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


Letter written by John Maclean and published in Forward newspaper, 26 Sep 1914

image from Red Clydeside collection

This letter by John Maclean to the editor of the socialist newspaper 'Forward' highlights his feelings in regards to the First World War. Maclean was steadfast in his belief that the war was being fought purely in the interest of the capitalist ambitions of Britain, Germany and Russia.

He argued forcibly that the class interests of the workers of these countries were not being served by them fighting and killing each other in the name of state patriotism. Rather he called on the workers of these countries to develop a 'class patriotism' and to refuse to fight each other over the interests of Europe's capitalist classes.

Maclean was a vociferous anti-war campaigner throughout the WWI and was jailed by the British authorities several times for advocating an end to the war.

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