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Susan Green

Of Special Interest to Women

(23 October 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 43, 23 October 1944, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The autumn wind begins to have a threat of winter in it. We start out very optimistically for the department stores to get a woolen blanket and some woolen clothes, but because of the prices return home with cotton, rayon, wool and shoddy mixtures. But this winter the warehouses of the government will be nice and cozy, loaded down with the hundreds of millions of pounds of surplus wool stored in them.

Yes, according to the Wall Street Journal, which makes it its business to know about such things, the governments Defense Supplies Corporation holds some 192,000,000 pounds of Australian wool and 4,800,000 pounds of South African fleece. The Commodity Credit Corporation, another government agency, has more than 150,000,000 pounds of the 1943 domestic clip and almost 80,000,000 pounds of the 1944 clip. All this, plus a few odd and end million pounds here and there, adds up to a lot of woolen blankets, sweaters, coats, suits, dresses – and because of the great surplus, prices should be very reasonable. Besides, there is more wool and fleece where these supplies came from.


But why should manufacturers want these huge surpluses released for consumption when they get more for cotton, rayon, wool and shoddy mixtures than they used to get for all-wool merchandise? Arid why should any capitalist government want to interfere with the sacred right of the capitalist to make profits? So while you shiver, think of the soft, warm wool and fleece stored in government warehouses.


“That Priceless Boy of Yours” is the heading over a big advertisement recently run in the metropolitan press by the Bendix Aviation Corporation. “To save the lives of our boys – that’s why we’ve been working,” runs this publicity stuff. Then there is a long sob story of how little – how very little – are the war profits of this so altruistic corporation which sells the government hundreds of scientific aviation instruments, controls and other war material produced by the Bendix workers – ONLY for the protection of “American boys, yours and ours.”

This is typical big business publicity.

If it’s “that priceless boy of yours” that “big business has at heart, why did the stocks of the giant corporations, bloated with war orders, take a tumble a few weeks ago? When people were getting a little dizzy with joy at the premature predictions that the war against Germany would be over by the end of October, Wall Street went into mourning at the prospect of a speedy end of hostilities.



The United States Treasury states that net profits – AFTER TAXES – will total $39,500,000 for the war years 1940-44. These official war profits – Which do not reveal billions of hidden profits – average more for one war year than for the years 1936 and 1937 combined.

“That priceless boy of yours” does have a price!


Labor Action has from time to time warned against the passage of the equal rights amendment to the constitution. This is a measure sponsored by society, career and club women, who feel “discriminated against,” and by politicians who see in such a supposedly democratic amendment a chance for the greater exploitation of women workers. Organized labor has raised its voice against this camouflaged attack on working women, pointing out that under the pretense of “equal rights,” labor’s exploiters would claim there is not further need for the measures won for the special protection of women workers after long years of struggle.

What is not so widely known is that, this anti-labor amendment is incorporated in the platform of the Democratic Party, for whose standard-bearer labor leaders are wrongly urging labor to vote. And Vice-President Wallace – that self-appointed “friend of the common man” – glibly brushes aside the dangers to working women inherent in the amendment. He said:

“However much the opponents of this amendment may fear some possible temporary disadvantages to some women, may I suggest that in the end all such disadvantages, if they exist, weigh little beside the greater advantage of inner freedom, which will come for all women when real equality is established.”

In other words, if the equal rights amendment is passed and the bosses use it as an excuse for taking away lest and safety facilities from working women, what matter their outward slavery! They will have INNER freedom!

Here, in an instance especially vital to working women, you can see why Labor Action keeps hammering home the truth that neither a a Dewey nor a Willkie, a Roosevelt nor a Wallace can solve labor’s problems. ONLY REPRESENTATIVE WORKING MEN AND WOMEN, ACTING THROUGH AN INDEPENDENT LABOR PARTY, CAN DO POLITICAL BATTLE FOR THE WORKING PEOPLE AS A WHOLE.


All governments are today worried about the populations of their countries. One can rightfully ask why they don’t worry about that angle before wars – rather than after. But the fact is that they are now worried

There is only one known way of replenishing war-depleted populations – by women having babies. Because their babies of a score of years ago have been “depleted” as young men, many women don’t feel an urge to bring more babies into the world.

By way of inducement, Stalin’s government offers certain pittances to poor women to have children up to eleven in number, regardless of the lack of housing and other requisites for child survival. The barbaric theory is that enough will survive – if enough are born. Somehow or other there must be a large post-war army to meet the needs of Russia’s imperialist aims.

In England, Miss Eleanor Rathbone, member of Parliament, bluntly stated the militaristic reasons behind some features of the Beveridge and other so-called social security plans. “At a crisis,” wrote this Englishwoman, “the supply of munitions can be accelerated, but it takes at least nineteen years to produce an adult citizen. A plain promise of an extra five shillings [per week] will induce parents, especially the more thoughtful and ambitious, to have more children.”

The de Gaulle government comes out with a plan to raise the health of the colonial peoples of imperialist France’s African and other possessions. Why? So that these enslaved peoples may be strong enough specimens to fight for France in the next war!

What about Dumbarton Oaks? What about all the plans for world peace? THE PLANNERS DO NOT THEMSELVES TRUST THEIR OWN PLANS. Why should we – the women of the world – who are being pressured into bearing the soldiers for World War III, trust them?

To break the vicious circle of populations being depleted by war and built up again only to be depleted by another war, the working people of the world must unite in socialist brotherhood.

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Last updated: 18 February 2016