Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Cartoon depicting eviction of soldier's family, 5 June 1915

image from Red Clydeside collection

This cartoon entitled 'May Day: The soldier dies for his country and the broker calls for his furniture' highlights the growing anger within the labour movement over housing laws which enabled landlords to exploit working class tenants at a time of sacrifice for many.

These laws allowed landlords to summarily evict tenants in arrears of rent, and allowed the confiscation of possessions by landlords in lieu of arrears. These events were increasingly commonplace throughout 1915, even when many of the female tenants had husbands fighting and dying for their country.

The actions of the landlords in pursuing court action to evict tenants was used to great effect as an example of the unpatriotic actions of the landlords, and was one of the main factors in the rent strikes gaining widespread public support.

Source: Gallacher Memorial Library, Glasgow Caledonian University Special Collections and Archives