Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library

HARRY QUELCH

Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library (1963), 27, (1), 4–6.

Abstract

- 4in 1898, during Lenin's exile in Siberia, by just nine delegates of the widely scattored "Leagues of Struggle". NoS.1-45 were published under these joint auspices. L. nfurtov was a member of the editorial board which moved to London in 1902 and arranged with Harry Quelch, the editor of "Justice", for "Iskra" to be printed at the premises now occupied by our Library. In fact, these iasuos of "Iskra" in large measure prepared the ground for the Second Congress. But in the working out of the programme and rules, which were to be 'lJrt;;sented for discussion to the Congress, vi tal differences showed themselves between Lenin, on the one hand; and PI ekhanov, Martov and others on the other. The Congress adopted the proposals of Lenin, and elected a central committee of Bolsheviks (members of the majority). Lenin, solicitous for unity, proposed the election to the editorial board of "Iskra" of Plekhanov, of Martov, who was a Menshevik (member of the minority) and himself. Martov, however, denanded the inclusion of all the former editors, most of whom were his own followers, and when Congress rejected the demand, refused to serve. With Trotsky and others, he started an internal fight against Lenin, mobilising the emigr~ intellectuals who were largely out of tou~h with the movement in Russia; under pressure from whom Plekhanov went over to the Mensheviks, called in, contrary to the decision of Congress, the former Menshevik editors, and made united work impossible. Lenin thereupon resigned from the editorial board, and the Bolsheviks established their own Marxist newspaper, "Vperyod" (Forward). From No. 52 onwards, "Iskra", fully Menshevfk , has been known as the "new Iskra", as distinct from the "old Iskra", whieh firmly campaigned for Marxist principles. The letter of Professor Obichkin mentions, in reply to another query from our Chairman, that the issues of "Iskra" printed here in London, and personally supervised by Lenin, were numbers 22 to 38. ****** HARRY QlELCH The fiftieth anniversary of the death of Harry Quelch falls on September 17 this YNlr. He edited Justice, the first Sooialist weekly' in Great Britain, at 37~ Clerkenwell Green from 1886 to 1913, and managed the first Socialist printing and publishing works - the Twentieth Century Press - in the same premises from It is appropriate therefore that we should recall his life and 1892 to 1908. work in this issue of our Bulletin. Quelch was born at Hungerford, in Berkshire, on January 30, 1858, son of He had to start work at 10, first in an upholsterer's shop and then helping a dairyman. Going to a: blacksmith and of an agricultural labourer's daughter.

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A.R.