It is true that the Committee has not yet written down its opinion in black and white concerning the SWP’s position. It felt, perhaps wrongly, that first the discussion should be started on the American documents, which already happened a few months ago. In cell meetings, comrades were unanimous in condemning the famous phrases: “We fight against sending into battle...” etc. And for the benefit of comrade C. we would point out that it was members of the Committee who were the first to stress the inappropriateness, the unfortunate nature of these phrases, to point out the more or less utopian character of the slogan “trade-union control of the army,” the all-too-obvious contradiction between the first part of the Manifesto (“not one man, not one penny, not one rifle for the bourgeois army”) and the second part, which was the “original” contribution (we maintain the epithet: everyone is free to interpret it as he wishes). It was our intention to subject this document to the most searching criticism—so much so that we didn’t include this first part in the Bulletin, since it merely confirmed our traditional position on war and the bourgeois army.
Once this critical assessment had been made—an assessment which C.’s informant R. did not contribute to—it seemed to us wise to await new information and documents. It was all the more wise in that the SWP seems to us to still have a clearly BL [Bolshevik-Leninist] position: genuine opposition to the war, anti-Anglophilia (but also clearly setting themselves off from the pacifists and isolationists), in a word an independent class policy. To date there has been no trace of union sacrée. And that is why their position on the army seems to us—pending further information—to be a gross tactical error if you will, but nothing more, at least for the moment.