Hyndman Justice January 1916

The Imprisonment of Petroff

Source: an unsigned editorial, Justice, 13 January, 1916, p. 4, almost certainly by Hyndman, replied to the letter from John MacLean, published on 30 December, 1915;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.

We are heartily sorry for the predicament in which Peter Petroff is now placed, through failing to report himself as an alien on his return to Glasgow from Fife. We consider that those responsible for his work on the Clyde are to blame for the imprisonment to which Petroff has been condemned. To bring an alien into a district such as the Clyde for the purpose of stirring up opposition to the Munitions Act is simply to play into the hands of the authorities, and to render his position a serious one. We say unhesitatingly that, in times like the present, opposition to the acts of the Government must come from the people of the nation concerned, and not from those of other nationalities, if it is to be effective and above suspicion. This remark, which is true in every particular, must not be taken as suggesting a belief that Petroff is in any sense an agent or emissary of an “enemy” Government, and it is astonishing that any of his friends should have read such an idea into our note of December 23. We are certain that Petroff believes thoroughly in everything he says and does. But we say again, as we said last week, that in view of the dangers to which refugees here may be exposed to-day, it is essential that care should be exercised, not only by themselves, but by those responsible for their movements and what they say or do.