On the Logan Show Trial – Appendix A
Letter by Logan to Robertson
6 March 1973
I’m writing this shortly after speaking to you on the phone. Sorry we haven’t kept you better informed on the state of play here, but frankly I’ve been incredibly busy, mostly with personnel problems—and the organisation’s only ten strong! Actually Adaire has developed extremely well and Joel is absolutely solid so there has been a tightly knit leadership without which we would not have made the progress we have in Australia—three excellent comrades in three weeks.
One problem to which we have devoted more time than I care to remember is the Dave and Vicky problem.
I had known Dave at University in 1970 as an excellent but completely unpolitical academic. I hardly expected to find him “recruited” to what Gager was pleased to call the Spartacist League when we returned, but there he was, recruited on the basis of his support for Bangla Desh in the latter half of 1971. In last year’s debate with Gager he eventually came down on our side and accepted SL politics despite some early difficulties on Bangla Desh and guerrilla warfare etc. He has since become highly political and healthily ambitious.
Vicky (with whom he had established a relationship in 1970 and got married early in 1971) was at this stage not interested in politics and starting to resent the organization’s pulling Dave away from her, but after a period apparently started to become interested. When she was given the task of writing an interventional leaflet for a pabloite abortion pop front the product was pretty good. (Unfortunately it had somewhat the character of a forgery—we now know that Dave was mostly responsible for it.) Vicky was admitted to candidate membership about last June.
In July they moved to Melbourne in fulfillment of long-standing plans for Dave’s doctoral study. They proceeded to drift slowly out of the organization, without being conscious of the fact, and only some highly competent work from New Zealand while I was in Japan, together with my visit here on the way back saved them.
Shortly after Adaire’s arrival Vicky discovered she was pregnant by “mistake”. It proved impossible to get her to have an abortion. It became apparent that she had made almost no political development and undertaken no political work independently of David. She went through a period of gross untidiness, disorganization of her time, lateness for meetings and uncomradeliness of tone, and although she has improved in these regards the improvement is by no means decisive. She sometimes bothers to disguise her attitude of subjective hostility towards Adaire (who had the abortion arguments with her) in the most transparent political clothing. All this has led to difficulties in creating the necessary esprit de corps here, and has prevented Dave (who has shielded and protected her) from fulfilling his potential role as a part of the leadership, drive for which he has demonstrated by liquidating his academic career. He is slated as one of two alternates on a five-member central committee to be elected at an organizational plenum in about six weeks.
Dave and Vicky—I believe that Vicky does want to be political in a sense—have agreed that the only solution is for David to spend a period between now and the birth of the child (August) with the SLUS. This will allow both to develop independent of the other—Vicky in the party Barracks, which will shock her languid petty-bourgeois life-style. Most importantly it should give Dave a training which prepares him very well for work here.
Unfortunately we can’t afford to pay a penny towards the project, and he hasn’t any money himself, although we have arranged a load of $Australian 300 for pocket money. Thank you for agreeing to pay the fare.
(i.) The Melbourne-New York fare is $Australian 652, and the Melbourne-San Francisco fare is $A521. I think that it might be better for him to get to San Francisco and then see about a cheaper student fare.
(ii.) It is NOT necessary to have a return ticket in order to get a US visa, and I believe there is no saving.
(iii.) We could cash Joel’s San-Francisco-Auckland return ticket (presumably half of $US1099), but devaluation would probably make that a bad move and Joel will want to return some day.
(iv.) It is probably best to pay Pan Am or some such firm in New York and they can telex instructions for it to be issued to David S____ at their Melbourne office.
(v.) Alternatively you could cable money to WK and RA Logans personal bank account (the SLANZ has not yet got a bank account) at the National Bank of Australasia, [address], Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
It is important that this be acted upon quickly, as by the time you get this letter David should be nearing completion of passport and visa formalities, and it is important that he spends as much time as possible with you.
When you have decided what course of action to take you could telephone Joel, person-to-person at the Barracks where the organization has its only phone as yet: Melbourne [phone number].
Have you ever thought of insisting that all members be put in chastity belts. The National Chairman should hold the keys.
Warmest comradely regards,