John MacLean 1917

To the Russian delegates in Great Britain

Source: Copy of a letter found in the briefcase of Rosanoff, and addressed to “The Russian delegates in Great Britain” 42, Auldhouse Road, Newlands, Glasgow, July 24th, 1917;
First published: in English translation, by the Marxists Internet Archive, 31 August 2011;
The following letter from John Maclean was seized by the French security services, and found by Scott Reeves in the British National Archives. File number HO 144/17487. It is similar in some ways to his “Demand Petroff’s Release” (letter) The Call, 2 August, 1917, p.3;
Translated: from the French by the Ted Crawford and Harry Ratner.

Dear comrades,

Please pass on to our comrades of the Russian Workers and Soldiers Council my thanks for the two telegrams which have been sent on to me. I only received the letter that you sent to me from Petrograd on the 26 June which arrived in London on June 29. I was released from prison June 30.

I am certain that the telegram from my Russian comrades showing the British government that its brutal tyranny has been closely followed in Russia by my socialist comrades has greatly contributed to my liberation by a Government forced to release me before it intended “in order to maintain calm.” All class conscious workers on the Clyde recognise that and I am certain that all join me in thanking you not only for your work involving myself but also for your powerful efforts relating to the establishment of the Great Social Revolution of the world.

In your foreign work you attack the Capitalist Government of Great Britain which has interned my comrade Peter PETROFF because he helped me in my socialist work on the Clyde from November 1915 to January 1916 and which still refuses to free him and his wife despite public and private representations to the Secretary of “Stome” and to the Government.

I take full responsibility for all the actions of PETROFF on the Clyde and can assure you that all was done from a purely international working class standpoint without the least German influence. The British government has more reasons to intern you now that you are on British territory, than it had to intern Petroff because your attempts to approach the British workers and soldiers are more dangerous to Capitalist Britain and its laws and control than any agitation by your compatriot Peter PETROFF.

I hope that you will make personal representations to our government to secure the immediate release of Petroff and his wife. With my best wishes for the success of the revolution in Russia and its extension of workers will be able to expand power to the workers throughout the world.

(Signed) John Maclean.