Labour Party Policies from 1918

From the introduction to the Official Report of the 1918 Labour Party Conference

WHAT IS THE LABOUR PARTY?

The chief Objects of the Labour Party are:

To secure for the producers by hand or by brain the lull fruits of their industry, and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible, upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

Generally, to promote the Political. Social, and Economic Emancipation of the People, and more particularly of those who depend directly upon their own exertions, by hand or by brain, for the means of life.

—CONSTITUTION. Section III

The above Programme is. first and foremost, an

Anti-Profiteering Programme.

It calls for immediate legislation to effect a Drastic Reduction in the Cost of Living in the direct and indirect interests of all the Breadwinners of the Nation—including workers in every profession—Civil Servants. Municipal Employees. Teachers, Salary-earners and Wage-earners of every class and degree—as well as of persons dependent upon pensions, annuities, and small fixed incomes.

THE LABOUR PARTY

demands that the Supplies of

FOOD AND OTHER NECESSARIES OF LIFE

(especially Bread. Meal. Milk, Sugar. Butler, and Margarine).\

WATER, COAL, LIGHTING, AND TRANSPORT

by Rail. Steamer. Tram and Bus (now almost entirely controlled by Monopolist Combines, Trusts and Rings) shall be acquired by the Stale, to be administered, nationally or municipally, solely in the interests of the public and of the consumers without profit. It further demands

THE NATIONALISATION OF ALL LAND,

in order to secure the adequate dwelling accommodation required for the solution of

THE HOUSING QUESTION,

which concerns every class of breadwinner. It also recommends that every grade of

EDUCATION,

from Primary to Technical and University, should be free to every citizen able and willing to make use of it. In International policy it proclaims the ideal of

A LEAGUE OF NATIONS

as a practicable solution of the problem of war. involving the establishment of international courts of conciliation and judicial arbitration for the settlement of disputes between nations, and the setting up of an International Legislature for the developing of international legislation which will definitely bind the consenting Stales. This International system further implies

DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF FOREIGN POLICY,

the abolition of Secret Diplomacy and the publication of all Treaties, along with the complete democratisation of Governments and the concerted abolition of compulsory military service and standing armaments.

Membership in the Local Labour Parties which are being established in every Parliamentary Constituency throughout the country is open to

MEN AND WOMEN OF ALL CLASSES

who subscribe to the Constitution and Programme of the Party and pay a minimum of ONE SHILLING per annum for men and SIXPENCE per annum for women.

In the work of organising the constituencies for the return of Labour Members of Parliament the men and women belonging to the Local Labour Parties have an opportunity of doing useful work, and in the choice of Parliamentary Candidates their voice and vole within the local organisations will be decisive, as their energy and devotion will be needed for educating the electors.

THE LABOUR PARTY is the PARTY OF THE PEOPLE

whose labour, mental and manual, produces the wealth which, equitably shared, would suffice to maintain a fair standard of life for all. and pay the cost of reconstructing society in harmony with the principles of justice, equality and freedom.

 

This reprint appeared in January 1995, in Issue 45 of Labour and Trade Union Review, now Labour Affairs.  You can find more from the era at https://labouraffairsmagazine.com/very-old-issues-images/ and https://labouraffairsmagazine.com/very-old-issues-images/m-articles-by-topic/.