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


Letter written by John Maclean and published in Forward newspaper, 18 May 1915

image from Red Clydeside collection

Letter by John Maclean to the editor of Forward in which he criticizes the pro-war stance of H.M. Hyndman, founder of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF). At the outbreak of the First World War Hyndman was leader of the newly established British Socialist Party (BSP) and was a vociferous supporter of Britain's involvement in WWI.

Hyndman's used the pages of the BSP publication, Justice, to champion the case for socialist support for Britain's war effort. This attracted widespread criticism from within Marxist and Socialist circles in Britain.

In 1916 at a special conference of the BSP in Manchester, Hyndman and supporters were expelled from the BSP. On his expulsion from the BSP Hyndman went on to form the National Socialist Party and remained leader of the NSP until his death in November 1921.

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