By Stephen White
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Extra resources for Britain and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Study in the Politics of Diplomacy, 1920–1924
The grounds on which the paper chose to criticise the government's policy, moreover, were simply that it constituted a 'flat denial of their own announcements in support of the principle of selfdetermination', on which basis, it noted, the organisers of the demonstration had received the 'active assistance and support of a legion of people in the country who do not ordinarily, as yet, find themselves in alliance with the BSP'. Messages of support, indeed, were received from figures as diverse as E.
34 The Labour Party executive, meeting on 7 October 1919, decided that further inquiries should be made of the Foreign Office regarding British intervention in Russia. A letter was accordingly addressed to Balfour by the party's Secretary 'with a view to eliciting information as to the present position of affairs'. The questions dealt with restrictions still obtaining with regard to trade with Russia via the Baltic, and asked when it was proposed that military action in Russia should cease. 36 As the Call pointed out on 23 October, people grumbled, they were discontented, they adopted resolutions protesting against intervention, sometimes they even threatened, 'but they do nothing which could really frighten the bandits in office'.
We appeal therefore to British organized Labour to express the strongest condemnation of the participation of the British government in an act which constitutes a crime against national independence and against the Russian Revolution ... a crime which if persisted in will prove not only disastrous to Russia but to the cause of freedom and democracy throughout the world'. Snowden talked of a 'departure of momentous significance', a 'second Belgium'; while Sylvia Pankhurst, Walton Newbold and others urged 'Save the Revolution'J The response of official Labour was rather less forthcoming.