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


How to remedy the trouble on the Clyde, 23 Jan 1916

Government must get back control on Clyde

image from Red Clydeside collection

The upsurge in industrial militancy and the general air of revolutionary fervour which pervaded the Clydeside workshops during 1915 and 1916 soon became a focus for the British national press.

Not surprisingly many of the English journalists who came to Glasgow to report on these events chose to depict the actions of the workers as selfish, un-patriotic and a danger to national security. A few journalists even chose to give credence to the notion of a pro-German conspiracy on Clydeside which they said was aimed at severely restricting the production of munitions for the British armed forces.

After nearly two years of war, and with bad news filtering through from abroad about heavy military losses, the public mood in Britain was hostile towards any organisation or individual who was seen to be acting against the war effort. Unsurprisingly, this mood was reflected in the majority of reporting about the events on Clydeside, and it wasn't until the defeat of the Clyde Workers' Committee in 1916 and the wide-scale implementation of dilution that the munitions workers of Clydeside were again given favourable coverage in the national British press.

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