John Maclean 1917

Letter to Georgy Chicherin
(USSR People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs)
13 November 1917

Source: National Archives, HO 144/2158 322428/40, 13 November 1917, (368 words) At the very end of Part 2 of the Chicherin file. This letter, now found in the Home Office Archives, may never have been received by Chicherin.
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.

42 Auldhouse Road

Dear Comrade

I regret your unjust internment and trust you'll soon be free. In Glasgow we have formed a Russian Refugee Release Committee for the release of yourself, Petroff, his wife etc. We had a lecture recently by Tom Kerr in Central Halls, Glasgow for funds to help our object. I'm Chairman, Shamess is secretary. We have issued over 1,100 circular resolutions to trade union branches etc in Scotland and we are holding a joint demonstration with the trades council on Sunday first for your release. It will be a ———, I can tell you. I've drafted a circular letter to the press, and will at once draft a leaflet for widespread distribution. Apart from other funds and what we'll get this Saturday I have got over 13 out of the surplus of my own release funds, so that we have enough to go on with. If London makes no move, we'll circulate England as well as Scotland. Last week I had an article on Petroff in the “Cotton Factory Times” to keep up the pressure on your joint behalf. The growing interest in your case is being fostered by a growing interest in Russian affairs. You can rely upon it that we are and will continue to do all in our power on your behalf.

I am running 9 Marxist classes every week with a membership of about a thousand and the members are being kept up to date on your affairs. Macdougall is running 6 classes and is doing likewise. Marxism is growing rapidly and with it then interest in and importance of all connected with Russia, yourself included although you refuse to admit the correctness of Marxism!!!

We are suggesting Marx Centenary in Glasgow next May (1918) and it ought to be a huge success.

Will then in conclusion that your thousands of Scottish friends as well as our committee are wishing you well and a quick release and then that although you may not hear from me, I am always thinking of you and doing all that is within my Power for your immediate release.

I'll forward “Forward” on to you every week.

Yours fraternally
John Maclean