Surely when it was faced with a tacitly hostile Establishment in Whitehall and an actively hostile press in Fleet Street it (the Labour Government 1945–51) should have felt the need for a politically conscious and educated rank and file, such as was beginning to emerge in the thirties with the help of the wea and nclc.
Richard Crossman, New Statesman, April 19th 1963.
The left badly needs its own means of educating itself as well as educating others. The time has surely come for it to create its own organization for that purpose, which will do for socialism what the Fabian Society has done for social reform.
John Saville and Ralph Miliband, The Socialist Register, p. 156.
There are no doubt many ways in which sustained socialist education in the Labour Movement could be organized and furthered, but the following scheme would seem to provide the basis for a realistic start to be made. It is set out here for further consideration and discussion.
1. It is proposed that a number of Socialist Centres be set up in suitable cities, under the responsibility of local groups involved in one way or another in the Labour Movement.
2. The first purpose of these Centres would be to provide evening courses on a range of subjects, from working class history, and trade unions in capitalist society, to courses on immediate problems of industrial organization, for instance on aspects of labour legislation or questions of negotiation procedure. The kind of courses provided would naturally depend on local demand and on availability of students and lecturers.
3. The Centres would work in close collaboration with local organizations, such as Trade Councils, Constituency Labour Parties, Co-operative Societies, unions and other similar organizations. In the beginning, the Centres would have to rely on the loan of premises by one or other such organization; eventually, they might acquire premises of their own, and this might enable them to extend their educational activities.