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Susan Green

Of Special Interest to Women

(11 October 1943)

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 41, 11 October 1943, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

On the food front the uppermost worry now is about milk.

How long will we get how much?

The dairy farmers want higher prices from the consumer or government subsidies – or both. Naturally, they have all kinds of reasons for wanting more money – the main reason being that more money is what they are in business to get.

When dairy farmers are mentioned, maybe you think of a lot of little farmers whose wives go out to the red barn to milk Brown Bess. You’re wrong.

Dairy farming, like all farming, is in the iron grip of big business. Higher prices and government subsidies accrue to the benefit not of the owners of a few cows, but to the dairy bosses connected with huge banks, insurance companies and industrialists like the Pews of Pennsylvania, who are part and parcel of the powerful farm bloc as well as oil magnates and shipbuilding capitalists.

If the government allows a subsidy of from $20,0,000,000 to $300,000,000 to induce the big dairy bosses to keep the price of milk from going up, THAT PRETTY PILE OF DOUGH WILL GO MAINLY TO BIG BUSINESS.

And how soon will they ask for more government money – which in the last count comes out of the pockets of the working people?

This vicious circle of profit grubbing must be broken. It can be broken by the united effort of the small and independent farmers, of farm workers, of labor unions, of organized housewives. These elements, constituting the bulk of the working people, can and must end the power of big business to dictate whether we eat or not, and at what price!


Mrs. A.D. Wilkinson, socially prominent bigwig of Grosse Pointe, Detroit, has her own ideas about “equality of sacrifice.” The Wilkinsons were discovered to have a food supply good for several years. They had a stock of 1,276 cans of rationed food, with a point value of 7,273, and deep-freeze foods, valued at 1,078 points. How the rich suffer – poor things!

Another illustration of “equality of sacrifice” comes from the realm of politics. Firms supplying New York City institutions with food have very obligingly – probably for valuable consideration – supplied city food inspectors and food buyers with plenty of the wherewithal.

The chief food inspector got away with a six-pound leg of lamb and six pounds of steak as a typical week’s purchase. The lesser lights in the department got their share of top round, porterhouse, legs of lamb and eggs. None of the accused men has, as yet, been suspended from office.

Where there’s a will – AND PLENTY OF MONEY OR CONNECTIONS TO BACK IT UP – there’s a way.

As the working class housewife waits in line, shifting from one weary foot to the other, to get that quarter of a pound of butter – if she’s lucky – she can occupy her mind with pleasant thoughts of others who are more fortunate than she.


The First Lady has returned from her 23,000-mile jaunt to the far Pacific with a new hair-do, weighing less, and full of interviews.

At her interviews she keeps repeating that the boys in the armed forces “have very strong feelings about strikes.” She says, “I don’t think I saw a boy who justified any strike.”

Of course, Mrs. Roosevelt could not and did not take an authentic poll of how the armed forces – CONSISTING IN THE MAJORITY OF WORKING CLASS PEOPLE – feel about strikes. But if they feel as she says they do, at least one thing becomes clear: THE TROOPS ARE BEING FED BOSS PROPAGANDA.

Certainly no soldier who is told he is fighting for a better world would, for instance, be opposed to the miners’ strike if he knew the real facts about the miners’ pinched existence and about the mine bosses’ war profits.

Did Mrs. Roosevelt perhaps inform these misinformed boys that the bosses – who out of greed for profits supply defective war materials which may mean unexpected death on the battle fronts – will make $8,600,000,000 in profits this year, are also socking away a post-war reserve of $69,000,000,000, and will get for a song from the government war plants worth $10,000,000,000?

You bet she didn’t!


So important is the gentle sex these days that the British Cabinet – in person – saw fit to assemble 6,000 women picked from trade unions, professional groups, housewives’ clubs and so on, to tell them what more will be required of the people by way of war sacrifices.

Prime Minister Churchill informed the gathering that the almost superhuman war effort must be maintained “through the fifth year of the war, or the six year, or, if need be, forever – until we have achieved our purpose.” Which is not a very cheerful prospect.

Minister of Labor Bevin made it clear that large sections of workers will be shuffled from place to place this winter, and that more woman-power will be imperative in aircraft factories, cotton mills and transportation. This will mean increased hardship to very working class family.

Food Minister Woolton tried to inject a bright note by predicting that Britain would be “tasting some of the fruits of victory” in the form of oranges, lemons and onions from the conquered Mediterranean area.

But the real “fruits of victory” were described by Anthony Eden, Foreign Minister, in these words:

“As Cordell Hull rightly said the other day, we must consider that force of some kind is the element of any new world order. Indeed, unless such an order has sufficient force to give effect to its decisions, it cannot hope to serve its purpose.”

Is that what men, women and children are today suffering for? What kind of new world is it that will require a super-colossal military policing system? The seething conflicts of the world will not be ended, but will merely be held in check by force. For how long?

This “fruit of victory” will bear the seed of World War III. That is why we socialists urge all working people to band together and work for a socialist peace – THE ONLY KIND THAT WILL ENDURE!

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