Letter: Labour: the rebels without a clause

DONALD MACINTYRE is wrong to say that the annual membership cards of the Labour Party have included an excerpt from clause IV of the party constitution since 1918. ('Time to ask what's this clause IV', 21 February).

My annual membership card for 1952 made no reference to clause IV but included the following quotation from Keir Hardie: 'Perfect your organisation; educate your fellows; look to the register; spread the light; and the future is yours.'

It was not until the early 1960s that the excerpt from clause IV appeared on individual membership cards, and it is a matter of speculation as to whether this was to retaliate against Hugh Gaitskell for trying to scrap it.

At no time during my continued membership of the Labour Party have any but a few argued for anything other than the mixed economy. In this context clause IV remains a meaningless symbol.

C A Lyons

Hemel Hempstead