Murphy and Tomsky, 1921


“Comrade Murphy (left) is seen in our photograph, with Comrade Tomski; the photograph was taken in 1921 when the Provisional Committee was set up to prepare for the first World Congress of the R.I.L.U. Comrade Tomski was then head of the All-Russian Council of Trade Unions, and Comrade Murphy was the delegate of the British Shop Stewards.

“It was through the Shop Stewards Movement that Comrade Murphy first became known as a fighter for the workers. He was leader of the 1916 strike of the engineers and of several other engineering struggles. When the Sheffield Workers’ Committee was set up he was the first chairman, and was a pioneer of the National Shop Stewards trod Workers’ Committee Movement.

“Comrade Murphy is a member of the A.E.U., and was at one time a member of the A.E.U. Sheffield District Committee. He entered the Socialist Movement through the Socialist Labour Party, which he left when the S.L.P. refused to line up with the Communist International. He then joined the Communist Party and went as one of the Party’s delegates to the Third and Fourth World Congresses of the Communist International. He started the organisation of the British Bureau of the R.I.L.U. in Britain, and worked at this for some time. He was elected to the Executive of the Communist Party at the Battersea Conference last year.”—The Workers’ Weekly, 1923.