RSL Constitution 1962

The Constitution of the Revolutionary Socialist League (1962)

[Scanned from Michael Crick's The March of Militant - the source is the Deane Collection, Manchester Polytechnic.]

Name:

Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL). British Section of the Fourth International.

Aim:

Basing itself on the principles embodied in the first four Congresses of the Communist International and the World Conferences of the Fourth International the RSL strives to win the leadership of the working class for the establishment of a Workers' Government in Britain, and in collaboration with the world working and toiling masses to abolish classes and build the World Socialist order of society.

Membership:

Any person who accepts the principles and constitution of the RSL and who participates in its activities under the direction of its organs is eligible for membership.

Every member must be a member of a Branch but in exceptional conditions where no Branch exists may become a national member working under the control of the Executive Committee (EC).

Applications for membership must be made to the Branch except in those cases stated above, and must be ratified by the District Committee (DC) or Executive Committee. All so accepted will become probationary members for a period of three months.

Probationary members are entitled to the rights of members but may not be delegates or officers of the organisation. The length of probation may be extended or the member excluded.

Branches:

The Unit of the RSL is the Branch which is based upon an industrial or area group of not less than three. Where the Branch is of sufficient size it may divide itself in agreement with the DC or EC. The Branch shall elect officials who will be responsible for the direction of local activity.

District Committee:

Where more than one Branch exists within an area a District Committee shall be set up. The DC shall be composed of at least two members from each Branch and shall be responsible for the direction of all activities within the District.

National Committee:

A National Committee (NC) shall be elected at the time of the National Conference composed of twelve members ‑ with at least one member drawn from each area. The National Committee shall have the authority of the National Conference in between such Conferences.

Executive Committee:

An EC shall be elected at the National Committee and shall have the authority of that body in between its meetings. It shall be composed of at least seven members and must meet at least twice a month or when convened by the Secretariat. Each member must have a special responsibility or task.

National Conference:

A National Conference of the membership represented by Delegates from Branches, District Committees, the Executive Committee members and other units as formed from time to time shall meet at least once per year.

The members or delegates from the EC and DCs shall be present in a consultative capacity, though they may be elected as Branch delegates.

Resolutions for the National Conference must be in the hands of the EC at least two months before the Conference and must be submitted to the membership not less than six weeks before the Conference. Emergency resolutions and amendments may be submitted up to the time of the Conference itself.

No binding mandate can be imposed on any delegate. The decisions on all questions shall be by a simple majority.

Special Powers:

A Control Commission can be elected by the National Committee as and when required. In the event of an emergency the National Committee shall have power to amend the Constitution.

Membership Contributions:

Member's dues shall be a minimum of five shillings per week except in special cases where they may be fixed at a higher or lower level by the Branch Treasurer in agreement with the National Treasurer. In addition to the basic dues members will be required to contribute at least six pence per week for the International.

Members two months in arrears shall not have the right to vote. Members three months in arrears shall be considered lapsed after due notice from the Treasurer.

Two‑fifths of the dues shall be retained by the local Branch, three‑fifths shall be sent to the National Treasurer.

Branches shall issue monthly reports of finances. The NC shall submit a balance sheet of all finances to the National Conference.

Democratic Rights and Discipline:

All decisions of the governing bodies are binding upon all members and subordinate units. Any member violating these decisions shall be subjected to disciplinary action.

While co-operating in the carrying out of all democratic decisions all minorities have the right to present their viewpoint within the organisation, verbally and by means of the Internal Bulletin.

Any member subjected to disciplinary action is entitled to appeal to the higher bodies and to the National Conference, the disciplinary action is meanwhile upheld. Members also have the right to appeal against the decision of the National Conference to the governing bodies of the Fourth International.

All officials of the party shall be subject to recall by the body appointing them. All property of the party vested in trustees and such shall be under the complete jurisdiction of the party.

All members holding public office, paid or otherwise, shall come under the complete control of the party and its organs.

All members of the RSL are required to enter the mass organisations of the working class under the direction of the party organs for the purpose of fulfilling the aims of the party.

Adopted by the National Conference March 1962.
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