Vanguard December 1918
Source: Dan Irving, Vanguard, December 1915;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.
Sir, In your issue of to-day there appears a report of the trial and sentence of John McClean, of Glasgow, for having in a public speech uttered words against recruiting. The words uttered were said to be “God damn the army. God damn all armies,” Subsequent evidence would tend to lead the public to understand that these sentiments necessarily arose out of the principle of party association and generally represented the sentiments of the British Socialist party. I want to say most emphatically that this is not the case. A large number of our members have willingly volunteered for service, and few of them have already laid down their lives fighting for what they undoubtedly considered to be a righteous cause. As an old member of the party, a member of the National Executive Committee, and a representative of the International Socialist Bureau, I can say that it has always been a cardinal point of agreement amongst us that every nationality has a duty and a right to defend its independent integrity by every means in its power. Britain and her Allies, in my opinion, are only carrying out this obligation of citizenship. Personally, I view McClean’s statement and the evidence given on his behalf as a libel on the British Socialist party. So far as one man may, desire publicly to disassociate the party, and certainly myself, from such a scandalous imputation. – Yours, &c,
St. James’s Hall, Burnley,