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


Why Lloyd George wants conscription, 25 Dec 1915

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In December 1915 the prime minister, David Lloyd George, came to Glasgow to address a meeting of workers and shop stewards in St. Andrews Halls. He hoped to explain the governments proposals for dilution and in the process allay the fears of the skilled workers that the Act would open the door to exploitation by employers who would substitute cheap labour for time served skilled workers.

Lloyd George was given a hostile reception by the audience of workers and struggled to be heard above the jeers of the crowd. An official account of this meeting, written by Westminster officials, was passed to the national press and published. However this account failed to mention both the workers' opposition to dilution and the hostile reception received by the prime minister.

Incensed by the blatant censorship of the press, Forward published the true account of proceedings at the meeting and for this it was immediately suppressed by the government and banned form any future publication. Also suppressed were two other socialist publications, John Maclean's Vanguard and also the Clyde Workers' Committee's own paper, The Worker, which reproduced and published the original Forward article.