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


Election manifesto of Emmanuel Shinwell, 1924

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Emmanuel Shinwell's activism in the Labour movement began when he became a member of the ILP and became involved in municipal politics. His support for and work on behalf of the rent strike campaign of 1915-16 ensured that Manny was elected as councillor for the Fairfield area of Govan in the municipal elections of November 1916. Manny was also active in the trade union movement and was elected as chairman of Glasgow Trades Council between 1916 and 1919 and was also on the executive committee of the Clyde Workers' Committee throughout the 1916-1919 period.

Shinwell's parliamentary career began with his election to the House of Commons in 1922 as one of the ten Red Clydesider's. Defeated in the 1924 General Election, Shinwell returned to Parliament again 1928. When Ramsay MacDonald became prime minister following the 1929 General Election, he appointed Shinwell as Financial Secretary of the War Office. Shinwell lost his seat at Linlithgow in the 1931 General Election although he returned to the House of Commons in 1935 after defeating Ramsay MacDonald at Seaham.

Whilst chairman of the Labour Party from 1942 he wrote the manifesto which gave Labour it's post-war general election victory in 1945. He went on to nationalise the mines as Minister of Fuel & Power in 1946, and served a term as Secretary of State for Defence between 1947 and 1951. He lost office after the Conservative Party victory in the 1951 General Election but held his seat in the House of Commons and between November 1964 and March 1967 was Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party.