'CND CANNOT REWRITE HISTORY'

Sunday Times – 26 March 1995

Having failed to alter history by one-sided nuclear disarmament, our old CND adversaries – Frank Allaun, Bruce Kent and Joan Ruddock – are now trying to rewrite it (letters, March 19). Yet, their pro-Soviet and anti-NATO bias during the Cold War was indisputable.

CND Vice-President Frank Allaun was also a Sponsor of the British arm of the Soviet-controlled World Peace Council. He consistently backed Soviet "peace" proposals – whether from Andropov, Chernenko or Gorbachev – while blaming the Americans for the arms race.

Bruce Kent similarly declared in the US National Catholic Register (January 13, 1985): "I personally believe that the culpability of the arms race is actually on the West". He welcomed the withdrawal of Soviet troops and tanks from East Germany as a step to "improve the prospects of success" in arms control (Guardian, December 10, 1979) – just a fortnight before they invaded Afghanistan. The following year, he described President Reagan as "a cold war militarist" who was "incredibly dangerous" (Morning Star, November 8, 1980).

According to the Yorkshire Post (July 5, 1982), Kent compared the US communications station at Menwith Hill with "an SS concentration camp". He stated in Moscow that American missiles were turning Britain into "a range of the Pentagon" (Tass, October 26, 1982). His criticisms of Soviet misconduct never reached this level of vituperation.

Joan Ruddock, who visited the Soviet arm of the World Peace Council [the Soviet Peace Committee] in 1982 subsequently told the Morning Star (March 19, 1983) that unilateral nuclear disarmament would not allow the Russians to attack Britain, as "it is not an accurate reading of Soviet intentions". Who was responsible for the Cold War? As she later declared: "the threat comes from the United States having made Europe the front line in its conflict with the Soviet Union" (Morning Star, September 7, 1984).

It was only in 1984 – seven years after the Kremlin began deploying its SS-20s – that CND first significantly demonstrated against Soviet nuclear weapons. There were two rallies that year: the first on June 9 against NATO's nuclear policy, to coincide with President Reagan's London visit, and the second on December 8 outside the Soviet Embassy. More than 50,000 turned out for the one, but only 300 for the other, clearly indicating CND's true sympathies.

As for Soviet funding of CND, it was proven in November 1991 that the KGB bankrolled the British Communist Party throughout the 1970s – the very period when (as Bruce Kent repeatedly acknowledged) only the support of the Communist Party and of the Quakers enabled CND to survive.

Dr JULIAN LEWIS
TONY KERPEL
EDWARD LEIGH
Policy Research Associates
London SE1