John MacLean Internet Archive                                                    Transcribed by the John MacLean Internet Archive

Maclean in Cumberland

by John Maclean

Source: The Call 4th February 1919, p. 4 (297 words)
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Copyleft: John MacLean Internet Archive ( 2007. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

On Sunday January 30th the members of the Discharged Soldiers organisation were summoned by bell in Workington and by 28 votes to 21 it was by decided to disturb my meeting on the Monday evening. The police and the local Co-operative manager were communicated with, the result being the cancelling of the Cooperative Hall. I held forth on Hagg Hill Square, but was interrupted by a number of hooligans supplied with free drinks, who, after a struggle, in which policemen and plainclothesmen stood stock still or helped the rioters, pulled away the lorry I stood on. I jumped down into the midst of the audience and began my lecture, but soon the police superintendent asked me to stop as he had a document to read to me. I went off with him, and in the main street got him to read his Proclamation before a good crowd, The meeting was banned under D.O.R.A. at the instigation of a J.P. I returned to my lodgings, but the comrades held a record meeting. The people realise that it was a police game, as the Treasurer of the Discharged Soldiers’ Federation is an ex-policeman now working at the local Labour Exchange, and public feeling next day was all on our side. I have addressed an open letter to the Workington workers and expect as a result a revolutionary workers’ movement.

The same game was intended to be played against me next night at Whitehaven, Anticipating this, my Workington comrades deceived the police into believing that the Whitehaven meeting was going on in the open air (since the Oddfellows’ Hall was cancelled), whilst a meeting was meantime arranged at a mining village called Clifton. This meeting was a great success and a Cumberland miners’ unofficial movement was started anew.