History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1941-1951 - Vol. 4

By Noreen Branson | Go to book overview

11
THE PARTY’S NEW
STRUCTURE AND AREAS OF
WORK; RELATIONS WITH THE
LABOUR PARTY

In 1945, the party altered its organisational structure. Since 1936 its basic unit had been the ‘branch’, consisting of members either living or working in the area concerned. The members were divided into ‘groups’; ‘street’ or ‘area’ groups and ‘factory’ or ‘workplace’ groups. The Branch Committee, on which it was intended that all groups should be represented, was elected by the branch members at annual general meetings.

Under the new form of organisation, the ‘branch’ remained the basic unit, but was to consist solely of members living in the area concerned. Members who had previously been in factory groups were to belong to the branch where they lived. They would, however, be called together to elect a ‘factory committee’ which would organise political work in the factory concerned.


INNER-PARTY DISCUSSION

A major reason for this change in structure was the extremely successful recruiting campaigns during 1943 and 1944, but the subsequent difficulties in retaining the new recruits and involving them in party activity. Most recruiting was done either at well-attended public meetings or in special drives at workplaces. Thus, in the last three months of 1943, over 7,000 new recruits were made, bringing the total number issued with party cards during that year to over 55,000. However, when the 1944 re-registration took place, it was found that not more than 47,513 people had been issued with cards by the end of

-109-

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