'YES, THE CND WAS PRO-SOVIET'
Sunday Telegraph – 3 October 1999
CND Chairman Dave Knight claims that his organisation "never allowed" its pro-Soviet members to persuade it to be "less critical of Soviet nuclear weapons than those of the US", during the Cold War (letter, September 26). Let me remind him of what CND leaders said in those critical times:
Joan Ruddock, CND Chairman: "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).
[John Cox, CND Vice-President: "I believe that our work in destroying the 'big lie' about the Soviet threat is one of the most important things we do" (Communist Focus, no.14, December 1983).]
Sally Davison, former CND National Organiser, in response to a Moscow Radio interviewer asking her why the official Soviet Peace Committee was supporting the Soviet Government: "Well, obviously, because the Soviet Government is in favour of peace, and this makes a big difference" (Moscow Radio, June 7, 1982).
Dan Smith, CND Vice-Chairman: "We need to put effort into attacking Britain's propensity for war. Britain is the most warring state of the last two centuries" (Confidential CND memorandum, June 1983).
Bruce Kent, CND General Secretary: "I personally believe that the culpability of the arms race is actually on the West" (US National Catholic Register, January 13, 1985).
[John Cox, CND Vice-President: "The consistent stand of CND for unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from NATO has been won by working as Communists in a principled non-sectarian way" (Morning Star, January 8, 1985).]
- Gary Lefley, later CND General Secretary: "the Soviet Union has never welshed on any treaty obligation in its 65-year history. No, rather it is our membership of NATO which involves us in plans to initiate global war" (Straight Left, May 1982).
Indeed, former CND Chairman Marjorie Thompson – a genuinely impartial nuclear disarmer – has just revealed (Daily Telegraph, September 25) that "she was driven close to a nervous breakdown by efforts of communists in the organisation to undermine her". She describes Bruce Kent as "incredibly naive" in his attitude towards CND's pro-Soviet activists.
This is over-generous, considering his attack on Ronald Reagan as "incredibly dangerous" (Morning Star, November 8, 1980); his comparison of the US communications station at Menwith Hill with "an SS concentration camp" (Yorkshire Post, July 5, 1982); and his claim – in Moscow – that American missiles were turning Britain into "a range of the Pentagon" (Tass, October 26, 1982).
The following year, Monsignor Kent attended the 38th Congress of the British Communist Party and from the podium (on Armistice Sunday) described the Communists and the Morning Star as CND's "partners in the cause for peace in this world" (Morning Star, November 14, 1983).
It was not necessary, therefore, for Stasi agent Professor Vic Allen to have "swung the peace movement behind the Soviets". That is where CND had been marching all along.
Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
[NOTE: Two of the sample quotations were omitted by the Sunday Telegraph when this letter was edited for publication. They are those enclosed in the text above by square brackets. For references to CND Council member, Professor Vic Allen, as an agent of the East German secret police, use the search engine on this website.]