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The Cynosure

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"What I dreaded about this strike more than anything else was this: if by any chance it should have got out of the hands of those who would be able to exercise some control, every sane man knows what would have happened. I thank God it never did."

J.H. Thoas in the House of Commons,
May 13th, 1926

"Every day that the strike proceeded the control and the authority of that dispute was passing out of the hands of responsible Executives into the hands of men who had no authority, no control, and was wrecking the movement."

Charles Dukes (N.U.G. & M.W.): Report
1927 Conferences of Executives.

"I have never disguised that in a challenge to the Constitution, God help us unless the Constitution won."

J.H. Thomas, House of Commons,
May 3rd, 1926.

"I have never favoured the principle of a General Strike."

J.H. Thomas at Hammersmith.
May 9th, 1926.

"No general Strike was ever planned or seriously contemplated as an act of Trade Union policy. I told my own union in April, that such a stroke would be a national disaster."

"We were against the stoppage not in favour of it."

J.R. Clynes: Memoirs.

The Independent Labour Party at the time was anything rather than independent and was still affiliated to the Labour Party, a majority of Labour M.P.s and ex-cabinet ministers being members of the I.L.P. The attitude of the I.L.P. was essentially that of the Labour Party; its leaders Snowden and McDonald had years before opposed the General Strike in their long disputes with the Syndicalists. In 1926 McDonald was still the leader of the I.L.P. as well as the Labour Party and was still repeating his old opposition to the General Strike.

"I don't like General Strikes...I am terribly cold-blooded about the matter."

"With the discussion of General Strikes and Bolshevism and all that ind of thing I have nothing to do at all."

Ramsay McDonald, House of Commons,
May 3rd, 1926

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