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Buried Treasure: selections from the Peace News archives

60 Years Ago: PN and the King's Death

PN had made brief mention of the death of King George VI, saying – amongst other things – “Peace News records its deep sympathy with the Royal Family so suddenly bereaved...”. The item generated a lot of correspondence on subsequent letters pages.

Peter Green: We expect this dope from the capitalist press, but not from a paper which is “international” and “pacifist”. It does not help the cause of pacifism or internationalism to salute the head of a military and imperialist state.

Ethel Mannin: The king was probably... a good father and husband, and, according to his lights, what is commonly called “decent”. However, those lights and that decency are not our pacifist conception of goodness... The most astonishing assertion in the whole of this astonishing tribute is [when] the writer salutes “this Royal example of non-violent self-dedication”. Can it be that your correspondent in a moment of mental aberration confused his late Majesty King George VI with the late Mahatma Gandhi? God save the people!

F Collins: State occasions, such as [this] funeral, do more to spread nationalism and glamorise militarism than do years of other propaganda.

Rhoda M Clarke: Republican leaders are just as much bound up in militarism as any royalty. In this connection, what price the late President Roosevelt, Truman, Stalin, and Mao?

Republican, Birmingham: No pacifist can logically support monarchies... A journal devoted to peace has no logic if it tolerates – much less accepts – the principles of this deadly system that still exists in some less enlightened countries.

EG Macfarlane: This nauseating boot-licking for those who represent a principle in social affairs which is at the root of world wars, namely national sovereignty (which means national control of armed forces), shows that your support for the idea of world peace is either spurious or wholly misdirected.

From the 29 February and 7 March 1952 issues of Peace News.

Buried Treasure is compiled by Albert Beale, author of Against All War: 50 years of Peace News.