Friday, November 19, 2010

Weakness in the London Labour Movement 1928



"Two special weaknesses appear to afflict the London Labour Movement. One is insularity and parochialism. In many cases wild horses cannot drag people just over the border into another constituency. The other is a refusal to come up to the scratch unless the candidate, or the circumstances surrounding the fight, are of a spectacular character".


Referring to David Moss electoral fight for the ILP in Marylebone April 1928

"During the week end before the poll there was an influx of workers, but Labour men and women have to learn that at that late stage most elections have already been won or lost What we think column ILP New Leader 4th May 1928
In the same edition it was reported that H.H.Champion (1859-1928) (picture above) one of the earliest socialist pioneers, who helped establish the Independent Labour Party had died in Melbourne, Australia. (emigrated to Australia in 1893). "Henry Hyde Champion was a brilliant and restless genius to whom modern socialism owes more than it knows" the other MP who had died recently was George Roberts former Member of Parliament for Norwich "During the greater part of his career Roberts served the Labour and socialist Movement well, but latterly his undoubted gifts were given to entirely alien causes, it was his tragedy that one part of his life cancelled the other" Notes on George Roberts

George Roberts 1868 - 1928

Roberts was born in Chedgrave on 27 July 1868: his parents, George Henry Roberts, butcher and shoemaker, and Ann (nee Larkman) had married in Chedgrave church on Christmas Day in 1867. The family moved to Norwich when Roberts was still a child: he did well at school, becoming a monitor at the age of eleven and thus earning a few pence a week. As was normal at that time, he left school at thirteen, becoming an apprentice to a printing firm.

Roberts soon became a leading trade union man in the city. He was a member of the printers' union, the Typographical Association, and rapidly became president and secretary of the local branch. In 1898 he was elected president of the Norwich Trades Council. Elected as member of Parliament or Norwich in 1906.

ILP Living Wage Policy

The Independent Labour Party (ILP) had passed a resolution at its 1928 national conference at Norwich.

ILP East Northumberland Federation

Met at Bedlington on 23 April 1928 Comrade Joe Taylor, Ashington presiding; a hearty welcome s a visitor was extended to George Elliot, a stalwart of the Blyth Branch of the ILP, who with the able assistance of his wife, helped materially in making possible for Blyth Branch to own their own premises.


Comrade H. Floyd had been delegate to ILP conference in Norwich

Harry Stoddart in due in area week beginning 7th May and will be visiting Blyth and Ashington ILP branches


Partick West ILP had a musical programme provided by a quartet from William Morris Choir of Glasgow conducted by James Houston April 1928

New ILP Branch in Perry Common Erdington February 1928 - branch Sec Seth Samuel 82 Witton Lodge Road, Perry Common, Erdington

Hampstead League of Youth dance Stanfield House, Prince Arthur Ed Saturday 25th February 1928

Bolton ILP organised a nursery school conference in February 1928 with Margaret McMillan as speaker, the attendance was splendid, press gave lengthy account

Salisbury ILP
According to the New leader 24th February 1928

Salisbury Independent Labour Party (ILP) organised three successful meetings in connection with the ILP rural areas campaign. A concert Party taken at each meeting and at Amesbury - in the middle of a military district - a critical audience of 150 turned up. plenty of hostile questions were asked, but it is the first time the ILP has been listened to. At Broadchalk about 100 supported the meeting. At Farley a small village in the wilds, between 40 and 50 were present. Fred Henderson was the speaker at these meetings, and was of enormous help. E Shinwell and A. Shepherd hav

e been to Salisbury itself, and are expecting R.C. Wallhead next month

Note: Is this James "Fred" Henderson born 1867the famous Bradford and later Norwich Socialist and poet who was was a socialist pioneer in Bradford and then Norwich, in his early life he was a journalist. Henderson was arrested for leading with Charles Mowbray in the famous Norwich riot 'The Battle of Ham Run' which took place on Friday 14th November 1887, and subsequently tortured on the treadmill (the last man in England to do so).

The riot and looting of food shops by over five hundred unemployed of Norwich was so called because the first policeman on the scene noted in his note book that " I saw a ham run over the heads of the crowd" In 1902 he became the first Labour representative to serve on the City Council and it is believed that when his wife, Lucy, was later elected they were the first husband and wife team ever to serve together on a local council. Lord Mayor of Norwich 1939-40 The many talks about Socialism which Henderson gave during these Sunday meetings were published and translated into several languages. He died in 1957 aged 90.

New Leader Dundee
The usual Sunday meeting in the Lindsay Street Hall was addressed on February 19 by P.J.
Dollan of Glasgow and Bailie Pat Fletcher of Dundee. Dollan stated the case for the ILP policy as against Communism. comrade Leonard Ord presided. Next week we have a visit from the William Morris Choir of Glasgow

Bradford new ILP Library


Nottingham Independent Labour Party February 1928
Chairman: Gilb
ert Hall Vice Chair: F. Goodey Hon Treasurer Miss M.R, Bird Literature: J. Charlesworth Subscription sec: G. Cawkwell Minutes: Miss P Hartwell Org Sec: Frank Taylor ILP Nottingham Headquarters - Hardie House, 5 Stanford Street, Nottingham

Bellshill ILP
Oldest member John Cummings joined the ILP in 1893 as a foundation member and has been a member of Bellshill branch since 1897, Wiilie Stewart will also be present. Bo'ness meeting of 1,200 with E. Shinwell at the Hippodrome on Sunday night (prior 24 Feb 1928)

Dundee ILP New Leader
The usual Sunday meeting
in the Lindsay Street Hall was addressed on February 19 by P.J. Dollan of Glasgow and Bailie Pat Fletcher of Dundee.

Dollan stated the case for the ILP policy as against Communism. comrade Leonard Ord presided. Next week we have a visit from the William Morris Choir of Glasgow
Lochgelly Women's Group meeting regularly

Montrose ILP

P.J. Dollan the ILP Scottish Chairman addressed a well attended meeting on Sunday afternoon. one of the best known Sheffield comrades is now located in Montrose and is helping the branch North Lanark Fedetarion ILP Meeting held at Kier Hardie Institute, Glasgow David Kirkwood MP spoke, James Carmichael ILP organiser was also present Stirling ILP Miss Jenny Lee, Lochgelly and P J Dollan Glasgow had spoken at recent meetings. Rev Richard Lee of Glasgow .

Frank Crockett has been nominated to the the education Board/ Stranraer ILP Hector McNeil of Glasgow a member of Anderston branch selected as candidate for Galaway Division in lieu of John Mitchell

Mansfield ILP
Presentation to Tom Mellor for his devoted services to the local ILP. Councillor H. Garratt and J. Farmilo CC and J.J. Cantrill Trades Council Secretary

Worcester Independent Labour Party ILP

The week end February 11 and 12 will long be remembered in Worcestershire & Malvern our branch is affiliated to Bewdley divisional Labour party as well as Worcester Labour Party. Mr Gibson of Manchester is our candidate "a long row to hoe". on 11th February 1928 George Lansbury spoke in Malvern, Landsbury and Richard Clements our parliamentary candidate spoke, at the "biggest hall in our city". A Guild of Youth branch was established fourty strong, having distrabuted 4,000 leaflet and supplied half a dozen stewards.

Eastbourne ILP


Mr A. B. Bishop spoke on working class history to 200

Hornsey ILP
V.W. Garratt Vice President of the branch and Dr Dunstan "Is the Communist Party a Mence to the Labour party". A.B. Bishop of Golders Green ILP spoke on the "Socialism by Force or Persuasion"

Poplar ILP
speaker Lucy Cox of the No More War Movement



Portsmouth ILP "Can Democracy succeed" by W. Durman, "The Romance of the insect world" by R.S. Bawl, "Is socialism Biological" by M. Scholfield and "The Politician or the industrialist" by J. Berryman. Comrade A.E. West had been adopted as the parliamentary Labour candidate for Fareham and South Hampshire. the branch of the Guild of Youth is progressing favourably, holding weekly branch meetings with lectures and debates and question nights" 24 Feb 1928


Cheltenham ILP
Visit of George Hicks, Comrade Florence Widdowson also gave an interesting speech, she is well known in the Midlands and is the popular parlimentary candidate

Florence Beatrice Paton (1 June 1891 – 12 October 1976),

Born in Taunton, Somerset, where her father was a railway guard. The family moved to Wolverhampton, where she later became a school teacher. A Methodist lay preacher, she was initially a Liberal, but joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) in 1917. Under her maiden name of Florence Widdowson, she first stood for Parliament at the Cheltenham by election in 1928, and at the 1929 general elction, she contested the Rushcliffe constituency in Nottinghamshire. After her marriage in 1930 to the future Norwich Labour MP John Paton, she stood again in Rushcliffe in 1931. When the ILP split from Labour in 1932, John and Florence Paton stayed with the ILP. They left the following year, and rejoined the Labour Party,

She won the Rushcliffe seat at the 1945 general election, but after boundary changes in 1950, she stood at the 1950 general election in the new Carlton constituency. She lost by only 395 votes

Gloucester ILP
W.T. Stamford MP of the ILP NAC was speaker at the Parkend Empire on 19th February 1928.

Fred Perriman ILP Organising Secretary in the Midlands
, Leonard Ord selection as candidate for East Perthshire, now resident in Dundee formerly of Sunderland ILP - New Leader 24 Feb 1928 Rev Richard Lee candidate for Dumfriesshire is a Unitarian clergyman in Glasgow