced by a higher production. Instead of the new credit going to speculators who force up prices, the new credit will go to industry for the legitimate purposes of production and consumption.
It is argued by our opponents that the higher wages paid in industry will result in higher costs, and thus will jeopardise our export trade. This argument is fallacious, because the cost of production in modern mass-producing industry is determined, not by the rate of wage, but by the rate of production. The rate of production will be increased to serve a larger home market, and in spite of the rise in wages, prices can actually be reduced if the rate of production is sufficient.
To take a simple instance, Ford, in America, was able, by reason of his rate of production for a large home market, to pay the highest wages in the world and at the same time to produce the cheapest article in the world. In fact, by reason of the greater rate of production of a large home market, industry will be able to lower its costs in the export trade.
In addition to this advantage to our export trade, the Corporate state will provide another advantage. The effect of organisation in the Corporations will be to unify and to consolidate industry, and to enable the British export trade to speak for the first time with a united voice. Then the power of Government can be mobilised behind our export industries to secure their entry into foreign markets: we can use, for the first time, our power as a buyer to support our position as a seller. Our trade slogan will be “Britain Buys from Those who Buy from Britain.” If countries who are now competing to sell to us foodstuffs and raw materials will not accept our manufactured goods in return, we will divert our purchases elsewhere. They will in fact be confronted with ruin unless they give us a fair deal by accepting our goods in return for the foodstuffs and raw materials which they sell to us. In fact for the first time the unification and consolidation of the Corporate system will provide us with a powerful means of blowing away the barbed wire entanglements which bar the entrance of our goods to foreign markets.
Thus Fascism will solve the unemployment problem:
(1) by increasing the home market through a raising of wages and salaries over the whole field of industry;
(2) by organisation to support our declining export trade.
While the Corporate system is being organised, we shall provide a system of public works unequalled before in this country, on the lines suggested by Sir Oswald Mosley in his Speech of Resignation from the Government on May 28th, 1930. This policy of public works, which was then rejected, is now being accepted as sound sense by nearly every Government in the world. The Government of Great Britain alone persists in its obstinacy.
The permanent solution of unemployment will be the Corporate system; the immediate solution of unemployment, while that system is being organised, will be public works, which will enrich and endow our nation for generations to come.
THE FASCIST EMPIRE
First published in The Blackshirt, August 26, 1933
In the last article, we dealt with the solution of the unemployment problem through the Corporate system. Two measures were proposed:
(1) to raise wages and salaries over the whole field of industry in order to provide a larger home market;
(2) through the Corporate system to unify and to consolidate our export trade, in order that we might bargain with other nations for the acceptance of our manufactured goods in return for their foodstuffs and raw materials.
We should naturally turn first to our own Dominions and Colonies to build our economic system. Within the British Empire we have an economic system which could be entirely self-contained and independent of the chaos of the rest of the world.
Building a Self-contained Economic Market
We have already suggested means for building within Great Britain a civilisation far higher than exists anywhere else in the world in order to provide a market which industry now lacks. We propose also to extend that area to the British Empire as a whole, and to build an economic system which is self-contained.
The Dominions are primarily producers of foodstuffs and of raw material; we are primarily producers of manufactured goods. A natural balance of exchange consequently exists, which organisation can turn into a great economic system.
What has restrained the old parties from developing our great resources and from building that economic system? The answer is not very far to seek. The Liberal and Socialist Parties have always been frankly against an organised Empire; they embrace the international creed in preference to the idea of developing our own Empire. The Conservatives have always talked a lot about the Empire, but in reality they have always been in the grip of high finance, which has prevented any effective programme for the Empire being carried through. It is easy to see why it is impossible for Conservatives, whether Baldwin or Beaverbrook, to build a self-contained Empire. To build such an Empire means the exclusion from the Empire of foreign goods which compete with British and Empire products. If those goods are excluded, our international financiers and foreign investors run the risk of losing the interest on the loans they have made to foreign countries. If foreign countries cannot send their goods to this country to pay the interest on the loans they have received, they may default on that interest, and those who have lent their money abroad will lost their money.
British Farmers’ Interests Sacrificed
For instance, if Argentine beef is excluded from Great Britain in favour of British beef and Empire beef, it may be impossible for the Argentine to pay interest on the large loans which international financiers have induced a small section of the public to supply to the Argentine. Consequently, Conservatives of all brands who are subservient to the financial interests which support the old Parties do not propose the exclusion of Argentine beef, but merely the taxation of Argentine beef under the old-fashioned Conservative protection. Consequently, the British farmer is still damaged by the competition of foreign products, and the Empire farmer, despite his small preference, is not making much headway in the British market.
Fascism stands for the definite exclusion of foreign products and the division of Empire markets between the British producer and the Empire producer. We also stand quite definitely for the British producer being able to sell his maximum production at an economic price without the undercutting, even, of Dominion competition. Plenty of opportunity will still exist for Dominion products if the foreigner is excluded, even when we have produced all the foodstuffs we can in this country, at a price which yields a fair return to our farmers.
We now begin to see the reason why Fascism can build a self-contained Empire, while the old parties cannot.
Liberalism and Socialism have always been against the Empire; Conservatism has been prevented, by the great financial interests which it serves, from developing a full Empire policy.
Fascism, on the one hand, is loyal to the Crown and to the Empire, and on the other hand is a revolutionary movement in that it will control and subordinate to National Policy the great interests, and in particular the international finance, which have so damaged the interests of the producer in Great Britain and the Dominions. Under Fascism, finance will have to serve British interests, and not foreign interests.
In the previous article on Fascist policy, we referred to our declining export trade in the rest of the world because foreign nations were excluding our goods. If we build a self-contained Empire from which foreign goods are excluded, we can within the Empire more than recover all our export trade.
The British Empire to-day imports some £1,420,000,000 worth of goods per annum. £899,000,000 of these come from foreign countries. If those foreign goods are excluded, we can more than make up the loss of our export trade to the rest of the world, because those exports only amount to £240,000,000 per annum.
Here and now it is possible to save the British Empire from the chaos of the backward nations of the world, by building an Empire which is self-contained and holds within its borders the highest civilisation the world has ever known. To-day we must free ourselves both from the sloppy internationalism of Liberalism and Socialism, and also from the great financial interests which dominate the Conservative Party. For these reasons, Fascism, and Fascism alone, can build a self-contained Empire which is the only hope of the future. Already Fascism has begun the work with a practical organisation. We have formed a New Empire Union1 which is a federation of all the Fascist movements of the Empire. Already the New Guard, which is the Fascist movement of Australia, is reputed to number 100,000 members, and has often played a decisive part in Australian politics. In South Africa and New Zealand, also, strong New Guard movements exist. Fascist organisations also are springing up all over Canada, which are being unified into a powerful Canadian Fascist movement. Recently, Colonel Eric Campbell, Leader of the New Guard of Australia, was in Great Britain, empowered to speak, not only for the Australian, but also for the South African and the New Zealand movements.2 His negotiations with Sir Oswald Mosley have resulted in the formation of the New Empire Union, which federates and co-ordinates Fascist activities throughout the Empire. Therefore we now have a united Fascist drive throughout the Empire, against the great financial interests which have impeded Empire development, and towards the self-contained Empire which is our common objective.
These converging Fascist movements, animated by a passionate patriotism, by a common determination to extricate the Empire from her economic difficulties, and by the great and inspiring ideal of Fascism, have set their hands to building an Empire such as the world has never seen. Whatever be the fate of the rest of the world, this Empire can stand out, a solid rock amid the sea of chaos, as an example an an inspiration to mankind.
Fascist Three-Year Plan
First published in The Blackshirt, October 21-26, 1933
In the forefront of Fascist measures stands the revival of agriculture. That great industry, which in the past has been the basis of our national strength, has long been made the sport of party politics. Fascism comes to end the game of party politics by a new national unity.
It comes also with a clear-cut policy to restore agriculture. We stand, not for restricting British production, but for increasing it. The National Government says to the British farmer: “Restrict your production”; we say to the British farmer: “Increase your production.” While £220,000,000 of foodstuffs each year are imported from foreign countries, and another £140,000,000 are imported from the Dominions, it is a scandal that the British farmer should be told to restrict production. If restriction must be applied, let it be applied to the foreigner. Fascism stands definitely for the exclusion of foreign foodstuffs and the production of that £220,000,000 per annum of agricultural products in Britain. We believe that our present food production can be increased from £280,000,000 to £500,000,000 a year. We are aware, of course, that British agricultural production cannot be nearly doubled in the course of one year. But we believe it can be done under a Three Year Plan, and we shall ask for the patriotic co-operation of the British farmers in that achievement.
We shall plan so to increase British production in the course of three years that foreign foodstuffs can be entirely excluded, and this £280,000,000 of goods can be produced here. Each year the increase in production will be planned by Corporate organisation between Government and farmer, who will be assisted in the new credits necessary to his task by a new Agricultural Bank.
Each year the foreign imports will be proportionately reduced, and at the end of three years the exclusion of foreign products will be complete. The home market will be divided between the British farmer, whose production will be nearly doubled, and the Dominion farmer, who will still be able to send here the £140,000,000 per annum of foodstuffs he sends now, plus additional foodstuffs and also additional raw materials which will be required by the greater demand of the higher purchasing power which will be created by Fascist organisations.
“What will happen to our export trade?” wail the old gang of National Socialism,3 and also the old gang of International Finance, who own the Conservative Party. “The foreign countries who send us foodstuffs take our exports in return.”
Our answer is that the British farmers and agricultural workers will double their purchasing power if they double their production. A home market will take the place of a foreign market for our export trades, and in that home market, foreign competition will be excluded. On that home market our industries will not have to compete with cheap Japanese labour, as they do in foreign countries.
New and terrible as the thought may be to Socialists and international financiers, we propose, by agricultural reorganisation, to give purchasing power to British farmers instead of foreign farmers, and thus to build a home market to take the place of foreign markets, which in any case are daily being closed against our exports.
We may well enquire why the old parties have not adopted such a clear-cut policy for an increase in agricultural production, which most farmers agree to be possible. The answer is very simple. Socialists and Liberals have always been the friends of every country but their own, and any policy which puts Britain first is anathema to them. Our national organisation would cut clean through their international psychology, and interfere with their tender efforts to enrich the aborigines of every backward country on earth in the blessed haven of the Socialist Internationale.
The explanation of Conservatism’s failure to help the farmer is not at first so apparent, but under analysis becomes equally clear. The Conservative Party has long ceased to be a party of the countryside, and has become a party of high finance. The City of London owns them body and soul, and that City of London has great foreign financial interests. For instance, it draws £30,000,000 per annum from the Argentine in interest on loans advanced by this country. The interest on these loans is paid by Argentine beef sold in Britain. If we exclude beef from the Argentine, we jeopardise the interests of the financiers. So Conservatism, whether of the Baldwin or Beaverbrook variety, is only willing to tax foreign foodstuffs, but not to exclude them.
The answer of Fascism is clear-cut. If it be a choice between the British producer and the foreign investor, the British farmer comes first. At last a revolutionary movement arises to challenge the great vested interests of finance. But this movement is also loyal to King and country, and has a policy of “Britain first”. Fascism, and Fascism alone, can revive agriculture and check the great betrayal of which both Socialism and Conservatism have been guilty at the dictate of the alien interests which they serve.
The final treachery of the Conservative Party was well illustrated by Mr. Chamberlain’s speech at the Bankers’ Dinner in the City of London October 3rd. Again he emphasised the new Conservative doctrine that trade revival can only be international. He advanced four main points of the Conservative programme to secure recovery:
(1) “The breaking down of trade barriers.” This simply means the admission of foreign goods under pacts with foreign nations similar to the recent agreement with the Argentine. The British farmer must be ruined in order that the financiers may continue to draw their interest.
(2) “A return to the Gold Standard as soon as possible.” This means tying Great Britain again to the instrument of the international financiers, by which she was nearly ruined in 1931.
(3) “The revival of international lending.” This means new loans abroad by the City of London, interest on which will be paid to them by foreign goods coming into this country which undercut British goods and drive farmers from the land.
(4) “The international raising of prices.” This means that prices are to be raised without any corresponding rise in the wage level in Great Britain, which is kept down by foreign competition. As a result, the people will buy less than before, and the market for which British industry and agriculture produces will continue to diminish.
Once again Fascism insists that the raising of prices without a raising of purchasing power is a disastrous policy. We agree that the farmer must obtain higher prices than at present, and that prices must be fixed in advance by the Government, so that he knows where he is. We must restore agricultural prices to an economic level; but this is useless unless the wages and salaries of the mass of the people are raised at the same time. If prices rise, but the standard of living does not rise, the people will buy less than before. In that event, a fresh glut will occur, even on the new restricted basis of production, and a new and worse collapse in prices will ensue.
Fascism alone provides the answer to this problem, in the Corporate policy of raising wages and salaries simultaneously and progressively over the whole field of industry, in order to provide a larger purchasing power, which in turn will afford the new market which industry now lacks.
Windy appeals to individual employers to raise wages are futile. Any individual who responds will immediately be undercut and put out of business by a rival who reduces wages or maintains them at a lower level. The regulation and planning of the Corporate system alone can raise wages and salaries over the whole field of industry to provide the new purchasing power which will absorb the production of men and machinery now unemployed. More than that, the increased purchasing power of the Corporate system will enable the people to buy more farm produce, even at the higher price level which is necessary to make farming economic and to give the agricultural worker a living wage.
Agriculture cannot be divorced from the life of the country as a whole. Agriculture is the basis of national life, and an integral part of the Corporate whole. Once Fascism wins power, once we break the power alike of alien Red and of international financier, we can begin to build in a short time a greater Britain in which a revival in prosperous agriculture will be a national asset from which the new and virile manhood of the Fascist future will be supplied.
1. The New Empire Union (NEU), as Allen explains here, was an attempt to coordinate fascist organizations within the Empire in support of an autarchical economic policy. The idea for the NEU grew out of a conversation at a July 1933 lunch meeting between Oswald Mosley and Lieutenant Colonel Eric Campbell, leader of the Australian New Guard, at Mosley’s home. The core participants in the NEU were the BUF, the New Guard, the New Guard’s branches in New Zealand and South Africa, and the Canadian Union of Fascists. Some smaller, more inconsequential fascist groups (such as the Ulster Fascists in Ireland) were also involved. The claim here that the NEU “federates and co-ordinates Fascist activities throughout the Empire” was perhaps overambitious. Its chief activity appeared to be encouraging the formation of BUF branches among British expats living overseas or in the colonies, none of which were of much consequence.
2. Campbell in 1933 was touring Europe with his wife, partly for business reasons and partly to “have a look at it [fascism] first hand.” He met with Sir Oswald and his first wife, Lady Cynthia; spoke at a rally held at BUF headquarters; and met with government officials in Italy and Germany (Putzi Hanfstaengl, General Rudolf Schmidt, Ribbentrop, and Rosenberg in the Reich; Achille Starace in Italy). Campbell returned to Australia greatly enthused about his experiences, publishing a work advocating Australian fascism (The New Road) in 1934, and began moving the New Guard in a much more overtly fascist direction. This new direction ironically led to a rapid decline in support and membership for the group.
3. Allen here is referring to the Labour Party, Independent Labour Party, and related groups rather than the German NSDAP. The term ‘socialist’ in this period was commonly used to refer to social-democrats; this was an era when Labour Party members still sang the “Internationale”, when Clause IV of its constitution explicitly called for the “common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange” for British workers. Allen’s use of the term ‘National Socialism’ is probably a reference to the ‘National Labour’ members of the cross-party National Government which had formed after the 1931 election, as well as an attempt to highlight their similar outlook (despite professed differences) to ‘International Finance’.