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Russian Emigration and British Marxist Socialism

  • Walter Kendall
Extract

Britain's tradition of political asylum has for centuries brought refugees of many nationalities to her shores. The influence both direct and indirect, which they have exerted on British life has been a factor of no small importance. The role of religious immigration has frequently been examined, that of the socialist emigrés from Central Europe has so far received less detailed attention.

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References
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page 351 note 1 Hovell, Mark, The Chartist Movement, Manchester 1925, p. 286; Schoyen, A. R., The Chartist Challenge, London 1958, pp. 130151.

page 351 note 2 Hovell, Mark, The Chartist Movement, p. 286; Northern Star, 9 October, 1847.

page 351 note 3 Hovell, Mark, The Chartist Movement, p. 287; Schoyen, A. R., The Chartist Challenge, pp. 135145; The Red Republican, London (issues of 1850), edited by Harney, C. J..

page 351 note 4 Hovell, Mark, The Chartist Movement (The Pole, Major Beniowski), pp. 176f.; Schoyen, A. R., The Chartist Challenge, pp. 88, 90, 92.

page 351 note 5 Committee of the Delegates of the Russian Socialist Groups in London, An Appeal to Public Opinion, London 1916, p. 16; Browne, Douglas G., The Rise of Scotland Yard, London 1956, p. 279.

page 351 note 6 Browne, Douglas G., The Rise of Scotland Yard, p. 279.

page 352 note 1 Committee of Delegates of the Russian Socialist Groups in London, An Appeal to Public Opinion, London 1916, p. 7.

page 352 note 2 Lerner, Shirley W., Breakaway Unions and The Small Trade Union, London 1961, pp. 8587. Sam Elsbury, later an important figure in Communist union history, is an excellent example of the militant highly skilled cutter. Ibid., p. 100 et seq.

page 352 note 3 Rocker, Rudolf, The London Years, London 1956. Introduction by Leftwich, Joseph, p. 2728. – “The Jews whose lives were fallen in pleasant places”, as the Jewish Chronicle termed it, did not, with few exceptions, want to put themselves out to “become their brothers keepers”. There was a cold attitude amongst responsible Jewish organisations towards “our poor East End brethren”. For the apathy of large sections of population, Rocker The London Years, pp. 78–82. For difficulties of organisation, Ibid., p. 122 et seq.

page 352 note 4 Rocker, Rudolf, The London Years, pp. 192193, relates how in November 1909 on the eve of the London Lord Mayor's Show, he had personally to intervene in order to dissuade a small group of anarchists from carrying out a plan to throw a bomb at the procession.

page 353 note 1 Rocker, Rudolf, The London Years, pp. 123, 136, 177.

page 353 note 2 Woodcock, George and Avakumović, Ivan, The Anarchist Prince, London 1950, p. 145. Kropotkin with others founded the Freedom Group in 1886. Ibid., p. 208.

page 353 note 3 Rocker, Rudolf, The London Years, pp. 162165.

page 353 note 4 Mayer, Gustav, Friedrich Engels, London 1936, p. 197.

page 353 note 5 Bernstein, Edward, My Years of Exile, London 1921, p. 219.Schapiro, Leonard, The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, London 1960, p. 819 (for role as founder). Haimson, Leopold H., The Russian Marxists and the Origins of Bolshevism, Cambridge (Mass.) 1955.

page 353 note 6 Bernstein, Edward, My Years of Exile, p. 219; (Stepniak) p. 214.

page 354 note 1 Lee, H. W. and Archbold, E., Social Democracy in Britain, London 1935, p. 65.

page 354 note 2 Lee, H. W. and Archbold, E., Social Democracy in Britain, pp. 8283; Bax, E. Belfort, Reminiscences and Reflections, London 1918, p. 73 et seq.

page 354 note 3 “We are opposed to strikes altogether”, wrote Hyndman in April 1903. “They never were a powerful weapon and now they are quite out of date.” Justice, 18.4.1903.

page 354 note 4 “…great strikes can force concessions … they cannot alone effect any permanent improvement in the conditions of those who labour.” Lee, H. W., The Great Strike Movement of 1911, London, p. 16.

page 354 note 5 Maclean, John. Biographical material in possession of Maclean's daughter Nan Milton.

page 354 note 6 See Hyndman's, address to the Founding Conference of the British Socialist Party. British Socialist Party Annual Report, London 1912.

page 355 note 1 Krupskaya, N., Memories of Lenin, Vol. I, London 1930, p. 60 et seq. (Krupskaya gives an excellent impression of the mobility of emigré political life); Trotsky, L., Lenin, London 1925, p. 27 et seq.; Trotsky, L., My Life, New York 1930, p. 142 et seq.; Rocker, Rudolf, The London Years, pp. 128, 177.

page 355 note 2 Krupskaya, N., Memories of Lenin, p. 85; Eastman, Max, Leon Trotsky—Portrait of a Youth, London 1926, p. 174.

page 355 note 3 Eastman, Max, Leon Trotsky—Portrait of a Youth, pp. 171172; Trotsky, L., My Life, p. 145.

page 355 note 4 Eastman, Max, Leon Trotsky–Portrait of a Youth, pp. 172174; Trotsky, L., Lenin, , p. 39.

page 355 note 5 Krupskaya, N., Memories of Lenin, Vol. I, p. 66.

page 355 note 6 It was Harry Quelch, editor of “Justice”, who arranged for Trotsky to be admitted to the British Museum Library. Trotsky arrived in October. See Trotsky, , My Life, p. 205.

page 356 note 1 Lenin, on Britain (a compilation), London 1934, pp. 118119.

page 356 note 2 Schapiro, Leonatd, The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Appendix II, p. 604.

page 356 note 3 Lenin, on Britain, pp. 107109.

page 356 note 4 Hobson, S. G., Pilgrim to the Left, London 1938, pp. 125128.

page 357 note 1 Lee, H. W. and Archbold, E., Social Democracy in Britain, London 1935, pp. 148154.

page 357 note 2 Pope, Arthur Upham, Maxim Litvinov, London 1943, pp. 51, 68, 84, 96, 103 et seq.

page 357 note 3 Justice, 15.7.1905.

page 358 note 1 Justice, 30.3.1907: “Social Democrats and their Tactics in the Russian Duma”.

page 358 note 2 Balabanova, Angelica, My Life as a Rebel, London 1938, pp. 8591; Trotsky, L., Stalin, , London 1947, pp. 8992.

page 358 note 3 Balabanova, Angelica, My Life as a Rebel, p. 86, 89.

page 358 note 4 Balabanova, Angelica, My Life as a Rebel, p. 90; Postgate, Raymond, The Life of George Lansbury, London 1951, 6970; Trotsky, L., My Life, p. 202; Brailsford, H. N., Plebs Magazine, Tillicoultry, May 1948, pp. 8688. Trotsky puts the figure at £ 3,000. The accounts vary over details.

page 359 note 1 Aldred, Guy, No Traitors Gait, Glasgow, p. 281. Quelch spoke an 16.5.1907. The Congress lasted from May 13th to June 1st.

page 359 note 2 Hansard, 27.5.1907, Col. 1319. “I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the Russian delegates who are now holding a conference in London are being shadowed and their photographs taken by private detectives and the police, and whether he intends taking any action in the matter?”

page 359 note 3 Justice, 1.6.1907.

page 359 note 4 Justice, 15.6.1907.

page 360 note 1 Gorki, M., Days with Lenin, London 1933, p. 18.

page 360 note 2 Brust, Harold, I Guarded Kings, London 1935, pp. 8788.

page 360 note 3 The Club was opened on February 3rd, 1906. Rocker, R., The London Years, p. 178.

page 360 note 4 Brust, Harold, I Guarded Kings, London 1935, pp. 9094; Brust, Harold, In Plain Clothes, London 1937, pp. 2225.

page 360 note 5 Brust, Harold, I Guarded Kings, p. 89.

page 360 note 6 Society of Friends of Russian Freedom, London, Pamphlet Library of London School of Economics and Political Science.

page 361 note 1 As above.

page 361 note 2 Rocker, R., The London Years, pp. 172174.

page 361 note 3 Peter Petroff would seem to be an exception. The matter was obviously affected by age, education and general social and cultural background.

page 361 note 4 Zelda Kahan, J. Fineberg and in a sense Theodore Rothstein are examples.

page 361 note 5 See preface to Theodore Rothstein, From Chartism to Labourism, London 1929.

page 361 note 6 Rothstein worked for the Manchester Guardian and the (Liberal)Daily News amongst other journals. He was author of Egypt's Ruin, London 1910.

page 362 note 1 Social Democrat, London, June 1900.

page 362 note 2 Social Democrat, July 1900.

page 362 note 3 Bell, Thomas, Pioneering Days, London 1941, pp. 58–41, 178 et seq.

page 362 note 4 Hyndman, H. M., Further Reminiscences, London 1912, p. 199.

page 362 note 5 Gould, F. J., Hyndman–Prophet of Socialism, London 1928, p. 129.

page 362 note 6 Justice, 11.8.1900.

page 363 note 1 Justice, 5.8.1911; Eddy, J. P., The Mystery of Peter the Painter, London 1946.

page 363 note 2 Justice, 12.8.1911.

page 363 note 3 Thus Morton and Tate, The British Labour Movement, Lawrence & Wishart, London 1956, p. 165, describe Hyndman as “at bottom a bourgeois political boss”, although by comparison with the British Communist Party the SDF was a veritable paragon of honesty, socialist principles and internal democracy.

page 363 note 4 Hyndman, H. M., England for All, London 1881, pp. 169171.

page 363 note 5 SDF Conference Report, London 1906.

page 363 note 6 Morning Post, London 6.7.1910.

page 364 note 1 Justice, 30.7.1910. B. Kahan's daughter, Zelda Kahan, was a member.

page 364 note 2 Justice, 20.8.1910. Grown from the Democratic Federation founded in 1881, the Social Democratic Federation founded in 1884, became the Social Democratic Party in 1908, merged into the British Socialist Party in 1912 and finally dissolved itself as the largest single contingent into the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1920.

page 364 note 3 Justice, 22.4.1911.

page 364 note 4 Lenin, on Britain, pp. 113115.Article dated 29.4.1911.

page 365 note 1 Justice, 15.7.1911.Coates, William Peyton, USSR and Disarmament, Anglo Russian Parliamentary Committee, London 1928 etc. Peyton, William and Coates, Zelda, Armed Intervention in Russia 1918–1922, London 1935.

page 365 note 2 British Socialist Party Conference Report, London 1912, pp. 2022. The vote was 83 to 65.

page 365 note 3 British Socialist Party Conference Report, London 1912, p. 31.

page 365 note 4 Lee, H. W. and Archbold, E., Social Democracy in Britain, London 1936, pp. 212213.British Socialist Party Conference Report, London 1913, pp. 3638.

page 366 note 1 British Socialist Party Conference Report 1913, p. 17.

page 366 note 2 British Socialist Party Conference Report 1915, p. 18.

page 366 note 3 Lenin, on Britain, pp. 115117.

page 366 note 4 Testimony of MacDougall, James, Glasgow, a prominent participant in these events.

page 366 note 5 British Socialist Party Conference Report, London 1914, p. 9.

page 367 note 1 British Socialist Party Conference Report 1913, p. 19.

page 367 note 2 Lee, and Archbold, , Social Democracy in Britain, pp. 225226.

page 367 note 3 British Socialist Party Conference Report 1915, p. 18.

page 367 note 4 Justice, 24.9.1914, 1.10.1914, 22.10.1914.

page 368 note 1 Justice, 8.10.1914.

page 368 note 2 Justice, 5.11.1914.

page 368 note 3 Justice, 3.12.1914.

page 368 note 4 Irma Petroff in a letter to the author. The votes cast were collated and totalled at the National Office in London. Lee, and Archbold, , Social Democracy in Britain, pp. 223235; Justice 4.3.1915.

page 368 note 5 Lee, and Archbold, , Social Democracy in Britain, pp. 232233.

page 368 note 6 Pope, A. U., Maxim Litvinov, pp. 103110. Litvinov's report of the proceedings was first published in Trotsky's Nashe Slovo on 27.12.1915. A fuller version, unmutilated by French censorship, appeared in the Zurich Sozialdemokrat 29.3.1915. 7 Justice, 15.4.1915.

page 369 note 1 When the Italian Deputy Ordino Morgari visited Vandervelde, Chairman of the International Socialist Bureau, he was notified “As long as German soldiers are billeted in the homes of Belgian workers there can be no talk of convening the Executive.”—“Is the International then a hostage in the hands of the Entente?” asked Morgari pointedly. “Yes, a hostage”, came the blunt reply. Deutscher, , The Prophet Armed, p. 225.

page 369 note 2 British Socialist Party Conference Report 1913, pp. 3940.

page 369 note 3 Central Hackney in East London was one of the more militant BSP branches. BSP Conference Report 1913, p. 40.

page 369 note 4 Lee, and Archbold, , Social Democracy in Britain, p. 235; British Socialist Party Conference Report 1913, p. 40.

page 369 note 5 Justice, 30.9.1915.

page 369 note 6 British Socialist Party Conference Report 1916, pp. 1314; British Socialist Party Conference Report 1917, p. 11.

page 369 note 7 Quelch, had resigned his post as editor in 1913 and been replaced by Lee. Lee, and Archbold, , Social Democracy in Britain, p. 211.

page 370 note 1 Justice, 8.7.1915.

page 370 note 2 Bell, Tom, Maclean, John, Glasgow 1944, p. 39.

page 370 note 3 Vanguard, , December 1915.

page 370 note 4 Testimony of MacDougall, James, Glasgow in conversation with the author.

page 370 note 5 Forward, , Glasgow 8.5.1915.

page 370 note 6 Who and What is Peter Petroff, Justice 25.12.1915.

page 370 note 7 British Socialist Party Conference Report 1916, pp. 2021. Trotsky's Nashe Slovo also protested; see Vanguard, , December 1915.The Call, 30.3.1916.

page 371 note 1 George, Lloyd, then Minister of Munitions, visited Clydeside in December 1915, with a view to winning support for government policies amongst the industrial workers. Gallacher, William, Revolt on the Clyde, London 1949, p. 31 et seq., p. 78 et seq.

page 371 note 2 Doran, Edward, former Glasgow member of the British Socialist Party, in conversation with the author.

page 371 note 3 The Worker, Glasgow, , 29.1.1916.

page 371 note 4 Gallacher, W., Revolt on the Clyde, p. 115 et seq. Bell, T., Maclean, John, pp. 5759.

page 371 note 5 The shop stewards leaders were arrested on 51.1.1916, John Maclean one day later.

page 371 note 6 Bell, T., Maclean, John, pp. 5762.

page 371 note 7 In January 1916. Bell, T., Maclean, John, p. 40.

page 371 note 8 Gallacher, for example. Revolt on the Clyde, pp. 6, 205–207.

page 371 note 9 Justice, 27.5.1915, 5.6.1915.

page 372 note 1 The first issue of The Call appeared on 24.2.1916.

page 372 note 2 British Socialist Party Conference Report 1916, p. 3; Lee, and Archbold, , Social Democracy in Britain, pp. 236237.

page 372 note 3 Lee, and Archbold, , Social Democracy in Britain, p. 239; British Socialist Party Conference Report 1917, p. 2324.

page 372 note 4 Deutscher, Isaac, The Prophet Armed, p. 221.

page 372 note 5 Deutscher, Isaac, The Prophet Armed, pp. 222223. Author's conversation with James Macdougall.

page 372 note 6 Deutscher, Isaac, The Prophet Armed, pp. 221222.

page 372 note 7 Deutscher, Isaac, The Prophet Armed, p. 238; The Call, 21.9.1916.Slovo, Nashe was banned on 15.9.1916.

page 373 note 1 The Call, 23.11.1916.

page 373 note 2 The Call, 26.4.1917. On May Day 1918 The Scottish Socialist Labour Party was selling in Glasgow a secretly printed edition of Trotsky's War and Revolution.

page 373 note 3 The Call, 21.6.1917.

page 373 note 4 The Call, 21.6.1917.

page 373 note 5 The Call, 26.7.1917.

page 373 note 6 SirThomson, Basil, The Scene Changes, New York 1937, p. 383 et seq. Thomson, was appointed in June 1913; Ibid., p. 242.

page 374 note 1 British Socialist Party Conference Reports 1916, 1917, 1918.

page 374 note 2 Maclean's, John personal papers in possession of his daughter, Nan Milton.

page 374 note 3 Magazine, Plebs, Oxford, August 1917; Bryan, John, The Struggle of Classes in Russia, p. 147.

page 374 note 4 The Manifesto of 24.1.1919, from which the establishment of the Communist International dates, invited “The left elements in the British Socialist Party, in particular the groups represented by Maclean.”

page 375 note 1 Pope, A. U., Litvinov, Maxim, p. 130.

page 375 note 2 Bell, Tom, Maclean, John, p. 69 et seq.

page 375 note 3 The Call, 24.1.1918.Litvinov's, appeal “To the Workers of Great Britain” appeared in the issue of 10.1.1918.The British Socialist Party Manifesto on 17.1.1918. The combined leaflet apparently never left the printshop.

page 375 note 4 The Call, 7.2.1918.

page 375 note 5 The Call, 7.2.1918; Thomson, , Queer People, p. 283.

page 376 note 1 The Call, 10.1.1918.

page 376 note 2 Trotsky had threatened reprisals if they were not released, George, David Lloyd, War Memoirs, p. 2566; Pope, A. U., Litvinov, Maxim, p. 130; The Call, 10.1.1918.

page 376 note 3 British Socialist Party Conference 1918, p. 23. Macdougall in conversation with the author.

page 376 note 4 The Call, 13.6.1918, 27.6.1918.

page 376 note 5 Lockhart, Robert Bruce, Memoirs of a British Agent, London 1932, pp. 201204.Pope, A. U., Litvinov, Maxim, p. 130.

page 376 note 6 SirThomson, Basil, Queer People, London 1922, pp. 287288; George, David Lloyd, Memoirs, War, p. 2567; Murphy, J. T., New Horizons, London 1941, p. 69.MacManus, and Bell, , two important shop steward leaders, had travelled specially to London to meet Litvinov in February 1917.Bell, T., Pioneering Days, pp. 169, 151.

page 377 note 1 SirThomson, Basil, Queer People, p. 290.

page 377 note 2 The Call, 17.4.1919. The same issue contained the first report of the Founding Congress of the Communist International which had begun in Moscow on 2nd March, 1919.

page 377 note 3 The Call, 30.10.1919.

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