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Susan Green

Of Special Interest to Women

(3 April 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 14, 3 April 1944, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Women are supposed to be more interested in marriages than men are, so I don’t, want you to miss this one – in case you haven’t read about it.

King Peter of Yugoslavia – who is ruling his country long-distance from London – married Princess Alexandra of Greece, of the royal family of King George – ruling the Greeks long-distance also from London.

Of course, you want all the juicy tidbits. Well, Peter is twenty – and, Alexandra is twenty-three. Do you think they can be happy with the woman three years older? Alexandra didn’t seem to be aware of this problem as she displayed “a flash of silken hose beneath a mink coat.” The groom wore the light blue uniform of the Yugoslav Air Force.

Of course, all the long-distance royalty was at the wedding, including Haakon of Norway and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. There were red carpets, flags and candles, as became the occasion. Large sleek limousines conveyed the guests to the Yugoslav delegation, where the wedding was held. And so that there might be no partiality, the ceremony was performed by priests of the. countries of both the bride and groom.

Everything was in order – except, alas, for one thing. Tradition calls for weddings of Yugoslav rulers to be held on home soil – WHILE THE PEOPLE HAVE A NATIONAL HOLIDAY FOR MERRYMAKING.

How kind! How noble this custom! Such touching unity between the great and the lowly!

But it’s quite possible the people of Yugoslavia are thinking of other things these days. Maybe they are, considering ways and means of keeping the royal bloodsuckers from returning to their old business. Maybe, they are thinking of forming a democratic government of, for and by the working people.


Eighty-five per cent of the 350,000 women members of the CIO United Auto Workers have signified, their belief that their place is no longer in the home. They are industrial workers and intend to remain industrial workers for the same reason that motivates all, workers – THE NEED TO EARN A LIVING.

At the same time we hear from the Office of War Information that women are hardest hit in cut-backs on war employment because they were “last to enter the labor market.”

Unless full employment is insured for all, says Dr. Eveline M. Burns, formerly connected with the National Resources Planning Board, “our only hope of holding our gains and widening our fields if the competition for jobs becomes keen is to use the economic motive, to offer to do the same work for less.”

This must not happen. It would mean knocking the bottom out of all wage standards. The profits of the capitalists would soar – but poverty, disease, misery would mount up for the working people.

Dr. Burns is absolutely right. Only by giving full employment to all can disastrous competition for jobs and wage slashing be avoided.

However, people like Dr. Burns do not have a solution that will bring full employment. Neither, for that matter, has R.J. Thomas, head of the UAW-CIO. For he naively relies on “The new Bill of Rights outlined by President Roosevelt.”


Will President Roosevelt fight for a thirty-hour week to make room for all workers who want to work? No – because he stands, for the profit system, and the profit-makers would rather have an army of unemployed receiving a dole from the government than pay their workers a decent wage for a thirty-hour week.

Will President Roosevelt fight to keep government plants from going to big business to be shut down and kept idle if big business wants it that way? Will he fight to operate government plants for the production of civilian goods for people to use and to give jobs to workers? No – because he is for the Baruch plan, which gives big business full grabbing and grubbing rights.

Will Roosevelt fight for the right of the workers in shut-down plants belonging to private capitalists, to open up the plants and work on goods that people so badly need but don’t have the money to buy? No – because Roosevelt stands for the “inviolable” rights of private property.

Will Roosevelt fight for a huge, public program for building, houses, schools, hospitals, nurseries, playgrounds, parks, beaches for the people – a program large enough to give full peacetime employment, just as the nearly hundred-billion, yearly expenditure for destructive war has given full wartime employment? No – because a capitalist government doles not spend such sums of money on the needs of the people but only on the power-and-profit needs of the ruling class. And Roosevelt heads a capitalist government.

The points enumerated above form a program for full employment for all workers. This program can be fought for and achieved only by the workers themselves, relying on their own economic strnegth in solidarity; on their own political power exercised through an Independent Labor Party fighting the capitalist parties and politicians; on their own ability to form a workers’ government.

The women workers should be right up in front, supporting, rooting and working, for this program that Labor Action and the Workers Party stand for!


Since the start of the war child mortality in Europe has risen thirty-one per cent.

At least 50,000,000 homeless, orphaned children wander about Europe, trying to find food and shelter in the woods, or in any way conceivable, becoming little animals.

In some places the population is 100 per cent diseased, suffering from one ailment or another due to hunger, homelessness, shock, infection, lack of medical care.

Tuberculosis plagues up to fifty per cent of the population in some localities of war-ravaged Europe.

In her column, My Day, Mrs. Roosevelt callously commented on the situation described above:

“I know that one of the arguments is that feeding children will help us to win the war. It is said that the people in the occupied countries are becoming weaker and bitter, and that they will not feel that we are any better than their present suppressors when we attack. That again is question for the military to decide. We have not as much information as they have, but even a layman like myself cannot believe that the peoples of the nations now subjugated can be so short-sighted.”

This column, in which the First Lady accuses the starving, dying people of Europe of short-sightedness for wanting to eat, starts with this sentence: “FRIDAY NIGHT THE CABINET DINNER WAS GIVEN TO THE PRESIDENT IN THE WHITE HOUSE ...”


What more information is required about the miserable European masses than the facts printed above – which cannot be disputed?

These days every inhuman or reactionary policy is excused by so-called: “military considerations.”

In the case of withholding food and medical supplies from the European people – to the extent that it. is possible to get these there – the reason is not military but political.

What does that mean? Simply this:

Saving lives and relieving the suffering of people are not really the concern of the powers that be. What kind of government will the European masses support? Will it be the kind Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin will approve of? These are the questions. Food and medical supplies will be handed out through a government of THEIR choosing when they see fit. Food and medical supplies will be used as “arguments” against workers’ socialist governments being formed.

In the meantime, you wretched ones, don’t be short-sighted! The Cabinet dines in the White House.

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