London Trial, 1909, Indian Sedition Glasgow Sedition Trial, 1921

iUjr^ucti Itux I&W

Edited and Compiled, With Commentary and Appendices By





fn his Foreword to this hook Guy AJdrer) says:—am a rebel. . .. Jamin rel>ell»oit because I *>ro r.o heretic. . . . Actually it is no? heresy, but Truth. Seemingly !• l»vo been in rebellion, and for tJiis I la\e *tood in the dock; worn chain* . 4 . and suffered confinement in underground cell*. In reality those who guarded inc. for tlie sake of their daily broad, were in rebellion. Tbcy were the materialists without faith. . . . They acccptcrf dominion.. ... the dominion of power awl darkness. V . . Poor dull mortals, they warred in vain against the eternal verity."

This i* the rccortf of a lone struggle against dominion of power and darlcnetflt It tells of the battle that is renewed with cach generation. David against Goliath. Youth againat the deadweight of tradition and authority*. For kindred spirits, this is an inspiring episode in the greatest battle in human history*


Th^ printed matter in this oook would normally make 250 images. Tl» publishers tiav<\ produced it in this form to save paper and to keep down costs, so that they can present it to the public at the comparatively low price of 6v* shillings.

Five Shillings



London Trial, 1909, Indian Sedition Glasgow Sedition Trial, 1921

Edited and Compiled, With Commentary and Appendices



Strickland Press, Glasgow, 1948



FORK WORD........




LAW REPORT........

?8 3'

33 37










x. BULLETIN, glasgow xl labour solidarity








5 9



I >




suction' five


the Indian soaouwisr

i. "passing" reflections

ii. sedition!.....'


introductory note - -

I. OUR WORD TO VOU.........- 51

II. H. G. WELLS AND THIi TRUMPET by G. K. Cl«Merli>.. ....


IV. PARLIAMENT IS OBSOLETE by Frank Anrtcy. M.P. - - - - 55


VI. BOYCOTT PARLIAMENT by C. L. Ma tunc, M.P......58



IX. THE LIBERATION OF WOMEN by Lenin ......fti



I. JOSIAH WEDGWOOD..........62



I. GUY ALDREI) IN THE DOCK, 1909......Frontispiece



iv. the red commune ... ..........5«



The Trials of GUY A. ALDRED: for Alleged Indian Sedition, London, 1909; for Alleged Sedition in Britain, Glasgow, 1921. Legal and ordinary reports with full accounts of accompanying victimization.


In May, 1 announced my intention to

collect and to publish my various trials, beginning in Ix>ndon in 1909 and ending in Glasgow in 1931. A generation has arisen to whom this rccord of struggle and agitation i.s unknown. Poverty and other circumstanccs prevented the immediate execution of this intention. The death of Sir Walter Strickland in 1938, and the subsequent tribute I paid to his memory, compelled me to refer to the 1909 trial. This opened at the Law Courts, London, before the Judge In Chambers; proceeded to the Bow Street Police Court; and ended with conviction and sentence at the Old Bailey.

'•No man in bad enough to be sent to a place like this," George Lansbury told a visitor when he was confined for a very short period in the First Division at Brixton Prison. After that he bccame a Cabinet Minister in a Labour Government! but no serious change was made in prison conditions.

Lansbury's conditions were better than those of the average prisoner. 1 have enjoyed those conditions. I have been imprisoned in the First Division in Brixton and experienced Civil Imprisonment in Bnrlinnic. which is the Scots equivalent of the English First Division. But 1 have suffered military detention in Devize*, and endured hard labour conditions in Wandsworth, Wormwood Scfubbs, and Winchester. I have been on remand, an unconvicted prisoner, wilfully and capriciously denied bail, at Brixtftn and at Duke Street Prisons. Also, in the old Calton Prison, Edinburgh. These experiences, and the weary business of facing police court proceedings on innumerable: occasions at the Central Police Court, Glasgow, and Marlborough Street and West London Police Courts, have come to me because of my belie* in the need for Freedom of Speech and Press and the need to play one's part in the great social struggle.

This record of witness for Truth and Liberty, involving in different phases the important issue of unlicensed liberty of spccch and writing must be •divided into two books for the time being. This is book one- It consists of two trials: the 1909

London Trial for Indian Sedition; the 1921 Glasgow Trial for Anti«Parliament*ry Agitation, also called Sedition

My 1909 stand for Indian Independence was justified by the Labour Premier's 1946 declaration. Thirty-seven years before, \ stood alone in asserting the right of India to be free.

Standing in the Dock, I found myself in a Nation-wide Minority of One.

Lawyers and politicians were horrified at my statement that the 1857 Mutiny was "The Indian National War of Independence—crushed for the time." This view will be taught henceforth in Indian schools and will become the acccptod teaching of history.

The 1946 acknowledgment of India's right to ^dependence by the Labour Prime Minister was without ambiguity or qualification. This announcement registered the end of an epoch. With the close of that epoch, the photograph published by the Daily Mirror, London, of me standing in the dock at Ikiw Street Police Court becomes historic.

When the I) fiily Mirror photographer snapped this dock picture, neither lie nor anyone else in court, gating at the prisoner, expected that the day would come in the lifetime of any person then present, when Indian Independence would be recognised. The prisoner was listened to in bored silence, when at Bow Street, and later, at the Central Criminal Court, he announced that he stood for Indian Independence and the freedom of the press in India, en route to that Independence.

The judge, Mr. Justice Coleridge, will live in hi'story as a result of his remarks to the accused, when passing sentence: —

Guy Alfred ASdrtd, you art >ou«g, vita, in* IMM. You lUtle know that other* rtfjrrd your Metemenle far more fecriousty thin tfirry diurM. The t*fllt»ot of ttrfft court Is twrotve month* In the First Ohrtoto*.

There is an icy savagery about these words that merit immortality.

No longer young! And time has shown not so vain and foolish as Mr. Justice Coleridge pretended- The prisoner passed to the cells. The Socialist Movement made no comment, no gesture of solidarity. But thirty-seven years later, the Government endorsed what he urged from the dock amidst othcial scorn and studied neglect by the then Labour Movement. The neglect remains even though the scorn may have passed. And, of course, the prisoner meant complete Indian Independence and not theocratic partition of India. The prisoner was genuine as being a thinker and not a politician.

I include both the legal and ordinary pre** reports of the tqog trial. Mr. Justice Coleridge's definition of sedition in hi* summing up became an important legal ruling. It was quoted considerably in "the trial of the twelve" members of- the Communist Party, which opened at the No. i Court, in the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, on Monday, November i6, 19^5. Harry Pollitt, J. R. Campbell, and William Gallacter defended themselves. Sir Henry Slcsscr. afterwards elevated to the Bench, and the late YV. R. Pringle, M P., defended the other defendants between them. Sfesser founded the legal case for the defence on the rulings in cases of John Burns, Guy Aldred, and Sullivan. Sir Douglas Hogg, afterwards Viscount H ml shamf as Attorney-Gcneral, prosecuted, and the late Mr. Justice Rig by Swift ptesided.

The Worker's Weekly, the C. P. organ, for November 27, 192^, carried very full reports of the trials. Court Impressions were contributed by T. A. Jackson, who wrote: —

The counsel work in ret-ays. Sometime* ih< Attorney-G««cral it replaced by Sir Travora Huni|»brrj*. ac*J h* in turn by Mr. P<relral Cl.»rki% Sometimes Sir lienry Sinter is deputised for by Mr. Arthur Hfndcrwfl, junior. Po«'fitt, CampbtJI an J Galiocber wh in turn uk ta a hand.

Slowly tb* work $0*1 00 ... .

Law cxtct ore cited, whole library* grow <m the <h*M bt-iiind fount*! ami on th«- jui^'f. table Famous cam* bringing in a savour ol stirring historical epi*o«Jrs Tom Painecose, with its memory of trie Freoch K\-w>-lotion an*! (M "Klgtui of Man"; Sir Francis BurdHt's caiz. a memory »f Radical •■acitenwnfM with 1he Life Guards clearing Piccadilly with their pistoH; Thomas Cooper's c«je. an echo of th* Chartist days and the MS*CT#d Month" ; T. D. Sullivan's from ih* Fenian days: Jolin Burns' Case f«./m the early days of the S !> F and the unemployed riots; AWrt<J» and Indian

Nationalism; Bowman \ case and Syndicalist .»nt»-iniUtariim. Echoes at tS« past waft fro.n the pagea of Kit -sob*rly-4>ound volumes, quoted in almost casual too«»« by the bewigged aod beguwnrd m«i of thr law.

Do the Jury know tbe btttoiy drama indicated in the legal title "Re* v. Paine" or "Re* v. Sullivan?"

From the Worker's Weekly nummary of Douglas Hogg's speech, I make this excerpt:—

1 ha test cases which Sir Henry Slesser had referred to were those of Burns, Aldred and SutlUan. He would take a test from th« judgment in each ca.v and u*a thcan to sfcom- that these were as he had claimed. . . .

From the judgment in AW red's case tbe Attorney*

Geoeral quoted "the test was the bnguage used euiculato* to advrtrair tHe um: of violeive and its justification."

If thi* argument meant anything at all, it implied that nil mitt-state or anti-authoritarian propaganda, if rigorously and sincerly *tatrd, was outlawed. All direct speech i* calculated in the legal sense of that term to justify someone prote.iting in a violent way. It \% not necessary that violence should he the aim of the writer or speaker. And of course, there may be circumstances under which the Government promote* violence by depriving the citizens of all power of effective constitutional change. The Attorney-General of the time would apply this test none the less blandly to securc a state conviction.

1 pans to my second trial for sedition. This took place in Glasgow in 1921. So lar as I knuw, no legal report exists of th»x trial. It was reported well in the local pre**; in tin* Daily Herald, by the Jater. I.ord Provost Sir Patrick Dollan, who approved and applauded my defence; discussed in the Worker by William Gallacher, now M.P., and John S. Clarke, who wrote well on the matter of prosecution; and in the Socialist, the organ of the Socialist labour Party, by Harry McShane. at that time associated with John Maclean, hut later a member of the Communist Party and National Unemployed Workers' Movement. The bringing together of these various reports is a service to the history of the movement.

I include also the ordinary prc*s reports of the 1921 Trial. These bring out the illegal nature of my arrest "'without a warrant" in t.ondon; the absolute indifference to that Illegality by the Bench and the Crown; the assumption that it was-sufficient for pol»ce 'witnesses to say they knew nothing about the question of Segal or illegal arrest; and the deliberate shelter of these witnesses and the corrupt proceedings by the Judge presiding.

Arising out of this Glasgow trial was the Edinburgh High Court Case of the documents, in-which the Crown lost, and the victimisation of a man who had ordered literature from the Bakunin Press out of sheer curiosity, following an advertisement in the Freethinker. Reports of thcfic incidents are included.

The Daily Mail description of my appearance in the Bow Street dock in 1909 has been reproduced in the preface to Sir Walter Strickland's-famous work, This March of Homicide.

The concluding commentary speaks for itself.

The second part of this work will include the-f olio wing trials: English Court Martial*. 1916-1919; Hyde Park Sedition and Blasphemy Caxes„ 1925 and Hyde Park Free Spccch Owe, 1938; Irregular Marriage Trial, 1916; Birth Control Cue, 1923; the- Shettleston Case, 1929; and Glasgow Free Speech Trials, 1924 and 1931, which I won an law, only for the Glasgow Labour Town -Council to fail to implement the law. This censure applies to the 1.I..P. Councillors, most of whom later deserted the 1.1..P. for the Labour Parly, as well a* to the Labour Party members. Om- day I will deal with this matter thoroughly.

The keynote of this record is to be found in G. K. Chesterton's remarkable book on Heretics. Although Chesterton writes with amusement and sophistry he utters much profound truth and his wit is something more than metaphysical playacting. 1 accept his introductory remarks on the importance erf orthodoxy and rejoice particulaily in the following sentence: —

In iiMrmn dAj* the l*rctic w*s proud of not beinl a i*rfli«\ Jl wa* |lr• Kingdom* of il»%* Wrltf mul lh«- pO«C% «Oil who hwrticfc He wa» orthodox.

I believe in those former days and in the spirit of those days my life has been a challenge to the kingdoms of the world. 1 am in rebellion because 1 am no heretic. I accept the classification of heretic and avow what is termed heresy dogmatically. Actually it is not heresy, but Truth. Seemingly I have been in rebellion and for this 1 have stood in the dock; worn chains on railway platforms; and suffered confinement in underground cells. In reality those who guarded *ne in the dock and, for the sake of their daily bread, kept me in confinement lest my voice reach the common people, were in rebellion. The> were materialists of power without faith, and had no understanding of the invisible forces that make for liberty and progress. They accepted dominion, the dominion of pouer and darkness; and have no sense of the power of light. Poor dull mortals, they war/ed in vain against the eternal verity.

Somewhere dormant In their official breasts is a soul, a genius for life. One day this genius will

• fnthuxe and they will become dynamic personalities instead of being static public officials of the dead kingdom of Satan. As they awaken I shall feel a great compassion for them in the stirring and agony of their re-birth. And then—my work will have been done. Few of the word* 1 have written or spoken will matter for they will have become commonplace. All men will accept them. But my struggle, the fact that I lived, lived in splendid isolation an acclaimed heretic, will matter. I shall have been a light in the darkness, revealing unto man the simple, but little understood fact that he has a soul; a mortal soul that is the lord

• of the universe, the spirit of eternity, the enemy

of despots, the eternal social republican and sovereign individual. And the world will pay astonished tribute to mc for my orthodoxy and be amazed that 1 was denounced and persecuted for heresy. It may be nuccs^ary then for some further heresy to arise. 1 trust not. For I want harmony to prevail one day and discord to depart from the earth for ever.


Glasgow, August, 1948


London Trial, 1909, Indian Sedition


Guy Alfred Aldrcd, aged 22, 35 Stanlakc Road, Shepherds Bush, was charged on a warrant before Mr. Curtis Bennett, at the How Street Police Court, on Thursday, August 26, 1909, with writing, printing, and publishing "a certain scandalous and seditious libelM in the* Indian Sociologist for August, 1909. The defendant conducted his own case throughout, whilst A. H. Bodkin appear* ed for the Treasury,

In opining the ease for the prosecution, Bodkin stated that the prosecution was one that had been commenced by the At torney-General for an offence of a public character and of a serious and important nature. It was commit ted deliberately by the defendant after warning, and not committed by him merely as a printer, but coqimitted by him as a printer and as a writer of some of the seditious matter contained in the publication. The defendant was connected with the Bakttnin Press. He held Anarchist views as appeared from the issue of August, 1909, in respect of which thi* prosecution had been undertaken, and he was a person who was known as the associate of Anarchists in London. The Indian Sociologist was a paper which appeared to have reached its fifth volume. It was described as an organ of freedom, and of political, sociat, and religious reform. It was edited by Krishnavarma from Paris, and was publishrd for the express purpose of advocating what was called Indian independence, and in furtherance of the Indian Nationalist movement. It was patent, as far as the pages of the paper were relevant to the case, that there was preached, doubtless from the pen of Krishnavarma, to a large extent, doctrines intended to bring about the absolute subversion of the Government of His Majesty in the Empire of India, and advocating and urging those upon whom appeals of that sort would be likely to have an effect to take all means to throw off what was called the alien yoke, means including orising, violence, murder, and assassination. In May, June, awl July, 1909, the paper was printed by Arthur Fletcher Horaley of Manor Park, who was arrested, tried, and sentenced on the very same day as Dhingra was sentenced. Proraiiieoce was given to the trial and to the remarks of the Lord Chief Justice in passing sentence, and thus any person who after that date did what Horsley had done had the most ample and open warning that this sort of.printing and publication of seditious matter could not be regarded as otherwise than committing a very serious brcach of- law.

In July, a prominent Indian official was murdered in London by the man Dhingra, and it was borne in on the minds of all thinking people that the promulgation of seditious matter sometimes led to very terrible consciences. In spite of the awful occurrence in July, the prisoner, in the August number of this paper, put himself forward as the advocate of a Free Press. About August 20. this issue came to the knowledge of the police, and copies were applied for and obtained. It bote the name and address of the prisoner as printer and publisher. As soon as its contents had been sensed by the authorities, they decided to act promptly. It was thought quite possible that, under the Newspaper Libel Act, this paper might fall within the dcfimiion of o newspaper, and on Wednesday, August 25, Mr. Justicc Hamilton, sitting in Chambers, granted leave to serve a summons on the defendant, calling upon him to show cause why he should not be prosecuted for libel as the editor ami person responsible for what had appeared. The defendant appeared before the Judge in Chambers, and failed to show cause, Mr. Justice Hamilton making an order sanctioning the prosecution. A warrant was immediately applied for and executed, and at the defendant's premises 396 copies of the paper were seized.

The publication's contents on many pages were redolent of sedition. Tho accepted definition of sedition was the publication verbally, or in a document, of any mattei intended to, or calculated to bring into hatred or contempt, or excite disaffection against the peison of His Majesty, the Government, or the Constitution of the Kingdom, or the adrainatration of justice, or to excite His Majesty's subjects to attempt, otherwise than bj lawful means, to alter any matter that was by law established, or to raise discontent or disaffection among His Majesty's subjects, or to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different classes. There could be no doubt that a serious attempt had been made to raise discontent and disaffection among His Majesty's subjects.

Counsel then proceeded to call evidence of arrest.

Chief Inspector McCarthy, of New Scotland Yard, confirmed the statements of the Counsel bearing on what the prisoner had stated, etc., when arrested, adding that when asked where the Indian Sociologist was printed, the prisoner replied: "I must not give other people away," and refund to give any information on this score.

At this stage the case was remanded until Satur* day, August 28, when Chief Inspector McCarthy, of the spcc<al branch, New Scotland Yard, was recalled. He said it was part of his duty to keep observation on and attend meetings of Anarchists in London. He had known Aldred for about 2J years, and had seen him at such meetings, and had heard him speak at them. Defendant held the views of a philosophical rather than violent Anarchist, and his remarks were of a theoretical rather than violent kind. The witness had never heard him advocate violence. Defendant had never suggested that it was necessary for any individual members of the meetings he addressed to. indulge in any form of assassination, but had said that it was necessary the pcoplo should be educated, and subsequently there would take piacc what the defendant termed "the social revolution." The defendant advocated what was called a general strike—anarchy through industrial conditions- Everybody would lay down their tasks and do nothing until the millenium arrived. So-that by revolution, as expressed by the defendant, he had always understood some future occurrence which would take place after definite education, and not necessarily a violent uprising. When the witness arretted Aldred, the latter produced certain post cards and letters he had received from Shy a ma ji Krishnavarma dated from his address in Parts. In a letter of July 30, was the phrase: —

I Approve of your iJ^n of reprinting portion* of th<5 prd<*culftj numba* of my paprr ami thf r«priitce<l portions with any remark* may make thri;:on may be circulated along with the "!n4i:«i Soctotigi*r "without mention (hat it ift a sopptern'ot.

A police officer, named William Sauge, of the C.t.O. Special Branch, stated that he called at the accuscd*5 house on Saturday, August 21, and failed to secure a copy of the Indian Sociologist-He represented himself as a private person interested in the movement. Acting under the in-felruciiuiLs of Chief Inspector McCarthy, he then wrote; on Sunday, the 22nd, the following letter to the defendant a! his Shepherd's Bush addre.vv— "As I notice that you have taken charge of the publication of the Indian Sociologist, I should feel gtad if. you would kindly forward me four copies of the same, and oblige, your faithfully, Thomas W. Hudson." He enclosed six penny stamps, and received the lour copies -is requested. He: did not think that, if it was true that the publication was of a seditious character, he was inciting the defendant to commit a deed against the law of the land by writing a letter in a false name after hr had failed to secure a copy by falsely representing himself to be a friendly inquirer. He could not give any opinion as to whether it was a rrime to incite a person to distribute a seditious paper, or what was called a seditious papc. He had not given a second thought to what it meant to incite a person to commit a rrime.

The prisoner heie scornfully indicated that his cross-examination ot this witness was at an end by sharply turning to the magistrate with a sarcastic; "I think that will do, your worship."

Detective-Sergeant Brust stated that he wrote for a dozen copies of the Indian Sociologist for "himself and a few friends" on August 24, ami received them by post the following day.

I>etrctive-Sergeant McLaughlin said that he hud kept I he defendant under observation foi some months past. Mr had known him as an Anarchist. He had heard him address meetings dealing with general political affairs, but not on the subject of India. He had heard him treat of imperial affairs, however, although not of India directly. He had never heard him suggest political assassination or violence of any immediate kind at tbest meetings. So far as the witness had observed, the defendant had always nctrd straightJy and uprightly, and had not sought to evade observation.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

Accused then made the following


In the first place, t wish n> pIcAd"Not Guilty "to counts in Chi* irutidnvat. In the v.*c«>nd pfnee. I 6?*W» if I may, to point out, so far as the evidence aJrrady adduced is concerned, and a1*o the op»«oinH remarkt for the Ticajuiy, that the prosecution is one of matfee, conspiracy arxJ calculated misdirection; and 1 object eo an immediate committal to th? sessions on the ground that such committal u-ould be one of indecent bust*, likely to make for a n*n»«ecur*ment justice. So far a* the que*i®on of mtttc* and conspiracy is concerned, f win pass chat, b^jc for the mnmenf. to return to St immediately. So far a* the queMion of cnlculfted mis-dirrrtK»n is cnncrrn-il. ] will direct the Court'* attention to what Mr. Bodkin, lor the Treasury, described at tho accepted definition Of sedition. That definition ronda as foltowsSedition is the publication verbally oc ro a -iocunvoc of an> mar far inttndfd to, or calculated to bring into hatred or contempt or excite disaffection against the person of His Majesty. the Cowiwwif. or the Constitution of the Kingdom, Or the administration of justice, or to excite His Majesty's subjects to attempt, otherwise than by lawful means, to alter any matter that was by law established, or to raise discontent amcng Ills Majesty's subjects, oc to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility among different classes. Like so many other <t«*(iTiitioei*f of ^edition, or, for that matter, ot any subject* which seem at first to b* thorough and correct, when >ubmitted to a little analyses, thie definition i% to h* panicular'y void of meaning, and* to be one that is likely not only to le;»d to the apprehension of any person who k know An an*rchitt, but for that matter, alvo to *ny person who ventured to justify the decapitation of King Charles I. Were it to be defined as an offence against Ills Majesty'* prrton only, it might le-ad to an entire abrogation of the present constitution inasmuch a* that constitution is the outcome of the middleclais upiii ng nf Cromwell againtt absolute monarchitm, which rc-jul'.-ft in the netting up of the Resolution dynasty of William and Mary- In so far. thct'fore, as thi* defini-tk>n d^criUxC sedition os being an endeavour calculate! to brir.g into contempt, «c., it may lead to political barrassmrnt and misapprehension on the part of the loyal ami faithful subjects of tbe realm, since, should the King which I don't for a moment suggest—to usurp the functions of the Common*, sedition wouk) be the condition in which both the King's supporters and the supporter* of the Common* wi>uld find themselves, according to the point of the virw. For the rest, ! do not think—

Mr, Curtis Bennett, the magistrate, who frequently interposed during the speech for the defence, now xaid: l€You must try to put it rather short. This is really showing no defence. I cannot allow you to go on for ever in this strain. What is your defence to thi* charge?" The magistrate followed up thia remark by moving from his scat to exchange some remark* with Mr. Bodkin. The defendant waited calmly throughout thi* interruption, and when the magistrate had resumed hi* seat, after laughing and chatting with Bodkin, he proceeded to resume the thread of his discount as though no interruption had taken plact::

— that anything I* likely to create such disaffection a* th<- of non-sacredrwM. of one's private fetters. Now.

in thin case, whi* it ha« b*en admitttxl by tha polk* that my character is quite good, and that t am upright, the authorities have caused to he *nt to me certain private letter* which afterwards formed the basin of the prosecution. This, I suggcM. is more likely to cause serious incitement to anti-constitutional mxthods by p*opk who do not view thing* in the *dOM philosophic way as myietf than any activity of mine W<r# the individuals who did this not agents for the police, and wns Ih^lr action aimad at the- overthrow of some fitabliihpd authority, it would, Ugally as well as morally, be «ie*crib<sl as a conspiracy. The "fact that I am only an ordinary subject of the** realms should secu/o to nv the Justice as if I was

an established authority. If this be *>. the f»tf that I am a victim of this ronspiracy does not make the incitement—

The magistrate again intervened by saying this was not to the point, the prisoner replying: 44By thus dealing with this definition and the question of a conspiracy, I shall get directly to the point of the charge." This comment the magistrate over-ruled, by saying thai the defendant was wilfully wandering from the point of- the charge. The latter now somewhat tartly replied: "Wdl, if I am beating ahout the bush, you have only yourself to bfame for allowing Mr. liodkin to lose himself and live court in the wood*. I am only following him." On the magistrate again interposing, the accused, amid .tome "hear, hears," from the well of the court, said: "Very well I have secured my object* In that case 1 reserve my defence.'* He was then committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court, bail being allowed in 100 himself and two sureties in £50 each, or one in ;£I00.

The sureties were not forthcoming until Friday, September 3, when the defendant was released from Brixton Gaol, where he had spent the interval.

The case came on for irial at the Central Criminal Court on Friday, September 10, before Mr. Justice Coleridge. Two days piior to this, in charging the Grand Jury to bring in a true bill against the accused, the Recorder of London, Sir Forrest Fulton, stated that l»oth Krishnavarma ami the defendant had been guilty of writing and publishing "a great deal of dangerous and pestilential matter."

When the trial came on before Mr. Justice Coleridge, the prosecution was represented by Sir William Robson (the Attorney-General), his Junior Counsel (A. H. Bodkin), and an array of other counsel. The accused here, as at the Bow-Street Police Court, conducted his own defence.

In reporting the case at the time, the Daily Ex-press stated that he was "boyish and defiant throughout," that he followed the case with keen interest, and "delivered a Hyde Park oration from the dock." The Globe stated that he was perfectly calm and self-possessed, but defiant. The entire capitalist Press commented on his youthful Appearance.

In opening the case for the prosecution the % Attorney-General was careful not to repeat his junior counsel's definition of sedition which form-" ed so prominent a portion of the case for the prosecution before the Bow Street magistrate. This omission was quite noticeable. His speech otherwise proceeded along much the same lines as those along which Bodkin's police court effort liad developed. He stated that the defendant wiote offering help and sympathy to a man who was avowedly defending murder of the wor*t kind, and who

had brought down upon himself the reprobation: of all decent persons in every civilized community. It might be said that Krishnavarma and the defendant—as the men who had advanced and expounded such a creed—were not only responsible for the death of the victim who happened to be slain by Dhingra, but also for the death of the murderer whose life was taken in obedience to the accessary law.

The Attorney-General then proceeded to cite quotations from the defendantcontributions to the columns of the Indian Sociologist. Defendant h id contributed a column of Passing Reflections above the initials "G. A. A." and seven column* of closely-printed matter, headed Sedition, under his lull name. In the passages thu* quoted, defendant declared the existence of the Government to be "a conspiracy against the liberty of the people," or, in other words, "it matter of high treason." He declared that "Prosecution for sedition was anti-constitutional"; stated that, "according to all the laws of jurisprudence, India, in its relations with England, was in a slate of natureavowed "that the British Government glories in its association with the Czar, the cowardly murderer of many, whilst executing Dhingra, the political assassin of one" ; eulogised Krishnavarma as being "a modern incarnation of the much-abused Marat," possessed, as such, of "the same political insight, same uncompromising proclivities and thoroughness"; but confessed that, in his opinion, the workers had nothing to gain as an international oppressed class from identifying themselves with the cause of Indian Nationalism. He remaikcd, however, that it was the duty of the English military rank and file to refuse to bear arms equally against the Indians, the Egyptians, and the class from which they (the military) were recruited at home. The defendant also wrote: —

Bccearia ha? d*nouf>CTd as barbarous the formal 0;«ge*ntry attendant on the public murder «*< individuals t»> Governments He f*c* in these cruel formalities of justice, a cloak to tyranny, * MCrtf language, a solemn veil, intending! to conceal the sword 6y whtefi we are v.tCt«Dced to the insatiabl* idol of despotism. In the «x*w cution of Dhingra that cloak will t»c publicly worn, that secret language spoken, that solemn veil empioytd to eotCMll tlie %wo*d of lmp4*UUsm by which we are sacrificed to live insatiable idol of modern despotism. whose ministers are Cromer, Curron, Mortey & Co. Murdnr— which they would represent to us us an horrible crime, when the murdered U a Government flunkey—we see practiced by them shthout rtpftrgnancc or remorse when the murdered »• a working man. a Nationalist pat/lot, an Egyptian fellaheen, or a half-starved victim of despotic society's blood-lust. It was tea at FVathcrstone ond Den-shawai; it has often b«n so rt Newgate- and i« not w with Robert Emmet t. the communards. ;»nd the

Chicago martyrs. Who is more reprehensible than the murderers of these martyrs? The police spies who threw

the bomb at Chicago: the H*d hoc" which murdered innocent Kgyptiafu at Ifenshawni: the A»quiit» who assumed full responsibility for the muidei of worker* a! Fe*iherit«vn»); the usmiai of RoU.rt Emnvtt? Yet murderers have nor h-'no executed! Why then *houM Dhiogra be Because he is not a lira curving

executioner, but a Nationalist patriot who. though his ideals are not their ideals, is worthy of the admiration of those worfetrs at home, who have as little to jg;*in from the Uek-spliuJing crew of Imperialistic Mood-swcking, capital-•ist parasite* at homewhat the Nationalist* have in India.

These parages, the Attorney-General urged, proved the serious nature of the seditious incitement of which the defendant had been guilty, especially when one remembered the excitable temperament of the Indian population to whom it was addressed.

The case for the prosecution wa.-» now brought to a conclusion by a repetition of- the evidence that has already been recorded a* having been given during the police court proceedings.

The defendant declined to call witness** or to go into the witness-box himself. But he remarked that he wished to address a short speech to the jury for the defence.

'I his speech lasted fifty minutes, and included, of course, a good deal of matter of but transient value. Its most important passage was the following: —

l t»AV4- no apology d> make either for my attitude to-wards Krishnnvaroia," or foe what I have written with reference the Indian qu-stioo. I claim the absolute fiecdom of the Prw, the absolute right in |Kib?i%h what I like, when I like. where I like. Th* mil) condition on which I can &«tir* thai right av a |>r«»l.-t.*itthinker i* that I shall secure it (or tlie Indian Nationalist Patriot. Krishoavorma. I can only do that by maintaining, .it the imtich Of n»> own liberty, th»» /rvodom of the Indian Nationalist Pre**. even where I may nut agree uith its principle*. Krlshaavarma his been denounced by the Acto*n«y-4icn»>tal a* "a criminal resident 5n Paris." Apparently that gentleman means he doe* not stay in London to being transported to Indi*. Sir William Knhvjn known that «f Kf&hnavarma is a" Criminal" he can be estrftdftcd. Why is his extradition not applied for? bfrcouw! the Attorney-* iencral u rvptfttlftg in (hi* pre-juJu>:d Court in safety that which would not dare to cxpr«:<* A* mi ordinary citizen in Paris, (taitlcmen of the jury, I do not wish to h-* harsh with the prosecution, hut. if you condemn KrisfcrWH'ftrfti* for not coming to London, you cannot acquit the Attorney-Oocr^l lor not going to Paris.

Referring to what is described by English writers as "The Sepoy Mutiny" or "The Indian Mutiny," AWrcd said that it would he described by future historians as "The Indian War of Independence/'

The Attorney-General now replied for the prosecution, after which the judge addressed his summing up to the jury, who returned a verdict ot '•Guilty" without retiring. The following-colloquy now ensued between the judge and the defendant:—

Justice Coleridge: "Have vou anything to


Guy Aldred: "Nothing, my Lord, except that I desire no mitigation of sentence."

j.C. (mildly surprised): "Is that all? Have you nothing else to say?"

G.A.: "Nothing, except that I do not advocate political assassination."

J. C. (passing sentence): "Guy Alfred Aldred, you are young, vain, and foolish ; you little know that others regard your statements far more seriousiy than they deserve. Ihe sentence of this Court is twelve months* imprisonment in the First Division."

The defendant then left for the cells below, prior to departing for Brixton Prisoo, where he served his sentence. Before leaving for Brixton, hpwever, he was allowed to see his comrade and companion. Rose Witcop.

The authorities at Brixton treated him with every consideration. He was released from gaol on Saturday, July 2, 1910. It may be mentioned that Mr. Justice Coleridge passed live highest possible sentence that the law permitted.


THE JUSTICE OF TUB PRACR Report, February 12, 1910. Vol. LXXIV. A simitar report appears In Cox .


September 10, 1909.

(Before COLERIDGE, J.)


Criminal law—Seditious libel—Attempting to alienate the allegiance of the Indian native liege subjects of the King—Publication of document calculated to stir up discontent and unrest among his Majesty's liege subjects-Definition.

.4. ira i indicted for printing and publishing a seditious libel, lit the form of a newspaper attempting to stir tip and excite discontent and unrest among his Majesty's luge subjectsand to alienate the allegiance of the Indian native Huge subjects of the King, and to cause it to be believed that it was justifiable and commendable to resort to political assassination with a view to liberate India from the government of the King.

Jleld, that whott&r by language cither written or spoken incites or encourages others to use physical force or violence in some- public matter connected with the Slate is guilty of publishing a seditious libel. The accused may not plead the truiJi of the Mate* mcnts that he makes as a dcfcncc to the charge, nor may he plead the iiyiocence of his motive.

If the accused publishes the libel, there is no distinction in law between wh;it he writes in it and what any other person writes in it.

The defendant was indicted at the Central Criminal Court for printing attd publishing a seditious libel.

The indictment recited that,.before the commission of the offence charged, one Shyamaji Krishnavarma. was proprietor and editor of a certain publication called the Indian Sociologist, an organ for advocating the independence of India by subverting the government of the King in his Indian empire; that certain previous parts of the said publication contained passages applauding the conduct of ccrtain Indian native subjects of the King who had recently been tried, convicted and executed for murders, committed by them in India and advocating political assassination as justifiable and commendable; that immediately following the publication in England of the July part of the said Indian Sociologist (printed in June) containing the aforesaid passages to wit, on July 1, 1909, one Madan Lai Dhingra, being an Indian native subject of the King, murdered one Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie in London, and was tried, convicted and executed for the said murder; and that one Arthur Fletcher Horsiey was tried for and pleaded guilty to printing and publishing a certain seditious libel contained in the said July pait of the said Indian Sociologist—and charged the defendant with printing and publishing a seditious libel in the month of August, 1909; contriving and intending to stir up and excite discontent and unrest among his Majesty's liege subjects, and to alienate the allegiance of the Indian native liege subjects of the King and to# cause it to be believed that it was justifiable and commendable to resort to political assassination with a view to liberate India from the government of the Kijig; and set out certain passages of the alleged libel (specifying the innuendoes they were -said to contain) applauding the conduct of the said Madan Lai Dhingra in murdering the said Sir William Hutt Cur2on Wyllie, and repeating the aforesaid portions of the July part of the Indian Sociologist. %

The Attorney-General (Sir William Robson,

K.C.), Bodkin, kowlatt and Graham Campbell, appeared for the prosecution.

It was proved in evidence that the defendant's connection with the Indian Sociologist commenced with the publication of the August number. On the conviction o i I he late printer, Hors-ley, for publishing a seditious libel, the defendant communicated with Krishnavarma, the editor and proprietor of the paper, residing in Paris, and volunteered to continue the printing of the paper. And he actually printed the August number and sold copies to, inter alia, detectives who were acting on instructions from the Criminal Investigation Department. That is-sue contained articles by Krishnavarma advocating the principle thai "political assassinatioil is not murder," and proclaiming Dhingra "a martyr in the cause of Indian independent"; it also contained a violent article by the defendant, justifying the methods of Indian "Nationalists."

At the closc of the case for the prosecution, the defendant addressed the jury from the dock, denying that he had ever advocated political assassination or described Dhingra as a hero, and saying that he had printed the Indian Sociologist because he claimed the right of a free press.

Coleridge J., in the course of his summing up to the jury said ^ It is not necessary for me in thi* case to give you a full accurate and comprehensive definition of all that could come under the head of seditious libel, because the prosecution have practically limited their case to one form of seditious libel, and that is, that in a publication for which the defendant was responsible, he used language implying that it was lawful and commendable to employ physical force in any manner or form whatsoever against the government of our Lord the King or towards and against the British liege subjects of our I-ord the King; and the ease has all turned upon that form or species of seditious libel. Nothing is clearer than the law on this head, namely that whoever by language either written or *poken incites or encourages others to use physical force or violence in some public matter connected with the State, is guilty of publishing a seditious libel. The word "Sedition" in its ordinary natural signification denotes a tumult, an insurrection, a popular commotion or an uproar; it implies violetkoe and lawlessness in some form; but the man who is accused may not plead the truth of the statements that he makes as a dcfcncc to the charge nor may he plead the innocence of his motive; that is not a defence to the charge. The test is not cither the truth of the language or the innocence of the motive with which he published it, but the test is this: Was



An Organ of Freedom, and of Political, Social, and Religious Reform*



Edited by SHYAMAJI Kftl&HNAVAftMA. M A. (Oxoa.).


$rihCXIPTlON'SU!|;le « opy . )- Month* is. Gd POM free lo all part* of the world.


In future all Literary Communication*. Ofriin for Tm ———

ImiIw Sortoi.4ir.fH7. and Mor*y, IWal Order* or Cheque*. ____

tbouM be »**< ioSktam.vji K*i*n\avakmi, 10. Aiwioe ingres of tf* pr**t*tft«4 aagum, 1t*» iwt* of tt«

Vaviy. Paris. Franc*. "ladiaa So<iol»tut."

Th« charge for l?:wr> to FftDC* frOW India. Envlaoit, a?*d _

other for*i#n countries. la 2|d. per OOdtf*. The charge for a l>MCard is M.

the language used calculated, or was it not, to promote public disorder or physical force or violence in a matter of State? And I need hardly say that anything in the way of assassination would be comprehended in that definition. That is the test: and that test is not for me or for the prosecution; it is for you, the jury to decide having heard all the circumstances surrounding the publication with the view of seeing whether the language used is calculated to produce the results imputed, that is to say you are entitled to look at the audience addressed, because language which would be innocuous, practically speaking if* used to an assembly of professors or divines, might produce a different result if used before an excited audience of young and uneducated men. You are entitled also to take into account the state of public feeling. Of course there are times when a spark will cause a great conflagration; the effect of language may be very different at one time from what it would be at another. You are entitled also to take into account the place and mode of publication. All these matters arc surrounding circumstances which a jury may take into account in solving the test which is for them, whether the language used is calculated to produce the disorders or crimes or violence imputed. It is quite true, as the defendant has put before you, that a prosecution for seditious libel is some., what of a rarity. It is a weapon that is not often taken down from the armoury in which it hangs, but it is a necessary accompaniment to every civilised government; it is liable to be abused, and if it is abused there is one wholesome corrective, and that is a jury of Englishmen, such as you. Having said this much I should like to aay by way of comment upon a good deal that has fallen from the defendant in the speech that lie has addressed to you—that the expression of abstract academic opinion in this country is free. A man may lawfully express his opinion on any public matter, however distasteful, however repugnant to others if, of coursc, he avoids defamatory matter, or if he avoids anything that can be characterised either as a blasphemous or as an obscene libel. Matters of state, matters of policy, matter* even of morals—all these are open to him. He may state his opinion freely, he may buttress it by argument, he may try to persuade others to share his views. Courts and juries are not the judges in such matters. For instance, if he thinks that either a despotism, or an oligarchy, or a republic, or.even no government at all, is the best way of conducting human affairs he is at perfect liberty to say so. He may assail politicians, he may attack governments, he may warn the executive of the day against taking a particular coursc, or he may remonstrate with the executive of the day for not taking a particular course; he may seek to show that rebellions, insurrections, outrages, assassinations, and such like, are the natural, the deplorable, the inevitable outcome of the policy which he U combating. All that is allowed, because all that is innocuous; but on the other hasid, if he makes use of language calculated to advocate or to incite others to putwc disorders, to wit, rebellions, insurrections, assais-inations, outrages, or any physical force or violence of any kind, then, whatever his motives, whatever his intentions, there would be evide/*ce on wfitch a jury might, or which I think a jury ought, and on which a jury would decide that he was guilty of a seditious publication. The defendant seems to be under some misapprehension in regard to the distinction which he seems to draw between the language written primarily by this man Krishnavarma and the writing put in by himself as the author. In law—whoever wrote it -—if he published, he is responsible for what he published; and there is no distinction in law to be drawn at all if he published this newspaper between what he wrote in it and what Krishnavarma or any other person wrbte in it. In law he is responsible for everything that appears and for the effect of the language which is there published. . . .To whom was it addressed? I understood the defendant to lay wme claim to sympathy or to praise from the fact that the circulation was not urbi ft orbi—not to all the world; This argument that was used by him by way of exculpation—that rt was not published to all the world, that it was only published to persons to whom he thought it was safe to publish it—what docs it mean? Does it mean that he was conscious of the effect of the law upon his action? Did he take care to ensure that the numbers should not fall into the hands of these Indian 14Nationalists" who are, according to the expression, in the paper which I have read to you, prima facie, the readers of this paper

. . . You have to take into consideration all these facts in arriving at your'decision. You are the interpreters to-day of the language used in these articles, and you will say what in your judgment is the effect it was calculated to produce.

Verdict: Guilty.

Sentence: Twelve months* imprisonment as a first class misdemeanant.

Solicitor for the prosecution: Solicitor to the Treasury.


- Glasgow Sedition Trial, 1921



(Gatlaeber (i*ot then M.P.) *ro<e a very human and very feeling account In the "worker." Glasgow. July 30. 1921, under ibe title. "The British White TerrorHe tfave 0 lengthy and powerful description of Scot Land Yard run* the country, rather th*n the Cabinet. Then followed an exposition of the das* struggle. He prodded to detait the trl«L)

Imprisonment oi Communists is now a matter of daily occurrence, and is generally being accepted as such.

The workers look dully on while Freedom is being slowly strangled in the interests of a decaying capitalism, a* though it was something of no importance to them. But dull and apathetic as they may be, there surely is not one of them who makes any claim to manhood or womanhood, but must feel the spirit.of protest arise within him or her at the unspeakable savage treatment that has been meted out to our comrade, Guy Aldred. Think of it! Kept in prison m solitary confinement for over three months while his enemies were plotting and planning to get up a case against him. . . .

Three months to prepare their case, and Aldred a prisoner all that time, and then—what a wretched show they made.

Aldred was accused of advocating violence yet it was not he but his accusers who had the court and its environs packed with police and plain clothes men, all of them armed and ready to use their weapons in the most violent manner at the slightest provocation.

See the Lord Advocate's deputy standing there mouthing empty platitudes about peace and religion, the while he is surrounded by hired gunmen whose principal duty is to retain for capitalism the we;ilth that has been stolen from the worker. See in the dock, supported only by his loyal comrades, McLeish and Jenny Patrick, our comrade Aldred fighting the age-long battle of the slave clans against those who would keep them in subjection. No one could sit in cpurt without recognising the debasing meanness of the accusers and the intellectual superiority of the accused.

In the midst of all this humbug and sham that pervaded the court, Aldred stood out clear and distinct, a man among mannikins.

No one can have more cause to hate the thought of prison than the present writer, yet in spite of all the suffering that it entails I'd rather a thousand times be Aldred with his twelve months1 imprisonment than the Lord Advocate's deputy with the price of his hire.

In attacking Aldred or any other advocate of working-class emancipation, they are attacking not only the individual but the Class the individual represents. The response to the Capitalist "White Terror'* is organisation that will put Capitalism out of business.

Aldred and the others are in gaol, because the class they represent is weak. We are weak because we lack organisation. . . .

Our spokesmen are in gaol, and we are in chains.

We must break the chains and open the prison doors.


(Reprinted from the "Socialist." Juiv 30. 1921. The heading ts the one used by McSha/ie.)

The trial of Guy Aldred, Miss Patrick, D. McLeish, and A. Fleming took place at the High Court, held in Glasgow on the 20ch June. The charge was one of sedition.

The local members of the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Party, on the advice of Guy Aldred, had issued a paper of their own entitled the Red Commune. OnJy one number of the paper appeared. The articles were mostly taken from other papers. Extracts here and there formed the indictment.

The judge was.Lord Skcrrington. Out of a jury of fifteen, eight were women.

Mr. Morton appeared for A. Fleming. Fleming is the printer, and has no connection with the Party.

At the outset, Mr. Morton raised the question of retevancy, but his objections were overruled by the judge.

Among the articles complained of was one entitled Our Word to You. Another was an article Boycott Parliament, by Col. Ma lone, M.P.

Guy Aldred also raised objection to the proceedings. He quoted Lord Justice Coleridge, who stated that a man is entitled to express his opinion on any subject, and that courts and juries were not judges in such matters. He pointed out thai a revolution by a majority wax constitutional. He said further that sedition changed its meaning from age to age. What wa$ considered .sedition at one period becomes part of the constitution at another period. He said that despite these things, the law still remained the same.

The judge overruled all the objections.

Detective-Lieutenant McGimpsey was the first witness. He started off by relating the history of the Glasgow Communist Group. After he had spoken for somfe time, Guy Aldred wanted to know what all this had to do with the charge. McGimpsey also gave evidence regarding a visit paid to Miss Patrick's house.

He was followed by Superintendent Keith and a few other police witnesses.

Evidence was given about a visit to Burnbank Gardens.

Further evidence was given regarding the arrest of Aldred.

Accounts were produced in court to show that there were transaction* between the G.C.G. and Fleming.

Aldred questioned the witnesses frequently and-


One of the police witnesses was questioned closely regarding Aldred's arrest. Aldred asked at what time the warrant was issued for his arrest. The reply was, four o'clock on the afternoon of March the 2nd. The witness did not know that Aldred was in London. A visit was paid the same night, at eight o'clock, to Bakunio House in Glasgow.

AJdrcd then wanted to know how it was that he was arrested in Loodnn the same day at four o'clock. Aid red said that according to law before a man can be arrested in London the warrant must be endorsed by a London Magistrate. The witness said that his warrant was endorsed by a London Magistrate, but Aldred said that was on the 5th March, but he had been in prison from the 2nd.

All the witnesses for the prosecution were police except one young Jady who had been a former minute secretary of the Group. She was called and questioned regarding whether or not Aldred was present on the night on which the Group had decided to issue the paper. She could not say.

Witnesses were then called to testify to the character of A. Fleming. Among the witnesses there appeared a schoolmaster, a clergyman, a doctor, and a Quaker. They all stated that Fleming had done good work among children, and that so far as they knew he would not in any way h^lp in the spreading of sedition! The Advocate Depute questioned them pretty closely regarding the cartoon in the Red Commune.

In the cartoon a worker is portrayed as stamping out crowns, eagles, and several other things representing militarism, and various forms of authority. Among these things is a Bible. The Advocate Depute made the most of that, but Aldred put another interpretation on it which entirely altered the complexion of things.

No witnesses were called for Aldred, McLeish or Miss Patrick.

The Advocate Depute spoke f6r the prosecution. He went over all the sections of the indictment, making the most of every point.

He was followed by counsel tor Fleming, who contended that Fleming wax not responsible. He held that there was no sedition in the paper. He quoted some paits which he said he could not understand, and which could only be described as "a mouthful of words." If there was sedition then Fleming could not be blamed as he was very busy at the time the paper was printed.

He was followed by Guy Aldred.

Aldred at the outset stated that he was defending McLeish and Miss Patrick. The judge said that since he was nor a rnrmb^r of the Faculty he could not do so, but, he said, that his statement h;id no meaning hecause the other accused coujd adopt Aldred's defence as their'own. Aldred-was allowed to leave the dock and face the jury.

He . was easily the smartest man in the court. He stood upright and his voice was clear. Nothing short of a verbatim report would do justice to his speech. He charged the other side with conspiracy and sedition. He quoted legal authorities freely. He pointed out that sedition was not an ordinary offence like murder or theft. It all depended on what interpretation one put on your statements, and it changed with circumstances. He mentioned the fact that some time ago the Liberals raised the cry of "Abolish the House of Lords," and that was not sedition. "If the Lords why not the Commons." He characterised the prosecution as dishonest, and said that honesty was often on the side of the defence. He didn't think it criminal to express his opinion, but it would be criminal to surrended his right to do so. His method was to start a campaign to convert the people by reason. He mentioned that some of the articles in connection with which he was charged had been published previously by the-Forward and the Worker. He asked if the authorities had been sleeping when these article* first appeared. He spoke about the fact that the indictment was composed of extracts from the articles. He said, "When you read a paper, one or two words don't come out and hit you on the eye." Much fuss had been made of the statement in the paper, about making war on the Parliamentary Communists. On this matter Aldrcd quoted the fact that Bunyan always spoke in military terms. He also quoted the hymn. Onward Christian Soldiers. It simply meant 41 'fight the good fight with all your might/ that's what I'm doing at the present time." At one stage he described the prosecution as "futile, stupid sind imbecile." His speech finished nicely. He had stated openly where he stood, and left it to the jury to decide. He didn't 'ask for "not proven," but for "not guilty."

The judge summed up in the usual way. He said that a cartoon is never sedition. He also said that to demand a change of Government by "Act of Parliament" was all right, but any other method was sedition. He ended by telling the jury that they had first to decide whether or not the articles complained of were seditious and if so were the accused responsible. After an absence of a few minutes the jury returned a verdict of "Guilty." The jury were unanimous with one exception.

Mr. Morton asked for leniency for Fleming.

Aldred took full responsibility, and suggested that he should get the heavier sentence.

Miss Patrick said.that she was prepared to tak* her share of the responsibility, and did not desire Guy Aldrcd to take her share of the punishment.

D. McLeish said that he took his share of the responsibility, and had no desire to shelter behind "Comrade Aldred."

Lord Skerrington then passed sentence on all accused. Guy Aldrcd, one year; D. McLeish, 3 months; Miss Patrick, 3 months; A. Fleming, 3 months, and ^50 fine, failing payment of which another three months' imprisonment.


The Daily Herald faithfully followed and reported every stage in the proceedings against me. In this chapter I wish only to record the reports sent in by P. J. Dollan, who was, at that time, Glasgow correspondent to the Daily Herald. DolJan displayed sympathy and solidarity. He may have expected to be Labour Lord Provost some day, but he did not face the fact that he would be a war-time Imperialist lA»rd Provost, and he did not feel an enmity against the extreme sections of- the Socialist movement. He was even indignant at my suggestions that Imperialism was the logic of parliamentarism.

I precede the Doilan reports with the date of the issue of the Daily Herald in which cach report appeared:

Friday, March 4, 1921.


Suqucl to ArticJi la the "Rod Conwnuno."

From Our Own Correspondent.

Glasgow, Thursday.—A sedition case was opened here to-day, when three persons, one a woman, were remitted to the sheriff for trial in connection with an alleged seditious article published ;.n the Red Commune in January.

The accused are Andrew Fleming, a printer; Douglas McLeish and Jane Hamilton Patrick, alleged to be the joint authors of the offending article. ,

The article, the police allege, was calculated "to excite popular dissatfection, commotion and violence to popular authority."

Tuesday, March 8, 1921.


&6Qt*el to Article in tbt "Red Cwmmme."

From Our Own Correspondent.

Glasgow, Monday.—A further stage in the charge against Guy Aldred, Andrew Fleming, Douglas McLeish, and Janet Hamilton Patrick, was reached to-day, when they appeared for a declaration before the Sheriff and were committed for further inquiry. Bail was refused, and all four were returned to the prison.

The charge has arisen in connection with an article in the Red Commune containing an appeal to the Glasgow members to organise its anti-Parliamentary activities so as to give concrete expression to its principles, which article, it is alleged, was calculated to promote disaffection and resistance to lawful authority.

The court was crowded, many being refused entrance.

Aldrcd, in response to the charge, stated he had nothing to say. He will conduct his own defence.

Councillor Rosslyn Mitchell appeared for the other three persons-

Earlier in the day Aldrcd was brought before the police court and was formally remitted to the Sheriff.

Monday. March 21, 1921. .


Ttiret Other Comrmwi^U G rented Bail.

From Our Own Correspondent.

Glasgow, Sunday.—Three of the prisoners, -charged in connection with an alleged seditious article in the Red Commune were liberated on bail yesterday. The bail for Andrew Fleming, the printer, was ^200; and for Jane Patrick and Douglas McLeish, ^150 each.

The I-ord Justice Clerk, however, refused to allow bail for Guy A Id red, who is under arrest on the same charge.

Aldred has bee«l in prison fully two weeks, and it is stated that his trial will not come on for another six weeks yet- Aldred is detained in Duke Street Prison.

Wednesday. May II, 1921.


Swhmi to Raid «n OAkat ef "TUd Spw."

From Our Own Correspondent.

Glasgow, Tuesday.—In a recent raid on The Spur, the paper edited by Guy Aldred, the name of a woman was found on the list of subscribers.

The information has evidently been conveyed to the employers of her husband, who has been dismissed in consequence.

The matter is receiving attention, but it is doubtful if the man will be reinstated.

Thursday. June 2, 1921.


Ta bt Hattf at Clatftw on 4umt 10.

From Our Own Correspondent.

Glasgow, Wednesday.—The trial of Guy Aldred and three others on a charge of publishing an alleged seditious article in the Red Commune—which was originally intended to be held at Edinburgh—has been fixed for the High Court, Glasgow, on June 17. A pleading diet will be held on June 10.

Bail has been refused for Aldred, who has been in prison for almost three months.

Tuesday. June 21, 1921.


Qvy AMr*d on What Cetwlfrtutaa 8e4itran.

Front Our Own Correspondent.

Glasgow, Monday—At a sitting of Glasgow High Court of Justiciary to-day, before Lord

Skerrington. Guy Alfred Aldred, Jane Hamilton Patrick, Douglas McLeish, and Andrew Fkmmg were charged with sedition.

The indictment alleged that between January 1 and February 10 this year they seditiously printed, published, and circulated a newspaper entitled the Red Commune, the official organ of the Glasgow Comuniftt group and affiliated bodies.

Guy Aldred, who was undefended, in a long speech,-held that there was nothing seditious in the statements quoted. His interpretation of sedition was that there must be an active and illegal and violent element in the statement*. To constitute.sedition there must be direct incitement to violence, and this was not to be found in a single sentence in the paper.

1-ord Skerrington repelled the objections and a jury was thereafter empanelled, in which eight women figured.

The hearing was adjourned till tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 22, 1921.


Eloquent Appeal lor Free Speech.

From Our Own Correspondent.

Glasgow. Tuesday.—Guy Aldred, Douglas McLeish, Jane Hamilton Patrick, and Andrew Fleming were to-day found guilty of acting in concert to print and publish the Red Commune, the official organ of the Glasgow Communist Group and affiliated bodies containing alleged seditious articles.

Aldred was sentenced to one year's imprisonment. Miss Patrick and McLeish to three months each, and Andrew Fleming, the printer of the paper, to three months, plus a fine of or a further three months.


In continuation of his defence, Aldred spoke < for a further hour ihis forenoon and in an eloquent pica for free speech said Communism might be wrong, but a free Press wax always right. He reminded the jury that Liberals had threatened to destroy the House of Lords and were not persecuted. If that was proper advocacy it was equally proper to urge the destruction of the Commons as an agency of Government.

Very telling was his reminder of the persecution of Catholics because of their religious beliefs. As ir so happens the judge, 1-ord Skerrington, is a Catholic. .

Aldred also referred to the speeches of Carson and Lord Birkenhead, who, he said, prevented a peaceful solution of the Irish problem, and were responsible for Irish murders. Now these men were Judges!

Aldred also pointed out that he had been 100 days imprisoned, awaking trial, which was longer than the sentences imposed on some coo-victcd of sedition in other courts He was to some extent their main writer, and on that account he pleaded for leniency for his comrades. . , .

The jury included eight women, one of whom was the forewoman.

I have omitted from the last report only details of sentences included in the previous chapter. Since 1939, Dollan has indeotified himself with the class that rejoiced in the prosecution of my comrades and myself.


Reprinted from <b?"Workerorgan of the National Workers Committees. Glasgow, to* Oct1*21. Clarke was editor At that time. Sub»eouently Clarke returned to the Labour Party. Ucam- M.P for Marjhill for a while, acvi then adapted himself to C^pitatitt journalism. I have Attacked Clarke bitterly at limes and have resented his deve!«>pcneoti I hold that he ha* watted or diaaipated hi* ability and knowledge Clarke an-«- r-i my attack* by maintaining an attitude of undiownivhed friendship. In 1M1, he preiented me with a rsir* copy of Carlwright'a "UfMltlvt Rights of The Commonalty Vindicated." published in London in 1777, pr*«*ftt*J the author to tho Committee of Susse», inscribed In the famous Radical's botd writing, and dated "3rd March. 1780.** Also tbe exposure of the *py «j*tem. pursued in Glasgow, IS 16-1520. with the original ietter of Andrew Hardie, published in 1833. Clarice sent a Irtter cf warm friendship with these gifts, accepting my attacks a* facts, and commending my ditclpleship of Richard Garftte. In the "Worker" article reproduced in »>*rt tn-k>w, Clarke recall* the appeals h* wrote and published in th# Worker" for March 12 and March 26, 1921. and later appeals issued by the Anti-Parfianv«l;ir> Group itself. The unnecessary detail* omitted. Clarke cite* thesn only to d<ny the suggestion that he wa* wanting in solidarity. I reproduce the rest of his <si<ivd editorial review-ing the trial and sentence. The title was used by Clark* In the original ankles.

There is a feeling in some quarters that we have not been as sympathetic toward the Aldred-Patrick-McLeish case a* we might have been. Because we did not make any comment when sentence, was passed, we arc suspected of being callously indifferent.....

But the lockout began and E.P.A. commenced to operate. Our readers know the result. Something like one hundred Communists were arrested in different parts of the country slikd sent to jail. £Idred and his friends were tried at the time that scores of others were being similarly tried. For us to have commcntod on each case would have necessitated turning the Worker into a kind of Prison Bulletin or Police Budget. . . .

With this explanation (an Editor has to be con-tinualiy apologising for his existence) let us make some, if belated observations on the ease against Aldred. Whatever savagery a vindictive hatred prompted the ruling class bullies to inflict upoc\ our E.P.A. victims, it apparently inspired them to be outrageously severe on Aldred. They kept him in confinement for four months prior to his-trial, refused him liberty on bail. They gave hint a longer sentence than anyone else. Aid red not only gets no remission of sentence, but will noi enjoy the reduction of the four mouths which he suffered previous to his trial. For the trivial offences he was found guilty of, this punishment is positively monstrous. Not justice, hut blind, bitter hatred sent him to endure the horrors of a Christian prison. Such martyrdom it ha* been his unfortunate lot to bear on several occasions in the past. - *

From our point of view—from your point of view—his political opinions may be hopelessly wrong. This is n point which must catry no weight whatever in our consideration of h»s case and out judgment of his splenetic tormentors. Such opinions are not only held by many, but have been held in the past by the loftiest spirits of the race. We may not a^ree with them, but we have got to agree that their right of expression is as legitimate as our own.a Only bigots think otherwise, and a bigot is always a tyrant. As for his "crime/' it is one that every self-respecting man has committed and intends to commit time and time again,, an attempt to stir up the people until thry realise that the common heritage of Nature and Society is deliberately and systematically thieved from them b> a small section of gilt-edged scoundrels and rapscallions who hire a swarm of flunkeys and brutal bullies to keep the people from realising their own sordid subjection. This is the long and the short of the capitalist-landlord system and the comfortable hogs who thrive upon it. They are to-day as their predecessors were in the time of Christ, a gang of white-washed sepulchres mouthing their stinking hypocrisy the while their carnivorous fangs arc dripping with the blood of women and little children. His alleged crime was that he advocated •'the preaching of sedition." We say "alleged" because we are as certain as we arc that light follows day that his persecutors-only made that excuse to get him.

Ihose who saw the original paragraph which constituted the chief count in the indictment will rccnllect that the word "sedition" was printed in quotation marks—"sedition." Such marks are employed by all literary men and women in cases like this one as determinatives. They are intended to point out Co the reader that the word they embellish is only used in a derisive sense. Every cultured person in (he court knew this little point as well as Aldred, but when the wolf has the lamb at its mercy ignorance becomes a virtue and legal technicality as sacred as the Sermon on the Mount.

When one remembers the speeches and actual deeds of Carson and Smith and the subsequent immunity these creatures enjoyed, it makes one vomit to think that the people who sent Aldred away for sixteen months, fpr a triviality, profess to have assimilated the teaching of the man who spoke of his own ruling class as those "who strain at gnats and swallow camels."

Aldred committed only one crime—he tried to awaken the working class. That is a villainy beyond forgiveness in the eyes of the lechers and lickspittles who manipulate the machinery of coercion on behalf of the filthiest ruling class that has ever plundered a quiescent proletariat.

We arc not in favour of petitioning even Labour M.IVs to move in ;i matter of this kind, for if they were really one hundredth pan of what they profess to be—the representatives of the working class—they would have fought a case of this kind long ago even though the principal victim is un-• ompromisingly antj-parliamcnta/ian. . . .

A man who bravely spoke for the dispossessed and browbeaten, is eating his heart out in a prison cell and his friends are powerless to help him because they lack the means, Gallachcr once assured me that instead of "getting used to it," to adopt the familiar expression, prison life becomes more horrible each time one returns to it. Aldred has already suffered over three years and has been in prison now for seven months on a ridiculous charge. What kind of a hell, physically and mentally must it be to an active-minded, cultured man? Try to conjure it for yourself. Try to be' sentient for any sake, to feel what others feel, and do something to save further suffering on his part. Don't shake your heads and piously commiserate, and don't take pity on Aldred the Martyr. Aldred cstn dispense with pity, he can keep his back up, and pity is for those who can't. . . .

As a penalty for active service in the class war we might excusably ignore the loss of a warrior. ** the phrase goes, "he only got what he dar#d for." But Aldredease is different. He got more than he dared for. In his case it is a fact of utmost importance to remember that the punishment docs not fit the pffeoce. As long as men like Carson are loaded with honours instead of being shot as traitors to the realm the persecution of Aldred is transparently an act of revenge on the part of the animated carrion who control the capitalist system. , . .

Forget everything but the fact that your enemy has got a comrade down; a comrade who has fought' valiantly for you for many years; one whose hands bear not the smutch of corruption; one who suffers because—

"The peoplr is a twqist of muddy "brain That knows not its own strength."


The H'rald" reported the trial in lu iatuca

for Tuc-dny, June 21. 1921 and W^«i**«r»y. Jurve 22, Ml. It cm 5 m other report* that depict the trial, or add cc«n-cnetM. or indicate more clearly what look place, are noted separately. The "G. H." rrporl» ar* *ec«?s>t*d As the bask factual description. The date of the paper is Indicated nbove cacti report. I omit the scnienre* already Mated and from the second d;iy'* report, Ifa rcp«itio<i of the charge.

Tuesday, June 21, 1921.

GLASGOW HIGH COURT (■•for* Lord SM»rla*lo«).


Practically the whole of the proceedings before Lord Skerrington and a jury in the North Court were occupied in the hearing of a charge of sedition against Guy Alfred Aldred and three others.

Aldred has been in prison awaiting trial, and '.he three others associated with him in the charge —Jane Hamilton Patrick, 166 West Graham St. Glasgow; Douglas McLeish, 194 Baltic St., Glasgow; and Andrew Fleming, 171 Wdshot Rd., Shettlcston—entered the dock, when their names were called.

The indictmcm extended over eight pages, and contained many quotations from tlie Red Commune. It bore that between January 1 and February 10, 1921, at 28 Kirpatrick Street, Glasgow, and at 28 Great Hamilton Street, Glasgow, and at 13 Burnbank Gardens, Glasgow^ and elsewhere in Glasgow, the accused, acting in concert, seditiously printed, fwblishcd, and circulated a newspaper entitled the Red Commune, Official Organ of the. Glasgow Communist Group and Affiliated Bodies," containing "articles arid words calculated to excite popular disaffection.

commotion, and violence and resistance to lawful authority."

One passage quoted in the indictment wan as follows:—

Our platform is a very simple one: it consists of the following five planks, platforms and principles:—(1) The complete overthrow of capitalist society and the establishment of the Communist Republic (2) the das* struggle; (8) the dictatorship of the proletariat (4) destruction of Parliamentary government and the substitution of the Soviet or revolutionary workers' system of administration; (6) anti-Parlia-mentary activity (a) boycotting the ballot-box, (b) Communist anti - Pa rumen ta ry or Sinn Fein candidature."


Mr. Robert Morton, K.C., on behalf of Fleming, raised the objection to the relevancy of the charge. There was nothing quoted in the indictment, he argued, that expressed more than a desire to get rid of a form of organisation of industry and society of which the accused did not approve. He presumed that in order to Ik*, seditious any publication must intend to interfere with the organisation of society or Government of the State in a forcible way. There was nothing in the articles quoted except an intention on the part of these people to act by ordinary political means for the purpose of altering the system of society.

Lord Skerrington directed counsel's attention to the statement—"This implies war on all Parliamentary Communist organisations."

Mr. Morton—I do not think they mean physical.

His Lordship asked what other methods there were.

Mr. Morton said they meant boycotting the ballot-box.

His Lordship—What are the ordinary political methods other than Parliament?

Mr. Morton—One method is very prominent just now—the strike. He held that a person was entitled to work for the establishment of a Republic provided he used lawful means in bringing it about.

The accused Aldred, speaking in his own defence, objected to the relevancy of the indictment on the ground that there was nothing in it that warranted its being put before a jury, and cited legal opinions in support of his contention.

Lord Skerrington asked accused what his interpretation of sedition was.

Aldred replied that his interpretation was that there must be an active, illegal, violent element present to constitute sedition, and that there must be direct incitement to violent action, and there was nothing like that in the indictment.

Lord Skerrington repelled the objections, and asked the accused persons to plead. Each in a clear voice responded, "Not guilty, my Lord."

The jury was then empanelled, eight of those balloted being women.


Detective-Lieutenant John McGimpsey, Central Police, Glasgow, was the first witness. He said the Glasgow Communist Group was founded about 1912. It was fused with the Glasgow Anarchist Group in I9lfi, and in 1920 it took the name of the Glasgow Communist Group. Witness described a visit he paid to a house, where he took possession of 51 membership cards, some bearing the name of Glasgow Anarchist Group and some Glasgow Communist Group. He and Other police witnesses Spoke to other documents having been taken possession of in other premises.

Detective-Inspector Noble sard he arrested Aldred at Scotland Yard on March 5. Accused was at that time in custody, but he arrested him on a warrant he carried.

Aldred asked witness if he was aware that a Scottish warrant could not be executed lawfully in London unless it was backed by a London Magistrate.

Witness, while not admitting the correctness of Aldred's view, said the warrant was endorsed by a London Magistrate before it was put into operation.

Aldred—Are you aware that according to a decision of th« English Judges sedition is a misdemeanour at English law, and not a felony?

Witness—I have not Studied English law.

Aldred, at the dose of his cross-examination, complimented witness o;* the courtesy he showed towards him on the journey north. 41 He performed a somewhat unpleasant duty very nicely indeed/* he remarked. #


Inspector Thomas McGrath, of the Special Branch, Scotland Yard, gave evidence regarding Aldred's arrest at Richmond Gardens, Shepherd's Bush, London, on March 2. Aldred drew from witness the fact that in arresting him he was acting on instructions from Glasgow police as conveyed in a letter dated February 26.

"Are you aware/* asked Aldred, "that you annot arrest me legally for sedition without a varrant being in your personal possession?"

There was no answer, whereupon Lord Sker-ington asked witness, "Do you know anything lbout that?" Witness replied, "I have not coked up that, my Lord."

Aldred, while pursuing this question of arrest reminded by his Lordship that the question or the jury was "guilty or not guilty" of the ndictment.

Aldred said his purpose was to show that the police were not prepared to abide by the law; that they were acting from panic.

Ann Meniies Scott Donaldson, a young woman residing at Dalmuir. who acted as minute secrecy of the Glasgow Communist Group, stated that in November tile group dccidcd to issue an anti-Parliamentary manifesto.

Replying tn Aldred, witness agreed that at the same time ther adopted him (Aldred) as Parliamentary candidate for Shettleston. this candidature to be the basis of their anti-Parliamentary propaganda. The discussion after the business meetings were on philosophical ideas, and there wrre never any suggestions of violence or incitement. She never saw the accused Fleming at any of the meetings.

The Rev. Alexander Strang, Sandvhills U.F. Church, Shettleston: Mr. Chisholm. headmaster nf Shettleston Public School; Mr. Robert Shanks, ex-councillor of Glasgow: and Dr. Dun-lnp were among the witnesses who spoke to the character of Fleming, who is a printer to trade an ex-member of Shettleston School Board. Thev could not, witnesses agreed, associate Fleming with the doctrine of violence.


Accused Fleming in the witness-box*said he carried on a stationers' and printers' business at 28 Great Hamilton Street. Ite had been about 16 years in business, and his firm did printing for manufacturers, small businesses, trade unions, literary societies. Masonic lodges, religious organisations, and other bodies. His offwx was half a mile distant from the workshop in Great Hamilton Sr. He was very busy at the time the first »«sue of the Red Omwiwntf was printed. Prior to that he had printed for Miss Patrick tickets for *ocM*. o;cn'»cs. and dances, postcards *nd letter head;n«r«—;n the nrdinarv wav of business. He fold Patrick when ato do «>. that he w*s willm* to nrint the Pet Cnm-triune on condition that they were to be careful about the publication. Much of the matter had previously been printed in other publications, and he took that as good security. The job was sent in the workshop, and on his periodical visits there he ssiw it. He glanced at the matter, but did not read it. Anything printed in the Red Commuru which might incite to violence would not be in accordance with his views. He did not act in concert with the accused in the sense that there was anv conspiracy. It was a pure matter of business. A large ooster was produced to illustrate the nature of Fleming's business. It was for a candidate at the Inst municipal election in Gtas-eow, and contained the lines:—"Electors, don't be bluffed; the Socialists are out to enclave you."

The other accused did not lead any evidence. Aldred, addressing his Lordship said:—"We are responsible for the publication, and the publication is good in law."


The Advocate Depute {Mr. A. M. McRobert, K.C.), in addressing the jury, said that the modern tendency was not to prosecute in case of sedition unless something was done likely to cause violence of some kind or resistance to lawful authority. The declaration for the "destruction of Parliamentarv government and the substitution of the Soviet or revolutionary workers' system of administration," showed how they meant to go about effecting the change not by Parliamentary and constitutional methods, but by other methods. The only way other than through Parliament was bv doing something that was unlawful, because the only lawful way of changing the laws was by the constitutional wav through Parliament. He auoted from a published passage regarding "absentionist tactics" as follows: —

"The election address to contain ... (2) a definite pledge to work outside Parliament, on the streets and in the workshops, for the revolution, preaching open and avowed 'sedition' and arntatin*r towards the insurrectional crisis."

He submitted that this statement was not capable of an innocent meaning.


After Mr. Morton. K.C., had addressed the iurv on behalf of Fleming, the accused Aldred so-ike in his own defence, and in defence o£ Patrick and Mcl-eish. What he had done, he said, h*d heen or>en to thr public and all the world. He h^Teved he had not cycee<M the constitutional r^hts of « Brit^h citizen to say %vhal he thought was rUrht. It was those who wished to tamper with the right of free speech who were inciting and who were preventing the solution of the great problems of poverty and misery that afflicted the community. The. Constitution was dynamic and not static, and hence the view of what was sedition was dynamic and not static. Not long ago, said accused, addressing the mixed jury, it was considered that to give women the vote and to place women in the jury-box would be subversive to the British Constitution. To-day women had the vote and women sat in jury-boxes in accordance with the British Constitution.

After accused had spoken for about an hour Lord Skerrington, interrupting, suggested that as the iury would require to return to-dav in any event it might suit everyone's convenience to adjourn the case till 10-15 a.m. to-day.

Wednesdayt June 22, 1921.

When the sedition trials in the North Court— before Lord Skerrington and a jury (of whom eight were women)—was resumed yesterdav Aldred, one of the accused, continued his address to the jurv on behalf of himself and of Patrick and McLeish____

The indictment, which with the list of productions and witnesses, covered eight pagc9, quoted a number of passages from the Red Commune, including a declaration for the "destruction of Parliamentary government and the substitution of the Soviet or Revolutionary Workers' System of Administration," and an excerpt from an article in which 4lthe only possible line of attack" was stated to be "the line of direct revolutionary mass action."

Aldred entered the dock from the cell below and the three other accused,who had been on bail, responded when their names were called.


Aldred, in his resumed address to the jury, declared that free speech was more important than any Constitution. If the statements quoted in the indictment were sedition we had better close down our printing presses in this land of the free. After recalling the speeches of Sir Edward Carson and Lord Birkenhead some years ago during the Ulster crisis, Aldred said "what the workers felt was that if you preaehrd sedition in a certain way you might be honoured by being invited to fill the highest positions in the land. But the worker was at the disadvantage that he was uncultured and lacked a University education. Towards the close of his address 'Aldred exhibited to the jwry, to counter a suggestion that a cartoon in the Red Commune, depicted violence, a banner of the Communist Group, which lie said, represented militarism being destroyed by the working man. That was their motto; he submitted it proved that they did not believe in violence. Communism, he declared, might be wrong, but the freedom of the press must always be right.

His address, interrupted by the adjournment of the Court on Monday, occupied more than two hours.


I-ord Skerrington, in summing up, said it was quite sufficient to establish sedition in the case of a newspaper such as the Red Contmun6 if they came to the conclusion that it advocated the bringing about of political changes in this country by the use of mrans which were illegal and unconstitutional. On the other hand, if the jury took the view that while it advocated political changes of a very drastic character it intended that these changes should only be brought about in a constitutional manner bv the action of Parliament, then they would find that it was not sedition, and it was of no importance whether they approved or entirely disapproved of the political changes that were advocated.

It was plain that these people had an extremely low opinion of Parliament. Thev took the view that they might ask for what reform they liked, hut that they would get no reform worth taking from Parliament. That was not sedition itself, but it was coming pretty near being seditious.

The Advocate-Depute'* interpretation was that they wanted drastic political changes, and that they said that the regular constitutional method was not workable and of no use. And the Advocate-Depute put two and two together and said that this was just incitement to the people to rise up and seize for themselves the power which Parliament would not give them.

The jury with one exception, found all the accused guilty as libelled.

Mr. Morton, K.C., appealed on behalf of Fleming for leniency. The ends of justice, he suggested, would in his case be met by a pecuniary penalty. ...

His Lordship, addressing Aldred. said he could not regard these seditious publications as other-wise than of a serious character, and he could not helo reearding Aldred as the master mind and leader in that contravention of the law. . . ,

In chapter* VI to X, I die fioro oih#t pre**

rrportv tl'at <v%tr 'incident* ooi»ited by the "Glugew Herald," or reported differently. Where m report n que*. e<l at length <l*4« of tin? p-npee i« indicol»:J }Ik»v* exdt rcfx»ft.


Monday, June 20, 1921

GLASGOW'S HEAVY HIGH COURT. Polk* Precaution* at To-day's Sitiingt.


A somewhat unusual calendar of ca.«*c* was submitted at the sitting of Glasgow High Court which commenced at the Justiciary Buildings, Jail Square, to-day.

In nil there arc 29 cases, involving 74 persons. Two capital charges arc included in the list, but most interest will centre in the trials in which a Sinn Fein element is introduced. Several batchcs of individuals arc charged with one or other of the following offcnces:—Sedition; illegal drilling; contravention of the Explosive Substanccs Act; mobbing and rioting. The last named charge is brought against eighteen persons, the arrests being the sequel to the apprehension of Father McRory in Abeicrombv Street on the night of the Sinn Fein ambush on the police patrol van . .


Unprecedented interest was taken in the court proceedings. Hundreds of persons assembled outside the Justiciary Buildings- perhaps a record crowd in the recent history of High Court trials in Glasgow, but the police were more vigilant and alert than hitherto, and refused to allow them to linger opposite the court buildings. As a result the. Sahmarkct pavements were deeply lined with people. . . .

The demands for admission to the court galleries were heavy, and the police took the unusual precaution of searching every person who entered the court precincts.

Lord Skcrrington presided in the North and Lord Hunter in the South Court. The Lord Provost and several Magistrates were present at the outset.


Guy AMrti In Court.

A long legal discussion heralded the commencement of the sedition charge against Guy Alfred Aldrcd. ...

Mr. Aldred, who was uivdef ended u in a long speech, also held that there was nothing seditious »n the statements. . . .

Tuesday, Jane 21, 1921.

CITY COMMUNISTS ON TRIAL Prisoner Cites Sir. E. Corson's Speeches.


I^>rd Skcrrington at Glasgow High Court today resumed the hearing ol the case in which Guy Aldrcd,' Loudon, the well-known English Communist and editor of rhe Spur: Jane H. Patrick; Douglas McLeish, and Andrew Fleming, all of Glasgow, were charged with seditiously printing, publishing and circulating a newspaper called the Red Commwiie, the organ of the Glasgow Communist Group.

As was the case yesterday, the police took the precaution of searching all persons who gained admission to the public galleries of the court. The new policy of refusing to allow crowds to congregate opposite tlte courthouses had the desired ellcct, and to-day, there were more police than public outside the buildings.


Aldred, who last night spoke for over an hour, to-day occupied another hour in his resumed addiess to the jury. He recalled the speeches made eight years ago by Sir Edward Carson and Lord BirJcenhcad, speeches which were so well calculated to incite to violence and sedition that they prevented a constitutional solution of the Irish problem and were responsible for the murders and outrages taking place in Ireland today. These men were now honoured judges in England, and what the workers felt was that if you preached sedition in a certain way you might Ik honoured by being invited to fill the highest positions in the land, hut the workers who were without culture and University education, and said things bluntly, found that a different attitude was taken up in regard to anything they might say.

Continuing, Aldred produced the banner of the Communist group in Glasgow. Holding it up to the jury, he pointed out that it depicted the rising sun of Communism, the golden era of freedom and the sword of militarism being destroyed by the working man. "Freedom our battleground'r was their motto, and he submitted that this banner showed that they did not believe in violence. In conclusion, he said Communism might be wrong, but freedom of the Press must always be right, and he asked for a verdict of not guilty. , • •


The jury returned a verdict of guilty as libelled, only one dissenting from this decision.


Glasgow sSbt'rioN trial. 1m

Aldred pointed out to his Lordship that he had already served one hundred days in prison. He had only been guilty of a general kind of sedition not pointing to anything immediate and persons recenlly convicted of direct incitement had received sentences much less than the hundred days already served by the speaker.

Aldred later acored a point by protesting that the certificate relating to a previous conviction bore a different date from that >\hich appeared in the list of productions.

Mr. McKobert, Advocatc-Dcpulc, acknowledged that a mistake had been made, and agreed that his Lordship should rul« the evidence of the conviction as cancelled. . - .


. The Evening Times, Glasgow, for Monday, June 20, 1921, reported the trial beneath t|ie following main heading and cross-headings: —


A Communut Publication.

Foundalica of Communist Croup.

Scots Warrant In England.

This report covered much the same ground as the Glasguxr Herald report, but expressed a little more colour. We quote the following passages from the Times' Monday's report: —

The next case in the North Court wa* the trial of lc«ir person**, including Guy Alfred Aldred, the well-known Communist. All four accused were o: rcvpcctablr uppcar* ance One of them, Jane Hamilton Patrick, man a lady of small stature, wearing a brown costume The two other accused wsre Douglas McLcinh and Androw- Homing, two middleaged men. . . .


Ann Menxie* Scott Donaldson, an Attractive young lady from Datmuir, gave her age as 22 year is and said she joined the Glasgow Communist Group in May. 1W0. She wa* examined regarding the meetings of the Com-muniat Group of which she was for a time minut«-**cretary. The discussion after the business meetings wr*e on philosophical ideon. and there were never »«nJ SuggSatiofl o4 vioUnce or incitement. Slie neve/ jwv the accused Fleming at any of the meetings.

The Evening Times for Tuesday, June 21, gave the following headings and cross-headings to its report: —

COMMUNISTS SENTENCED Cam il the High Court THiy.



Communitt Banner in Court.

I he Times' report again introduced a little colour. We make the following cxttact:—

The closing stages of the sodltioit trial were entered upon this mornin th.» North Court lWnre Lord Skerr-ington and a jury. Of ihe bit* eight are women. When the Court inn this morning the Clerk <Mr. K.**) read the of the Jury, and it was observed that ore c«* th* women member** wataent. .Shortly ofterwardt the absentee hurried to her «eat. . , •

When the Court adjourned yesterday Aldred, who was defending himself *tv| Patrick and Mcl.eidi, (Iteming, ihe printer, was defended bj Mr. Morton* K.C.), eogagfd addressing the jury. IJJ$ *p«ch had extended to mere than an hour when the Court adjourned- To-day he resumed his address. He hack hren in custody overnight, but the three other priftootir* had bwn out on bail, wnd a hen they took their scats today it was observed ihat Pinning wore a M buttonhole ol paiaxle*.


The Evening Citizen, for Monday, June, 20, 1921, reported the trial beneath the following headings : —



Chat* on Philosophy.

The report detailed items oi the charge and evidence not included in the reports quoted already as follows :—

1 l»r«*e men mid a woman appealed hefoie Lord fckerr-ington in th** High Court of Judiciary (Muy on a volition charge. . . .

One art-cls te alleged to hart stated that the platform of Communism consisted of the following five plank*, nartwly. . . .

It was also elated that ihe Glasgow Communis group takes its aload on a platform of constructive revolution.

I he paper was alao alleged to contain *n article by G. L. Malone, M P., in which he «iid—"«he People', Army mu-t have its own Hag, and not docvufuMy «alute the flag of the enemy a> a preparation for striking it. . . ,M

l>*t»Xiive-Licutcnunt McGimpsey, of the Central Dlvv sion, Glasgow, stated that the Glasgow Communis grcxip was founded about 1912. . . He went to the house of the accused Jane Hamilton IN trick, whom he de-cribed at secretary of the Glasgow Communist group, and there he found 51 membership card*.

Cnxs-examined by the accused, Aldied, he said he had no personal kni/wkdg- «ti the date of the founding cA the Communist grout) and its fusion with the Anarch ifet group, but had hli infoimation from an advertisement in the "Forward." . .

A giil of 22 year* uf age, Ann Men/ivs Scott Donaldson, who said nhe was at one time minute tccretary of the Glasgow Communist . . .

Crow-examining on what happened at the meetings ot the group, Aldred asked: Did we nut sit round and have cups of tea and talk?—Ye*.

la it nee a fact that our conversation turned on philosophy —Yes.


Giving evidence for 1-kming, the Rev. Mi. Strang, minister of Sandyhills U.K. Church, Shettleston. aaid ha had known accused for over 12 years. . , .

Mr. A. MacKobcrl, advocute-depute, pro*ecuting--Voii say accord Is a ttroog Christian. Would h«? be .1 party to pri/nin^ |^pcr «hi/*in# a piciuic of the Bible bc.n*J smashed up? Wltoos* <i?x*miniiffl a picture on the front of the Commune")—No

CVo**-«?xamined by AJdred—Could there he t*o interpretation* of th« picture, on* the d^tructlon of ilid Holy Bib!* and the oth^r m* the destruction of the Bible hut only the destruction of the »dr<i of making a fetiiii <A the weed ''UibSr?*'

WUtfMg Pwibly.

'J he Evtning Citizen fur Tuesday, June 21, in its heading* merely contented itself with desc riptive statements:—


Great Pufclw li»t«etU.

In its final edition, the Citizen had a banner headline across the front page: "Sentences in Sedition Case."

Describing the final scenc, the Citizen said: —


Afar *n absence of tnenty minute*, the jury, by a majority of foutflum to on?, n;iurix<d a verdkt of guilty .\^in%t <sich uf the accused. - . .

A IdiCd made :»n objection, r<*Ut'iri£ t»> a previous conviction alleged in tho indictment. .-»od stated that the certificate of conviction wr*» no: produced. Thf certificate produced of a different datt from that of the attend conviction. . . .

Altlrvd said that, far IU the other accu*»?d were concerned, fie wa* the inciting person, and if there ww to be any difference* in the tentence*. 1c should be passed on him.

MUs Patrick jed Mcl.eUh *a«d that they did iw.t with to shelter behind anyone .....

A* the prisoners a ere bring taken dourn to the cells. Aldred was seen to kise Ml** Patrick. Mtet Patrick afterward-* wav«»d ber hand t:> some friends in Court.


The Daily Record, Glasgow, for June 21, 1921, reported the case beneath the headings:—*


Glasgow Sadilton Charge,

The report was full and fair and summarised ihe speech for the defence as follows: —

Aldred, in a lengthy addrr*s. said that in vain would the Crown look through the "Red Commune" for any *utfCtotk>n of violence

Aldicd h«d not finished his address when tbe Court •djourned till to-day.

The following day, Wednesday, June 22, the Daily Record introduced considerable viciousness into its record. We quote its headings and part of the report: — •


S«tifk>rv-Moft*ftrt Santtnced.

After ji trial lasting Im bOtaTf, tb* jury rn GI«*gow High Court, yesterday, returned a vrrifict of guilt v in ihe uf a'l four persons trird in connection *ith the chartfr of Hodition arising ou» of the publication of the 4<R«I Commune."

Lord Skerrington pasted sentence as follows ....

Aldred's address to the jury liivted for over two hour*.


I Wore sentence was prooounctd , Aldred asked hi* Lord-ship to consider thr fact ihaf lie had already been in ettrtody for 100 days.

Ac ti-.e same time. he confermj hr- was mainly nwpun-for th* production of Ihe "Rrd CoclWmmc," and *ftnutd receive a heavier pcnithwrit than the other*. . . .

It would be obvious to any decent journalist or editor that I made no confession. I did not ask the court to consider the 100 odd days 1 had been jailed on remand. 1 complained of illegal arrest, without a warrant, which was a4 trickery of law by an act of legal violence, and 1 complained of a vindictive imprisonment, through being denied hail on a pttrely theoretical political charge. My acceptance of responsibility was simply a straightforward declaration, the intention of wjtich is clear to every thinking person. Such a statement is not a confession in any sense of the term. I had nothing to confess. Note also the second clay's heading*. That was the DaUy Record view of "Communism" and "the Red*" in 1921. That might still be its view of genuine Communist activity. For "Communism" now means Stalinism. But between 1939 and 1945 it sought to persuade its readers that somehow "the Reds" and the Capitalist Imperialists were united in a common democracy against Fascism. What were these 1921 headings but Fascism?


'I he Bulletin, Glasgow, in its issues for Tuesday, June 21, and the following day, published condensed, but very clear factual reports, beneath sober and responsible headings.

On the Tuesday, the report was headed: — "THE REO COMMUNE."


The text referred to "Mr. /l/<fre<f, vsho was undefended, in a long speech,10 etc.

t)n the Tuesday, the report was headed •obcrly : —



The report was brief, impartial, dignified. But

its factual details are embodied in the reports reproduced.


1 interrupt the dry factual record to depict the solidarity evinced, or, at least, expressed on paper at the time, by all sections of the movement.

The useful and sympathetic attitude adopted by P. J. Doll an, then Glasgow correspondent to the Daily Herald, has been detailed. Later I shall reler to the He raid's news-items and short editorial comments. Inlluenced by (icorge Lans-bury, the labour daily displayed magnificent solidarity.

In 1921, the Daily Herald was owned and controlled by the organised Labour movement. This movement was reformist, pa filamentary, and orthodox. But it believed in discussion, thought and liberty. It exhibited breadth and showed sympathy for those who believed in revolutionary activity. It classed them as hopelessly Utopian and visionary, but welcomed their propaganda as inspirational in the struggle and part of the • workers' struggle: the culture towards developed and sustained struggle. George Lansbury suffered from many errors. As a parliamentarian, he did many wrong things. Hut he had much sympathy and many virtues. He could speak truthfully and directly. Few parliamentarians achieve such distinction.

In its issue for November 3, 1921, the Daily Herald published the following striking editorial, which we reproduce in full: —


Yesterday we eaDcd attention to tiic.iwupoval by American ••justice" to murder Saccho ami V^nwtti for being S;*iali»ts, under the disguise «>f executing them fur a crime wtoich it is known that they did not commit.

8u| do i>ot let U* (latter oupMflve* that our KnglUti "justice" is very different. We are not in a position to throw *torw» at Amerk*. <)uf whofc system of legal und judicial opprw.s4of», our syxtem of court* and prison*, i4 as wicked and unjust at. anything in the world.

John Maclean is in prUon in circtymitaiiccs which, for a man of hi* enfeebled health after a long nungcr-strike, are only too tikely to hfpltj death. IIt* crime ia to have made -speeches which even if they were what the prosecution alleged, would be 00 worse than the activities of the UUt'r teatlm in 1914. No worse, did we wiy? Why at the wont John Maclean made a speech! But Galloper Smith, who is now Lord Cbanctlto/, and Carton, who is now a Law Lord, organised an army to fight agarn>t (he BrlrUh Constitution!

ft .was admitted by the jud|{e at thr trial th^t Mack an did no« desire violence. Yet the sentence Inflicted upon him mae a* aavage and vindictive a* if he had been guilty of a •crioua crime.

Similarly. Guy Aldred, aUo in prison for e*«rc*fo£ the tiaditinrtnl British right of free speech, was imprisoned for f<ntr months before trial, then sentenced to a yea/, but not allowed to count the four m&ruhv he Ii.vJ already suffered at purl of rttat imprisonment. «

The hrutylity oi these sentences is a disgcact to the country, and notning can icmote the disgrace exttpc the organised power of labour.

Sir liusil Thc*n-on, whoae Department was nccoftou* lor »n many prosecution*., has gun*-. By hi* own ascMrtion he has noc voluntarily resigned, but has t**n coinpulwrily gcr rid oti and his wmewhat nauseating Department, which he dtKtibes as "the «kut loyal, xeatous, und competent body of public servants," i*. p?rbap% to be HtOttered. Would it not then be reasonable. «s well as decent, to release simultaneously oil those whom thW busmen of spying .md p*osccutin£ ha* put into prison7

This copy of the Daily Herald was smuggled irtio me in Barlinnie Prison by a friendly warder, whe resented the fact that 1 was denied access to Socialist arid Labour papers. He had r.o other idea than that of being decent. I agree with ic to-day. Sir Basil Thomson's department never went. It is operating still. Between 1939 and 1945, it was directed mainly against people who rejoiccd at my imprisonment in 1921, and were too openly and avowedly antf«Sociali»t for a mean and despicably Anti-Socialist system of society upheld by some nominal Socialists. I cannot see that the Special Branch of Scotland Yard serves any mote useful function to-day than in J921. I am opposed to the spy system, no matter who may d;rcct the spy, no matter who is the victim.

When the Daily Herald comment was penned, Herbert Morrison was putting aside his robes as Labour Mayor of Hackney. Foreign Affairs was fre$h with his articles pledging the I-a hour movement against all future war. He was an active member of the LL.P. and he endorsed this editorial. In 1940 he was Home Secretary and upholder of IBB and head of the Special Branch so far as Parliament is concerned. I stand by the editorial which cheered me when I languished in Barlinnie.

In the Daily Herald for November 5, 1921 — that is, two days later—George Lansbury honoured me with a special article treating of my imprisonment. Lansbury wrote of the Communist prisoners and continued :—

Among thti* U Guy Aldred, editor of the "Spur'" whose case L« % ell-known to all reader* of "Daily Herald." He »a» bom on November 6, 35 years ago. Hk life has been a strenuous one all through, and during tht past ten yeur* h* hnn spent mor# time inside prison than outside. His one crime in the eyes of Scotland Yard and the Government is that lie has desired to serve <hH fellow men and women. To-day he is serving a monstrous sentence of* 12 month*' imprisonment, with four months added, because of a refusal to gram bail, and the durgc which ha* landed him isi prison U tho oJd 000 of etditioc.

Knowledge that such recognitioa is being ae-corded to him means much to the political prisoner.


The Communist, the then official organ of the recently-formed Communist Party of Great Britain, also commented on the trial in a spirit of comradeship. Stalin was an unknown quantity in thost* days. Gaflacher spoke with awe of the revolutionary understanding and integrity of J.enin and Trotsky. He ouoted both as the master minds of Socialist and Communist ctrategy and working-das* struggle. Later, he fell back on Stalin, Bcavcrbrook, and Churchill. The Communist promised a practical solidarity that was never implemented. In view of the illegal nature of our arrest, the promise ought to have been redeemed. According to the laws of Britain. I was never legally befoie the Glasgow Hieh Court. That fact involved an important principle of constitutional law, which ought to have been upheld jealously.

In the Communist for Saturday, July 2, 1921, under the sub-heading, The Case of the 11Red Communethe Communist said :—

We would draw the attention of all reader* t« the unusual K*v»jf#rv unusual evi*A In these times, with which the GlftfMv Hiirt* Court have dr att with the esse *A the "Red Communein which sentence was passed on the 22nd in*t.

Our Comrade Guv A. AW red hit been held in prison sine* the 2nd March last, and is now acntcnce.t to twelve month* • Imprisonment, the hcoviest wntenc* beine served for ^edition at the moment. In addition Comrade* (ane H. Patrick and Douglas Mcf^sh. Secretary *nd Chairman of the Gtaseow Anti-Parliamentary Communist Group recelTc sentences of three months eac*. and the printer. Andrew* Ptenung. three mnnths imprisonment plus a £50 fine or a further three months.

The article for which these sentences were imposed, far froni being a direct inctemenf to violence to the maws. was a purely thenretical artiele elaborating th» %'actie«? portion of the Glasgow Group, unlikely to appeal to anybody except already ronvfrteij communists As a re«tilr of thi* c*s« the Glasgow Group lose at one bk>w th*ir Group Ofe-»d whit I* more serious, rtie movement tos*s the "Red Commune."

Comrade AMftd has 'he henvie*t record for seditim ~»terce«. datintf beck from 1909. On this occasion he defended himself with his custosnary force and courage.

On* m?nt of so^ftl interest in connection with the ca** jj; che rullntf of Lord Kkerr-nnton in yumminjr un. to 'he cff«i that it tfc edition t^ advocate drastic political changes other than thrinitfh Parliament, hut if was not edition to urpe charge*. I^Hudlnf the abolition of the House of Common*, through th* medium of Parliament.

If *tis ruli"* is vpfcetd and a«-»ed imm the day U n*t fsr d'stant when there will not he Mifficient pri*on celts in the country to accommodate all those whom this definition brands as criminals afainat the State.

In its issue for Saturday, October 8, 1921, the Communist returned to the question of my imprisonment in the following reference to my prison circumstances: —

Perhap* the meanest action of our ruler* that we have bad to record for some time is the treatment of Guy Aldred, whose comrades Mcl.*i«h and Jane Patrick have Just been released from jolt. He was sentsncd to a ywr'i imprisonment—the maximum—nnd to thi5 the Government hos illegally added the 4 months which he waa kept In gaol before his trial.

It is a case of sheer spite Aldred he.'ongs to a vary small group of Communist Anarcht-M, He happened to irritate our rulers. Walb the natuial instinct of towards, th«»y felt that the very weaWnct* of the Altfr'd group permitted them to b* a-svage in nfely. It would be a sheer scan«?al if he were left to He In prison because some doctrinal differences.' important eeourh un»W other ciroim-aunccs, separate him from the re«t of the Communist move, ment Just at the moment he S* to friendless that b* ia unabi* to afford the tea. sugar and mi'k which prison regulations permit him to buy outside. If the movement cannot back up its Imprisoned member* better than that it had better shut up shop.

Just as the Communist Party insisted that I was Anarchist and not Communist, so Freedom, the organ of the Krojx>tkinist Anarchists classed me with the Communists as distinct from the Anarchists. Under the caption, Sltfl Imprison-Communists, Freedom, in its issue for July, 1921, commented: —

The Government still continues its policy of prosecuting the Communists. . . A week previ'»uslv, on June 21, at Glasgow, Guy A. Aldred, jane H. Patrick, and Douglas McLeish, members of the Glasgow Communist Group, verc found guilty of publishing a seditious article In the. "Red Commune." Guy Aldred, who had been kept in prison for four months without bail, received a brutal sentence of twelve month*' imprisonment, fha other two petting a sentence of three months tmdb. We hav* read live article concerned and we fail to see why the Judge should have been so vindictive tv Aldred. Hi* punishment is twice as severe aa that meted out to any one else found guilty of a similar offence, and we hope, a strong protest will be made. We do not ogree with the Communists in their advocacy of a Dictatorship, but that does not prevent us protecting against these prosecution*. In fighting for freedom of speoch and pres*. we fight for freedom foe atl. Free 4i«ctfs*ton may hurt the capitalist, but it can never hurt Truth.


Colonel losiah Wedpwnod, afterwards Lord Wedcwood showed much anxietv about mv im-orisonment. lie considered it uniust and said so in bold terms.

I had known Wodg'wood for many vears, without hein^r intimate, although, under circumstances like those of imprisonment or threatened imprisonment, he wrote me always in terms of close comradeship. I always found his attitude towards war unsatisfactory. The man had a fascination for liberty and allure towards martial glory. He was never afraid to champion the victims of injustice. During his political career, he seized opportunities to proclaim an almost romantic attachment to Anarchism, which he conceived righily as the philosophy of liberty, and not as a gospel of violence and chaos. The attachment was academic largely becausc during the Great War Wedgwood turned militarist. He was very militarist during his last days tnd.con-sidered militarism more essential in 1941 than ii was in 1914; Vet he defended the conscientious objector boldly in 1916-18 and he defended conscience in 1939. I heard him oncc some years after the first world war, develop the theme of freedom eloquently to a House of Commons that had no interest in such an issue.

I'recall Wedgwood's anxious enquiries at the time of my 1921 imprisonment with gratitude. He went to great lengths of protest. Finally, he raised the matter in the House of Commons. 1 quote from Hansard for March 14. 1922: —



. 40. Colonel Wedgwood a«krd ib* Secretary foe the Horn* Dpartmrn'. whether Guy Aldred i- not to be rotatetd titl 21st Jun* aliiiough. owing to his confinement .'waiting trial, his Imprisonment will then ha\« tasted 16 months instead o( the 12 months to which he wo* teittWfrd, the mAiimum tu v»h>rh he could be sentenced; and whether, seeing that th* fear oS Communism ha* declined, Guy Aidted will now tx set at liberty?

The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND fMr. Munro): I have been asked to reply to this question. The Hon. Member i* mistaken in *uppo*ing that 12 months' Imprisonment is th* maximum for the offence of eon vie ted. I have ascertained that in determining the wotcnce tr» be pronoui\r«d the judge took Into account the time which Aldred had spent in prison before trial. I *ee no ground on which 1 would be Justified in advising any interference with ^>e sentence.

This was, of course, a callous reply. Also it was untrue. Just verbiage. The same year Munro was elfevatcd to the Scottish Bench, and became Lord Justice Clerk, with the judicial title of Lord Alness He resigned in 1933, to make way for Craigie Aitkinson, whose elevation was the reward for correct political planning: turning labour at the right moment: and again turning National Labour. Munao was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Alness, in 1934. He became an upholder of the Government in which Thomas Johnston was Secretary of State for Scot-bind and Herbert Morrison, Home Secretary.

This fact seems strange when one considers the view entertained of Munro on the Clyde in 1921. John S. Clarke voiced that Clydesidc opinion of the more virulent sort in his Cigar*

ette Papers in the Work** for October Hi 1919 in the following parupniphs : —


It it stated, perhaps on doubtful authority, that a cer-rain personage "looks after hi* own."

Mr. Munro, Secretary for Scotland, hearing of the vtriko decided to motor back to l.oodon. He irotorod to Edln-burgh on SumUy, and resumed Ma journey n*xt morning, having with him Sir Dc*»ald Maclean. M P. Darkness set in whi n they were still wiine 50 miles north of York, and tl».M c^ty betnc ofl the ftcvni North Kenl, th»*>* hod »me difficulty in finding theii way. Reaching a cross-road, and under the impression that tha car stopped, Mr. Munro, in order to read the direction post, alighted, but the vehicle being still in moOoo, h«- w*k thrown Wotantly to the ground, sustaining a acvere cut above the left eye. biuising hi* ribs, and being bully shaken. He was convey^ to York Hotel, "where the staff were on strike,'* and put to bed.

We in Court some year* ago when GalUcher, Muir and Dell were on trial We remember Mr. Lord Advocate Munro cn occasion. We remember lti« at, and the little quips with which he ridiculed the witn4*W3 for the defence. We remember the bitterness of hi* address to the jury; the ptay upOA tbe prejudice* of the smug mid*lle-clasty nonentities, anJ his passionate appeal for a conviction.

We do nr« wi?h any particular evil to fall Upon Mr. Munro for that; w< cnc/cly remember it. and we, better than anyone save th* victim* themselves, remomber the huncr< they cfidurrd fur their principles in the Cation Jjiil of Kdinburtfh, and we bluntly confess that black tic^ would most ce-tainly have been absent from our itttire had Mr. Munru broken .lis blitzed neck.

Clarke's description of Munro*s conduct as ad-•vocacc is correct. If is comment cannot be upheld as an expression of Socialist elegance of thought. Vet he was returned subsequently to Parliament as Labour member for Maryhill, and Johnston supported his campaign in the Forward. To-day his name figures in Who's Who with that of Johnston and Alness. In 1941 under war conditions he was co-opted on to the Town Council. Yet I suffered 16 months imprisonment for defining in clear and simple terms devoid of all personal clamour and abuse, a suggested Communist programme of political strategy leading to revolutionary social • and political struggle. Either capitalist justice docj not work evenly or else the capitalist class take us more seriously than they do John S. Clarke. Parliamentarism obviously liquidates the realities of the class struggle for the figureheads. For Clarke was in the same party as Johnston, and Johnston was in the same Coalition Government as Alness. And the Clyde workers were deceived by wild language which possessed no. real significance. Clarke tickled their palate and appealed to their worthless sense of the ribald without advancing their cause. The ruling class was not injured. Clarke finally was honoured. The working class was betrayed. No hatred of

wrung was expressed, but an illusion of hatred was paraded. What a game!

Further light was thrown on the nature of the game some years ago in the book published by that mos< orthodox firm of religious publishers, Clarke & Co., Fleet Street, London, It was entitled Church Finance and written by The Lord Sands, a sometime most distinguished Senator of the College of- Justice at Edinburgh.

This book declared Lliat the Churches of Christendom were forming an International (■roup, not for the promotion of Christian principles, but to regulate and capitalise Church finance. The patrons were stated to be H.K.H. Duke of Connaught and The Lord Alness! The vice-president was Sir Herbert Trustam Eve, K.B.E.; and the chairman was Sir Andrew Pettigrew, Glasgow. The Committee included everybody who was anybody and nobody who was willing to witness in the world against the orthodoxy and interests of the world in defence of Christian principle, such as peace and human brotherhood. Our references to the organisation arc stated in the past tense because we have not followed its history and know nothing of it* developments. The Committee may have collapsed. The formation of it is a study in cant.

This Committee was once simply "The Business Man's Committee on Church Financebut at the time Lord Sands wrote, it was international. His book tells all that is worth knowing about getting money. Accounts were to be kept of what everybody gave, and if anybody did not give enough, the local Committee was to be "firm" with the defaulter. Sermons were to be preached periodically about the duty and the privilege of giving money, and occasional conferences were to be held to discuss how to get more money

Nor was this money to be considered secular in any way; it was to be what the authors call "'spiritualised." The proccss of "spiritualising" it was for the minister to say prayers over it, and forms of prayer for this purpose were given in the . book. #

Alness participated in all this worthless parade en rouie to his present position. Parliamentary Socialists pursued another path ot cant that they might reach the same goal and enjoy some similar ruling<Us* status in a world of war misery, and oppression.

1 p<eaded the Glasgow Green Free Speech case before Alness In 1924 and the Bill of Advocation, in the Shettleston case, before him in 1929. Our experience of him as a judge is that he was alert!

impartial, shrewd, helpful, and penetrating. In the 1924 case his comments indicated how to raiae the matter afresh with a view to securing a more helpful legal ruling. This I did with some socceas in 1931. One's contact with Alness, the judge, is another story from that of the ruling of Munro, the Secretary of State for Scotland. It is related from interest and because progress is aided the less bitterness we treasure from past experience. All men should receive credit for thetr sound and helpful behaviour and treated to censure only for their errors.


Readers will have noticed from the newspaper reports reproduced of the trial that 1 raised a preliminary pica in bar of trial, or want of Jurisdiction. It was may contention that my arrest without a warrant was illegal and therefore that we were never legally before the Glasgow Court. Of the law there is no doubt. It was for this reason, hidden behind a smoke-screcn of prejudice, that I was denied bail. 1 was the victim of a pretty conspiracy of injustice on the part of police, bar, and bench. This chapter define* clearly.the illegality of my 1921 arrest. It indicts the Labour movement, which, despite its express-ions of good nature, never had the sense or courage to expose legally and popularly this question of illegal arrest and detention.

Sedition is not a felony, but a misdemeanour at law. In cases of felony a person can be arrested without a warrant. In cases of misdemeanour ho must he arrested with a warrant and the person making the arrest must have the warrant on him when he makes the arrest. This principle was established in the famous case of Codd v. Cqbe (1876). Those interested will find this case recorded fully in the following reports: 1. Ex.D. 352; 40. J.P. 566; 4$ L.J.101; 34 L.T. 433; 13 Cox. 202. The decision is an accepted and governing one. No subsequent legislation has attempted to revise or change its import and consequence. About the time of the 1921 trial, the decision saved from execution an actor, who was pursued somewhere in Marylebone by a policeman, who possessed no warrant. The man was guilty of some dishonesty amounting to less than felony. In other words hia crimc was a misdemeanour at law. A crowd took up the pursuit and one man excited by the cries, endeavoured to stop the runaway. Thereupon, the hunted man drew a revolver and shot the person.who thought be was aiding justice. He died instantly and when caught, the hunted man was charged with murder. This was reduced to manslaughicr and a sentence of penal Servitude was passed, on the ground that the police officer had no warrant, and the man who was killed had no legal right to interfere. Whatever the victim's intentions when he interfered so unfortunately, the police officer having no warrant, notwithstanding thr fact that the pursued man had a criminal record, the interference was, technically and legally not in the interests of justice.


GLASGOW SEbttioN tftUt. Mi

This ease is recalled a.% an illustration of my contention. When 1 was arrested at 17 Richmond Gardens. Shepherd's Bu*h, in 1921* for alleged sedition in Scotland, the police officers had no warrant and were conniving wilfully* and through sheer power of force, at an illegal arrest. I do not benefit from the exposure of this act of violence, but it is recorded beyond denial and so indicts those responsible for the outrage. Many who were indifferent at wrong then, and have suffered internment since under J81i, will sense the feeling of indignation that possessed ine at the time.

The story of this illegal arrest can be told in press cuttings not hitherto produced. ..The Daily Herald. in its issue for Thursday, March 3, 1921, published the following item: —


Amtt of Guy A Hired. Editor of tht "Spur."

Six plain clothes policemen in a motor-lorry made a raid on 17 Richmond harden*. Shepherd'* Bu«h, y<stcrdayf searched ?be premfcea, anil arretted Guy AW red. the welfc-luiown Commumat ant! editor of th«- "Spur."

The raiders apent four l ours examining every nook aoJ corner, aod rummaging In every drawer *nd box. including the child's playboxg*. They declined to produce any warrant or to state what charge was to be liia against Mr. Aldred.

Fortunately for hi* wife, who has rfcarccfy recovered from a painful Illness, u friend «tt with b$r at the time.

The raider* a«ke<l question* alout the "Red Commune," n paper published In- the <tl*ftgow Communist group Scleral cc<»«e» of this paper were in the ttcttse, a«:J thc*e were taker, away by the poficc, along with a quantity of other literature and document*.

The Daily A'cir.v. London, for the same date, reported the arrest as follows : —


Six Scotland Yard' officers yesterday afternoon visited the (tat of Mr. 1iuy Aldfail, ta Richmond Gardens, Shepherd's feiu6h, and removed a cofltfltterabto ;|uant»ty piipets and ducuinencji, including copies of the "Spur/* a monthly Cocnotuniat journal of which Mr. Aldred is the editor.

Afterward* ihe> *tkod Mr. Aldred to accompany them to Scotland Yard.

At a late hour la*l nitfht Mr*. Aldred stated tUut her husband vtt still detained.

The Star, which was ihe evening* edition of the Daily Sew, carried the same report beneath the caption : POLICE ASD Mr. Gl'Y ALDRED.

The Daily Herald for Friday, March 4, 1921,

stated: —


11 nu- rr,»:irt. «J in London nighi that Ciuy Mdred, editor t>f thr Rafcunin Press, u-ho was'arrested in London iisi Wednesday ni»{hi in coo need Icai with the publication

the .-inkle in the "Rod Commune," in eb^ hand* of the Metropolitan police ai the instance of the Otasgow pullet.

In its issue for Saturday, March 5, 1921, the Daily Herald stated: —


f London Polk* Awaiting Glasgow Escort

The "Daily Herald" understand* that On* AW red was still retained up to a Utc hour yesterday in <':>rnn Row I'oJice Statiun. No information uuh vojcluuted to inquiries save that the Loodon police were stiTI awaiting hit

fixjoi <il.i».j(j«y A.

The actual arrest may have been made by six dctcctivcs. Actually the house was surrounded and thirty police officers entered the premises and prevented any communication being made to the outside world. One person who called to see me on business was turned away by a police officer. Complete, violent, illegal occupation of 17 Richmond Gardens was resorted to by the police because I hey were aware chat their actions were illegal* This fact explains why hail was denied to nw after my arrival in Scotland. Various excuses were advanced by the authorities to cover the real reason: fear lest 1 should focus too much public attention on the illegal nature of mv arrest.


"The Case of the Documents," as I term the Government's petition was an attempt, after my imprisonment, to declare the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation an illegal body without formally presenting it by Act of Parliament. It was a smuggling activity on the. part of the executive, for the purpose was to proscribe without dtscus*ioa or criticism. It was a clear attempt at evasion.

I attach an official report culled from the Scottish Imw Neporter, Vol. LIX, No. 10, pp. 145-7, March 1,1922: —


Monday, Noremhet 28. (Before tl>c I-ord Justice-Clerk, Ix>rd Salvesen, and Lord Orm'idale.)


aldred and others

Justiciary Cases—Expenses—Expenses against the• Crown—Petition by Ijord Advocate to Retain or Destroy Productions Used in Trial for sedition—Petition Withdrawn at the Hear-ing—Motion by Respondents for Expenses.

A petition was presented to the High Court of Justiciary by the 1-ord Advocate under the Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Act 1908, sections 44 and 77. for authority to retain or destroy certain documents produced in a trial for sedition at the Glasgow Circuit a few months previously which had resulted in the conviction of the accused to whom the documents In-longed. No motion as to the disposal of the documents was made ;\X the conclusion of the trial, nor wax the judge who presided asked to certify the matter for the consideration of the High Court. At the hearing of the petition counsel for the petitioner craved leave to amend by deleting the reference to the statute, and finally withdrew his application. The respondents moved for expenses. Held that as no expenses are awarded bv the High Court, sitting as such and not as a court of review, either 5n favour of or against an accused, the respondents were not entitled to expenses, and motion refused.

On 8th November, 1921, the Right Honourable Thomas Brash Morison. His Majesty's Advocate, presented a petition to the Hu*h Court of Justiciary under sections 44 and 77 of the Summary furisdiction (Scotland) Act. 1908. setting forth that Guy Alfred Aldrcd, prisoner in the prison of Glasgow, and certain other parties namid in the petition, were on 21st June, 1921. convicted in ♦he High Court of Justiciary in Glasgow of seditiously pr int inc. publishing, and circulating a newspaper entitled the Red Commune, the official nr*»an of the Glasgow Communist group and affiliated bodies, being No. 95 of the list of productions lodged with the indictment in the orosecution; that the said newspaper contained. infer alia, a statement of the objccts of the said Glasgow Communist Group; that such statements wet- scd'tious; that the productions enumerated in the list of productions were in the possession of the said parties and group, and were used or calculated to be of use to them in the commission of the said offence.

The prav#er of the petition was as follows: —"May it therefore please your Lordships to order the said productions" (with certain exceptions) "to be forfeited and to be retained by the petitioner, or destroyed or otherwise disposed of as to your Lordships may ?cem fit. . .

The respondents lodged answers in which they, inter alia. denied that the productions in question were used or calculated to he of use in the commission of the offence for which they had been convicted. It was further stated by Aldred that many of the documents were private business papers belonging to him, e.g.. receipts, which had nothing to do with the priming of the paper in question.

At the hearing on 28ih November, counsel for the Crown craved leave to am^nd the prayer of the petition by deleting the reference to the statute, the applicability of which was doubtful. Counsel for the respondents other than Aldrcd (who appeared in person) opposed the amendment, and in the end the Advocate-Depute withdrew the petition.

Counsel for the respondents moved for expenses

and argued--The •petition was analogous to a

bill of suspension, and a successful suspender was always allowed expenses against the procurator-fiscal. "the respondents therefore were entitled to expenses against the Crown.

Argued for petitioner—The petition arose out of criminal proceedings, and in such proceedings no expenses were given. He cited Alison on Crimes. U, 92.

LORD SALVESEN—In this case a petition was presented by the Lord Advocate for delivery of certain documents which were impounded in the course of a trial for sedition, and which were largely used in the course of the trial, which resulted in a conviction. It is common ground that at the conclusion of the trial, after conviction, it would have been open to the Crown to move the Court to dispose of such qucsiions as arc raised by this petition, and also that if the Judge who presided at the trial thought it more expedient not to depose of the matter, it would have been open for him to have certified to the High Court to deal with the motion.

In the present case, however, no motion was made at the trial, and the Lord Advocate has stilted to us that the reason for not making that motion was that the discussion would have occupied time—^possibly much time—and that there were many witnesses still in attendance who had to be examined in other eases which were down for trial at the Circuit Court, and accordingly that it would not have been in the public interest that the motion should have been made then, although I do not myself see why the motion might not have been made accompanied with an application that the matter might be reserved for more convenient discussion at the High Court.

Now the matter not having been dealt with at the trial by the method the statute expressly authorises, there seems to have been correspond-ence between the accused and the Crown with regard to certain of the productions which were in the custody of the Crown, ami which had been obtained for the furtherance of the Crown case. As the result of this correspondence the Crown thought it right to bring this application in which It asks the Court to authorise the destruction of the documents in question. We thought it right that there should be intimation of this application to the accused, and answers having been lodged the case has been put down for hearing to-day.

It appears that the Crown did not frame their application at common law, but under a statute of which the applicability is not clear. Accordingly before us the Crown moved to amend by striking out the reference to the statute. It was objected on behalf of the accused that they had had no opportunity of considering the question at common law, and that therefore they opposed the amendment, and under these circumstance* the Advocate-Depute acting on behalf of the Crown withdrew his application. The accused thereupon moved us to give an award of expenses in respect that the procedure of the Crown had occasioned them expense.

If we were deciding this matter on first principles I think there would be a great deal to be said for the view that the Crown should bear the expense which the accused have had to incur. But just as much might be said in favour of this course in other cases, as, for instance, where the Lord Advocate And* it necessary to desert a diet because of some Blunder or upon some other ground, and to have a trial adjourned. In such a case the accused is necessarily subjected to more expense than he would have had to incur had the trial proceeded at the first diet It is. however, I think a fundamental and well-established principle in criminal law that no'expenses are awarded by the Hieh Court—sitting as such and not as a court of review—cither in favour of or against the accused. The rule, 1 think, was established primarily in the interests of accused persons, t^cause if one were dealing with matters of this kind according to the principles which regulate civil proceedings it would seem to follow that the unsuccessful party would generally he subjected to expenses, which would mean in the case of an accused person that he would have to bear the expense of the trial in addition to the. penalty which a conviction must impose upon him.

Now that rule has been so well established that Mr. Robertson was unable to find a single exception to it, because the fact that in bills of suspension the procurator-fiscal, if he fails, is .found liable in expenses, does .not seem to me really to constitute an exception. The proceedings there arc for the purpose of reviewing procedure which has taken place in an inferior court, and the High Court is appealed to in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. Here that is not the case, and the petitioner is the Lord Advocate, who is presumed to be actuated solely by a regard for the public interest in the conduct of matters connected with crime pf which he has charge.

Now I would think it would be verv unfortunate if there was any departure even in such exceptional cases as the present from that well-established rule, and I am therefore for refusing the motion.

LORD OR MI DALE—The present proceeding is.unique. It purports to he presented under the Summary Jurisdiction Act of 1908 being a petition at the instance of the Lord Advocate for the destruction of certain documents which were productions at a recent trial in Glasgow upon an indictment before Lord Skerrington. There being no precedent, it is a little difHcelt to appreciate the argument adduced by the Crown why it should not be found liable in expense, because the proceeding, while unique, has been found to be abortive.'

There was no reason, it seems to me. for the application being postponed until the present time. The proper time for hearing it was at the conclusion of the trial, and for myself I can see no reason whatever why it should not have been maile then. If there were circumstances—not intelligible to me at the moment—why it was inexpedient to make the application then, 1 think the circumstances should have been explained to the Judge who presided at the trial and a motion made to him that he should certify the point for the consideration of the High Court. There would then have been at any rate something to link up the present application with the trial before I-ord Skerringtoo. But that was not done, and we have therefore this difficulty, that these proceedings are formally, at any rate, entirely •eoarate from, and independent of, the trial on indictment.

Accordingly my own inclination at first was to think that the respondents in this petition should Ik- found entitled <o their expenses, but I have come—although I admit with very great difficulty —to agree with the view that has just been expressed by Lord Salvcsen. I do so because I think that the fundamental principle that determines the liability of the L«»rd Advocate to meet expenses of proceedings taken at his hand is simply this, that he takes these proceedings, not on private or personal grounds, but in what he conceives to be the public interest, and that it would be entirely wrong in any way to hamper him in the performance of his public duty.

No authority has been cited to us which would warrant us in departing from the ordinary course in the present instance.

I may add that I cannot conceive that had the Lord Advocate been successful this Court would have mulctcd the respondents in expenses.

LORD JUSTICE-CLERK—As your Lordships are agreed, according to the practice of the Court I have no vote in this matter, but I think it right to say that my difficulties a«*cord with those of Lord Ormidale. so that if I had been left to decide the case alone I think that I should have reached a different conclusion from what your Lordships have done. But recognising the very special circumstances of the case and the views which your Lordships have expressed, I do not think it desirable thit I should dissent from the judgment which will result from the views expressed by your Lordships. The motion will therefore be refused. m

The Court refused the motion for expenses.

Counsel for H.M. Advocate—Mac Robert, K.C., A.D. Agent—Crown Agent.

For Respondent Aldred—Party.

Counsel for Respondents other than Aldred— T. G. Robertson. Agent ~W. Carter Rutherford, S.S.C.


Legal biography constitutes an important and thrilling chapter of the true history of social progress. How men rise to the bench, how they come to condemn their fellow-men. how they play at politics, and murmur platitudes, soberly pretending tliey are pronouncing wisdom: all this is a valuable study in the vutgar pursuit of power and fame, only that the animal frame of man might luxuriate in a little mortal comfort at the expense of the integrity ol his soul, and by the pandering sacrifice of the eternal principle of justice. Verity denied for a parade of ermined fashion that mankind might live as jailed and jailors, to no true purpose and no real or lasting end. Such is the story of legal triumph and advancement from age to age. It was so in the days of Thomas Paine and Richard Cartilc. It is so to-day. Nothing brings this out better than my two trials for sedition: 1909 and 1921. lo this chapter I will consider the Bench and Sedition in relation to the 1921 trial.

William Campbell, Lord Skcrrington, K.C., S.G., of Ayrshire, who presided at my 1921 trial at Glasgow, retired from the Bench in December 1923. He died on July 27, 1927. aged 72 years. I have wondered if he found his life satisfactory. Was it worth while living after all?

William Campbell was the first Catholic Lord of Session since the Reformation. His elevation to the position of a Senator of the College of Justice in 1908 signified the advance of Tolerance, so much pi ogress of thought and democracy in the history of mankind.

Campbell was born in Skcrrington, Ayrshire, in 1855- He was educated in Edinburgh and graduated in arts. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1878. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1898. a year after the order had been instituted. In 1905, he was raised to the Deanship of the Faculty of Advocates. Three years later he was appointed Senator of the College of Justice and a Judge of the Court of Session. In 1919, Pope Benedict XV, conferred on him a Knight Commandership of the Order of St. Gregory for his services to the cause of Catholic Education. To some of us who have studied the religious history of mankind and the teachings of the first Christians that reads more like honour for ptaying the part of the devil's advocate, the propaganda of priestcraft and authority, rather than the promotion of education.

In legal circles, Skcrrington was supposed to possess a keen and rapier-like intellect. Legal repute is earned easily and is based on appearance rather than reality. Theologians and judges enjoy reputations in their-own craft circles which are not appreciated in the court of worth, and pass all understanding outside of their own narrow ptofessional, pedantic and actually unscholarly circles of parasitic imposture. Liw ought to define human right without regard to power. The profession of law merely asserts human power without regard to right. It ought to be a science and is actually a delusion of sound. The scholarship of a judge, like the apparent framing of a theologian, is the idle pedantry of a reference library loosely linked by a very thin chain of false reasoning. With rare exceptions, and there are such exception*, the reasoned conclusions of judges lack wisdom and understanding. Their judgments want the essential social character of depth. Sitting with the solemnity of owls, they pronounce with the zest and intelligence of par-rots. Thus is humanity and poverty condemned in class society.

That was my conclusion of Skcrrington, as I listened to his summing up and ruling in the Anti-Parliamentary Sedition Trial in the Cda$#ow High Court in 1921. His behaviour throughout the trial was courteous enough, but his summing up was neither law nor common sense. He exhibited no sense of justice nor function. He played an innings, the innings of power, and deemed the panel the other side, to be triumphed over at all costs. That his reasoning was accepted by a shopkeeper jury by a majority of fourteen to one argues nothing at all in Skerringtnn's favour as a judge. The verdict shows that one intelligent person, able to think for himself, had strayed into a jury box in error

Skerrington's definition of sedition has been reproduced in the newspaper reports quoted in previous chapters. There was nothing clever nor original, nothing dynamic in it. It was static and oppressive, a definition in bar of progress and equity. Skerrington's definition confirmed the warning uttered by Professor Dicey (1835-19221, the great constitutional student of the relation between law and public opinion, as to the menace to liberty of utterance and opinion that lurks hidden in the utterly unconstitutional law of sedition

Addressing the jury, awed by his robes, as ignorant men are awed by the robes of a priest or the mumbo-jumbo of a fortune teller. Sker-ringtoA placed Parliament above the will of the people. If Parliament is an institution of democratic change, it exists by no higher divine right than the will of the democracy, which must, at all times, be supreme even unto the exercise of the critical democratic right of social revolution. What right has Parliament <o withhold power from the people «»n<*e the people have willed, as a democracy, to possess or to use that power? Has Parliament more dixine right than a king? We think not. And if Freedom of Speech is r'ufcht against the monarch it is no less right aeainst the Parliament. It was a strange constitutional doctrine that Skerrington pronounced, that the power of the people exists only by the will of Parliament. In my democratic seal and love of liberty, I thought that the power of Parliament existed solely and direotlv cis a-consequence of the will and by virtue of the happiness and well-being, of the common people. I thought that the actual Commons was above the mere House of Commons. Maybe my thought rvas right.

Skerrington's definition of sedition was like the .Advocate's prosecution: not one of law, except in name, hut rather one of politics and class, one of social oppressio'n and exploitative necessity. As Advocate-I>epute, Mr. A. M. MacRobert, K.C., submitted to the jurv that mv proposed Shettles'on programme, involving the obstructionist tactic, as well as boycotting the ballot-box, was sedition. As though the right to sit <k»e* not imply the righi to abstain! As though the right to vote does not include the right not to voce; not as an apathy, but as a challenge, and a declaration, an evidence of social unbelief in parliamentary careerism.

Subsequent!v .VfacRobcri made an application ro the High Court concerning the Productions. He urged that the Glasgow Communist Group, later the Central Group of the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation, was an illegal organisation. It was an unique attempt, under the Sum-mary Jurisdiction Act. which did not apply. It was a smuggling attempt to anticipate the later war-time emergency power legislation of irresponsible government suppression by decree. Finally, although sympathetic to him, the Court refused to entertain his application based on the assumption that Ann-Parliamentary organisation was illegal. Lord Ormidale refused to give expenses against MacRobert with great reluctance; and the then Lord Justice Clerk declared that, had he been deciding the ca«e alone such expense* would have been given. This attempt, therefore, to have my work and an Anti-Parliamentary Movement proscribed ax illegal failed.

MacRobert died in October 18, 1930. and it would be hard to term his routine career of official legal and political mediocrity a success, lie fed and clothed well at the expense of his fellow man and misery was concentrated in Scottish prison* that he might enjoy the freedom of the sun. Is this success or culture?

Was MacRobert. in his proceedings against the Anti-Parliamentary movement moved by affectionate anxiety for the principle* of law; or was he concerned with a privare sectarian, and olnss prosecution of chal'eoging heretical political opinion?

FormaPy adapted bv the East Renfrewshire Unionists as their candidate on hi* appointment

Solicit or-General, Mac Robert said lit: would do his best to combat Socialism, whether evolutionary or revolutionary. Thontas Johnston attacked him ill the Forward and exposed him and his party. Johnston denounced MacRobcrt's reactionary carerrism and anti-working class policy and record. The same Thomas Johnston, on another occasion, in the Forward, exposed the Court of Session from the Lord Advocate and the Senators of the College ol" Justice down* wards as an institution of privileged parasitism. In those days he did not expect to become Secretary of State for Scotland and a member of the Churchill Cabinet.

Mac Robert, as the new Solicitor-General, presented his commission and was invited to take his seat within the Bar at the left hand ot" ihe table, on Tuesday, January 5, 1926. The same day Mr. 1>. P. Fleming, K.C., then but recently Solicitor-Gcheral, and Mr. Alexander Moncrietf, K.C., were installed as Senators of the College ot Justice and Lords of Session, lioth are still functioning. Moncricff was called to ihe Scottish Bar in J894 but he did not lake silk until 1912. Fleming was called tu the Bar in 1902. And ^icrc they practised, waiting lor Tory ami Labour Parliamentarians to unite, whilst class society carried on undi&turbed, social misery perpetuating itself • Ik* while Labour agitators turned into careerist Tory place-men with the consent of Socialist Parliamentarism and Trade Unionism.

It will be remembered that, in November, 1924, Moncrieff appeared against mc as counsel for the Glasgow Corporation in the war on the ri^ht of public meeting in Glasgow Green and in the public parks of Glasgow.* I renewed this struggle with some success in 1931, sincc I conceived it to be one of the must urgent duties ot the citizen to uphold fearlessly the right of public meeting. In consequence the Bye-Laws were changed and the right publicly accepted and legalised. No attempt was made either by the I.L.P. Councillors or the Labour Party Councillors to implement the Bye-Law. These men conspired to assassinate, by calculated negligence, a right established by much effort and struggle. Both factions have produced their quoto of corruption, bribery being more in line with municipal "Socialism" under capitalism than zeal in the public interest. Which is why more "Socialist" Labour Leaders become magistrate* instead of political prisoners. When they enter the jail it is with reluctance, not as Socialists, but as disgraced councillors or magistrates, who have modelled their careers too closely, and with unfortunate personal consequences, on that of their alleged political rivals.


Glasgow Trial Echoes

The Glasgow Sedition trial had several important repercussions. One makes most important and most interesting reading at the present time. It will enable the Socialist and the radical and liberal reader, irrespective of the exact terms of his political or economic creed, so long as he possesses a fair and reasonable mind, to form his own opinion of the Second-War period. Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt. Hon. Thomas Johnston, M.P. It shows how the Labour movement is regarded as carrion by tin: parliamentary birds of prey, who start in the gutter, ri*k nothing, and rise to place in class society. The first chapter of this scction shall be factual study in political opportunism and parasitism, h will demonstrate how the emotions of the careerist belong to the moment and express only one concern: how to exploit human wrong in order to secure power.

The careerist exploits grievances. He never feels them. He never comes to grip* with them. He never attempts to remove them. He use* grievances as stepping stones to office and then mocks those who have suffered. Without Utopian fancies, without revolutionary vision, he lacks also even reformist principles. He uses the majority to advance the interest of a strict conservative minority of one, himself. He exploits every special instance of wrong to forward the advantage ol an isolated and outstanding mediocrity, himself. His virtue is his social vice: appetite for power and the fruits of office. The Glasgow Sedition Case of 1921 set the appetite working. The War Government of 1939-1948 found the appetite satiated. The difference measures the parasite opportunism of exploited wrong.


In 1921, Thomas Johnston was merely editor of Forward. During the war-years, this man's Socialist War-Points had exposed every labour leader, parliamentary or industrial, who accepted war-bonuses or made war-speeches. He evaded opposing the war and he evaded lighting in the war. He had no passion for sacrifice or martyrdom. But he assumed an anti-war pose and conscientious objectors, war resisters, Socialists, and Anarchists conspired openly to boost and to build up the repute and circulation of his journal. But for them- he would have achieved no distinction. He did not become an M.P. until 1922. His ex-posvrc of the Glasgow policeman case earned him much support and assisted in his return to Westminster.

fct.AStfdW SEblticM i RiAL, idSi

Thomas Johnston, the proletarian editor, the Socialist enemy, of unjust power and authority, told the policeman's story on page S of Forward, for Saturday, November 2fi, 1921. beneath scream'lined headlines. Here are the headlines:

AFTER SEViNTECH YEARS' SERVICE Why a GUtjow Constable was "Dismiss** the Foroo." H»» Writ Friendly with a Lady wrto took an Interest in f otttwa.

Beneath these flaring headlines, Thomas Johnston told his story. He opened a* follows: —

They're raking no risk* with the (ihi*gow Police Force. You may have *eventcen unimpeachable Mttin-,

Ywi may be ;i ion i4 a sergeant in th*- Royal Irish Con-«t.«bolj'y You may take no interna in politico Hot if yosir tflfc buys a pair of boots from a lady who take* an intere>: in extreme politico you arc HJicked—especially if yewr wifv a i^r»r who hud the mMorturtt to be bom in Germany.

Policemen'* wir#* should uk< no lnure-c in politic*, ihry *houfd not know other woman who take an interest in politics.

Policemen shou'd not k«*p who take German

measles, they should take care that their wives ar* burn in London or Paris or t»Utj*uw: their children must not cat German bUruil*. "the uncles should be: warned to pass Labour and Socialist politician* on (he street as If thty were the plague.

All of wbich observation* we deduce from a reading of ttui following humbt* |K-.itio» -ent to the Secretary tor Scotland by William Magill, of 6S Adamswefl Street, ca-con»tab(e of the St. Kolloi Division of the Glasgow Police:—

Then followed the petition in full. We quote its introductory recital of the facts of the cases —

Unto the Right llonvurabV Robvrt Munro, K.C., M.P., Secretary for Scotland.

lbe PETITION of WILLIAM MAtslLL. residing at 63 Ad am v well Street, Spi inborn, GUsgun1. ex-C mutable No. J07, St. Koilox Divfcion. Ciry of Glasgow Ponce.

Humbly sheweth that:

Hie petitioner was born m Ireland on 23rd December, 1884. :he »on of Sergeant William MngilL ot the Royal Irish CoaetaUilary.

tn 1899 hi: came to Dundee. He served in the Volum toe**, 3rd Votaototr Rattolllon, Royal Highlander*, from 31st January, 1002. to 21H January, 1004.

Ha joined the Glasgow Police Force oa 14th June, 1904. and was on t duty till 5th 'October, tW, »h«!n ho w*» mode Bar Officer and Turnkey.

On 29th Jui*. 1914, he was Court Officer. On *th March, 1916, Ise was again on *trect dirty. Ou 2Hrd April, 1926, he wa* Court Offk*r. On &th March, 1921, be wa* on street duty.

He bokls «wg**fflft' And invpertor*' educational eeniti-CAte and has completely ckan record in the f?oGco Force.

On 2nd Juoe. IW, ht married Elktt WUMmU* Warner, a nur-»H, wlm ws* bom in Btrrfio of German parents, Iser father, William Richard Werner, having taken rtfugc in London from Germany cm 29t6 July, IW4, on account of his political opinion*, lie w» repatriated in Juee, 1915.

Your petitioner him two ^ons aged and three respectively. On l*t March. 1916. your petitionee -itu-sfrd for aerviCv Odder Lord iVtby * scheme.

In 1915 your petitionee's wife *cnr with iiui" father to the Homo Office, having received intimation from ber father that he wo* to be repatriated.

She was Informed by an officer at the Home Office, to uliom tdlO VTated that ahf via, the wife of it conMahle in Claagow, that *be could write to her father, ami she oty> taln*d direction* u* to bow he* letters w*ro to be .iddrcssed.

She wrote one letter only.

On Kill Marcb, IHItj, )«iur petitioner wcis t#IM befoee the Chief Constable of tvlusgow, who informed him that h!* wife sum not permitted to correspond with her father except on very rare occauow.

.She herself went to w the Chief Constable anil had % con ver wit ion with him, vrfwn hr told her Unit ihrre wj» do oh)rctii;n to her writing to her parent*, if the k-tiers were tuhmiued to him forcen*oi%hip before posted.

In August. 1916, she wrote to her father and submitted the letter to th« Chief Ccas&tbfe for approval. She then wont io Millport f"r a holiday, and while ther* received a letter from tlwr Oiief Coostuble stating that he wivhed to sec her.

She returned At once from Millport and had an interview with the Chief CotfM&blO, who informed h*r that he had kept back the letter which she had written, whit* he made inqulfk*, and that a result of these iix|ui/ie> h*-. found that there was no objeetic/n to her writing to her parents.

He Mated that he did not wirf> to im«tt upon the Ofrtsor-ship, but advised brr to *uhm?t her letter* to h:m, and to this *he .'•grrtd.

On dUcu<*ing the interview with her husband, they ie-►olve«i that she would not write to her parents i»nd she did not do so.

In 1915 your petitioner % wife made the .Kijuuintance oS Miss Jane Ham:Iron Patrick, with whom she became on frirnbly Urm*.

Your petitioner's wife was appreciative of the attention and kindness which she received at Miss P.itrick'a hands, a* she was at that time rather 0*tu'iCifed Oil account of her German origin.

Site visited frequently the house of Mis* Patrick's mother, where she met the other members of the family.

Three of Miss Patrick's hro-.hers wire serv.pjg jn the Ariny, ind one wkilled .it Yp/c*.

Xo mention was m^dc between them of politics and your (Ktttioncr's wife did not know anything of Mis* Pat-rick's politic* until the spring of 1920, when on cHllin^ for her at her mother's bouse. *he wa> told that Mia Patrick was at 13 Burntuirk t»sirdeos.

She then proceeded there and hail a talk with Miss Patrick, who told her that lbe organisation was a Soci&tfat Paity.

Vour patitoner's wife did not at any t'une join the Association* n»»r was she ever adud to d<» so, and only <»n OIH occasion SW bite present it* tlurnbank Gardens At a musical evening.

Your petitioner was not aware that hU *ifc over went so ftarnbank Gardens, for she did nix leJI him.

On 2n.j March. 1921. the premise* at 1.1 Burn hank Garden*, krown [takunin H:iu-"\ n..s r,iMed hy the potto, as the Glasgow Hea-j quarters of the Communist l * roup.

I he raid took place at eight o'clock p.m. At nUx o'clock your petitioner's wife called at Burnbank Gar-tkns for the purpose of seeing Mis* Patrick, who being in the wholesale trade, had undertaken to purchase yewr petitioner's wife a pair of dancing slippers, to enable hit- to go to the dance <»t tho Police Porc^

As she entered Burn hunk Gardens Jut wm &<opp?xl by a constable, who stated that the place was being searched anil th it she would have 'to be detained,

She Matet} tUat she was told she: would have to see the Officer in charge.

She u- the oflicer in charge. toW him what *he had called f»>r. and, at hU direction, asked Mis* Patrick if *he had obtained the shoes.

The detect iv* on duty asked her for pariieulars of he* Dame «ind addie*-, etc., and she gave these without hesitation. f

She was Informed that her name appeared in a book cpftftolte an r-ntrv of 5/-, and thU she explained wa* jxiy-rceot made by her for the ticket for the musical evening ut which she had been present.

Your petitioner's wife was n subscriber to a monthly journal called the "Spur," wblefi ah* oMain.0 by post from Ixmdon, hut tit January. ll*2t, ir was addressed from 111 Fktrnhank Garden*, Glasgow, although she was not a ware t>f this fact.

H"r card of subscription for the "Spur" wa* also ft»ufed when tho raid took place.

The presence of your petitioner7. wife was reported to the Ciik-f CoostaW* hy IVtecil re-Super introdent Keith, and on 7th March. 1922, your petitioner wrote to the Chief Co«*fciaWe giving him particulars. stating to Mm that ?iis wife w» oot at any time a member •>* the organisation occupying 111 Bornbaok Ginfcti*. A copy of the letter is rinn**etl hereto and marked Production A.

The Chief Constable, without stating any grounds, called uiwvn your petitioner on l<r.h March, 1921, to resign from th* Porrt.

On 17th March. t$2l, your petitioner wrote to the Chief ft a stable asking him to r*-CAn»bMr his decision. Th*? tiipf letter U annexed hereto marked production B.

The Chief Constable refused to reconsider the case, *cti :ig»iin calkxl upr.n your petitioner to resign.

On 19th March. 1921. he refused ro resign A copy of the tetter is annexed hentto marked Production C.

Thereupon the Chief Constable lodged a misconduct ' h,it£*> i^-.-.'r-' vior "prcitn n«-r for permirting his wife rn become a membtr of a seditious and revolutionary ooclety. * ropy ^ -he mlscoodoct chargc in annexed hereto marked Production 1"),

On 74th March, th* Chief Constable heard parties aM tfwir » itr,esr;es. and on 24th March, 1921, he i-*ued his <k-^'cn, in which lie rcfenrd not only to the incident at 13 farnluink Gardens. but to slwil hr alleged to U the ntritudf that sour petitioner cnofc during Ute war in sym-f*aiby with his wife's nationality.

This was no part of the allegation and was without anv Jn fiiee. both vnur petitioner ar<l his wife being in Germany during the war.

rv that declainn «he Ch'ef CrcudahV o/drre,l vour pn1r:m»r re- A ^y of the finding U aor.e.sad her--

cn marked Production E.

Your petitioner r»*fu*ed to resign, and on 26th March, ti¥22. was dismissed the oervkt.

The petition concluded with a prayer for reconsideration and reinstatement on nine grounds, which summarised, amounted to an assertion that Magill had never been guilty of discreditable con-duet ; that he was called upon to resign contrary to the Statutory Rule.* and Orders, 1920, No. 2113 S. 102 Section 13. el seq.; that the mis. conduct charge was void because Ivis wife was not a member of, and he had not allowed his wife to become a member of, a Mditioux and revolution, ary society.

. The concluding three clauses of the prayer read as follows:—

7. The three persons arrested in connection with the raid arr charged with atdlfkio in resptct of a publication called the "Red Commune," and were sentenced, one to twelve months and two to throe months* imprisonment,

8 That no Suggestion has ever been mode th*t your petitioner has ever had any connection with the "Red Commune" or with the organisation which published it.

9. That after lt» ye-^rs of service in the Pore*, your petlttoHT Una been, by the Chief Constable, sentenced ro what is practically a life penalty, because of un alleged Indirect association of his wife, unknown to him, with Uior<? who were arrested.

Thomas Johnston published the productions mentioned in the petition in full. We content ourselves with reproducing Productions A, I), E. These read as follows: — Production A referred to—City of Glasgow Police

Subject: Mr. MagiO.

St. RntSox Division, 7th March, 1921.

With reference to report by Dcteetive-Supfrin-ti'itdent Keith regarding my wife's visit to premises which he was raiding, I hav* to report that her visit is-ns on business <if m private rmturc, Miss Patrick, who Is a p'. 1 fr>nd cf hers, having promised tu get her a pair of shoes at who>sak prtce, for which stve paid MtM Patrick £1 a few dasrs previous. She returned home immediately after giving her explanation to Mr. Keith, and informed me of *hat had occurred.

My wife denies being a member of the organisation, or of any other, and state* that the "card" in question has reference to the fact that she was a subscriber to the 14 Spur", a monthly periodical in which she was interested fr^rn an educational point of view, It being posted from premises raided.

I may state tb.M th«* matter has caused me grave anxiety since I beard «if It, a* f r*ati*e under what suspicion she has pl-*K*«l me by vitituig such a place. She has promis-<s| me that in future she will n.>t go to the premisrs in question or any premises of a like character.

I Signed) WIU.IAM MAG! 1.1., No. 107 Co*stab(e, Rrg. No. Y277.

The Superintendent.

Production !) referred to COPY OF MISCONDUCT CASK That you were guilty of discreditable conduct prejudicial to discipline and the reputation of the Force by

permitting your wife t© become n member of a Mditkm* and revolutionary society. known jis the Communist Ormip, with iiflkn at W lUirntonk tiankn-. onv of vHom alitvi as *et fnrth in their munife«iu i*M To work c>%it%if4e Parliament, to the street* and in the workshop for th* revolution, preurhhui open and avowed snlition nnd agitating toward* Hk- inHurfev'i<»tial trial*. M

\V5tn<»i-e* for tiro^Cot W - -

Superintendent KI%I1 If. Criminal VovOMtguttam l>*-pnr>-


Lieutenant WIUK. Criminal Investigation Department.

Wltoc^sw fivr fMvocr—

JANG HAMILTON' PATRICK. Secretary. 160 West tiraham Sle*n. PRI CK M'J.KIMt, Chairman, 1V4 Ifcilsic Street. wii.iin.MiN.\ wkksrr or magii.i..

uife, ft* Adxm*u-?ll Sfr'««.

Productit F referred lo

mnoivt; of cun;r constadi.k

CJtfi March, 1921.

Whether tlx- card bearing Mts. MntflV* twme in the card indc* found at 13 IUirnb.-vn|c (itUilenR, diou's membership, or a* she- and her hjsliand and hi* contend, ts m*r«ly ernleec* chat vnu a *ubt«cril)ec lo tlv ••Spur^nt'w^papec.tV organ of the ComUMfltM ftroup, it in ciKir that Mrs. Mngill waa In rlo*e association with the member; and a frequent visitor at thf oftV^s of iha Group Ot 13 Hurnbiink (iurden*. also, I must asmrtle, in Sympathy wtth their aims and muhnd*.

t cannot Consinbte Miiglll's contention that he

has no responsibility hi* wife's actlrw in this matter, or hi» statement thai he was uojiwam of Wr association with the membrrs or v~t* to i:t HurnbAnk Gardens.

I fiianot overtook the at tittle he took during the war in sympathy with his w*f<\ nationality.

A* hi* wife is found In association with a revolutionary coeiety which aim* at an Iniurrectlcnfil crick by preftdlfag open and avowed sedition, it become tapoaibte (or Constable, Mttgill to continue to discharge the duties of a policeman.

He is rvqufred to r$Mfcn (ne an alternative to <f>*mi»Ml>.

(Signed) J V STP.VENSON, C.C.

7*h March, 1922.

Beneath these productions Thomas Johnston published the letrer addressed by Councillor Rosslvn Mitchell to ihe Chief Constable and the Chief Constable's reply.

Rosslyn Mitchell'* lertcr read as follows: — Till; CASK OP CONSTARI.K WM. MAGIIJ,

As St is now three month* «inrr this man Was <l'*nmu?d and the criminal charge a^n^t A Id ml and others ha* been derided. 2 venture to yitt ti> reconsider th1w case.

It went to m* a terrib'e thUi£ th^t when people who are found ftuHty in a Law C«rtirt are sint^nc<d to three months' imprisonment. Wiltinm Mng-ll should have inflicted upCn him .n lite po natty. Iwx-nuMr of an allcflod indiscretion »>n thr part of his wife.

1 have all atons ftdvitcd Mp^in ro do nothing about Ms r*re pcrdinc the trial or A!drty| and th? i^bern and no«v you to gHc th^ mmtcr rc«»nstdcratW*. *ssurin>{ you.

that in the Interval r.o mention has lyen made of thf c«e.

f am, }*our$ falthfulfy.

(SigtvKl) E. ROSSI,YN MITCHELL, Councillor.

The Chief Constable, uritins on June, 27, 1921, reiterated hi* position, urn\ hi* letter need not tx-reproduced. Ro&slyn Mitchell must have written next to the Secretary of Strae for Scotland. Johnston publishes ihe following reply: —

SctXOKh Office. Whltefiall. S.W.I. tJh Align**. 1921.

Ontlemen.—With rtftrW lo your letter of lb' 12th Mttimo, forwarding a p^-titton on behalf of Mr. William MajgiU r^ardhi^ h!n dismissal from the City of tilasjijow Police Force, I am directed by the Secretary fur Scotland to Inform you th»r in vtvw ot the fact that the power of di%ntir.*tl of constable* in that K»>ree is ve^tH in lb* Chi» l Constable by Section 77 of the C.lasjjow Police Act. ltW6. he eann-u interfere v ith th" ^ctk»n which th^ CnUf Constable of <i!a%gow ha* ihooRhr pro|»"i to rake in this ca^e.

t jn;, i-cnikmcn, your olKilt^nt svreant,

<Signrdj' JOHN LAMB.

Muwni, Kr.sHlyn MicclHI *nd TuItU C<ch»ran.

Solicitors, St. Vincent Sirre<, Gla^^ow,

Thomas Johnston ooncJudcd this rc«x»r<i with the following editorial eomtiwni : —

The l abour Partr in Parliooicnt -huuld taU*' this sort of thlr.g in band—officially, and at nnce. The local rAftgittrascs, apj>arently, hovo no power to interfere, and the Secretary for Scotland tie urg*d to institute tht

Impartial itv.ju»ry into tbe circumstances that ex-Constable Mr.gill had

Thomai Johnston's very full exposure of this wrong tfonc to William Magill and his eonchiding: comment helped to put him into Patisament. He booame Secretary of State for Scotland. Why did he not institute the impartial inquiry? The main parties arc alive still. Since the facts are stated so clearly and speak for themselves, why did he not right the wrong done in 1921 ? Actually, no enquiry is necessary. Magill should be fotmally reinstated. .He ought to receive all arrears of pay and be granted a police pension as though he had been :n the service since 1921. Why not ? This would make an end of one of the echoes of our Glasgow Sedition Trial of 1921.

Robert Munro, Secretary of State for Scotland in 1921, became Baron Alness, a member of the House of Lords. Johnston co-operated with him in war propaganda. Perhaps, having stepped into Munro's shoes by ihe aid ot* Magill, he had no time for the Glasgow Police Constable who«.e grievances stirred him so much for propaganda purposes in 1921. Then he wept in print. To my mind, the case read like an anticipatory 18b case victimisation.


This is i he story of I he colliery under-manager. In the Freethinker, for February 13, 1921 v 1 inserted a page-advertisement of the publication*. of the Hakunin Kress. Half of ihis page w~a% devoted to an anouncement of the Slav-folklore translation* made by the late Sir Walter Strickland. Russian fairy-tales cannot be deemed seditious or blasphemous. The real of the page announced various Frceihought unci Socialist pamphlets written by mc, the hound volume and also the then current issue of the Spur, and the Ned Commune, which ihc Anti-Parliamentary Group was preparing to publish as its organ, independent of my activity and the work of the Bakumn Press.

The advertisement was answered by a Mr. \V. H. Hunt, of Nuneaton, who was not interested in Socialism, hut was interested in Free thought. He ordered Sir Walter Strickland's translations, my own Frecthought pamphlets, and * hound volume ol the Spur. He did not even order the Rfd Commune, although no one could tell, rn advance, ihat the paper would lie prosecuied, or anticipate its contents. The title simply did not appeal to him. He had never written to the Bukunin Press before and, it is wife to assume would not have written when he did but for the Freethinker advertisement.

At the beginning of March 1921, there occurred my arrest in London and that of my three comrades in Glasgow. These arrests have been de-tailed fully already and nerd not he referred to hrre. Following the arrests and the raid on Bakunin House, ci»mc the victimisation of Mr. Hunt. His victimisation is even more shame* ful than that of the policc-consiabJc, Magill, dealt with in the previous chapter.

Chapman Cohen told the story of Hunt's tjctiniisatioft, in an excellent series of comments published in the Freethinker, for May 15, 1921

Some nmr m*o »*c receked An adv*rtf<t*m*nt ol

certain publications by lb« Rakunin Prmn, of

V*la*gow. The adteeliaeiDent duly iawrioJ, and there, far wero concerned, til* matter ervUvJ. But tlwt

odrtfrlrMtnent bad a rur.ou* ^u^t for ime of our rr«*krH, Mi* particulari of which we fufcv from his leu*** and .in Mrrouat ptiMi«hol in thp Nuneaton "O^ncrvrr.''

TIm«» man. Vtr. W. II. Itunf, employed nf (bo

Haunrhwnnd Colliery iM6*r-m*it*gef. See big th* *1vertisement, ar><1 wishing to fcoow Horoethin* of the levies oiuiMM.H in the :»d%*rtiVd publication*, he sen! » v ^(ktip of them. Mr. I hint is, we understand, neither n propagandist, fine a Member of any political organ!/alio*. Ite was simply destroy of r*-*ding tomwhin^ about the Soviet system and kindred matter*. Seen after sending Hi* money for the publicatiotw the Glasgow office vii raided by thv police, ar*| immcd lately after lUat Mr. Hunt * a» calkd into the manatee's offio*. * ropy of the letter he h%d sent tn the til*»gow Sr>;ialitf headquarter* read to him. and he aioh forthwith dt»ml«*edi

That appear* to a p'j'm unvarnished statement of the fat is ol tl»* rote, J I 00 not think it ptrt*4ble «» con-reive anything of a mure infamous character. The anion of U>e colliery officios Is l»a«l enough. but wor*e than th.M is the \f+i «t their bring in poevrfeion of th»* lettet. How •lid that happen. There ufilj one ol two ways

posaibU-. Eatber the letter '".i-t bav* breo opened by tbc postal offitiala, or it w^t have Ucen » ii« «l by tba police when they misled the Socialist headquarter*. nod on«* or the other uiuM have sent a n jijr of the tester to lb* roan'n *n»|doyer%. For Ihe aulhoritles to op*n a uian« pri%*aie fxir^pomkiKe t* b^nl itiosi|*li. IUii that in ww -o (oAiiwm thai ne bav-e w«moM censed lo ivitiee it. Bat that, in addition, cop**t of tbe»r lctu»v <Ik»uM l>- «*ent 10 ompxiyer*. and hi^ ^khorMd not because he had

done anything wrong or illegal, but iWrHy because he wished to read sortwthinj^ which fl»e authentic* chink he lAitfhr 1h.1 10 read, is portion of ulfnir- that a disgrace to ciny country in the A*<>r|d. I( the faet> nr»» as MatcH rviithinR tbat can say can aOd t«» thr infamy of the tiioation.

If wr had a H«»u*e ol Commons diff^ent from the one wo wi* *hou10 hope to 6c?. the niatler taken up

thero. Hfty /ears ago if tKu hud occurred thai would have l»een done arul wllh «mie eff<ci. But this House of Co«»-mon*, wiih Its eomplacrnt inefficiency and vclf ing inipotenre, U beyi/Od h«>p'*. li cares nothing for liberty. ai;d cyn^orntly do^t nothing f».»r it. And bit by bit, ujhi- < or* pretext or 9M(lKV» Mr gu«raraie altct another of public liberty restricted or wiped oot. Each ot the parties, the l.ahoui Party not let, than the other*, Ktrti* co Mrke for political power with rhr aim of curtail' in % cbi" lr*.««dom of i»>dividual mombpra oC the public*

We ha«r non tho na/t and we hove, a* a result, annexed some of the Oil Hit colon Wi and almost the frtiole k>( the spiritual possessions of l*ru->u A huge army of official* »it dir^e'iriJ alt the details of our life, and ofliciAl-)sm once e«tabll>hed u. one of die mo*t dillicult of all forms of Midal parantrvm to rewovo. To-day it i» be-comin^ a literal truih that no in.™** perrmoat hhertv U sJitr. Thr qu^.iion how murlt farther will matters ro before there ^r»se< n tx*ty of metv <rvj wontrii waffle cully devoted 10 freedom to wllhoni ifgard to any potiti<-»l p.iriy or theory. iKat this sort thmj; must vtop. At pres-rot wc fcee no si en t»f any Mfili «Serelopwni. li is m case of « hkh |KVtty .linll have the chivnov ol playing the PrtmUo.

An account of another case tbat re>ctie«i as illustrates lunher tlitf d«*j;ree to which in ihU <ouniry personal right* are ihr^at-mxl by the reactionary ware shich at

the very banning of the h< warned our readers W»0 bouod to c«mH.

In March last Mr. Guy Aldred was arretted in famdon and fakfn to tilasguw 00 a charge of >»<vli|lcn. t>n tlie ju-: ce of thr charge we de$iro to m«ke m» cornnnni. Thai is cte^Hv * matter to l»c settled in th* courts. The thin^ that doe»*Crtll for tommPnt is that Mr. AVdred is not to be Irkd till July, ami during .«ll that 6m< he is retained in peUoo, bail being refined.

Now there seem* no fh-Hificntion for this, vhor: of the dr*ire to punUh by imprisonment whether a vonviction iw ««x n'-.l or not. It is a ca«e «>f Kc-v.U 1 win, Uiilx you Ihrre i-% no t|ue-tion, eitber, of the ^reuftetl nun failing to app'.ar if bail were allowed. We Lctiew we are ri^ht in saymi; that in none of the^e cam where (Mil lra*» Iwen allowed has there been any default. Remand on bail, with



an undertaking nut to repeat the offence until after the trial, would have: met the ease, and i.s all thai can reason* ably be required.

We do not accept Communism, and we hold no brltrf for it. I>ut we-arc concerned, the "Freethinker" ha* always* hern concerned , with the right of every opinion to expression. 11 is chat which appear* to l»c in danger at the moment, and that concerns all men nnd women who have *ny regard fur freedom and public decency.

We remember the late W. T. Stead raying ;it a l-'rec-thought meeting, that be stoud up for the right of Freethinkers to commit blasphemy, and championed their right the inure heartily because lie did nut agree witlt their opinions. And that is the real test. A worm will wriggle if ic is trodden on hut the test of whethvr it is n super-worm or not is whether it will wriggle when another worm U trodden on. And one cannot avoid the conclusion that at present the authorities appear ro l>c engaged in a campaign against particular opinions to which they have an objection. And we Freethinkers value-the right to free expression too highly not to feel pcrturind when we see ic threatened in any direction.

John S. Clarke, then editor of the Worker, the Glasgow organ of the National Workers Committees, reproduced most of Chapman Cohen's commentary in his paper for May 21, 1921. Re-referring to Sir Basil Thomson, then chief of the C.I.IX, as the successor of Sir Melville Leslie Magnaghton, who had died a short time before, Clarke added: —

However, tracking murderer* the principal business of the late police chief. Hi* successor. Sir Basil Thomson, is composed of less ambitions and less heroic clay. Helping to distribute forged copies of "Pravda," organising gangs of mean spiet, engineering frame-ups, and persecuting political opponent*, arc more in his line. The Police department in this country never sank so low as it has done since Ibis poor puffed-up imitation of Trepoff or Von Plevhe got the job of bossing it. Here an eye-opener to those never-bc-

*lave Briton* who imagine that the police administration of this country is the property of democracy instead of the watchdog of private capitalists.—From the "Freethinker" of last week.

And then Clarke retold the story of the victimised Nuneaton colliery under-managcr—a disgraceful story!

Among those interned wv^r 18B were many who read of this injustice and ignored its implications. They did not see the menace to civil liberty in my 1921 prosecution and the arising persecution of perfectly innocent people who had not the remotest connection with our propaganda. The cry of "sedition", the clamour of ruling class interests, the sense of personal security> conquered their scruples and damaged their interest. Injustice ought never to he tolerated, and the discussion of political opinion, the struggle of ideas, should not he suppressed. Those whose silence wronged me in 1921 wronged themselves. Some, twenty years later, paid the penalty of not being alive to the outrage of civil liberty.


Nemesis: The March of Power

When I turned Irom Theism to Atheism in 1904, I made a study of the "life" of Richard Carlile. I read eagerly his trials and those of his brave shopmen and shopwomen. My study of his struggle was not second-hand but firsthand. From reading his Nepuhiicaut Lion, Prompter, etc., and his Address to Men t>f Science, ( passed to a close examination of the literature uf the time. 1 bought, by a process of dispensing with dinner, all manner of pamphlets covering the period from 1780 to 1848. Some of the literature, tinder the stress of poverty, later I was compelled to sell, not merely to publish other literature, but to obtain food after various releases from prison, and some cold receptions. But I had mastered the. works and there arc certain libraries in which other copies of the originals may be consulted. Some I have by me still.

There is llie "Genuine Verbatim Edition" of The Speech of Lord Brougham on the Second Reading of the English Reform Bill, with Karl (Ircy's Reply to the Opposition, and a list of the majority and minority. There is a "Corrected Verbatim Edition" of the The Speech of Karl Grey, delivered in the House of Lords, October 3, 1831. There is a House of Commons (1830) Speech of C. Poulctt Thomson, M.P., on the incidence of taxation. A host of papers and pamphlets on the Corrupt State of the Church of England. And so on. My study of this literature, covering the Republican to the Chartist period, roused an interest in jurisprudence and developed a tendency towards Anti-Parliamentarism, largely because I believed in the constitutional rights of man- I believed in the first principles of human liberty. My approach towards the study of the problem was based on the attitude and views of Richard Carlile, himself a disciple of Thomas Paine: a disciple and something more. I liked the something more about Richard Carlile.

This explains how I came to write the story of Richard Carlile in the columns of Saladin's Agnostic Jour mil. Saladin did not possess the deep regard for the memory of Carlile that I had developed. That lack of regard accounts for the Secularist and Rationalist failure to appreciate Carlile's work and worth, their neglect of him as a political thinker and libertarian, offensive to my mind. This explained my objection to both the National Secular Society and the Rationalist Press Association attitude. For organisations based on

iho tradition* of F reel bought, their present practical concept of the importance of civil liberty would be humorous if it were not so tragically turcica!. But it is in line with their attitude towards Richard Cariile at the lime that I joined the K reel bought ranks, even though I believe they were union-c'm»us of the trend of their thought. Chapman C- hen at that time could never conceivc of himself -coming a militarists Hid not stupid Jewish Anarchists in Vkinria Park mistake him for a Free Socialist? I.nrd Sndl% Sender of the House of Lords, in those days of crisis and critical war i me a Mac!.* s on civil liberty, found it hard to recall those* days when, as Harry Snell. he sponsored mcbefcn* the Cambcrwcll Klhical Society. The Harry Snell of those days would no: have viaioncd himself becoming the I.nrd Srull of 1931-44. I did not anticipate such strange progress cither. Bu: I did sense the trend of his propaganda. It wanted the virility of real Free-thought. It lacked the worth of the Cariile iraditioit. It was the shadow of Secularism ai:d ISthtcism; it whs parlour liberalism; but it was not Frccthoughi. Colun's Secularism had a little more body titan SnelFs Rationalism, but they were both wanting badly.


1 carried the Cariile tradition, the belief in the Rights of Man, with me into the Social Democratic Movement. I left the Radical Democratic league because it wus not Radical, and because I felt that its liberalism would lurn to despotism. Oirlilc's spirit of thoroughness inspired mc to repudiate the parliamentary Socialists in 1906, in terms, as my Juitwe letter showed, that tended to Anti-Parliamentarism. I saw parliamentarism as a departure, not only from Socialism, but from Radicalism and the constitutional struggle for the rights of man. It was the historic negation of the very suffrage agitation and the earlier Republicanism of which it seemed to be a con-tl vision. Parliamentarism is not the progressive consequence of thf agitation Richard Cariile engaged in Irom 1819 to 1832, nor yet is it the triumph of those who agitated for ballot boxes and universal suffrage. It was reaction joining issue on the parliamentary field with the forces of progress in order to establish reaction. It is the negation of individual sucicty for military society, with parliamentarism as the bridge. That bridge has never been in the possession of the progressive forces in society. I)u1l-witted Socialist parliamentarians lime never wished to fa«v that fact. To-dayf at the close of the era .of pseudo-Socialist parliamentarism, the Richard Cariile tradition is more important than ever.

Socialist Parliamentarism, as we know it, was born of international proletarian disaster. After the Commune of Paris, the Socialist* of Europe abandoned international principles and policy, and passed under capitalist national yokes, paying at impossible reform.Mn, and upholding militarism and war. There were Socialist parliamentarians in Kuropc in 1848 but they flourished only for a while and liquidated themselves in rraction. It has never been difficult for Socialist parliamentarians to beootne reactionary. The position ol the working-class movement in the worhl is nn organisational monument to the reactionary nature of (lie parliamentary Socialist movement. Not merely have the Socialists miscalled sacriliccd the workers' lives to capitalism, but they massacred the workers* hopes.


I saw that this would be so when 1 stood in the duck at the Central Criminal Court, London, in 190.9, charged with Indian sedition.

Since 1909 we have witnessed the 1912 arrests of loin Mann and Crowslev: the monstrous sentences passed at that time on Guy Bowman and the Bu ok Brothers; the 1915 debate in the House of Common* on the Munitions of War Bill, extending state power over the workers by Royal Proclamation; the 1924 operation by Ramsay MacDonsild of the Emergency Powers Act by Royal Proclamation; all leading up to the later militarist and parliamentary reaction throughout Europe., and the War Kmcrgency measures of 1940; a steady evolution of reaction.

■Even tnough reactionaries; have suffered under the measures of 1940, a reward for having maintained the milder reaction uf yesterday when their liberty was not at stake immediately, I am * not indicting them. They lived in u conventional world and did not know better. In my view what has happened since l9Hy has been a necessary consequence of the disgraceful cowardice exhibited by the so-called revolutionary and Socialist movement at that time. Its indifference granted the Executive a licence that time has extended. Socialists have no right to be indifferent to the principles of civil liberty, for they are the guard-rans of human rights, and they ought to be the pioneers of commonweal for all mankind.

In I9u9, a man named llorslcy, a small jobbing printer, compromised the right of the free press with ar» apology, and suffered four months in the first division. He typified capitalism in its poorer sense. The man had t\pcs and a small press. He knew how to set and he had to live. And so he printed handbills and small papers tor a living. The history of the press, the idealistic

importance of the machinery of the press, its worth us an agency in the emancipation of his neighbour and his neighbour's and his own children, never disturbed him. What a blasphemy? To have a press and to want a soul f To have a press anil to own a mind consumed by fear! Yet how sadly typical! And so Ilorsky betrayed his birihri^ht as a man in the hope that he might maintain his mess of pottage as a printer. Greatness was thrust upon him in \ain.

I saw the menace of Horsley's api»l«»fcy f< r printing the Indian Sociologist, a paper that I had not seen up to that time. So I got into touch with its owner and editor anil published the next issue in defiance of the Government and without agreeing with its editor. I repeated Horsier's offence and took twelve months in the first division. But K disturbed the complacent assurance of the Attorney-General and of the London Times. Both had made the undemocratic boa»t that no oik would print the paper to lace of llor-sley's apology and sentence. I hey were wrong, f was jealous of English radical tradition—I knew nothing about Scotland at that time and was not interested in her distinct National traditions—and I was not prepared to tamely surrender the rights of the people to the whims and power of the Executive. I say whim* because the Executive, in a panic, often suppressed papers and people without the least sober reflection. Krishna varma's Indian Sociologist was a gesture and protest rather than an effective piece of propaganda. He did not inspire action, but commented on the action after it had been accomplished. My own action proceeded from suppression, as an answer, and contained no original incitement. It was protective of public right and not assertive of revolutionary struggle. That I had associated with Anarchists, then the subject of libellous attack, did not arTect the matter. Here the Government and its henchmen resorted to clamour. I was portrayed with horror as an Atheist and an Anarchist. Yet an Atheist was sitting in the Government that prosecuted me and there were Atheists sitting among its supporters in the House of Lords. To-day, we have an Atheist leader of the House of Lords. Anarchism hut defines intense individual faith in conscience and liberty; and Tolstoy, a mystic ami Anarchist, rightly or wrongly, has been the subject of tribute by liberal writers throughout the world. The combination of Atheist and Anarchist gives a horrible sound, but the separation is reputable. To create such a false suggestion by the mere use of sound is trickery. But such trickery, and not regard for jurisprudence, is the way of Government.

Justice, "iht? organ of social democracy." said thai my attitude "was an ebullition of (ooltsh vanity." The editor forgot all about the essays 1 had contributed freely to its columns, my parliamentary correspondence, my unceasing propaganda in Islington which, to my discredit, built up the movement that afterwards returned W. S. Cluse to the House of Commons Freedom, the " journal of Anarchist Communism" (!), stated that my prosecution was a personal matter between the (fovcrnment anrl myself! Here is the exact phrase reproduced from the columns of Freedom for (Vtolicr, 1909 -

Thr position tnk*n up by AUtreil i purely pfr»oi>-

aniiiKk «•/ rli* act'oo lb* l«orf*oro*«t jgaimt tin- "Indlun ^uioliijiM . "

i do not write with persona! bitterness, but with grim reflections at the consequences of this woeful lack of understanding. The Government was given a good inch, and inch has been stretched down the years into something mure than the proverbial yard. I do not believe that the war-time repressions of 1914-1918, or the Emergency Powers of 1924 and 1926, arose from the conditions of crisis only. I do not believe that the suspension of habeas corpus is an incident of war-time necessity. I believe that the Executive tendency to repression is developed by the indifference of the democracy to the worth and reality, the urgent necessity of freedom of speech, word, and living. I believe that the War Emergency Towers were dm4 as much to the indifference of the Socialist and Anarchist Movement to my stand in 1909, as to any sense of the need fur protection tigainst alleged Fascist or Xa^i plotting. I believe that not the least sympathy with Hitler or Mussolini existed in this country outside the House of Commons, where cx-admirers occupy Tory benches, or in ihe clubs where retired colonels do/c away the winter of their discontent.

Whcn^ I was sentenced in 1909 for believing what my reading of Thomas Paine, and my study of Richard Carlile had taught me, the need for untrammelled freedom of the Press, only one pen in Briiain defended me. Thar, pen was anonymous and only expressed itself because some other anonymous pen had joined in the censure. Here is the lone voicc of protst, culled from the cor-respondence columns of Reynolds' S*utf>apcr9 September 12, 1909: —


Sir.—-Vottr "Idunvt," ajv« "w* stl

<4if wild oat*,*' but jtHjcintf hi-* v-rrone<Hi« re. mark* oo tiuy AUr. J. one roust concha!* tint h»» nothing tv but dltfl. Allow rot tu correct bit

fills? statement*. Aldred in not a politk-ian; h« U not a itiol I ml agitator; bo i« net vain; neither he in

need ol ;» fjdgea» ml*kt «U»r an "IrfmiadV sympathy. He U a fluent urvl lexical speaker, a writer, tod an intelligent «*porwrU ol p!iito;i>ph'.c Anarchism: a*ld a* for friends, he U a participator in »fi«t universal Spirit which is th»- torch txtf^r of prcgrc** ami ilt»- mo*t potent factor in Sockiy,


I never discovered ihe identity of "R.l\" WIDENED POWERS OF PROSECUTION

In 1909 the Government founded its prosecution on a definition of sedition that belonged to 1918, and a Newspaper Act that belonged to 1871. In 1912 it produced an Act that belonged to 1797, and secured a conviction of hard labour where the judiciary ought to have passed a sentence of the fust division only. Instead of bring met with defiance, it was treated to a defence of compromise and complaisance.

Every political offender should insist upon defending himself jit stead of seeking the aid of counsel. Guy Bowman, in 1912. employed counsel—with what results? There was no defiant pica of justification, no impeachment of govern-ing-class terrorism, and wilh two counsels engaged for the defence, the Government secured an apology and a total sentence of one year and nine months' hard labour* as against ihe twelve months in the first division and no apology in my case.

Then we had Tom Mann, the orator ol labour, c harged, and he employed counsel al*o. What a mistake! In addition, after nearly a week's imprisonment, he promised not to repeat his ''incitements" pending his trial, in order to secure his release on bail. There is somethng unsavoury and offensive about such a promise.

Commenting on Mann's attitude in the Herald of Revolt, for April, 1912, ! recalled a dialogue •.hat took place between Richard Carlife and Mr. Justice Bailey, at the Guifdhall, on Tuesday, June 15th, 1819. It was asfollows: —

Mr. Jimke Bailer: 1 recolkct the defendant Seinfc SrcAnjhi to my eharobors for Indictment. and that a p.'oenic+ of forbcaraiKf vt*< made lo him. provicVd be wutiM give an umjeua^ng to discontinue the iaJe, and that the dcf.odaat refwcJ to give an undertaking to that effect.

Richard CVirllle: I CGoCeivod, mv k»rd, that the pubti-rn^Ion couM iki bo considered an offence, until a )»ny had to ifo

Mr. Justice Best: Vou may he wrung there.

Leigh Hunt's vndicaticn of Carli!e's attitude in this matter ought to have been studied by t

the Socialist movement at this time. It would have yielded a better dividend to the lovers of intellectual liberty than too close a perusal of the Electors' Handbook. It would have made inter-esting reading for Tom Mann. To his complaisance, unfortunately, we had to add the cowardice of the printers, who, so far from being ordinary printers, were well-known in Waltham-stow as Social Democrats.

If only the Socialist movement had sacrificed its parliamentary ambitions to engage in more persistent "ebullitions of foolish vanity"; if it liad possessed a little more understanding of the import of those private matters between Governments and the citizen upholders of the Hag of liberty; if it had realised that such defiance epitomised the struggle between the new order that must come and the old order ffotf must go; there might have been no 1914 world war, no Versailles Treaty, and no aftermath. The world might have turned to Ami-Militarism and to Socialism instead of progressing, through war and parliamentarism, towards war and Fascism, and a growing world chaos of despair. At least there would have been some integrity alive, making for peace and concord, justice and liberty, instead of a careerist movement that has careered the working class faith and organisation into a sneering oblivion.

If only the aroused Socialist movement had seen the force of an insistence on the free Press in 1909, if only it had understood the necessity, if only it had realised that the suppression of the Indian Nationalist Press meant the suppression of the English Proletarian Pre**, the 1912 prosecutions might never have taken place. The monstrous convictions of Bowman and the Burks for issuing Anti-Militarist leaflets placed a premium upon the militarist ideal of thoughtless murder and senseless obedience. If patriotism has any meaning, it should show itself in a devotion of soul that is not opposed to reason, that is enriched by thought, and does not insist on passive obedience at so much a day. Even soldiers have a right to think if democracy is right. The c1ass laws that murdered Ireland's patriotic genius, Robert Emmet, are laws that consecrate no real principle of patriotism. A soldier that obeys but does not think is a menace to society aitd the too? of despotism. Capitalism is obliged, by its economic exigencies, to uphold and to insist on the menace to progress of the soldier who does not think. That is how Capitalism develops Fascism.

In the House of Commons, Rufus Isaacs, later to become the Marquess of Reading, assumed "full responsibility" fcr the prosecutions and ex^ oneratcd tin; Cabinet from all blame. But why? \( the prosecutions were just and constitutional, if they wire essential to the well-being of society, why should the Cabinet have needed to be exonerated? Surely "responsibility Rufua" must have felt that there was something wrong. He was afflicted with a sense of uneasiness. I wonder why?


kemisis: the march of power


The conduct of Sir Forrest Fulton, the Recorder, in the Bowman-Buck case reminded me of the reference that I made in the Indian Sociologist for August -1909, to the clamorous reactionaries and time-servers whose anti-social instincts arc the levers that set in motion the ponderous anti-constituiiunal machinery of political persecution:

But Wt have aJv> laid upon the miarfpnwenu-

tion*. prejudice*. pylons, nt>d i^i»«- of those who** boast I* law oikI order. who«? ruV* i« ch and who'.* U-irp«T.'.rr,rnr.»l fcwk oi OPTlhlntf l»k* ft trr.w of calm ia t'n* basU of th*ir qualifitot'on fo diteriminai* txiwern the atretics of •v^cmkh. titfl irnd the privitugfs of lotlivl' liberty x\ understood in law*

This statement was subsequently justified by the attitude adopted by Sir Forrest Fulton, the Recorder, who, in charging the Grand Jury to return a true bill against me for sedition, stated that 1 published "pestilential literature." The Recorder had no right to urge such a charge. His duty, like that of the magistrate, is either to direct the throwing out of the case against a defendant, or else to urge that there is a case to go to the properly constituted judge and jury. Vet it is left to men of his temperament to sit in judgment upon persons charged with seditious libel. At that time, 1 have no doubt, many of the men interned in 1940, if they read reports of the trial, accepted the diction of the Recorder without question. In 1940 they were condemned, without trial, but on the same clamorous grounds, which should have convinced them that the language of power is clamour and not jurisprudence. Had they been wiser in 1909. they might not have been victimised thirty years later. But thev accepted the dictates of power and considered such dictates law.

In the 1912 Bowman-Buck case Forrest Fulton distinguished Ivinself bv delivering a violent and ignorant attack upen Syndicalism in his charge to the Grand Jurw although the defendants were not charged with Syndicalism, but only with a specific offence. \i*., incitement to mutiny, which is a quest Sen of foci and not of theory.

Was 1 not justified in referring to a Government that relied on such men as Fulton, assisted bv the clamour of the then Blumcnfeld-ediiod

Daily Express, as a conspiracy against the Constitution. a despotism nourishing on treason against the Constitution, a despotism flourishing on treason against the liberties of the people? Was 1 not justified in laving stress upon ••misrepresentations. prejudice's, passions, and ignorance of those whose boast is law and order"?


There are many persons alive to-day who realise the part played by clamour in entrenching social wrong. In 1909 these folk were unwilling to recognise this fact and even endorsed the clamour. From th»s indifference, apathy, or stupid concurrence, has flown that tide of war arul suffering along which the world has drifted to chaos and a revolution of hunger rather than of mind. In 1909 I was the constitutionalist, not the barrister who appeared against me; not the jury who convicted mc, nor the judge who lectured and sentenced me. My de-sire was to save the world from chaos.

I ask my readers to turn to the legal reports of the 1909 trial and to note the nantc& of the legal luminaries who appeared on behalf of the prosecution. It i<* amazing to reflect that it required more lawyers than warders to consign me to durance vile. Nearly all became judges or police-court stipendiaries or received high legal appointments. How few of them aimed at being jurists, and so using their academic training to serve the people, to uphold principles of law and social concord, to develop conditions of justice! ?.et the reader consider the destiny of my opponents, proud of their wig and gown distinction, find then return to the record of the lawyers of the Pai no-Carl lie periods. They will discover a similar study of progfess from bar to bench, of servitude to power, of reason perverted to gain and status. A story of legal drift to social disaster, of intellect crying to span nn abyss of oppression, of culture doomed for want of thought and social understanding.

The judges of the Carlile period, and the judge who condemned me in 1909. with ihe barristers and solicitors who earned their bread by procuring condemnation, created the precedent of clamorous ignorance which pretends that the suspension of habeas corpuf, and denial of civil lihertv in the trrmsof 1HB. nrc firm expressions o< constitutional law. My condemnation in 1909. the subsequent pmsecuttons of 1912. the graver prosoettt'ens of 1921. cleared the way for further extra-judicial inroads upon the liberty o£ the individual who dares to think, speak truly according to his lights, and boasts some amount of public spirit.


In 1911, 1 revised and rewrote ihe "life" of Richard Cartile and published ic serially in the columns of thr Hero !d of Revolt, before reissuing it in booklet form. Forward, edited by Thomas Johnston, in its issue for March 30, 1912, reproduced nearly the whole of the sccond chapter of lhat "life," and Credited nu; with having gathered:

Some int*r*«tir)g historical Infbrmatkm on the pcise-cuticns of the Mutiny Art j^riol —the period that the \tlcrnej-t«etw i»il ami Ilk ctp'liiUd backer* regard a* th»* " OoWfn Aue. "

This was said well- Only> through parliamentarism, Johnston found himself for the sccontl time in the Cabinet and for the tliifd time in the Government* The Inter 1813 Government looked hack to the Mutiny Act period as tlte "Golden Age.'' which they fain would have had us cnjeiy as ourforefathersdid before us, ere they revolted!

In the present work I have detailed the 1921 Glasgow High Court trial of Rex v. Aldred, Pat-rick, and others; considered the career of the late Lord Skerrington, who presided and denounced me so vigorously as a ring-leader; and of the late A. M. MacRobert, K.C., who prosecuted.

1911 TRIAL

The 1921 trial was an improvement on the I9<>9 London prosecution. No one pretended that the prosecution was a private matter between the Government and myself. John McGovern, now M.P. for Shettleston, had no idea of entering Parliament at that time. My 110 day*% imprisonment, without bail, pending trial, found him most vigorous in my interest. After mv sentence he loyally and actively identified himself with my cause and spared no effort to serve mc. William Gallacher—with no prospects of a parliamentary career before him, and not yet called upon to defend the wholesale suppressions, persecutions, and murders of Moscow—eulogised my defence in the columns of the Worker. Harry McShane* not yet a Communist Party parrot, reported the trial very fully in the Socialist. Pat-lick Dollan, not yet Lord Provost* and so still un-knighted, reported my arrest, trial, defence, serially in the columns of the Daily Herald, then controlled entirely by the Labour Movement. Dollan noted every effective point made in my speech for the defence and eulogised my stand. The present status and activities of the persons mentioned prove that, dcptle appearances to the contrary, 1 was still alone in what the ruling class apologists term my seditious tendencies.



Thai essential loneliness explains my almost isolated Socialist protest against the 18B anosts of 1940. Most of the victims were, at some time or another, associated with Fascism. In my eyes that did not affect their right to be charged and tried by judge and jury. In my time I have demanded justice foi Anarchists. During two world wars 1 had to protest against clamour against conscientious objectors. 1 still uphold the constitutional right of citizens, irrespective of opinion. I look back to the 1921 prosecutions.

Ihe then discretions and affiance* of the parliamentary Socialist, not yet arrived, were but the diplomatic expressions of reformist opportunism. Time has shown that such opportunism is fatal to every principle of democracy and lo all requirements of jurisprudence. My 19<>9 stand was correct. My admiration of Paine, and, even more, of Cariile, was correct. Parliamentarism defines neither justice nor democracy: parliamentarism has no respect for thr principles of jurisprudence. Ihe learned definition of sedition given by Mr. Justice Coleridge in 1909 was unfair a* an indictment of my attitude towards freedom and the social struggle. The denunciation of my low notion of parliamentarism by Lord Skerrington in 1921 was no less unjust. Skerrington implied that I had no respect for constitutional justice as a principle of nature, as the essential element of the social contract, invisible but vital, that links men and "women together in society, that is higher than all class division and all military conflict. Such constitutional justice is superior to decrees of kings inspired by the frenzy of divine right illusions, and above all Star Chamber decrees. The principles of such constitutional justice are greater than the legislative enactments of any suicide parliament sacrificing the right of the individual to think and speak and act except as the tool and subject of the State executive.

To-day, we know that Socialist Parliamentarism has "continued the rule of militarist and class society; that it belongs to the same category of clamour ax Radical Parliamentarism that went before; to the same category of clamour a* Tory Parliamentarism. Socialist Parliamentarism has broadened the basis ol class-sociqty's political corruption and so extended the structure of the pyramid of tyranny.


If the present Dukes of Bedford or Wellington read the reports of my 1909 trial in the London Times, or accounts ot my 1921 trial in




the general press, I do nol suppose thdt they reflected on the significance of such prosecution. On the contrary, doubtless they felt that I was wrong. But I feel that the indifference to the principles of the 1909 prosecution; and the non-understanding of the import of the 1921 case, which bristled with illegalities, that no one considered important, led, through the growing executive power of the post-war years, by the power of clamour over reason, to the 18B destruction ol'the constitutional rights of the citizen. Tory and Labour parliamentarians united in Britain to re-establish Star Chamber justice, actually asserting in modern form the old stupid dictatorship idea of the divine right of kings or of the central executive. They did this, because in Europe, parliamentarians, Tory and Socialist, failed to establish commonwealth- Their failure plunged civilisation into the violence of chaos.

'I hus it is clear that I was right, when in 1909, I asserted that I stood alone in the Old Bailey Court Room for constitutional right ; that my jailers, my prosecutors, the judge and jury, were all using legal terms to perpetuate constitutional wrong, and so finally to annul or to overthrow constitutional right. It is clear that 1 was right during the panic clays of 1921, in once more attempting to uphold constitutional right when after passing through the various preliminary stages of arrest and detention, 1 found myself in the dock with my few comrades in the Glasgow High Court, facing prosecutors, judge, and jury again. On both occasions I was accused of violence because I disbelieved in violence. On both occasions 1 was accused of planning constitutional outrage when 1 was upholding constitutional rights. I pleaded in vain to be heard. Clamour silenced me. In 1940 my very enemies were forced to realise that I was right. And so, expecting at last to be heard, I assert the constitutional rights of man against all appearances of law and all expressions of power that deny the rights of man.


The Rights of Man were defined in the American Declaration of Independence, although no longer subscribed to by many American politicians- The Rights of Man were defined by Thomas Paine and Richard Carlile. lawyers have ridiculed these Rights of Man, but they remain the bulwark of human happiness and human well-being. It is the duty of citizens, inspired by a sense of public affection, to uphold those rights in these days of stress and storm. These Rights, maintained, conserve society. Denied they will revolutionise society.

Proudhon had a clear idea of how militarist society must give way to industrial society. He had a clcar vision of reactioh being but the prelude to revolution. His notion of parliamentarism was no less correct. Proudhon, the enemy of violence, the anticipator of- free society, has described how social change must come until the rights of every human being are established finally for ever: —

Like the Nemesis of old, whom neither prayer* nor threats could move, the revolution advances with scmb and inevitiibk trend, over the flowers with which it? devotee* strew it* p;ith, through the blood of itx champion*, and over the bodies of its enemies.

Nemesis is the goddess of vengeance, prepared to reward the virtuous, and to destroy the vicious. She is one of the infernal deities, and is the daughter of Nox, who is the daughter of Chaos. Nemesis is the grand-daughter of Chaos. Which is proof that pagan mythology is not far removed from truth and an appreciation of the first principles of modern social struggle.


Prosecuted Writings

THE INDIAN SOCIOLOGIST Vol VNo. 8. London, August, 1909


The Attorney-General has declared .that the Times was guilty of sedition in publishing Krish-navarma's letters in his own defence. To publish all manner of outrageous attacks upon the Indian Nationalist leader is perfectly legal! To allow him to defend himself is a criminal offence! Such is justice!

The Daily News considers Mr. Krishnavarma's letters to the Times "dignified and moderate". It also says that the precedent of censorship at the casual impulse of the police is a summary censorship of a dangerous kind which must not go unchallenged. Describing the Czar's decorations as gec-gaws, the same journal has regretfully recorded the fact that its reporter did not have copies of Kropotkin's book on Russian prisons to hand to the recipients. AH of which would seem to entitle the Daily News to confiscation or prosecution for sedition.

Mr. Gladstone assumes full "responsibility" for giving- his standing sanction to the police to confiscate whatever papers thev consider may lead to a breach of the pcacc. He is also 44responsible'1 for blasphemy prosecutions which are afterwards justified on the ground of the defendant's "obscenity" in such cases. This "responsibility" enabled Russian spies to photograph and mark dowrv Revolutionary members of the Duma during their recent visit to London. For the. legal murder of Dhingra on the 17th, Gladstone's "responsibility" was the final "responsible" cause. Whether Dhingra's body is to be cremated or buried in the usual way Mr. Gladstone will dccide. For all these things docs Mr. Gladstone assume "responsibility". The Speaker thinks the public control over Mr. Gladstone's actions of no importance, •and agrees that it is a sufficient reason for police coercion if Mr. Gladstone is "responsible". But who, or what, in the wide world, is 44responsible" for Mr. Gladstone?

That it should he ncccssary to put this question proves how unconstitutional is the role played by the present Government in the matter of repression. Its insistence is a conspiracy against the liberty of the people. In other words, a matter of high treason.

The Under-Secretary of State for India says that the Government is determined to continue its repression of India. Sir Henrv Cotton and Messrs. Mackarness, Hardio% and. Rutherford condemn such repression as a dangerous proceeding abhorrent to those who were asked to acquiesce in silence whilst believing in the liberty of the subject. For this they arc imoeached as clear philanthropic rodents, whose hearts are. wrung by everv effort to put restraint upon the interesting reptile of Indian Independence, sometimes called Sedition. Although they nibble away dally at the meshes of the net of repression thev rannot free the captive, owinc to the activities of Morlev. So sav the Imperialistic Press. Which means that Indians must emancipate themselves.

Without charge or trial Indians are banished f^om their homes for an interminable oeriod upon iho evidence of a policc which is admittedly thorough! v corrupt and untrustworthy. The lives and liberties of 300,000,000 natives arc arbitrarily disposed of by 8.500 alien officials, who drain the money out of the rouYUrv. The vearlv expenditure on an alien militarism is /72S.OOO.OOO, whilst that on elementarv education is <£200,000. Bv introducing contract labour English officials have

been responsible for an enormous amount of fraud, crueltv, and mortality. The British Government cheerfully assumes full "responsibility"- Which should settle the matter for the Indians, who revolt at their peril.

Were Krishnavarma to come to London he. would be arrested for sedition. This paper is suppressed in India; it is prosecuted at home. I am not identified with its propaganda and do not share its ideals. I have undertaken the printing and publication of this paper in defence of a Free Press. In the event of my being prosecuted to conviction for sedition, the Bakunin Press will continue to print and to issue the Indian Sociologist until that freedom is secured. Volunteers arc wanted to assist in that fight. Those who are for solidarity are asked to communicate with the Secretary, at 35 Stanlake Road, Shepherd's Bush, London, W.

The question at issue is not the views of any particular person. It is the matter of the unlicensed liberty of speech and writing. If we would not bt4 hanged separately by police repression we must hang together in opposition to political tvrannw

G.A.A. »


By Guy A* Aldred

In view of the recent prosecution and conviction of Mr. Horslcy for printing the July issue of the Indian Sociologist, I purpose treating, in the p-csent essay, of the right of freedom of publication as defined in the British Constitution; the legality and ethics of political revolution and assassination; and the anti-constitutional nature of the law of seditious libel. In dealing with these subjects I desire it to be distinctly understood that I am an Anarchist Communist, and, as such, maintain that mere political changes can, in my opinion, avail the workers little. I stand for the • overthrow by industrial-political anti-constitutionalist action of a social era in which the Government of persons shall have given place to the administration of things. Politically, such an ideal of social organisation involves all that is implied by the term Anarchism; and Mr. Krishnavarma and W(s colleagues are so little in agreement with such an ideal that they desire to set up an independent Nationalist Government in India with a constitution of its own.

When, therefore, papers like the Express, Mail,



and Times—and men like Cromer, Curzon, Bannerjee. Pal, Redmond, and Moriey—denounce the "direct net km" Nationalist propaganda of Mr. Krishna varma, equally with the Sinn Fein Irish Nationalist movement and the corresponding: "ourselves alone'* Egyptian activity, a* Anarchist propaganda they are confessing their ignorance of politics -ind sociology alike; whilst, if lhey are using* the term Anarchist in the unscientific and meaningless seme of being synonymous with disorder, they arc libelling alike the Nationalist and Anarchist propaganda*, slandering Kropotkin equally with Krishnavarma, and pointing the index-linger of failure to the system of repression they uphold ; since it is a sociological truth, no less than a physical one, that like beget* like as well as attracts like. Where social accord had been secured social discord could not enter in. The face thai social discord has entered into England as well as in India proves that, though different in political decree, the repression at home is like in political And economic kind with the


In the repudiation of I he action of Dhingra by his family we sec not the cuhurcd horror of oppression begotten of political freedom, but the unseemly haste which marks the noontime, if not the evening of that day in India which, bv making men slaves, takes away half their worth and, as Homer says causes them, in fact, to lose every impulse to action but that low and hnse one of fear. As under the influence of this motive, however, Irish politicians have hastened to dissociate themselves from the traditions of Hmmctt and his Sinn Fein disriplcs, so. under the influence of like condition* and considerations, so-called ••Constitutional Indian Nationalists" have hastened to denounce Krishnavarma. How justifiable that propaganda is, the comparison of events in India today with the history of the past shows. The labelling of Krishnavarma'* activity as that of the "Indian Anarchists" represents that


which Grattan, in his speech on Irish Reform, said he disliked because it had l»een the cry of tyrants since the beginning of the world. Never wax any system of injustice, he declared, long conducted in the world without setting- up for itself some grim idol of terror—an object expressed by some frightful indefinite word that can mean at the same time everything, anything, or nothing, as liest suits, the purpose of those who use it.

The incessant terror and alarm—which the resort to such meaningless "terminological inexati-tudes" suggests as its cause—is. as Godwin remarked, a disposition which clings close to despotism. All the evidences of the disposition of such a despotism exists not only in India but, as the prosecution for sedition of the July issue showed. also in this land of the Free!

Hdvctius has said that the despot is a gorgon who petrifies a man even to his thought>, and, like the gorgon.Js a terror to the world. The British Government ha* petrified the late printer of the Indian Sociologist even to his thoughts, and so far terrified the Knglish printing world that most printers are afraid to print it. This despotism exists in London.

Hclvctius has also said that to limit the Press is to insult the nation; to prohibit the reading of certain books is to dccfarc the inhabitants to b<-either fools or slaves. By its actions in India and in England the British Government has insulted the English and Indian nations, declared their inhabitants to be either fo«>ls or slaves.

Another assertion of Hdvctius was that the most formidable enemy of ihc public welfare is not riot or sedition but despotism, since il produced nothing but vices. This is tantamount to saying that the British Government in India and England is the most formidable enemy of public welfare in both nations, since it thrives on the creation of nothing but viciousnes*.

Montesquieu said that man is perpetually crushed, debased, and degraded by despotism. Man is perpetually crushed, debased in India, Egypt, and England by the Cur/on-Cromer Imperialistic-Bureaucvatic caste.

Voltaire has remarked that we are not permitted now to either write, speak, or even think. If we speak it is easy to misinterpret our words, and still much more so if we write. In India the Government calls this "Reform", whilst in England such uncertainly is known as "Freedom".

Marhievelli has declared that man has a right to think all things, speak all things, write all things, but not to impnsc his opinions. The British Government holds this to be the quintessence of sedition, and were Machiavclli alive today would promptly seek to impose its opinions on him or else to imprison him. (The latter not to perse, rute him, only to enlighten him on the theory and practice of social liberty!)

Milton has directed mankind's considerations to the fact,-that if it comes to prohibiting there is not aught more likely to he prohibited than truth itself, whos* first appearance tn our eyes, bleared and dimmed with prejudice and custom, is more unsightlv and unplausible than manv errors. Plausible "Honest John", Lord Moriey, should

note this fact ! The Times, also, should record a certain event in its history; whilst Northcliffc-Pearson should recall how certain events, which have never occurred, have been graphically reported in the columns of the Daily Mail and Daily Express. It has been the united force of Morley, Times, Mail and Express which has demanded the suppression of the Indian Sociologist, Milton was, indeed, a seer, living before his time!

Voltaire has said, that the worst use to which you can put a man. is to hang him. The British Government is about to put Dhingra to that use, but denounces his execution of another man. If, therefore, to admit the stokral attitude of Dhingra, is to approve of indiscriminate homicide, surely, to approve of the Governmental method, is to advocate calculated murder by mercenary hirelings. What right has any man to deny the rifcht of another man to hold a different opinion from the latter, but the right of a despot?

fkccaria has denounced as barbarous the format pageantry attendant on the public murder of individuals by Governments. He sees in these cruel formalities of justice, a cloak to tyranny; a sec ret language, a solemn veil, intending to conceal the sword by which we arc sacrificed to the insatiable idol of despotism. In the execution of Dhingra that cloak will be publicly worn, that secret language spoken, that solemn veil employed, to conceal the sword of Imperialism by which we are sacrificed to the insatiable idol of modern despotism, whose ministers are Cromer, Curzon, Morley & Co. Murder, which they would represent to us as a horrible crime, when the murdered is a governmental flunkey, we see practised by them without repugnance or remorse, when the murdered is a working-/nan, a nationalist patriot, an Egyptian fellaheen, or a half-starved victim of despotic society's blood-lust.

It was so at Featherstone and Denshawai; it has often been so at Newgate; and it was so with Robert Emmeti, the Paris Communards, and the Chicago Martyrs.

Who is more reprehensible than the murderers of these martyrs? Hie police spies who threw the bomb at Chicago, the mi hoc tribunal which murdered innocent Egyptians at Denshawai, the Asqutth, who assumed full responsibility for the murders of workers at Featherstone, the assassins of Robert Emmett. Yet. these murderers have not been executed! Why then should Dhingra be executed?

Because he is not a time-serving executioner, but a Nationalist patriot, who, though his ideals are not their ideals, is worthy of the admiration of those workers, at home, who have as little to gain from the lick-spittling crew of Imperialistic blood-sucking Capitalist parasites at home, as the Nationalists have in India.

At home, their admiration has meant poverty and despotism for the worker. In India, their regime has spelt misery and coercion. Neither at home, nor in India, will constitutional means effcct the remedy. But, as the Indian has to resort to boycott and terrorism, the English worker must decline to assist a despotic Government at home, to do aught that will further enslave himself, or result in the employment of members of the working-class as hired assassins for the coercion of the Indian natives.


When Warren Hastings was impeached by the British House of Commons, he rested the justification of his tyrannical rule in India, on the pica that tyranny was an inevitable attendant upon alien British rule. On this plea he was acquitted. When Logan was prosecuted for defending Warren Hastings, Erskine successfully defended him on the giound that it was prepusterou.s and mad to bring to the standard of justice and humanity the cxcrcisc of a dominion founded on violence a^id terror. A? the faithful Viceroy of an empire wrested in blood from the people, to whom God and Nature had given it, Erskine maintained that Hastings must have preserved that unjust dominion by the exercise of a terrifying, overbearing, and insulting superiority, since the Imperialistic Government, having no root or consent in affection, no foundation in similarity of interests, nor support from any one principle that cements men together in society, could only be upheld by alternate stratagem and force. Subdued and broken as they had been by the knavery and strength of civilization, Erskine declared that, to be governed at all, and to be prevented from occasionally starting up. in all !he vigour and intelligence of insulted nature, the unhappy Indian people must be governed by a civil and miliary prowe*>, united in a rule of iron, to support an authority which Heaven never gave, by means which it can never sanction. The only solution of the problem, if wc could abolish despotism in India, was, Erskine added, to recall our troops and merchants and abandon our Asiatic Empire. If England did not do this, he considered that she could not, either with colour or consistency of reason, place herself in the moral chair and affect to be shocked by the results of despotism.

By the fact thot these pleas wore recognised by the Home of Lord* and a British Court of Justice, it is dear that ii was mognised by the British legal authorities a* ;t fact, calling for no disputing, that


Seeing then that despotism always involves a state of war, and that from the time of Homer downwards a state of war has awakened the patriot* to deeds of bloodshed and demanded terrorism for its antidote, who shall be rightfully deemed the accuser* of Dhingra if those who cast the first stone arc to Ik- without sin?

But wo have also laid stress upon the misrepresentations. prejudices, passions, and ignorance of those whose boast is law and order, whose rule is chnos. and whose temperamental lack of anything like a sense of judicial calm is the basis of their qualifications to discriminate between the niceties of sedition* libel and the privileges of individual liberty as understood in law. That it should Ik* sought to institute such discriminations is an indictment of the statesmen whose fear of /act constitute their claim to place. That passion nod prejudice should be the arbiters is a moral impeachment of the usages of law. That persecution of such a kind should be accepted without a murmur 5s but a political confession of the weakness of the Consiitutonal liberty we arc supposed to enjoy.

Without, therefore, basing any hope of freedom upon an exposition of Constitutional principles so given to being inteipreted in defence of tyranny, and without placing any reliance upon the already impeached judicial incapacity of the Capitalistic Empire-building want-of-mind, let us pass to an exposition and consideration as to whether the Constitutional sccurcment of the right of free publication renders


as well as despotic and capricious?

According to the British Constitution, that which is morally fa'se of the King in his private person is politically true of him as a monarch. As, however, this Constitution declares the King never dies, it follows that this claim to political infallibility ai>d impeccability of the Sovereign 5a made for the Crown in the abstract and not for the Sovereign in the concrete.

The truth is that the idea of majesty in the King is the extension into modern society of the shadow of primordial anthropomorphism. As social evolution hns decrccd that God .should live but deities should die, so it hns necessitated the immortality of the King only to involve the 'abolition of monarchs. As those of us who have Studied the metaphysics of theology realise that the abstractions of philosophical and theological schools converge, under examination, into n unifying synthesis, so those of us who inquire into the historical evolution of the divinity which surrounds the King realise that majesty is more than ever a pantheistic social abstraction, and that the person who passes for the temporary incarnation of the monarchy is but n well-paid door-keeper. Jn him we have the social emblem of our living, moving, and having our being in the anonymous majesty of society in which he also lives, moves, and has his being. He is the emblem officially of, not the embodiment of, this majesty. All of which mean* that kings, governors, and magistrates—being no brtter than other people— derive their own power from the ficople, and are not the masters bu; the servants of the people.

In evidence of the fact that His Majesty is not the Crown, but only what I have termed the emblem. it is prescribed that as Sovereign he must subscribe to the Protestant faith of which he is announced n defender. The Cabinet Council actually docs the advising and exercising with reference to the powers politically reposed in the King, whilst bourgeois requirements reserve to the Commons the right to vote and to withhold the Sovereign supplies. For the Sovereign to attempt to raise taxes without the consent of Parliament would be illegal and render him a traitor to the Crown and Constitution; whilst, not having the lax-gathering machinery in his control, he would find it impossible. In this event, furthermore, he would be deposed, since the Constitution provides that jvs corouoe or right of succession to the throne is hereditary in a manner peculiar to itself—the right of inheritance being such that it may be changed or limited, from time to time, by Act of Parliament, the Crown still continuing hereditary under these limitations.

It can be seen, therefore, that the Constitution nominally secures the inviolability of no special laws, but only makes absolute the nature of the Constitution. That Constitution recognises that the Sovereign may betray the Constitution, and provides for his power immediately being annulled. By the fact that a feature of Parliamentary Government is the cancelling by one Government of the laws parsed by another Government it is seen that the Constitution does not claim politically for Parliamentary legislation what is not claimed morally for the King. And since it impartially admits of the legislation of all Governments being wrong and not in accord with the principles of the Constitution it Jays upon the loyal adherent to the Constitution the necessity of revolution against the arbitrary despotism of the alleged agent of Constitutional principles. That ihis is so is further proved by the fact that all Governments limit their despotism at the caprice of panic, and that most legislation is introduced to undo other legislation As this is according to the Constitution, it follows that the principle of loyalty to the Constitution has neither historically nor legally involved subservience to any particular legislation or devotion to any particular person. It but registers the abstract principle of social unity rnd accord. Where its officers resort to methods not in accord with this principle, the methods are those of barbarism seeking negation by resolute action. As such methods are those of organised physical force they can only be negated by organised physical force.

We now pass to the Constitutional basis of


It will be seen that, in order to draw attention to any possible usurpation of power by a king or minister, the right of unlicensed liberty of the Press must he secured to every subject under the Constitution. That its constitutional basis is nominally recognised is obvious, from the way in which Members of the Opposition attack the Occupants of the Treasury Benches, whichever party may be in power. From this i> deductible, strictly according to the rules of the Constitution, the right of the critic to condemn members of both Opposition and Treasury Benches. This involves the securement to each indi\idual of the right to address himself to the universal reason of the whole nation, either upon the subjects of governments in general, or upon that of any government in particular. For if government, with iu party system, is to he carried on at all, it must be given to every man and woman to analyse the principles of any and every form of government, to point out their errors and defects, examine and publish iheir corruptions, and true methods of correction based upon sociological observation. All this is Ihe minimum of individual right under any Constitutional system, which makes pretensions of being a Free System, ft but means that tho elasticity essential to securing the permanence of the Constitution has necessitated that it should condemn resistance f<> aJl social administration in the abstract or absolute sense, only to differentiate between this, and the endeavour to impress upon the community at large whatever principle of social administration a person may entertain, which it claims to secure.

What ihe Lord Chief Justice maintains to the contrary, alTects ihe justicc of this position as little as Mansfield's unconstitutional maintenance of the duty of the jury, only to decide as to the fact of publication, and of the judge as to the question of liM. As the one has been condemned as illegal, so may the other. Founding the exposition of my ckvc on logic, I point out that, aside from the contradictions of judge-made-law, my position is challenged only by the transient illegalities of Acts of Parliament, invented hut to be removed by later Acts of Parliament Even these do not overtly deny the right. But the right acknowledged involves political freedom, and therefore the destruction of thr Special Branch of Political Crime at Scotland Yard, which involves plots and State trials, compatible only with a despotism. In preserving this machinery of political prosecution against the principles of a free Constitution, the


and -in so far as both Liberal and Tory parties in the Commons, the occupants of both benches in the Lords, and the King nominally, unite in this activity—it follows thai the entire magisterial functions, nominally secured to the whole of society by the Constitution, have been usurped by an Imperialistic Bureaucratic caste.

It has been proven that spying and intoiming are inevitable consequences of, and attendants on, despotism. As such they have been reduced to a fine art in Russia. \et, notwithstanding the evidence we have of the crimes committed against humanity by the pious Imperialistic Assassin who rules over all the Kussias, the


In addition, M>mc of the Press publish, as authentic news, the fact of the spies employed by the Russian Government working hand-in hand with the S.B., C.I-D. men. When have ihe British people desired this? And where did they express this desire? And sincc copies of Justice have been confiscated lot pointing out the truth about the Czar, docs this activity not mean that


Coupled with the facts I have already adduced, such an annulling of the provision* of the Con*

stitution as this involves carrics with it a declaration of war upon the main body of the people— the proletariat—bv the ruling class or caste.

It is this caste which is responsible lor the recent prosecution of the "Indian Sociologist" for


Such prosecution I have shown to be anti-constitutional. In further evidence of this assertion, I invite the attention of the readers of this article to the fact that the 11 & 12 Vict., c. 128, which hold that it is an offcncc punishable by tines, imprisonment, and hanging, to be guilty of seditious libel—is not an act necessitated by the provisions of the Constitution, but a direct descendant and atavistic survival of the decisions of the clay of Absolute Monarchy, under which the very struggle fur the present Constitution was waged. It is a perpetuation of that very power whereby Stephen prohibited the introduction into England of the Canon and Civil on the ground that it would undermine his power, and as a consequence of which he forbade the reading of lectures in Saw on Oxford. It is a survival of the perversion of the Acts—bad though tbev were—of 21 Edw. HI; 1 Edw. VI.. i 12; 5 Edw. VI., c. II; 13, Car. II; and I Ma.—which immf<\ the basi* of legal pretence, whereby Algernon Sidney was executed in 1685 for sedition. Five years Utter, Parliament declared he had been guilty of no sedition, and acknowledged the justice of his contention that no sedition is hurtful to a State, till, through their prosperity, some men get above the laws, which they forthwith make the agents of their persecution. As, however, sedition must involve the conspiring against the entire Constitution, as 1 have shown above, it follows, that to be guilty of seditious libel, the "Indian Sociologist" must militate against the interests of the working-class in England, no less than against the interests of the governing class. Hut, if this was so, no fear need be entertained from its circulation, sincc it would not be purchased or read.

This fact notwithstanding, supposing the workers did wish the paper prosecuted they must have given a mandate. But on what occasion, under what circumstances, and where did the workers give such a mandate? Was it through the medium of the Times. and that Yellow Press which advocates the ruthless persecution of the worker no less than his militarist employment as a murderer in India and Egypt in order that Cur/on and Cromer may suck dry the vitals of the Indian and Egyptian native; no less than those of the English worker? If this supposition be, as it is, preposterous, then the prosecution for seditious libel of the

Indian Sociologist, and for thai matter any other paper, is illegal and anti-Constitutional:

This means that the


nol merely threatens India and Egypt, but also, '•nascarcely lesser degree, the people at home. The question now is whether it is Constitutional to remove violence of this kind by resort to violence, lo this there can Ik but one answer. In India, where the usurpation of the British Government will not abolish the illegal cause of unrest by taking its commercialism off, and in England, where it has usurped the Constitutional rights of the whole people, it is legitimate, tailing other pos-silile method* of successful action, to directly remove. the menace of the individual's liberty, thus the Government, under these circumstances, has proclaimed a state of despotism-and outlawry, and given the signal for Revolution to answer Despotism.

In other words, the Government has dissolved, even according to the legal standard set up by the great jurists. Bentham and Austin,—all the provisions of a political state of society, and therefore instituted a return to what is legally known "as a state oi nature", wherein men arc bound together by no civil bonds. This point we shall be willing to emphasise and to detail at the proper time, should it be challenged. Its recognition carries with it the recognition of the further fact that, according to all the rules of jurisprudence, India, in its relations with England is in such a state of nature.

For the rest one recalls the Governmental callousness marking not only the deportation and imprisonment of Indians in India, but also the recent trial for treason of Dininzulu in Natal. The kilter's crime was sheltering unarmed women and children from massacre. After guaranteeing the lattcr's Expenses and defence, the British Government left the burden to the charity of the Misses Colcnso, whom they declined to reimburse. Add to this example of tyrannical meanness the history of the pensions that have not been granted by this Government to the widows and families of murdered workers, or to the nearest surviving relatives of the victims of the Denshawai murderers. Let us now contrast the whole with the immediate pensioning of Lady Wyllie, who, in addition to having property of the net value of well over j£8,fM)0 left her by her husband is to enjoy a Governmental income of ^"500 a year. Addressing myself to oppressed wage-slaves at home, to despised Indians and Egyptians in their own


Red Commune

Kku a»«M 4 u Ion >MM

and we shall become one of the organ* of the United British Section of the International Communis Movement.

Wc have in the past been responsible for the circulation in Glasgow and the West of Scotland of the Spur, a Free I-Jincc paper run by our 1 om-rade* VVitoop and AW red, and hope to continue circulating this piper in future. But we believe that, a8 a movement grows and develops, a party paper, absolutely controlled by the parly itself, is as urgent to the growth and development of our Clluse as a personal paper. I hat is why we are making our first appeal to you.

Besides, Glasgow is an important centre of propaganda, and it should have a definite Communist journal to define and express its activities.

Wc propose to set forth our program and to challenge other sections of the movement. Wc want lo effect affiliations and to make Bakunin House a real headquarters for the Commune of Glasgow. And we hope to accomplish this by honesty of expression and catholicity of conduct.

Our platform is a very simple one: it consists of the following five planks.

Pljtfocwi «nd Principles

(Ij The Complete Overthrow of Capitalist Society and the establishment of the Communist Republic. <2) The Class Struggle.

(3) The Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

(4) Destruction of Parliamentary Government and the Substitution of the Soviet or Revolutionary Workers' System of Administration.

(5) Anti-parliamentary Activity; (a) Boycotting the Ballot-Box; (b) Communist Anti-Parliamentary or Sinn Fein Candidature.

This implies war on all parliamentary Communist organisations.

But we recognise that many of oor comrades who belong to such organisauons,even eomplcic branches, whilst feeJing the ne-zessity of supporting whole-heartedly the Third International, arc actually at one with us in our campaign. The mce.tings they organise have our very best wishes. They are making the same soul-dcprcssuig stand against poverty that wc are making. And wc want to give some sign of life, solidarity, and fellowship.

It is our intention, therefore, to announce freely in our columns, all meetings of importance to the Left Wing Movement, no mutter whose auspices they are held under. We intend to announce these meetings neatly displayed: and, where the

call of comradeship justify such action, even specially display ibe announcement in addition.

We believe that you will like the "Red Coin-mune.M Wc believe that you will want to see it grow. We believe you will want to have a voice in controlling it. Then join the Glasgow Communist Group or persuade your organisation to comc into the Federation. From being the organ of a group we wish it to become the genuine organ of a widely-organised National Federation or Party. It is up to you to sec that this happens; that the Communist anti-parliamentarians of (he United Kingdom possecs a definite well-corn rolled organ of their own.

Comrades, think of the work the Glasgow Communist Group has been doing.

Think of the work it can do if its party organ succeeds.

'I hink of our goal—the Soviet Republic.

And rally now.




(From an Essay contributed to the Londou Daily Sews, January, 1908).

The brown fog grew quite red down by the river; the obscurity of it had something instant and menacing, as of something too big and too close to be seen. It was as if the sky had thrust its own huge face into mine. As I groped through this strangling darkness, I distinctly heard from somewhere in the innumerable cells or caverns of that darkness the distinct noise of a trumpet. What it was and whence it came I cannot tell. It may have been some young bugler of the Horse Guards blowing his bugle for tun; it may have been some >oung angel endeavouring to have a trump ot doom and a smalt <u&> ot judgment on his own account. It may have been an Imperialist somewhere in his own top bedroom blowing his country's trumpet or his own. I only knnw that it was the sound of a \rumpet, and I should know it again in the thick of a crashing orc hestra of all the instruments upon earth.

And as 1 listened for some repetition of the sound there came back into my mind, I cannot tell why, a fragment which I read last week from a report of Mr. H. G. Wells' speech at the City Temple. Mr. H. G. Wells was endek\outing to soothe the audience or congregation on the subject of Socialism. He assured them that Socialism would not l>e a sudden revolution, the success of which would be announced "with trumpets from Tower Hill." It would be a slow and scientific process, which would gradually adapt itself to us or us to itself.

This, at least, was the substance of his view. It is m view commonly taken by modern thinkers difeussing modern tendencies, and it is a view which f for one can never manage either to understand or to endure. Why is it comforting to be told that a thing will come slowlv, and alarming lo be told that it will come quickly? To my simple mind it would always semi that it all depended what the thing was. It is not against the thing that it Ls swift, or in its favour that it is slow. On the one hand, energy is all the finer if it is sudden energy. On the other hand, pandysi* is not any nicer because it is creeping paralysis.

If Socialism is the best human solution of our hideous modern problem, if Socialism ran really make men comfortable without making them comfortable slaves, if it rcallv is a human answer lo an inhuman riddle, if it really will lift off all our consciences the unbearable burden and waking nightmare of human poverty, if it will do this without interfering with any necessary human freedom or essential human dignity, then in God's natiK- light for it, and blow from Tower Hill every trumpet you can find. I shall not Manic you it you blow trumpets from the Tower, yes, and fire guns from the Tower for such a fulfilment as that. You have blown trumpet* and fired guns for much meaner things.

But if, on the other hand. Socialism has Mime spiritual quality of slavery, if it is against the instinct of the freedom and ownership of man, if it goes against something ancient in the human heart, then it is no sort of comfort to be told that it will come slowly and without any speci'd shock. If it is slavery, it is no comfort to be told that we shall he slowly enslaved. If it is fundamentally non-human, it is no comfort to be told that we shall be slowly dehumanised. If i; is absolutely necessary that my favourite brother should be turned into a chimpanzee, I certainly think that I should piefer him to be turned into a chimpanzee at once by a magician or a witch out of a fairytale touching him with a wand. Even that would Ih* more tolerable than sitting down with him to dinner night after night, and seeing every night That he looked n shade more like a Chimpanzee tUan he had looked the night before.

If Socialism is a rescue, let it come quick: that is the essence of a rescue. If it is a disease, there is nothing pleasant about the idea that it comes slowly, like the worst diseases. In Mr. H. Betloc's "Book of Rhymes"—caJIcd "Cautionary Verses for Children" and intended paitly to please children, but more especially to displease politicians—there occur* the excellent description of how Jim left his nurse in a crowd and was in consequence eaten by a lion:


With open jaws a lion sprang."

This strikes the note of do^ma and revolution, and there is nothing necessarily evil about it. The lion may bo the noble animal of medieval legend, who spared the weak, especially the virgin and the dead. But having once discovered that the lion was of the cruel and devouring sort, it is no pleasure to us to learn in the simple words of Mr. Belloc that he

"Began to eat The boy, beginning with his feci."

Then the poet, unconsciously alluding surely to the theory of humanity transformed by a slow and scientific process, goes on to say pathetically:

"Now just imagine how it feels When first your toes, and then your heels, And then by gradual degrees Your shins and ankles, calves and knees Are slowly eaten bit bv bit. No wonder Jim detested it."

And no wonder, I should say, humanity has always detested it and will continue to do so. A bad revolution is a much worse evolution. A good evolution would be a much better revolution. Humanity loves the trumpet: the fierce and final note. It cannot understand that sort of semi-Fabian intellect which can take the huge responsibility of scheming for a thing and yet cannot take the responsibility of fighting for it.

Mr. H. G. Wells endeavours to win over the mass of men sitting in the City Temple by saying that he does not mean to blow trumpets of revolution from the Tower. I beg to assure him with tears in mv eyes, and with the pathos of a perpetual and perpetually renewed admiration, that he will never win over any real mass of men anywhere until he is prepared to blow trumpets from the Tower. K can only go onward through the fog which seems in parts the colour of mud and in parts of blood, but I strain my ears to hear the trumpet. And I have not heard it again.

III TO ALL ANTI-?ARLIAMCNTARIAM8 An Appeal for Unity and Organltttlsn

Dear Comrade,

We are addressing this appeal to you on the Assumption that you are in sympathy with anti-Parliamentary activity. If so, you will note with regret the fart that the Third International has committed itself to the tactic of Revolutionary ParPamentarianvsm. This mean* that Communist* shall stand for the Capitalist Parliaments, and. if elected* take their scats in these debating chambers of the bourgeois. The Glasgow Group finds it impossible to agree to this proposal. It sees nothing but menace to the proletarian cause from Communists entering Parliament: first, as revolutionary Communists, only to graduate later, slowly but surely, as reformist politicians. It believes that the class war, the struggle between active producer and mere consumer, must be conducted outside Parliament by agitation on the streets, in the homes, and in the factories. It believes in the class and not the party politic^ It calls for unceasing war on the representative institutions of Capitalism in order to develop that class politic end hasten the collapse of Capitalist Imperialism. It appeals to all anti-Parliamentarians throughout the con try, now that the Moscow International is compromising with Parlia-mcntarianisrn, to repudiate the new Russian Social Democratic reformism, and stand forth boldly for organised unrelenting anti-Parliament-arianism.

The Group's Aim

The Glasgow Communist Group takes its stand on a platform of constructive revolution. It has pioneered in Glasgow and its environ* the idea of revolutionary direct action, and met with much opposition from those who became pronounced supporters of that idea until Moscow repudiated anti-Parliamentarianism. It asserts, and has asserted consistently, lhat nothing can be gained from Parliamentary or Municipal action so long as the Capitalist system lasts. Ii stands definitely lor the revolutionary overthrow of that system and the complete abolition of the Capitalist State. It supports theprinoiplc of the dictatorship of the pro- -letariat, and proposes to substitute for the Capitalist State a Soviet system of administration. As the counter-revolution weakens, the Soviet Republic will lose »ts political character and assume ourely useful administrative function* Thur a Free Society will be born, based economically on Communism, and expressing its political unity in the terms of Anarchy. Class Society needs Government to defend its <F<order. True society, being without d«sordei, will need no Government.

This program would be the common program of ihe left wing of the working class movement but for the fact that so many leaders in the movement, and even some members of the rank and file, hesitate to offend the Third International. But the truth must be told against mistaken Bolsheviks as well as against class society despots. I he hour of victory is an ill-moment for compromise. Seeing that the facts upon which we and other comrades founded our auti-Parliamenl-s!nanism arc unchanged, and that events have confirmed its logic, we re-assert our conclusion and invite all other Groups similarly placed to unite with us in au anti-Parliamentary Federation or Party.

Aiut-Parliamcmiary Conference

The definite character of our Anti-Parliament-arianism excludes us froifl participating in the Revolutionary Parliamentary Conference held in January. But it does not preclude us or any Other Group from forming an Anti-Parliamentarv Party and calling a representative British Anti-Parliamentary Conference. Whether such a conference shall be called or not depends upon you. The headquarters of the Glasgow Gioup arc convenient for such a meeting, and the confcrcncc can be called thero or elsewhere if Ami-Parliamentary Communists wish it. Fares can be pooled and hospitality arrangements organised by a social committee. Let us have a representative gathering to end the pretence of revolutionary Parlia-mcntarianism. Let us have concspondcncc and decide the date.


The Glasgow Group considers that the time has come to organise iis ami-Parliamentary activity so as to give concrete expression to its principle. To this end it proposes to organise:

(1) The boycott of the ballot-box. By cond-ic:-ing a huge poster, platform, and press campaign, to make it impossible for men to stand as Parliamentary candidates on the extreme ticket. In this way to dwindle the importance of the Parliamentary vote.

(2) Abstentionist (or the boycott of Parliament) tactic. This tactic means running candidates at Parliamentary ejections pledged not to take their seat. The election address to contain:

(1) A clear statement lhat Parliament is of no use to the workcis in their struggle against Capitalism.

(2) A definite pledge

(a) Not to take ihe oath of allegiance.

(b) So: to sit in Parliament,

(c) Not to receive political payment from the class State.

(d) To work Outside Parliament, on the streets and in the workshops, for the revolution, prcaching open and avowed "Sedition," and agitating towards the insurrectional crisis.

(3) The definition of the vote as a registration of opinion only, conferring no power unless backed up bv action and social might.

(4) Statement that no political measures arc possible until Parliament has been destroyed and the Soviet Republic established.

A vote for this program would have the effect of expressing the electors* opinion that political authority should be withdrawn from Parliament and represented in Councils or Soviets created by ami responsible to the workers.

Wc appeal to all Groups and individuals in sympathy with above program to communicate with our Secretary immediately so that arrangements can be made for calling a Conference at an early date.

Yours for Communism,

On behalf of Glasgow Communist Group,

(Sgd.) DOUGLAS M LE1SH, Chairman of E.C.

J. H. PATRICK, Secretary.



I The following article by an Australian M.P- is reprinted from Ross's Monthly, Sydney.)

"AtxMt Politician*."

I read in my morning newspaper that "only the hopelessly illiterate can fail to understand that national progress depends not on Acts of Parliament, but on the educational and intellectual development of the people." If Acts of Parliament to extend education, to prevent adulteration, to keep out Asiatics, to build a wall of protection around infant industries, to subsidise, to bonus, to make grants and concessions are not aids to national progress, then where are ihe products or educational and intellectual development that Hand unaffected bv Acts of legislation?

The Doubfto-Hortod Argument

The people are told that 44Parliament is obsolete,'1 And when they are told it day after day they gradually come to believe it. Then a few agitators start out with the cry:'"Parliament is obsolete; abolish the obsolete; up with the So-So." 1 hen they are told that Parliament is representative, that it dues reflect the will of the people, that whatever they want they can get through the thing that is obsolete; and in the nc\t breath, they are told that they cannot get it that way or any other •'because no effective substitute Im.s been suggested." it that is light and guidance bv men of "'education and intellectual development," then the most "illiterate" have nothing to lose by comparison. They could nut be more barren.

700 Year*' Old Miohlao

Of course, "Parliament is obsolete." It is impossible to have a machinc 700 years old, and have it up-to-date; and when even the working capacity of this obsolete machine is trammelled with the ceremonials forms, methods, rituals of the days of Peter de la Mare, what do you expect?—the rule of the antediluvians still survives. One might as well march out to the defence of the country with bows and arrows and arquebuses and the strategy and formations of the Black Prince at Poitiers! One sees at oncc that weapons and methods capable of winning victories in the fifteenth century arc poor instruments of defence in the twentieth. They become obsolete. They are curiosities for the museum—not public utilities. In a like manner the Parliamentary machinery and methods of past centuries are, by their very "ami-' rjuity, incapable of coping with the complex needs «.f the modern State. The old obsolete machine is expected to treat materials for which it was not designed—materials in the form of economic and international problems that had no existence when John gave way at Runnymede.

Well! Why do not Members of Parliament scrap the obsolete machine, put in new plant, and apply up-to-date board of directors' methods in the Government of the country? It is easy to ask, but what arc you going to do with press, public and politicians obsessed with the iden that "no cflenivr substitute has heeii suggested." It is the dead hand of the past dominating the mcnzaliry of entire communities.

JUusirotionc Pco«n ctir Times

The other day at the State House of Victcria-there was "storm in n tea-cup." A member had an opinion, expressed it, put it in the form of an amendment, carried it; the Government took offence, and ihe State was only saved from a crisis by a re-vote and recantation.

In the Federal Parliament, George Maxwell had an idea that a thing was either just or unjust, that it could not be fundamental, aUmental or supplemental, that the word "fundamental" should go out and the word "justice" be left to convey its own meaning. Fie addressed himself to men behind the Government, therefore to men of education, therefore to men of intellect, therefore to men who could distinguish between fact and fiction -between a bar of soap and a piece of legal sophistry. Mr. MaxwelPs arguments convinced a majority. They voted for unconditional "justice. " Thereupon the annoyed Government put aside its business, went into a side room and administered castigatioD to' men who da red, just once, to vote in accordance with their convictions.

Now, i/ George Maxwell cannot put his opinions lo the vote and carry thorn without bringing the obsolete machine to a full stop, without suspending legislation, and repealing costly "appeals to the people," what is hr to do? He can talk, because talk cannot displace Ihe Government. He can even be tolerated to piisli his opinions to a vote, provided ho makes sure beforehand that he will be defeated: beyond that he mtist not go. If all the members sit behind the Government, then all are in the same predicament. This fact is illustrated in the Senate, where all the members but one are members of the one party. If all the members in the House of Representatives were a noble band, united for their country's good, and the majority dared to vote an opinion contrary to the Government, there would be at on£e in fact, if not in name, two parties. There would be a "crisis," all sorts of contingencies, a possible backdown or a reconciliation, or n change in the holders of offices. Where A sat before, B might be comfortably seated, but the law of the game would still prevail in accordance with the constitution. or in accordance with Standing Orders O.B.2. of the reign of Charles the Second, as revised by Standing Order .T29 of the reign of George the Third.

The Fow in Control

And the law of the game is that the Government of ihe country and ihe repeal or making of law shall be. not in the hands of Ihe elected representatives of the people sitting as a deliberative body with equal rights, equal powers, and common responsibilities; but in the hands of a few men, elected or non-elected, to whom the King or his deputy has delegated the King's hereditary right to govern.

This Government makes, repeals, or amends enactments. It goes through :hc formality of get-tii\g then: endorsed by Parliament; but of nine-tcnths of its measures th.e public, the press, or the politicians outside the Government have no conception of the principles, details or title until presented for the aforesaid endorsement.

The country may have decided by direct vote, or bv the members whom it has elected, that it desires a City Planning Act on ihe linos suggested by Mr. EUery. The Government may promise to introduce it. It may keep its promise, yet have so many clauses "providing thai" and "except in fhccase of" that the Act becomes a thing of words and of little public utility. If members behind the Government seek to destroy the Bill the*, will be charged with trying to destroy amendments ihe\ had pledged to make law, and of trying to destroy the Government by a process known as "taking the control of business out of the hands of the Government." Or the Government may enact a perfect measure and quietly paralyse it by restrictive administration. Yet the majority has no remedy except by the destruction of the'Government ihoy have pledged themselves to support. To vote ftgninM the Goternmenl is an act of rebellion. The Government must smash it, impose submission, or abdicate—or more likely go to the country for a more submissive majority. If it gets it. it is absolute. If it docs not, the king or his deputy delegates authority to another group which promises a more docile majority.

Th# Silly PirliflWonttry Sytttm

Thus under the Parliamentary system the majority of members are mere endorsing machines. They can strut upon the stage of public We. They can talk, ami sometimes they are instructed to talk, and if the "Opposition" can be lured on to join in the argument they can be dramatically denounced for wasting time: but, for all practical purposes of legislation, "private members" might as well never have been born .

It is not even necessary that private members should be present to give endorsement. It is not even necessary that the members of the Govern-mem be present. All that is necessary for a Bill to become law is its introduction to a place called "Parliament" by a Minister of the Crown, and that it he read by an official, and be declared carried by the Speaker. The futility of "private members" is not in themselves, but in ihe system. Men like William Walt and Sir William Irvine were legislatively powerless as private members. They might have been critics whom it was necessary to placate, but that was a thing apart from legislative utility—that was political strategy.

Pym and Hampden—and Now.

it is said that Parliament was osuc a real instrument of utility and gk»ry and public representation. It took Parliament live hundred years before it summed up courage to pass the resolution that 4,thc affairs concerning the King, the State, and the Defence of the Realm, are proper subjects, and matters of council and debate in Parliament," Except during the brief period of Pym and Hampden, it was nrver anything but an occasional gathering of Knights, Burghers, and Commons, to vole subsidies to the King. .Sometimes Parliament refused "supply," to compel the King to giant concessions. To-day the Parliamentary majtritv that refused "supplies" to a Government would Slop a hundred functions and throw scores of thousands out of work. The power that once could be used for public benefit can now only be used to provoke disaster amidst a multitude of innocents.

For two hundred years uv have had the "Cabinet" system of Government, and that system necessarily creates two parlies—those who agree with its policy and methods, and those who do not. If nobody disagree* "the party system" automatically disappears. If everybody disagrees the personnel of the Cabinet is changed; but tin4 "Cabinet" system remains; and the Cabinet system belong to the age wheal the sedan chair was regarded as an elegant mode of locomotion.

Walpole, Disraeli, Otter*.

At what period was Parliament one of utility, of glory, of true representation?

Was it in the days of Horace Walpole and "every man his price"? Or in the days of Lord North, whose Government has been described "as the most corrupt in English history," or when Home Tookc wrote thai the parties of bis time-Whigs and Tories—were "much alike in baseness," or when Disraeli, in "Coningsbv," sketched his "Tadpoles** and "Tapers" as typical ol the politicians of his day and generation? It is easy to inscribe virtues on the tombstones of the dead. It is another thing to prove that those who arc dead, taken in the lump, were any better than those who are not vet dead.

The Lesson of it All

"Parliament is obsolete." To become obsolete is one of she inevitable products of time, of changed and changing environment, of non-adjustment to new renditions. And when the "educated and intellectual" create discontent with existing institutions. arid declare themselves harrcn of "an effective substitute," how can they complain if the "illiterate," taking their denunciation at its face value, turn to a remedy of their own. Sir Charles, when Governor of Victoria, wrote to the British Government that the inhabitants of the colony were determined to put int:» practice ideas "scouted by the educated classes of Great Britain." Necessity--public necessity included —is the mother of invention, and rough, crude manhood has in more ways than one and in other times than our own forced a path where the "educated and intellectual" could see no way, 'I hat process may yet be repeated.


"If Society does not settle this question it will *»:ttle Society."—-Joseph Cowen.

The numbers of the army of unemployed continue to swell, and now the 1,(KI0,0<K» mark has been reached, with the prospect of many more additions from week to week. It is a wonderful commentary on the many great and glorious promises made during the late war—the promises of the politicians and Statesmen. Of course they were not sincere, they never are sincere, except in something which concerns their own welfare. "J'hc war to end war." "A country fit for heroes." "Single men fust." "Business as usual," and so on, etc. With 700,000 men killed, and as many more disabled for life, the chief Statesman's advice to the surplus manhood is the hope that they will emigrate to British Colonics. Nobody but a politician could have the bra*en-faccd audacity to tell men who have been maimed, Minded, suffered, and starved, in a live years of veritable hell, that having fought for a country, whether mistakenly or otherwise, that that country has now nothing to offer tltein. not e\en the prospect of saving ihcm from starvation, and all that now remains for them is emigration for those who can raise sufficient money, and unemployment and ail that it brings in its train for the remainder. But the jobless are comparatively quiet yet. They are not hungry enough nnd have not yet lost their faith in Statesmen and politicians or their promises. Disllusionment has yet to come. 'I*hc Statesmen know that their promises are futile, and that no solution can be found for this ever-present problem, which does not leave a margin ol unemployed. Bji let not that margin become too great, lor then it becomes a menace to the stability of the whole system. Hence the suggestion of emigration, but to whtre and to which British Colony? Australia? Already is there an unemployed problem there. New Zealand? It likewise has its army of jobless workers. Canada, then ? Listen to what the Canadian correspondent of the "Daily News" says:


i>rosecuted Writings

"Mr. Lloyd George has been indulging in airy p'ans for emigration to relieve unemployment, fie it in a state of profound ignorance about actual condition* in the Dominions, or at least iri Canada, which is at present laced with a very serious unemployment problem of her own. In all the industrial centres there is a daily growing contingent of workless. The situation in British Columbia, whose climatic charms induced a large number of soldier* that enlisted elsewhere to take their discharge and settle within its bounds, is most serious of all. The smaller manufacturing towns are equally effected. As a large proportion of the unemployed are -soldier*, who are well organised and not slow to fpeak their minds, the crisis had to he dealt with promptly *

44Vet ibis is the time Mr. George proceeds to suggest emigration schemes. The true history ol British emigration to Canada in the last twenty years would startle many worthy Imperialists. The cokl fact is that an unfortunately large number oi the people who sailed from English pons with high hopes for a happy and prosperous lite in Canada faiied to realise their dreams.

"Many drifted back to England, and not a few-moved southwards to the industrial centres of the United States. It is rarely realised in England that Canada has been for many years sending more people to her neighbour than she has been getting from her."

What about South Africa? Here also we find factory and mine closing down, and workers being thrown out of employment. Nor even in America is the situation any belter, in many respects it is worse. Hear again Mr. P. W. Wilson in the "Daily News":

Two Day* i Week

"An instant* or two must suffice. In many New England textile factories they arc running two or three days a week on wage scales greatly reduced, often by consent of the workers- Detroit, the ccntrc of the motor car industry, lias scores of thousands of workers unemployed. With falling receipts the railways are dismissing their men right and left: 10 per cent, of the clerks in one office, 25 per tent, of the outside stall in others. On the docks there arc queues of casual workers* so familiar in the old days in the Port of London. Also, with the employer again holding the upper hand, the trade unions arc faced by a definite return to the open shop. 'I he British worker must not imagine that he will find a nice welcoming organisation to protect his interests, Qviiv the reverse. All that the American employer wants from Europe is unskilled workers. And he gets them most docile from other countries than Britain. Unless, therefore, the British immigrant is ready to labour side by side with the l*olc, the Csecho-Slovak, and the other refugees who throng the pons of entry, he had best stay where he is and fight out his future in the o!d country."


Where, then, must the unemployed turn to for relief ? Nobody wants them. Not even the country which made it a criminal oflcnce a year or two ago to bt; without a job. Now we have over-pruduclion and the producers in a state of poverty. What is the remedv lor this universal state

w •

ol unemployment f* The answer of every thoughtful person must be: Tbe overthrow of Capitalism and its system ol production for profit and the substitution of a system of Communism and production lor use. .. w


By c. I- MALONE, M.P.

(Ou i comrade. Ex-Col..Cccil L' estrange Ma lone M.P., is serving a sentence of six months' imprisonment for his loyalty to iIkt working class. The following article, written on the House of Commons on 24th July, last, expressing Ins contempt for Parliament, will be read with interest at the present juncture by all anti-Parliamentarian Communists.—Eds.)

The Parliamentary machinery and the Parliamentary democracy of this country are arrant humbug. Only a fundamental change* of our present economic and social systems can improve the conditions of the working classes, who constitute the majority of the people. The pxescnt system is guilty of those vile: and hopeless sufferings to which the workers arc subjected, from the permanent slums and hovels of our great cities to the periodical rccuircncc of world wars and widespread carnage, ail direct outcome of a Society based upon Capitalism, allied with Imperialism.

The modern development of Parliament is out to back up that system and to strengthen and repair it when necessary, but not to change it. It can never be adapted to destroy itself.

Parliament is not controlled by the people.

It is controlled by the Banks and the Capitalists acting by and through the Press, which to-day has come to be the kept harlot of Capitalist interests.

The Press controls Parliamentary elections.

The Pres* stands between the workers and the truth.

PROSLWiEb Writings


11 ir 1 ' - • .■■• ^ . . .. . . . - • . . . • - - ----- -------

Money controls the Press, as it controls the That Revolution \\ iil finally overthrow this sys-

public houses, which pour Capitalist politics into tem which allows five per cent, of the population

you with your beer, to own two-thirds ol the wealth produced by the

The machinery of Parliamentary government is remaining 95 per cent., and which is the cause of

al*o to a formidable degree influenced bv a re- an enumerable amount ol evils, threatening the.

actionary bureaucracy. ' European races with destruction.

The working classes arc blinded bv the hopes .pnl>' revolution can begin to make

that a so-called Labour Government, working Liberty. Lquahty, and I- ratcrmty realities, and

through this effete machine, will alter and better notrc eleewn cries'of the Parliamentary

conditions. hypocrisy.

A Labour Government would inherit the Capit-alist machine and lie at the mercy of it, i.e., it v(, SYLVIA PANKHURST could do nothing fundamental against the Capitalist interests and the bureaucracy. j-|ic verdict brought in against our Comrade The office-seeking elements of the Labour Party Sylvia Pankhurst was the only one to be expected will be as conservative as their bourgeois prede- from the hands of her judges. Learned lawyers eessors. and business men, who are invariably the admini-Saddled with the Monarchy, the Court and the strators of the law, have nothing in common with Aristocracy, the Labour Pa'rty will follow the Communism, When a representative ol work-lead of ali bourgeois parties, selling honours as ing-class thought is arraigned before the bar of well as honour. Thcv (i.e., the official leaders) Capitalist "justice," the result is a foregone con-have already betrayed* Ireland. elusion. Pree speech and the freedom ot the

,ru ' , j j . | . press are empty phrases; the freedom which wc

I he masses must clearly understand that the r n Y. \ u .1 •

< -i 11 j • ' 1 r . .-i possess or are allowed determined bv the might

two irreconcilable iorces to-dav arc International [ t . A . , r » 1

. , ^ ' ,. behind us or bv what the ruling elass consider

Communism and Cosmopolitan Capitalism. .. 15

r t r necessary to their own safety.

There must be no confusing the issue and pan- ' «• . " . 1 a .

, A . K Communist propagandists must be prepared to

dering to the enemy. . . 1 r *> . y r .

* ' take the conscqucnces of their activities: that is

. So-called Labour members, Radicals and others lhc |CMOn of lhis and olher rccem prosecutions,

who temporise between the .two sides ot this clear- Su ,onas lhc Government thinks it can imprison

cut issue, are weakening the case of the workers Communists with impunity it will continue to do

on their only possible line of attack—the line ol it wiu finrf it an cas>. ni5tUcr to get its helots,

direct revolutionary mass action. those crawling phenomena ol Capitalist society,

I entered Parliament in the hope ol assisting to the police, magistrates, lawyers and judges, to do

better the social conditions. I have seen from the its bidding in this direction.

inside this futility of Parliamentary action so tar lo slop thcsc prosccutjlins wc must become, not

as fundamentals arc concerned. Parliamentary murc (;mid> morc thoughtful of our personal safe-

work and elections must only be used lor carrying (v and cornlort> but morc and vet morc bold and

out an intensive revolutionary propaganda. outspoken in what we believe is the truth, and

My own opinion as regards Parliamentary what the needs of any situation may demand. It

action is that results could be obtained quicker by is only by increasing propaganda and the winning

a complete boycott, «and at elections that the boy- of increasing numbers of workers to our side that

cott of the polling-booths should be advocated, in we can hope to attain a position of such strength

addition, of course, to Communist propaganda. that the powers that be will think many times be-

If you are out to destroy the system, you can- fore instituting "criminal proceedings" against

not begin with taking the oath of allegiance to the afl>" of our comrades.

symbol of that very system. The people's Army We have some differences of outlook and policy

must have its own Hag, and not deceitfully salute from Sylvia Pankhurst, and we have no doubt

the flag of the enemy as a preparation for strik- that we shall continue to have them, but that does

ing it. not prevent our voice being raised in protest

if I leave Parliament it will br to continue the against her incarceration, or our sympathy going

work with the revolutionary Communist Party out to her in her present position. VVe beleve she

outside, and should I return, 1 trust it will only be will bear her imprisonment with dignity and cour-

with the Red Guards at the time of the Revolution age, and we hope when she is "free" once again,

which I see is approaching. she will still be physically capable of playing her

part in the cause and faiih that alone make life worth Jiving.

I he above was written before learning the result of Colonel Malone's appeal. However, what we say with regard to our Comrade Sylvia Pank-hurst, we repeat with emphasis in the ease ol Comrade Malone. We are giad to congratuUtic our Comrade Malone on his courageous speech at the concJusion ol the appeal, and will wekoroc Ins return to the platform in the only fight worth lighting. The Chairman's remarks upon the inadequacy of the sentence were what one expects when the defenders of property rights feel their privileges are being attacked.

The following quotation from the IIV.*tauter O'useife, J2nd November, jty.t, should be read in conjunction with above: —

"Of all the miserable, unprofitable, inglorious wars in the world is the war against words. Let men s&y just what they like. Let them propose to cut every throat and burn every house—if so they like it. We have nothing to do with a man's words or a man's thoughts, except to put against them better words or better thoughts, and so to win in the great moral and intellectual duel that is always going on, and on which all progress depends."—Aubeion Herbert, M.P.


That there is :t divergence ol interest in the world; thai the peoples of all nations are divided into two classes—those A'ho have and those who have not—is to-day recognised by all who think. Vet in cach class there are those who do not think, who are seemingly unconscious of ibis fact, arwl therefore require to be educated in class politics.

The Socialist movement produces many paper> and spends a tremendous amount of energy trying to make the huge mass of the workers conscious ot their position in society. Similarly the extreme members of the Capitalist class endeavour to educate the less advanced members of their ranks, and employ specialists and run papers giving advice on that burning question—How to keep the workers contented.

Some oJ these magazines make very interesting reading, in so far as they throw light on the outlook of the master 4 la%s on the workers, and show how anxious they are to jfild the chains and make the workers a* comfortable as possible, with the laudable intention of fastening the chains moie firmly upon the working class.

In the December issue of System, published for the use of business men, there is a long article by the manager of a large clothing factory in Leeds, explaining, "Why wc pay our Workers" Income Tax," and pointing out how, after giving a 25 per cent, increase in wages and a reduc-lion in hours, they netted a gain to themselves of SO per cent.

This firm believe in the latest stunt of the big employers of labour—taking the workers into their confidence, showing the community of interest between capital and labour. Amongst other things, they explained to their employees that they only wanted workers who realised :

"(I) The national necessity of intensive production to pay cost of war, and (2) Those who realised that good hard work, at a good rate, for reasonable hours, is not a hardship, but in a way a pleasure."

The employer has a firm belief in the joys of good hard work—for some one else \ Those who have been reared on "good hard work" are apt to think it is possible to get too much of a good thing, and are willing to sec the other fellow, the Capitalist, put his beliefs into practice.

The workers seemed a little bit afraid at first (probably from experience) that intensive production might in the end mean the cutting of the piece work rates. But this kind firm lulled their fears to rest and hastened to assure Ihcin that far from that being their intention (in the meantime) they were prepared rather to rai$e the rate, and did so 25 per cent. At the same time they explained that if progress along the new line was maintained they would be able to reduce selling prices of made-up g<x»ds even in face of rising prices of commodities and record wages paid 10 piece workers.

AM Capitalist* are really philanthropists and have everybody's interest at heart rather than their own! Intensive production means overstocked markets and greater unemployment, thing* which we are suffering from at the present time; and all that means, that with the terrible competition in the ranks ol the workers lor jobs, wages are bound to fall an<l piece-work rates to he broken no matter what promises any employ* ers may make.

However, we arc told "this experiment appealed to the sporting instinct of the workers apart from any higher reward, and I hey settled down, especially the women workers, to more intensive work, and higher output resulted."

"The scheme worked admirably for some months, and then a slackening was noticed. The manager asked to see the girls to discover what


was wrong, and found that ihe wages were intentionally being kept within the Income Tax limit/'

The firm knew that the larger output was much more profitable to them so took steps to prevent any decrease in profits by paying their workers' income tax no matter how high ; the higher the better!

"A veritable race for output ensued."

But soon the intensive effort began to tell on the workers, and they derided to ask for shorter hours.

The firm "realised thai more recreation mean! greater fitness," so replied that shorter hours could only be considered did the workers guarantee that the present rate of output would be maintained. The workers did so, and the hours were reduced from 49$ to 44.

This scheme, the article explains, was introduced to produce wealth, to pay for the war, reduce cost of living—and it worked admirably.

There are several lessons to be drawn from the above quotations. One of the first is that the Reformist Socialist is out of date, the big employers arc in advance of him and are willing to grant freely many things that the reformists are afraid even to ask for. Also in this case you will notice that the workers got 25 percent, increase and the masters owned to getting SO per cent. That is the point. When the master class make any concessions to the workers, when they give.them higher wages or shorter hours, they are really not giving anything away, they are gaining, double or treble and sometimes more, than they part with.

They give shorter hours that the workers may have more leisure and be more fit for their work ; may be able to produce as much and more in the *hort hours than thev previously did in the longer hours. Thev start Welfare Schemes and Social Clubs that their workers may be more contented, more anxious to work hard and produce profits. Thev will give nnv amount of sops to prevent the workers taking the whole of the results of their labour.

But in the long run all the reforms lead nowhere, and the worker remains in the old position of being a commodity subject to the laws of supply and demand like any other commodity. When trade is brisk he'll eet n big price for his labour, and be able to dictate terms to the boss, within certain limits. When, trade is bad. waees will fall and his ability to make terms will vanish. He'll hawk his labour power round the various markets in a vain endeavour to find a buyer, and be willing to sell at almost any price that will keep body and soul together.

The worker has no say in industry, can have no say so long as the Capitalist system lasts. The Capitalists own the tools of production and only permit the workers to have access to tho^c tools on their terms and the terms of course are always favourable to the owners, not the workers.

There is only one solution to all the problems of the working class—unemployment, starvation, disease, slavery, and crime of all kinds—and that is to get rid lor all time of the system that causes these things, of which these things are. a necessary part. A great deal of energy is expended very often on strikes, which the workers never win, even though sometimes they seem to have a temporary gain, which they later realise was no gain at all. Very little more energy would be necessary to put an end to poverty and richcs, to establish the commonwealth of the workers, in which no one can exploit another's necessity, where all must work to eat and enjov the good things of life.

In the present slump in trade and consequent unemployment, the clothing industry has been one of the first to l>e effected. No doubt the employees of this firm, if they have not already done so, will soon realise that intensive production does not pay them.

J. H. P.



In the course of the last ten years there was not one democratic party in the world, or one Statesman of the bourgeois republics, who undertook, in the cause of the emancipation of woman, a hundredth part of what has been done in twelve months in Russia. All the humiliating laws that narrowed woman's rights have been abolished. For example, those which put obstacles in the way of divorce, and the disgusting formalities which had to be proceeded with in order to ascertain paternity and in connection with "illegitimate" children. These, arc laws in force in all civilised States, to the disgrace of the bourgeoisie and of Capitalism. We have the right to be proud of our progress in this sphere. But, in proportion as we sapped the foundations of bourgeois laws and institutions, we arrived at a more and more clear vision of the preparatory nam re of our work, destined as it was solelv for the preparation of the ground on which to build the new edifice.

We have not yet begun the construction of that edifice.

Woman remains, in spile of all, the slave of the home. Emancipatory laws are of no avail in that respect, since she remains subjected to all the little dutie s about the house which chain her to the kitchen and the nursery, and exhaust h#*r primitive and unproductive activity in a series of oppressive and degrading petty tortures.

The true emancipation of woman, true Communism, will not exist until the proletariat, taking the reins in hand, organises the struggle oguinst domestic slavery. In other words, until society has been entirely reconstructed, with a general and Socialist organisation of housekeeping.

The practical realisation of the programme has »>egun, nnd, though the results are as yet scarcely apparent wo must not underestimate these fust spring shoots. Communal restaurants, ami the children'* gardens are, in their way, ivcw off' shoots scry far vet from maturity; but Ihey contain the possibility of growing, with experience* into the emancipation <»( woman, thanks to the suppression of hcr inequality, as compared with man, in the dotvmin of social production and life.

These methods are not new. Like all the measures of Socialism, they have bern organised for us, in general, by Capitalism. But under the Capitalist regime they onlv constituted an exception. Still more, they offered the most pitiful spectacle* of speculation, greed and fraud. Or else they became transformed into those bourgeois charitable institution* which are so justly hated and despised by the best elements of the proletariat.

We have taken in hand the majority of these institutions, and they are beginning to lose their former character.

We do not cry ii in the streets, in contrast with the bourgeoisie who are so skilled in celebrating the merits of their institutions. In contrast with the million-sale bourgeois press, which boasts its undertakings as deserving tf» swell the national pride, our newspapers do not spend their time in singing the praises of our people's kitchens.

ft is none the less true that they are founded on the following principles: Economy of labour, control of foodstuffs, amelioration of sanitary conditions. and the liberation of woman from domestic slavery.

section six


I. iOSIAH WE00W000

It was announced officially on December, 31, t'Mi, that four members of the labour Party had been created peers. This Coalition Government election of labourists was ihc beginning of the Parliamentary labour policy ol conquering aristrocritcy by invasion and elevation. A remarkable expression of social democracy but a natural demonstration of the truth of Proudbon's Anarchist slogan that universal suffrage was counterrevolution, One of these peers was Colonel Jos-iah Clement Wedgwood.

Josiah Wedgwood was M.P. for Newcastle-undcr-I.vmc, to the date of his peerage, from 1906, firs: Liberal and then Labour.

Descendant of the ccUbmud pouter, he was born on Match 16, 187*2. Wedgwood had a distinguished naval record ami served in the first Great War.

Wedgwcod was Resident Magistrate at Erntelo, Transvaal, 1902-4.

A disciple of Henry George, he was President of the English League for the Taxation of Land Values.

A militarist in action, he defended anti-militarism and boldly champiuncd conscientious objectors during the years 191H-I9V8 and defended their successors during the whole course of the Second world war.

I>esphe his militarism, he was interested in Anarchists and Anarchism.

Wedgwood was one of il»e few outspoken men in British Parliamentary politics, He was the only really interesting man among the peers mode since 1939, the only one possessing genuine personality and vigour of expression, even though what he said seemed sometimes to be outrageous and contrary to his actions. He was one of the few M.P.'a who managed to command occasional respect and to cause his audience to suspcet that he might possess a litilc sincerity. With pugnacity be combined wit and charm.

When Emma Goldman camc to London in 192ft, after her exile from the Soviet Union and addressed a decidedly Anti-Proletarian audience at South Place Institute, on Thursday, January 29, of that year on The Bohhevik Myth—a sound enough subject—Wedgwood took the chair. About thi* time, Wedgwood also attended the inaugral meeting of an Anti-Fascist movement in London.



Goldman has written of Wedgwood at length with a sense of indebtedness to his understanding and consideration.

When I was arrested for speaking in Hyde Park in February, 1925, on a series of counts that combined riot, sedition, and blasphemy, Wedgwood was asked to raise the matter. He addressed to me, from the Huusc of Commons, the following typical letter: —

Houf* of Common*, 26-2-25

Dear Guy AUIr<<5,

Whenever you gvn into gaol vou write ro me—a good habit, which reconciles me completely to your incarceration. Whenever you get our you not only denounce me af an obsolete old duffer, hut you send mf tkc denunciatory newspaper and $?«lurc mc into reading it. Th»$ is a thoroughly bail habit.

But what worries mc \s—Are you on Anarchist or a Communist? If the latter, the Policc may club you and your follow Communist nuiy saw vwu. If you arv :in Anarchist /colour imiu;iU»ri;il), ! will j'.ir a question and stand bv h p:il—so hinu as y«m Ml mo exactly what to complain ;ilxjut (draft the qitr*ti<»n|.

If you cannot inaUc up your miiul what you ur?, change your niir.d.

B.-st regards to Madame, Your*,


When Morel was prosecuted and imprisoned in 1917, Wedgwood defended Morel against his accusers and slanderers, in a powerful speech made in ihe Huusc of Commons, «»n October 31, 1917. I excerpt a passage:

I nn\ proud of my country an<l her traditions and history, but the imprisonment of K. I). Morel will jjo down to succeeding fr'n^ralioits one of tlir must serious blots on the history of this nunlr) .

The Anarchist reached the House of Lords and made some good speeches, the theme of which was liberty and individual justice. His health was bad and his speeches had little influence, fertile hysteria of the time was against him and the atmosphere was deathly. In any case he could not have participated in any active propaganda because of his health. He died in September 1943.


The Documents Case, heard November 28. 1021, (see chapter XV, 1921 Trial) was reported also in Justiciary Coses, ic)2i-22% p. 13. A popular report was oublished bv Tohn S. Clarke as a leader in the Glasgow Worker. This rase was my introduction to Parliament House, Edinburgh. For the hearing I was conveyed to the old Calton Jail, Edinburgh, and stood, on the Waverley Platform Station at Edinburgh a^d the Queen Street Station Platform at Glasgow, chained to other prisoners, both going and coming between Barlinnie Prison and the Calton.

The Hig-h Court of Justiciary has been described as a Court with grim records. This might apply to any Court. As I sat in the Court waiting for the case to be heard, I recalled some of the cases that had been tried there. There was si ill living in the United States, Madeleine Smith of Glasgow, whose famous trial for murder took place in 1857. Madeleine Smith did not die until seven years later (192ft) after she had passed her 90th birthday. This was a living link, almost, with the days of Richard Car-lile. But I would have preferred a political link, a trial for alleged blasphemy, sedition, or Free Speech. That would have been a really vital, living link. But 1 had to create mv own record of struggle for freedom in the High Court of Justiciary, the Court of Session, and Parliament House generally.

On November 28, 1024, I pleaded, in the Court of Session, by Stated Case, the famous Glasgow Green Case, reported 1924 J. C.% 117; 1924, Scottish Imw Times, 613. This case 1 revived by a further struggle in Glasgow in and once more pleaded in the High Court of Justiciary, on November 5, ion. John Heen-an, then of the I.L.P., and now Chairman of the Labour Party in Glasgow, participated in the Glasgow Green struggle in ic>V and was a co-defender- So was John McGovern, M.P. My pleadings caused the penalties to be nominal and the Free Speech By-Law to be altered. But the Labour majority at ^George Square, Glasgow, never implemented the altered By-Law and so Glasgow is denied the right of public meetings in the open spaces and public parks of the citv that my pleadings secured. A disgraceful business. A complete indictment of parliamentarism and Labour careerism.

The toil case was pleaded before the then Lord Justice General f Lord Sands, and Lord Blackburn.

In 1024 also, I pleaded the Botanic Gardens Free Speech case in the High Court by way of Hill of Suspension,

In 1928. I carried the dispute between the Glasgow Forward and myself to the Court of Session by way of Reduction. Opposed to me in this case was Mr. Craieie Ailkinsnn, K.C., Mr. Cameron, and Mr. Thomson. Bv Judiciously joining the Labour Party at the right moment,

and judiciously leaving it with Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, Mr. Aitkin son became Lord Justice Clcik. It must be said in his favour that, as a Judge, he often reached almost humanitarian decisions in many cases and did endeavour to exhibit some common sense on the Bench. The Forward case is an instance where the Court deckled that I was wronged but had no remedy.

This ease was not reported but I have the Official Shorthand Jteporr of the proceedings and the Judges' decision*.

In due course, Mr. Thomson became Labour M.P. and Lord Advocate in 1045, and is now Lord Thomson, a Senator of the College of Justice. The study of politics in relation 10 legal promotion is a most interesting one but its import escapes the notice of the ordinary working man and woman who are all roo busy struggling for their daily-bread. This fact partly explains the success of eareerism. It relies on the steps of its evolution passing unnoticed.

On March 14, 1020. I again appeared in the Court of Session with a Bill of Advocation p^ainst Mr. J. D. Strathern, then Procurator-Fiscal of Glasgow, in connection with the Sbet-tleston meeting addressed by Arthur Henderson and John Wheat lev. This case was heard by the Lord Justice Clerk fAlness), I-ord Hunter, and lx>rd Anderson. Alness was elevated to the House of Lords in 19*14, following his resignation as f.ord Justice Clerk. He was succeeded by Craigie Aitkinson. The issue involved in the argument for Advocation is a most important one. although rejected by the Court of Justiciary. This case is reported in 1020 J.C.. p.

Mv journeying* to Parliament House, always as the opponent of the Slate, ceased, with this case, for ten years. Anarchists have made much of the McAra case, connected with Free Speech on the Mound. But this was a case taken up by lawvers and argued bv them professionally. McAra. however worthy he mav have been, was a purely lay figure—a lawyer's dnmmv. He did nothing at all. He did not advise. . He did not speak. His name was merely ti^ed to describe the case. Yet a number of Anarchists conceal this fact and write about the case as though he had challenged the law. An imposture and an absurdity.

In all the cases in which I figured, I formulated the pleas and argued the case. I did not engage and I did not consult Counsel. To my mind, it is a mosl objectionable practice-for Socialists and Anarchists to engage Counsel, and to have to take their place in Court absolutely silent figures, deprived of the right to speak. What a satire it is of the pubic worth of the agitator, of the status of a Labour M.P., when either of these individuals agrees to leave the pleadings of a matter of public principle to a hired lawyer whose very existence requires that he should seek to apprise or to uphold established authority. Such a pleader must submit his case to a Court of Error in the terms of error. Rarely dot's he exhibit courage for to do so is to become an outlaw. A lawyer, since he has to live by his profession, cannot afford to be either a rebel or a thinker. He is not a constitutional student or an expounder of the first principles of jurisprudence. He is but a special pleader and a master of the art of false reasoning. This is at his very best. He mav be so dumb that even his reasoning lacks plausibility'

In 1930 came the .Second World War and another period of conscription ; this lime not merely for the duration ssnd a little time after, as in 1014-bur for the duration and the post-war peace. Indeed the conscription is destined to carry us into a Third World War without even the interlude of a period of voluntary service. Democracy raised to power has established servitude and denies both commonweal and liberty.

With the declaration of the Second World War, my journeying* to Parliament House were resumed. I then began to appear before the Appellate Tribunal on behalf of conscientious objectors. Sometimes I succeeded and, more often, I failed. It is very difficult to overcome the entrenched ignorance of priveleged, vision less old age. Mediocrity is very smug and so sure of itself. AM I eon say is that every case 1 pleaded was genuine. Unlike the Judges and the Counsel that had risen and departed since 1 first p*«*aded Ihe cause of struggle in Parliament House, I have remained on the side of youth in opposition to the lired professionalism that has destroyed the world.

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