Friday, June 14, 2013

"Tramp Trust Unlimited" - Socialist Pioneers

In May 1920 Socialist speakers who scorned "respectability" formed the "Tramp Trust Unlimited" , This new organisation was headed by leading Scottish Socialist, John Maclean and four of his loyal lieutenants

Peter Marshall, Alexander "Sandy" Ross, James D McDougall and Harry McShane.

These men were the best "Worker intellectuals" the Scottish working class had produced, nearly all had victimised for their political and trade union activities

They toured or "tramped" (walked between towns, sleeping where they could) across Scotland speaking at meetings and leafleting, demanding support for a "Fighting Programme" which included a minimum wage of one pound a day, a six hour day, full unemployment benefits

John Maclean paid tribute to the Tramp Trust Unlimited, declaring that it was "the greatest insitution Scotland had ever produced".

"In three months it had published, paid for, and distributed almost half a million leaflets"

Maclean stated 

"If there were fifty of us working thus in unison we would put the Glasgow Herald and the robbers of Scotland out of action in six months"

Alexander "Sandy" Ross - from Dundee an ex Glasgow Policeman
Peter Marshall - A Glasgow Post Office Clerk
Harry McShane  - The youngest, had a special talent for political writing
James McDougall - Maclean's chief assistant

John Maclean

The headquarters of Tramp Trust Unlimited was the Old British Socialist Party (BSP) South Side branch rooms in Morrison Street, Glasgow