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


Letter written by soldier to the editor of Forward highlighting landlord evictions of servicemen's dependents in Glasgow., 29 May 1915

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Throughout 1914/15 women began to organise Tenants Strike Committees in munitions areas where landlords had increased the rents of many workers, including the dependents of servicemen fighting for their country. Inspired by a strong sense of injustice these strike committees helped organise a campaign of non-payment of rents and brought the issue of fair rents into the national political arena.

The actions of landlords in increasing rents and then in pursuing court action to evict tenants, especially in a time when many men where fighting fdor their country in France, was used to great effect as an example of the profiteering and unpatriotic actions of landlords.

By the Autumn of 1915 the Lloyd-George government believed it was facing a major crisis of authority which threatened war production on the Clyde and that a restriction of rents on working class housing was a political necessity to safeguard munitions production. The Rent Restrictions Act was made law in 1915.