‘The Young Communists of Canada’ by Harry Gannes from Young Worker. Vol. 2 No. 12. December, 1923.

‘The Young Communists of Canada’ by Harry Gannes from Young Worker. Vol. 2 No. 12. December, 1923.

A SMALL but active organization, was the opinion I got of the Canadian Young Communist League when I visited Toronto recently to report on the Fourth Bureau Session of the Young Communist International. The Canadian section of the Young Communist International has over 800 members, but when you consider the size, population of the country and the difficulties the league has to meet, one must say that they have accomplished a great deal in their short existence.

The Canadian young comrades have a wonderful field to work in, not only among the young miners of Nova Scotia, but among the farming youth in Saskatchewan.

Miners Fertile Soil.

The United Mine Workers of America in Nova Scotia have been carrying on a militant struggle which has brought down upon them the wrath of the reactionary and anti-working class leaders of the coal miners’ union. As a result, these miners have definitely lined themselves with the militant elements in the trade union movement of Canada. Among these miners there are over 3,500 young workers, members of the union, who could be urged to join the only working class youth organization in Canada. But with the Nova Scotia district several thousand miles from league headquarters, and nobody up in that far section of the country who really understands youth problems, a golden opportunity is going to waste — all because of lack of funds.

In the Saskatchewan district there is a farmers’ organization with a very militant program. At one time they declared for the dictatorship of the proletariat. When one takes into consideration the fact that over half the population in Canada is engaged in agriculture, the importance of organizing the farming youth under the guidance of the communist youth unquestionably takes a promising place. This farmers’ organization has around 10,000 members and would undoubtedly help a league organizer. Yet there is no organizer in the field. The party cannot finance a league organizer, though it can help somewhat, and the league can barely raise enough funds to pay its secretary, Leslie Morris, besides scrape together enough funds to endeavor to issue a paper.

However, there is no doubt that the national executive committee of the Canadian Young Communist League will take this problem up and find some means of financing an organizer to cover the very important territory.

Tire Canadian, like our own, is in full harmony with the decision of the Fourth Bureau Session. The shop nuclei form of organization won especial favor with the members of the executive committee, and though no actual nuclei have been established, they have put it down as one of their immediate tasks to organize some nuclei in Toronto or vicinity. If any new leagues are organized, either in the coal district or elsewhere, they will be formed on the new basis — at the place of work.

Canadian Youth Paper To Be Issued.

Though the party has been extremely generous in allowing space to the league in the official organ, ‘The Worker,’ the executive committee is unanimous in believing that a league publication — a youth paper — should be issued. There are no funds on hand to do this. But the committee is going to undertake the job, and when I talked to them last they were determined to issue a paper if it be only in mimeographed form at the start.

The Canadian youth have special problems. The Young Worker, though admirable reading for the members, does not fill the propaganda need and certainly Canada is important enough a country in which to try to get a mass, working class youth publication.

The Young Communist League of Canada is worth watching and studying. The time is not far distant when we must work out a detailed means of co-operation with our Canadian comrades.

The Young Worker was produced by the Young Workers League of America beginning in 1922. The name of the Workers Party youth league followed the name of the adult party, changing to the Young Workers (Communist) League when the Workers Party became the Workers (Communist) Party in 1926. The journal was published monthly in Chicago and continued until 1927. Editors included Oliver Carlson, Martin Abern, Max Schachtman, Nat Kaplan, and Harry Gannes.

PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/youngworker/v2n12-dec-1923-yw-G-LB.pdf

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