South Wales Socialist Society

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The South Wales Socialist Society was a federation of communist groups in Wales, with many of its members being coal miners. It was a founder constituent of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

It was formed as the Rhondda Socialist Society in 1911 by participants in the Miners Reform Movement, which opposed right-wing trade union leaders.[1][2] The group had little central organisation, being based on largely autonomous local clubs. It enthusiastically supported the October Revolution and entered into unity negotiations, with the aim of forming a communist party.[3]

The group was opposed to participation in Parliament and so sided with the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) and the Workers Socialist Federation (WSF) in the discussions.[3] In March 1920, after the Comintern suggested that its British section should attempt to affiliate to the Labour Party, the majority of the group became a branch of the SLP, and a small section formed the Communist Party of South Wales and the West of England with the same programme as the WSF.[4]

In April, eight remaining local clubs formed the "South Wales Communist Council", and concluded negotiations. Although the group no longer had the resources to hold a ballot, it became part of the new Communist Party of Great Britain, on whose Central Committee they were represented by W. J. Hewlett.[3][5]


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  3. ^ a b c Klugmann, James (1968). History of the Communist Party of Great Britain. London: Lawrence and Wishart. pp. 21–36.
  4. ^ Mark Hayes, The British Communist Left 1914-45
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