On the Logan Show Trial – Appendix D (ii)
Note to the international control commission on L and Y
It’s necessary to write a note on the aspects of L and Y’s swan song (17-23 August 1976) which touch on me.
1) re: Logan’s nauseating maneuvres
On pages 12-13 Logan at the meeting of the Toronto Local is supposed to have “repeated the accusations against Y., without including the fact that the second part of the accusation was, still, completely unsubstantiated and had been made by a member of an opponent organization.”
A correct account of the “accusations” and the portion of them reported to the local meeting is included in a report to the IS [International Secretariat] by me dated 13 July 1976. Suffice to say that the “second part of the accusation” was that the signature of the guarantor on the lease to Y’s flat was a forgery. Because the facts were in dispute this was not reported to the Toronto local at all.
2) re: Logan’s cynicism
On page 13 we hear “When I told Logan I didn’t like Robertson’s threat on the phone to ‘get rid of me’, Logan remarked, ‘Well it’s not always tactically advisable to warn people when you’re going to get rid of them.’”
My solicited reaction to comrade Robertson’s reported “threat” was longer than L and Y suggest. I first said that we’ve eventually got to try to get rid of active anti-party elements and such elements have rights. L seemed to agree impatiently. She was not so interested in what I thought of getting rid of people, but of threats. It seems quite likely that I made the remark attributed to me (“Well, it’s not always tactically advisable to warm people when you’re going to get rid of them.”), but only as a sidepoint to the main burden of my reply, which was that L had been given the advantages of an early warning to prepare a struggle to stay in, according to her rights, which showed greater generosity than the leadership was obliged to.
3) re: Logan’s bloc
“I was present for the remarks of Logan, which he made in a discussion with Y. and myself when he visited the nucleus. Samarakkody had just visited North America and it had become clear that there was no longer any perspective for fusion with his group. Both Y. and I were intensely disappointed and felt it was a real blow for the tendency. I expressed myself most fully on the subject, saying that we had long understood the need for an injection of experienced cadre, the need for a balance to the weight of the American section—so as to facilitate the forming of a correct line in international questions, and to redress the organizational balance internationally (the ‘authority’ of the tendency having its overwhelming weight in the U.S. organization)—and without the Samarakkody group there was not, at the moment, the perspective of such a balance developing. This evaluation of the importance of the Samarakkody group to the tendency had been the line of the PB, until the perspective fell through. (Of course today the “international” Spartacist tendency is completely lopsided with all power within the organization residing in the American leadership—a ‘sympathizing section,’ another new animal, becomes a ‘full section’ after demonstrating its submissiveness to the Robertson regime.) Logan responded to my concern over the Samarakkody question by saying that I was exaggerating the importance of the Samarakkody group to the tendency—and that the tendency was not so unbalanced, really, as I said. After all, said Logan, ‘if Y. and I blocked on a question, we would be a real force within the tendency.’ That’s all he said (we both thought it was an odd comment and weren’t quite sure what to make of such a comment, but said nothing to Logan at the time) and, to my knowledge, all Y. ever said to Robertson was what I’ve reported above. Y. told the story to Robertson in the heat of a sharp argument between the two of them (I don’t believe anyone else was present) during the March events—when Robertson said something like: “why can’t you be good like Logan?” While Logan used the expression ‘bloc’ and Y. repeated this to Robertson, again, neither Y. nor myself has ever said anything about Logan approaching Y. for a ‘bloc against the international tendency.’ More gems from the fertile mind of Robertson. In addition, Logan has never said a word to us about this, nor us to him.”
I do not remember the conversation in Israel as reported, though I do remember L and Y being upset by the failure of the Samarakkody talks, and my trying to assure them that things were not so bad. I am quite prepared to accept their account of such a conversation. At the time Y’s authority was great and it would, for better or for worse, have been true that “if Y and I blocked on a question [presumably against some hypothetical future atrocity to be perpetrated by the evil Americans], we would be a real force within the tendency.” This would have been a way of making the point that it is not true that the American leadership is all-powerful. So this was not an approach for a bloc against the IS.
But L and Y’s claim is that Y did not (in a conversation with comrade Robertson) accuse me of making such an approach. Rather they simply imply that Y recounted the story of the conversation in Israel in the innocuous form it appears in their present document. Comrade Robertson, in saying that Y alleged I had made an approach to establish a bloc against the IS is supposed to be lying.
Their account of the discussion between Y and comrade Robertson is, however, inherently unlikely. Y is supposed to have chosen to recount this story (supposedly without any intention of charging me with disloyalty) to comrade Robertson in the following circumstances:
- (i) “in the heat of a sharp argument”,
- (ii) in answer to something appreciative comrade Robertson said about me, and
- (iii) some eighteen months after the reported conversation.
Why on earth would it suit Y’s purposes to recount the story in a truthful form in such circumstances? It seems inherently more likely that Y lyingly accused me of trying to establish a bloc against the IS.
7 December 1976