A. Lozovsky

Have a Care Lord Curzon!

(7 June 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 41 [23], 7 June 1923, p. 400.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2021). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The price for an English spy, according to Lord Curzon’s exact calculations, is one hundred thousand gold roubles! Another English citizen, but of the female sex, costs on the same calculation, thirty thousand gold roubles. The days in which activity of this nature was charged at the rate of thirty pieces of silver are long since past; in those times the noble lords did not occupy themselves with the defence of Judases of either sex, nor with the ascertainment of their value on a gold basis. But if we were of the opinion that Lord Curzon, and the most predatory circles of British imperialists who are backing him up, are raising the whole question merely for the sake of thirteen thousand pounds sterling, or on account of the right of English fishers to fish in Russian waters, and for the sake of the “honor and dignity” of the English people (!) which has been so offended by Weinstein’s insulting notes, then we would be political children indeed. But in Russia there are very few political children to be found, even among the Communist Youth. All these trifles only serve to conceal two really serious questions of burning importance for the Britain bourgeoisie: 1. The influence exercised by the Russian revolution on the suppressed peoples of the East; 2. The restoration of property confiscated by the Russian revolution from English capitalists. But before proceeding to the discussion of these questions, we should like to introduce to our readers, the present English Minister for Foreign Affairs. At the International Transport Workers’ Congress held recently, Robert Williams showed me his passport, upon the first page of which was written in large letters.

“We George Nathaniel Curzon, Earl Curzon of Kedleston, Viscount Scarsdale, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, a Member of His Britannic Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, etc. etc. etc.,
His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ...”

Unfortunately we do not know what this highly significant “etc.” represents; in all likelihood it means: defender of the suppressed Oriental peoples, protector of injured property-holders, etc. But whatever further titles Lord Curzon may possess – those already adduced suffice for us to comprehend why the whole of slave-holding old England speaks through his lips. If England’s demands with regard to the East are deciphered, it is seen that these not only imply that the Communist and Red Trade Union International be banished from all places outside the frontiers of Soviet Russia, but they aim at the conversion of Soviet Russia into an imperialist power. What does Soviet Russia’s propaganda consist of? In the mere fact of its existence; in the fact that it represents the realization of its conception of the right of self-determination of the peoples. Compared with the mere fact of Soviet Russia’s existence, and Soviet Russia’s policy arising from the proletarian and socialist sources of our revolution, all Lord Curzon’s stolen cipher telegrams are not worth a brass farthing.

This is the kernel of the whole matter. The English bourgeoisie turns to the Russian revolution and bids it, through the mouth of its Grand Commander, to simply “cease to be t socialist and Soviet republic!” We take the liberty of informing Lord Curzon decorated with all his various orders, that the Russian revolution does not permit an English slave-holder to stipulate the lines on which it develops. With regard to the locality of the Comintern and the R.I.L.U., we have nothing against both Internationals removing to London, provided the English government guarantee us full liberty of agitation and propaganda. in return for this we should undertake to furnish the English government with several copies of all our publications, so that the English Minister for Foreign Affairs need not spend so much money in future in getting hold of these. Should this arrangement not be acceptable to Lord Curzon, we can do no more than express our condolence at the exceeding sensitiveness of his Eastern colonial corns.

While Lord Curzon is spreading his nets on the Murman coast, he is aiming at more than a simple catch of fish; white demanding one hundred and thirty thousand gold roubles, he and those behind him are thinking of very different figures. The appetite of these Murman fishermen may best be judged from the appended declarations made by the not unknown Leslie Urquhart, who has never yet reconciled himself to the loss of his factories in the Ural, this enterprising and clever business man, was anxious to have his undertakings restored to him in the form of concessions, but this plan proved a failure Mr. Urquhart has been cross ever since, but has never lost hope. At a meeting held by the creditors of Russia, Urquhart made the following declaration:

“If the Soviet government really intends settling the question of foreign private creditors, it can do this with the greatest ease. It must not be forgotten that the depreciation of the rouble has actually wiped out all inland debt, and that the one-time allies would probably agree to the annulment of war debts. For a country possessing Russia’s natural riches, the financial obligations are but small, and could be settled. In all probability, the total amount of ail foreign private claims does not exceed eight hundred million pounds sterling, of which five hundred and fifty millions are pre-war debts. Under the easy and even magnanimous (!) terms which would gladly be granted to the debtors, as soon as the confiscated property were restored to its foreign owners, the payment of such a sum would be perfectly within the limits of Russia’s capacity to pay.”

Only see how simple the matter is! It began with the fish and the thirteen thousand pounds sterling, and it ends with eight hundred million pounds sterling, or the round sun of eight milliard gold roubles. Many years ago a French journalist characterized the policy of the English bourgeoisie in the following brief words: tout prendre, toujours protendre, jamais rendre (take everything, demand always, never give anything back).

There is only one thing we do not know, and that is: where did the Grand Commander and hereditary slave-driver Lord Curzon get the idea that the workers and peasants are required to pay the former and present exploiters ten milliards? In putting this question, we appeal least of all to so-called international right, or to the morality of the so-called civilized countries. We are aware that international rights are measured by the tonnage of the navy and by the range of the artillery; and we are also aware that the morality of the civilized countries consists in looting and oppressing smaller and weaker peoples. And if we reply to your claims by a counter-claim, Lord Curzon, if we reply to your demands for damages by ours, we do this because we are conscious of the vital connection between the Soviet power and the working masses of Russia and Europe. Imperialist Europe has often times made an error in calculation with regard to Soviet Russia. England’s troops have already been in Archangel, Murmansk, and Baku, and have had to abandon ground rendered firm by revolution. Make no mistake, Lord Curzon, knight of 99 orders, and remember that the workers and peasants, though not desirous of war, will not permit you to command on the soil of our republic! Soviet Russia as neither Egypt nor India: Have a care, Sir Knight of the Most Exalted Order of the Garter!

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