The Worker January 1916
Source: The Worker, No.1, 8, January 1916, p. 2, by anon;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.
In the House of Commons Mr. Lloyd George saw fit to describe as “absolutely untrue” certain statements quoted by Mr. Pringle as having been made at the interview with the Parkhead Shop Stewards.
The answer to Mr. Lloyd George’s denials has been given in no doubtful way by four of the Parkhead Shop Stewards signing an affidavit before a [line corrupted] that the statements quoted are substantially correct. The affidavit has been sent to the Government.
The “official” Press report of Mr. Lloyd George’s visit to Glasgow states that the disorder at the St. Andrew’s Hall meeting, was due to some Syndicalists. In this connection a report appeared in the Glasgow Press stating that the Syndicalists repudiated the suggestion and intimating that their most prominent men, since the beginning of the war, had been assisting the Government.
In case the inference might be drawn from the “official” report that the Clyde Workers’ Committee are the Syndicalists referred to, we reprint a circular letter which we sent out all over the Clyde district before the meeting. It speaks for itself. In addition to that it should be known that during the meeting our members were actively engaged in maintaining order, Mr. Lloyd George from the platform even thanking one of our members, David Kirkwood, for his efforts in that direction.
It was only at the very end, while he was answering type-written questions, that we decided that Mr. Lloyd George was going to talk out the time, and thereby break a promise given to us by Mr. Arthur Henderson, through Mr. Bunton, district secretary of the A.S.E., that we would be allowed to make a statement. We do not know who was responsible for the breach of faith – Henderson or Lloyd George – they can fight it out between them – but we decided to have a hearing, with the result that the meeting was declared over. The circular proves, however, that we were not responsible for the original disorder: –
To the Allied Trades’ Conveners and Branch Presidents.
You will be receiving in a day or so, from your District Officials, tickets for all Shop Stewards, Branch Presidents, Secretaries, and Treasurers, admitting to a meeting in St. Andrew’s Halls on Thursday, 23rd December, to be addressed by Messrs. Lloyd George, R Mckenna and Arthur Henderson.
In the limited time till the meeting, we do not expect that anything will be done officially to make the meeting really effective. From experience of mass meetings we know that very little may cause disorder, and it is imperative in the workers’ interests that this meeting, above all, should be most orderly.
It is only this point of view that prompts the Clyde Workers’ Committee to interfere in the matter. We propose that steps should be taken calculated to prevent any disorder occurring, and we therefore invite you to attend a Preliminary Meeting of Convenors and Presidents only, to be held on Tuesday, 21st December, in the Central Hall, Bath Street (corner of W. Nile Street), Glasgow, at 8 p.m.
(Signed) J. M. MESSER, Secretary.
W. GALLACHER, President.
P.S. – Please inform all other Convenors.