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Full text of ""Communist Party Pays Farmer-Labor Convention Expenses" (Dec. 1923)"

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Communist Party Pays Farmer-Labor 
Convention Expenses. 

by Emil Herman 

Published in The Socialist World [Chicago], v. 4, no. 12 (Dec. 1923), pp. 6-7. 

On November 24-25, 1923, I attended a con- then adopted. This puts the Farmer-Labor Party of 

ferenceofthe Farmer-Labor Party in the Labor Temple this state on record to cooperate with the Federated 

at Everett, Washington, and here is what I observed. Farmer-Labor Party instead of affiliating with it — in 

The convention was called to order by John C. the circumstances of the case it is a distinction with- 

Kennedy at 10:00 am, November 24th. After electing out a difference. 

a Rules Committee and a Credentials committee, ad- Through the report of Bouck and Kennedy on 
journment was taken until 1:30 pm. what came to be known as "the St. Paul caucus" it was 
The Credentials Committee reported 96 del- developed that Bouck received word from Mr. Man- 
egates present who were entitled to seats — the num- ley an official in both the Workers Party and the Fed- 
ber was later increased to 116. erated Farmer-Labor Party, that they would be invited 
John C. Kennedy, secretary of the Washington to attend a caucus in St. Paul some six weeks before it 
Farmer-Labor Party, former member of the Socialist was actually called by Magnus Johnson; that the regu- 
Party and now flirting with the Workers (Commu- kr Farmer-Labor Party now has state organizations in 
nist) Party; James A. Duncan, former secretary of the only two states — New York and Illinois; that the 
Seattle Central Labor Council and an active supporter Workers (Communist) Party made a loan of $500 to 
of the late war; William Bouck, organizer of the West- the Farmer-Labor Party to enable them to issue the 
ern Progressive Grange; and Vincent Brown, an avowed call for the national convention held in Chicago, where 
Communist, were the floor leaders of the conference. they bolted their own convention and where the Fed- 
Kennedy and Bouck were two of the three del- erated Farmer-Labor Party was born under the guid- 
egates who attended the Farmer-Labor Party national ance and domination of the Workers Party; that the 
convention held in Chicago last Julyt Recently both expenses of Bouck, Kennedy, and some other delegates 
of them attended a caucus in St. Paul, Minn., called to the St. Paul caucus were paid by the Federated 
by the Federated Farmer-Labor Party through Magnus Farmer-Labor Party; that Kennedy and Bouck, with 
Johnson for the purpose of forestalling the Farmer- others, had signed an agreement authorizing the 
Labor Party in the calling of a National Convention. Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota to select three men 
Reporting as a delegate to the Farmer-Labor (names not given) to issue a call for a National Con- 
Party convention at Chicago, Kennedy moved the ventionto be held in theTwin Cities on May 30, 1924, 
adoption of a resolution, the substance of which was for the purpose of nominating candidates for Presi- 
that the Farmer-Labor Party continue to be designated dent and Vice President; that J.G. Brown and John 
as at present in this state and that it affiliate nationally Fitzpatrick, national officials of the Farmer-Labor Party, 
with the Federated Farmer-Labor Party. After three stated that had they known that the Federated Farmer- 
readings, considerable opposition, and much discus- Labor Party was to be represented in the caucus they 
sion, the resolution was amended by striking out the would not have been there and that they would not 
word "affiliate" and inserting the word "cooperate" and give definite assurance of support of the May 30th 

t- The convention which founded the Federated Farmer-Labor Party was held in Chicago from July 3 to 5, 1923. 


Herman: Communist Party Pays Farmer-Labor Convention Expenses 

convention, nor refrain from calling a National Con- 
vention of the Farmer-Labor Party, if conditions war- 

The state secretary, John C. Kennedy, stated that 
the dues of members in the Farmer-Labor party had 
been first $4.00, then $2.00, and then $1.00 per an- 
num, but that he had not received any dues for so 
long he did not know what they now are — which 
translated into plain English means that in this states, 
and, judging from the diversity of interests represented 
and opinions expressed, that is the fact. 

There were delegates present who claimed to be 
Socialists and saw here the best field for the propaga- 
tion of Socialist principles and ideals. There were oth- 
ers who said it was a party through which they could 
elect good men to office who are not Socialists; others 
who contended that it gave an opportunity to work 
for progressive principles without endorsing Socialism, 
and others who saw an opportunity to advocate Com- 
munist doctrines through "cooperation" with the Fed- 
erated Farmer-Labor Party. 

Truly an incongruous mass with aims leading in 
so many different directions that will end in division 
or dissolution — another object lesson in waste of time, 
energy, and money for the benefit of a few politicians, 
as, for example, through the Populist Party and the 
Progressive Party. 

Edited by Tim Davenport. 
Published by 1000 Flowers Publishing, Corvallis, OR, 2005. • Free reproduction permitted.