Peter Petroff and James D. MacDougall Justice January 1916
Source: Peter Petroff and James D. MacDougall’s reply to the editorial, “Peter Petroff Replies” Justice 27 January 1916, p. 7;
Petroff was now out of prison and this is written from John Maclean’s address;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford
In “Justice” a week or two ago a paragraph appeared the contents of which were directed against me. It was a disgraceful, low, and stupid attack on me with the object both of injuring my political reputation and of assisting the British and Russian authorities in the action they have taken against me.
This paragraph appeared on the same day I was arrested in Fife, where I was to speak at two meetings of miners. At the same time raids were made upon the offices of the Russian Seamen’s Union and the Central Bureau of the Foreign Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. Thus the action of those responsible for “Justice” curiously coincided with the action of the authorities.
Under these circumstances there was no need for me to reply to the Editor of “Justice.”
I attacked the Government at public meetings and in the court, where I had quite a large and representative audience. My moral victory was so evident that any further action on my part against the reptile supporters of the Government would have been a waste of energy” was very pleasing to me. It could do me no harm so far as my reputation in the working-class movement in this country was concerned, or in the Russian movement. As I am still a member of the B.S.P., I was obliged continually to point out my hostility and contempt for those responsible for “Justice.” The attack, therefore, saved me much trouble in that respect. The hostility of “Justice” is now a very good recommendation.
In the issue of this week the Editor takes it upon himself to refer sympathetically to me. This is most alarming and damaging. I therefore hasten to protest against any sympathy coming from that quarter.
I am in Glasgow because here among my Marxian friends I feel quite comfortable.
My imprisonment is due to my Social-Democratic activity, which is here of the same nature as it was in London. My London activities are too well known to the Editor of “Justice” and to Hyndman, who called upon the Government to protect him against my arguments. – Yours faithfully,
42 Auldhouse Road,
January 17, 1916.