2017 03 – Walter Citrine and Ernest Bevin (2)

Leaders in the heyday of Britain’s unions:

Walter Citrine and Ernest Bevin (Part 2)

by Dr James Moher

 

This the second and final part of Jim Moher’s assessment of the careers of Walter Citrine and Ernest Bevin. Part 1 appeared in the February issue of Labour Affairs.

 

New Unionism

The failure of the Comintern assault on the official union and Labour movement in Britain left the field clear for Citrine, Bevin and their General Council colleagues to strike out in a new direction.

Once installed as General Secretary, Citrine first set about modernizing TUC services and administration for the trade unions. They moved to Transport House, the T&GWU’s fine new building, in 1928, where Bevin had all sections of the labour movement ‘along the corridor’.

Citrine changed the TUC’s ramshackle administrative system, symbolized by his renowned card-index system. He made sure that the more mundane but vital work of advising and assisting the two hundred or so affiliated unions was seen as an important service by them. Preparing submissions and lobbying government departments on general legislative policy issues. To get the government to ratify the ILO Convention, for example, for a shorter, 40 hour, week, became a key TUC objective.

He also led the strong campaign against the anti-union law of 1927, which became a much needed rallying point for the unions and Labour Party, culminating in the 1929 general election defeat of the Tories.

In all this he was fortunate in having the assistance of some very bright and committed senior staff, many of whom would later become TUC leaders. Citrine’s style was very much to ‘kick around’ with them his ideas and to develop new thinking which would enable the General Council and Congress to recover. His Head of Research, Walter Milne-Bailey34, was an original thinker. But the more academic socialist intellectuals of the day, the Webbs, the Coles, Laski and Stafford Cripps, did not contribute much to their efforts.35 The TUC soon developed a reputation for excellence, as the quality of their Annual Reports to Congress testifies.

Citrine explained his radical vision and sense of direction: “The principal lesson I had learned was that the trade union movement must exert its influence in an ever-widening sphere and not be contained within the traditional walls of trade union policy … We must try to expand the activities of the TUC until we could establish an efficient system whereby the TUC would be regularly and naturally consulted by whatever government was in power on any subject of direct concern to the unions.” 36

This was a complete change in outlook from that which had led to the creation of the General Council just five years before. Though many of the same people were still on that body, they had adopted Citrine’s new approach and persuaded their own unions and delegates to Congress. From a body whose rhetoric suggested that only the overthrow of capitalism would do, without losing their critical edge, they would now address the realities of this economy and seek influence in all spheres of the society. This would have profound implications for the entire world of labour from there onwards.

 

The Citrine-Bevin partnership

The other key figure helping to bring about this transformation was Ernest Bevin and it is generally accepted that the partnership with Citrine from 1926 onwards was critical. However, it is wrong to see it as the work of two great men, but rather that of a formidable generation of union and TUC leaders generally. The likes of Arthur Hayday of the NUGMW (Municipal & General workers), Alf Purcell of the Furniture trades, Arthur Pugh of the Steelworkers, ‘Jimmie’ Thomas of the NUR, John Hill of the Boilermakers and George Hicks of the construction workers (AUBTW).37

With the defeat of the General Strike, they had all learned that, as Lord Bullock put it, ‘there were limits not only to their power but also to the use they could afford to make of it unless they were prepared to risk being carried much further than most of them meant to go.’ 38 Bevin had also learned that ‘the Labour Party is no longer a purely Trade Union party’.

 

Political influences

It is likely that Citrine moved away from his earlier left-wing ILP socialism soon after the General Strike, as the ILP leadership moved closer to the CPGB/Minority Movement in their criticisms of TUC policy initiatives. By 1930 he openly criticized the fifteen or so ILP MPs for opposing the TUC/LP-supported Anomalies (unemployment insurance) Bill .39 They were on the verge of being thrown out of the Labour Party.

Nor was he over-impressed by the influential intellectuals around the Socialist League in the 1930s. He felt that ‘with rare exceptions’, namely Laski and Cole, ‘most of them never really understood the trade union movement’ and were more concerned with ‘discussing ultimate Socialist objectives of a theoretical character’, when the real threat was fascism.40

He says that ‘Bevin had little time for them’ either, ‘I know from his conversations with me that he resented their intrusion into trade union affairs’.41 With his increasingly busy national and international schedule, Citrine preferred to rely on his own power-house of union and industrial ideas at Eccleston Square, where woolly theorising was not entertained.

They could also call upon some of the best economic thinkers of the period, such as John Maynard Keynes, (1883-1946), who they regarded as ‘Britain’s foremost economist’. They would confer frequently on the National Economic Council and both Keynes and Bevin briefed Citrine from the MacMillan Committee on the credit and financial system, from 1929 onwards. 42

 

‘The Next Step’ for the unions

In late November 1927, Citrine launched ‘The Next Step in Industrial Relations’ in a Manchester Guardian article. Now, ‘the unions should actively participate in a concerted effort to raise industry to its highest efficiency by developing the most scientific methods of production, eliminating waste and harmful restrictions, removing causes of friction and avoidable conflict, and promoting the largest possible output so as to provide a rising standard of life and continuously improving conditions of employment.”43

It was a risky step. By appearing to abandon their traditional rhetoric of ideological opposition to capitalist-directed production, this ‘New Unionism’ incurred strong opposition from those steeped in Marxist or militant syndicalist psychology, such as A.J. Cook and Jimmy Maxton MP of the ILP. However, the vast majority of the General Council were prepared to try it as it offered the prospect of a recovery of union recognition for collective bargaining and serious engagement by managers with the many grievances of workers,

There was no response from the employer organisations, but the major industrialist Alfred Mond of ICI, brought a group of forty large industrialists to meet the TUC and to discuss their broader agenda.

They wanted union support for major rationalisation and modernisation plans to meet growing German, U.S. and Japanese competition. Citrine and Bevin convinced their colleagues that this would also protect British jobs, enable higher pay and strengthen union organization. As the joint Mond-Turner discussions embraced many other long-sought union aims, the vast majority of the General Council agreed to the talks from January 1928.

These went surprisingly well, though the official employer organisations vetoed their more radical proposal for a permanent National Industrial Council (an Industrial Parliament in embryo). The NIC would have had equal union and employer representation and joint Conciliation Boards to act in disputes’.44

For Citrine, and Bevin, another attraction was that it enabled them to counter ‘the resurgence of the hostility towards trade unionism’ after the General Strike’. Even the employer organisations now felt obliged to confer with the TUC on ‘matters of common interest’ and many more employers were willing to recognize unions.

 

The 1931 Labour movement crisis

The Great Depression from 1929 until the mid 1930s, put all such hopes on hold. The major unions had resumed their normal ‘contentious alliance’ with the Labour Party from 1927 and helped elect a larger, but still minority, Labour government in 1929.45 Although not affiliated, the TUC were closely involved through a National Joint Council of which Citrine was secretary.

To begin with, relations with the TUC were much better than in 1924. Even Bevin invited MacDonald to address the TG&WU conference in 1928.

They got a Bill to repeal the 1927 Act in the 1930/1 King’s Speech, and MacDonald invited Bevin and Citrine to sit on the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) with key ministers and sympathetic academics. John Maynard Keynes, the eminent economist and informal economics’ adviser to Citrine and Bevin, chaired it. MacDonald also offered them both Peerages, which they refused, though not without hesitation on Bevin’s part.46

Even so, there was little of the close liaison and interchange of views which the unions expected from ‘their’ government. MacDonald and especially his Chancellor, Phillip Snowden (1864-1937), were unduly distant and the EAC came to be a ‘talking-shop’. 47 The trade union repeal Bill was abandoned due to Conservative-Liberal opposition, without serious discussion with the TUC about how parts of it might have been salvaged. This did not go down well.

The TUC were also deeply suspicious of MacDonald’s appointment of the May Royal Commission in January 1931, to ‘examine’ the workings of the unemployment insurance scheme’, seeing it as an all-party plot to cut benefits.48

Their worst fears were realized as the financial crisis deepened, increasing City and global financier’s pressure for heavy cuts in government expenditure.

Snowden and MacDonald were seen to be in thrall to these orthodox Treasury and Bank of England approaches which left Bevin and Citrine deeply unconvinced. Bevin’s schooling in economics since 1929 from Keynes and the various financial committees he sat on, gave him the confidence to challenge Snowden.

When Bevin and Citrine met the Cabinet sub-committee, Snowden’s brusque dismissal of their alternative ‘equality of sacrifice’ approach caused offence and they broke off the discussions, with the TUC going away to lobby MPs and Cabinet members. Bevin, the key TUC Board member of the influential Daily Herald seems to have made the running, with Citrine as General Council spokesperson.

Robert Skidelsky (biographer of Keynes and author of the in depth study of the 1931 crisis), concluded that Bevin was ‘the dominant personality in the trade union movement, with an intelligence and breadth of vision far beyond those of his colleagues, with the possible exception of the general secretary, Walter Citrine, with whom he worked closely.’ 49 Though more cautious in his approach, when it came down to it, Citrine backed Bevin and articulated the General Council’s stance.

MacDonald, who had little grasp of economics, went along with Snowden, to prevent him deepening the crisis by resigning.50 Being unable to get a consensus in the Cabinet, though he had a 12 to 9 majority, they felt they must resign as a government. The shock came when it was revealed that MacDonald had been prevailed on by the Opposition leaders and the importunities of the King, George V, to form in its place a ‘National’ government to carry through the cuts.

The reaction from the Labour movement could not have been imagined. 51 Although Citrine described himself as ‘one of the Prime Minister’s severest critics’,52, it was Bevin who really articulated the feelings of most in the Labour movement, leading the chorus of ‘treachery’ and ‘betrayal’.53

This bitterness deepened as MacDonald led his ‘National’ government into a general election in which the divided Labour Party was slaughtered, holding only 46 from the 287 MP’s seats it had returned with in 1929. Whereas the Conservatives got 471 seats.54 It was a catastrophe whatever the rights and wrongs of how it was handled.

In his many subsequent references to it, Citrine gives the impression that he deeply regretted that they had not been able to reach a compromise with MacDonald and Snowden, whom he still blamed for their behavior in handling the crisis. As Prime Minister and TUC General Secretary, they continued to have dealings but MacDonald cut an increasingly sad figure, from the powerful orator and leader who had helped create the Labour Party. Citrine was one of the few in the Labour movement who had ‘a good word to say’ for MacDonald after 1931 and their relations remained civil.55

An important fall-out from the disastrous political rout of 1931 for Labour was that it completely changed the dynamic within the Labour movement. It was the TUC under Citrine and Bevin who now began to dominate Labour Party policy-making through a revitalized National Joint Council, of which Citrine was joint secretary. Their far closer liaison and relations with a new generation of Labour leaders – George Lansbury, Clement Attlee, Hugh Dalton, Herbert Morrison – would lead to electoral recovery by 1935. More significantly, it would issue in a far more radical programme which reflected industrial as well as social objectives.

 

The international dimension

More than most senior figures in British public life, Citrine’s outlook was shaped by what was happening in the wider world at the time. As President of the IFTU, whose offices were in Berlin, he was a regular visitor for Executive meetings between 1931 and 1933 and so experienced at first hand the rise of the Nazis.

After Hitler inveigled his way to power in March 1933, the destruction of the huge German union movement and socialist parties quickly followed.56 The IFTU President saw clearly what this would mean for the trade unions and socialists in the rest of Europe as Hitler’s Fascists extended their reach there, over the following years.

The British TUC was then the premier trade union centre in the world with a major international influence as international issues came to dominate the political agenda at home. Citrine emerged as an authoritative voice seeking to alert the Labour movement and British politicians and society about the real nature and threat posed by German Nazism.57

In his report to the TUC Congress of 1933 on ‘the situation in Germany’, he analyzed the factors which had produced the Nazi dictatorship. He pointed up the activities of the Comintern-controlled German Communist Party as primary contributors to the divisions which had paralysed the German labour movement in the face of the Nazi threat.58 He also criticized the Social Democratic Party leaders and its union allies for not resisting or allowing the IFTU to help.

Naturally, his bracketing of the Soviet ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ with the Nazi dictatorship, caused considerable surprise and some opposition at that Congress. Aneurin Bevan, who was there as a Miners’ Federation delegate, intervened to object to Citrine’s ’most dangerous speech’, but not even his own delegation supported him.59 Citrine got across to the Congress that the very survival of unions and fundamental democratic rights were under serious threat throughout Europe, and so this appeal to democracy versus dictatorship was plausible and his report was overwhelmingly adopted, with strong support from Bevin’s T&GWU.60

From 1936 onwards, the IFTU and TUC pressed the British government strongly to supply arms to the Spanish government, but ‘we utterly failed to move them’ (Citrine was very close to Largo Caballero, the Spanish Republic’s Prime Minister and a member of the IFTU Executive). This included meetings with Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden and public demonstrations and propaganda.61

Citrine also shared platforms with other anti-fascists of all parties, especially Winston Churchill, his old adversary in the General Strike. Little wonder that Sir Walter Citrine’s name was on the Gestapo’s list of 2,300 key British figures for immediate arrest in the event of a successful invasion of the island in 1940. 62

 

Rearmament for World War 2

Citrine’s contribution to changing Labour Opposition policy on rearmament has been overlooked on account of Bevin’s more famous verbal assault on the pacifist Labour leader, George Lansbury MP (1859-1940), at their Brighton Conference in October 1935. In fact, it was Citrine as TUC General Secretary with Bevin’s strong support, who instigated the original TUC motion which started this process.63

As Labour leader, Lansbury had agreed not to speak against the new NEC line to change their policy in favour of League of Nations sanctions.64 It was a foregone conclusion that the conference would support this change anyway, as Mussolini had invaded Abyssinia while the conference was on and they did so by 2,168,000 votes to 102,000.

When Lansbury deviated from his promise, Bevin reacted savagely with his famous put-down, telling Lansbury what to do with his pacifist conscience, which he had been trailing around.65

Bevin went further in his post-debate remarks, saying that he had ‘set fire to the faggots’ for Lansbury’s martyrdom’, remarks he afterwards regretted.66 Citrine, like many other leading figures at the time, regarded Bevin’s ‘brutal assault’ on Lansbury as unnecessarily ‘cruel’ on the old Labour hero. This was ‘the rough side of Bevin, the dockers’ leader of the earlier years’, as Lord Bullock put it.67

The differences between Citrine and Bevin were not just a question of their different styles- ‘Citrine’s precise, lawyer-like mastery of the facts to present a case and Bevin’s larger, sweeping strokes to sketch a policy’.68

Citrine, as TUC General Secretary was privy to international union, social democratic leaders and British government intelligence on their ‘dangerously run down’ armed forces, and so was in the best position to brief the General Council and give the lead on policy.69 But Bevin alone had the floor at Labour Conferences.

In 1934, it was Citrine who delivered the international trade unions’ (IFTU) Vienna conference appeal to the TUC Conference, which raised £10,000 for the Austrian trade unions to buy guns to defend themselves from the fascists.70

In 1935, they both instigated the General Council’s ultimatum to the Labour Party National Executive Council that they must abandon their opposition to rearmament. Up to that point, it is arguable that it was Citrine’s authority as General Secretary of the TUC which carried most weight.

 

World War Two

After the war came to Britain in 1940,  Bevin became the more important public figure as Minister of Labour and National Service. Citrine wanted it that way and it was on his advice that Bevin was taken into the War Cabinet. But Chamberlain and Greenwood wanted to dump him for breaching government policy by bumping up the rail and agricultural workers, ‘off his own bat’71.

What is less known is that Citrine was also offered a Ministerial post by Churchill when the coalition was first being formed. However, he decided that he could be far more effective at the TUC.72 Instead, he was made a Privy Counsellor so that he would have direct access to all Ministers, not just the Ministry of Labour, and especially to the Prime Minister, on behalf of the unions. This gave Citrine immense influence throughout the war years. Consistent with his long-stated policy, he did not wish for TUC influence to be confined to narrow labour issues.

Together they helped mobilise the unions for the war effort through the Ministry of Labour and the TUC/production unions. They addressed the General Council at Bournemouth on 12th May 1940, just as the army was being lifted from the Dunkirk beaches against the background of the threat of imminent Nazi invasion.

In this dangerous situation they got the unions to accept draconian emergency legislation, written mainly by Bevin, replacing strikes by compulsory arbitration, introducing labour direction and many other unprecedented relaxations of traditional union restrictive practices. In return, the unions were made central players in the war production effort. This was through consultative structures at every level on various joint committees.

It resulted in workers getting improved conditions like canteens, holidays and status. They also came to find the arbitration boards suited the skills of their officials, so much so that they did not complain after the war when they were retained until 1951.

Citrine had frequent ‘one to one’ meetings with Churchill, and a personal rapport that was envied by some Ministers, including Bevin. He recalled his visits during The Blitz and later representations about issues such as factory and public raid warnings and the impact of the flying bombs (‘doodlebugs’) on London, in terms of the workers’ morale. He and Churchill often kept each other’s spirits up during the darkest London Blitz nights reciting patriotic poetry, remembered vividly from their childhoods.73

Citrine’s importance owed much to what Churchill saw as his international standing as IFTU President. It was Citrine who went to the United States in 1941 to persuade the American unions to back Roosevelt against the strong isolationist mood among the workers there. Churchill sent a personal note to Roosevelt urging him to meet Citrine, which he did. It was Citrine who argued for aid to the Soviet Union after the invasion by Hitler in June 1941 and who visited with a TUC delegation to reinforce the new British-Soviet alliance with the Russian unions.

Unfortunately, this very high national standing of Citrine with the Prime Minister seems to have been resented by Bevin. There are adverse references in his papers which suggest that he began to view Citrine as a rival, once remarking that ‘he wants to be Foreign Secretary’. He was also critical of Citrine’s absences abroad from his TUC job –  his deputy Vincent Tewson regularly stood in for him – but that was hardly fair.

In fact, this bad feeling between them seems to have crystallised around one incident in 1941, which almost caused a rupture between the two. Bevin had promised that the autocratic powers he had been given as Minister of Labour would be exercised in close consultation with the unions. In practice, things didn’t always work so smoothly, as his officials or at least Bevin’s idea of ‘consultation’, was not what the unions, or even employers, were always happy with.

Bevin’s ‘Napoleonic’ tendencies came to the fore in his considerable efforts to direct manpower policy across all departments, often ‘riding roughshod’ over fellow Ministers, trade union officials and employers.74

As TUC General Secretary, it was often Citrine’s lot to raise awkward decisions on behalf of union colleagues and employers, in ‘one to one’ meetings with the Minister. He was one of the few who could stand up to ‘Ernie’.75 However, their relationship deteriorated from 1941 onwards, when Bevin publicly denounced the TUC-owned Daily Herald editor, and by implication Citrine, as a key Director. Bevin claimed the paper was ‘carrying on a Quisling policy’ because of their ‘opposition to his commandeering of skilled labour’.76 It became so heated that the Evening Standard described it as ‘open, if undeclared war’.

Attlee, as Deputy Prime Minister, was asked by Churchill to intervene, and wrote to both officially in these terms: ‘I have for some time been distressed to observe what appears to me to be a growing friction between you and Bevin’. He told them both to cool it. They exchanged conciliatory, but by no means warm, letters.77

Citrine was deeply upset by this attack – to be called a Quisling i.e., traitor, was the worst thing anybody could be accused of at that time (Bevin claimed he had been misreported). He later referred to ‘a certain side of Ernest’s character’,78, but allowed for his former union colleagues’ sensitivities better than most, because of his recognition of Bevin’s enormous qualities and vital role.

However, their relationship, never close personally, did not improve. Nonetheless, by 1942, Citrine could justifiably say: “The influence of the trade unions has been enormously strengthened during the war and at no period in British history has the contribution which the organised workers

have made to the success of their country been more widely or readily recognised.”79

That owed much to the efforts of these two great union leaders and, of course, to the entire trade union movement-led working class. After the war, Bevin became Foreign Secretary and so their paths rarely crossed. However, they seem to have met occasionally at events in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Sadly, Bevin had to resign as Foreign Secretary due to ill health in 1951 and died soon afterwards. Citrine was one of the first to convey his sincere condolences to Bevin’s wife.

In 1946, Citrine decided to step down from his arduous, but not well-paid job. He was offered a safety and training role as a member of the new National Coal Board and he was active in this role until in 1947. Attlee offered him, now Baron Citrine of Wembley, a dream post, as a former electrician, to be Chair of the new British Electricity Authority. This was a role he performed with relish for another decade and part-time until 1960.

He retired finally in 1960 to his home in Wembley Park, and started to attend the Lords more frequently and take part in some debates, where his contributions were always keenly listened to. His wife Doris died in 1973 and he moved to Devon where he died in 1983 aged ninety five.

 

Conclusion

How are we to view this labour partnership today? The events and years, national and international, during which they pre-eminently strode the union and Labour stage, make their careers of immense interest. Though Bevin is the best remembered, Citrine must surely be seen as of comparable standing? However, because of the serious fall-out during the war, and lacking the personal rapport to repair fences, their partnership seems to have faded. Bevin became Atlee’s staunch ally, whereas Citrine was more friendly with another of Bevin’s bête noirs, Herbert Morrison, who unsuccessfully challenged Atlee in 1945. This falling apart would have grave consequences for the trade unions and Labour, as they would lose both of them: one to high office, the other to the Central Electricity Authority.

This study recalls the heyday of the organised British Labour movement. Citrine’s contribution sheds new light on the key turning points of that century, and not just its industrial history. Two points immediately occur. First, Citrine as the architect of the new TUC made it an independent force in British society, which it held long after Citrine had departed. Not for nothing was it regarded as another ‘estate of the realm’. Secondly, after the catastrophic defeat of 1931, Citrine and Bevin helped the Labour Party to become a far more substantial social democratic party with a progressive alternative programme for government after 1945. Since then, with the left/right divisions of the unions impacting upon it, Labour leaderships in government have been a pale shadow of that 1945-51 administration.

Finally, Citrine’s role as an international union figure and statesman, his anti-fascist and anti-appeasement/pro-rearmament contribution, was a crucial ingredient of that Labour substance, which ironically, Tories like Baldwin and Churchill recognized far more than Atlee.

Ernest Bevin appreciated it fully before the war, but unfortunately the immense pressures and strains of that global conflict drove them apart. Walter Citrine must rank as one of the British trade unions’ finest products, which the unions today and wider society should recognise more fully. A better appreciation of his contributions, might also stir a more favourable reconsideration of the role of trade unions in society today.

Ernest Bevin’s reputation as a union and Labour leader, has endured. From a union perspective, his finest achievement was undoubtedly the creation of the mighty Transport & General Workers Union (now UNITE). In the T&G, he bequeathed a powerful organisation to his successors and generations of ordinary workers. Through it, in partnership with Walter Citrine, he also played a leading role in the TUC and Labour Party from the General Strike to the Second World War, culminating in his vital role as Minister of Labour during that conflict. He used that influence to strengthen the role of trade unions and to improve the conditions and status of ordinary workers. As Foreign Secretary 1945-51, he was part of the most radically reforming post-war Labour Government that Britain has had, though it was also the era of the Cold War. His achievement of that high position is testimony to the qualities both personal and of that union movement which took him from that of a carter to the pinnacle of political life in the British Empire.

 

34 D. Lyddon, Walter Milne-Bailey, the TUC Research Department… Historical Studies in Industrial Relations 29/30 ,(2010), 123-51.

35 ibid., 139, 173, 235, 246.

36 ibid.,

37 Clegg, A History of British Trade Unions, has short sketches of all other General Council members. 572-81.

38 Bullock, Ernest Bevin – Trade Union Leader, 346.

39 R. Skidelsky, Politicians and the Slump: The Labour Government of 1929-31 (1967), 324-5.

40 Citrine has an entire chapter about their dealings with the Socialist League in the 1930s, Men and Work, 293-309, especially at 300-301.

41 ibid.. 301.

42 ibid., 136-8, 240.

43 Manchester Guardian (MG) Supplement, 30.9.1927; Clegg, History, vol II, 463-4.

44 K.Middlemas, Politics in Industrial Society, (1979), 208-9. 45 287 Labour MPs, 261 Conservatives and 59 Liberals.

46 Men and Work, 31–2.

47 ibid., ‘Snowden whom I found to be unexpectedly pompous, rigid, devoid of imagination, and frigidly orthodox’. 281.

48 See Robert Skidelsky’s detailed record of the bitter exchanges between Citrine and MacDonald and his Minister of Labour, Margaret Bondfield, in Politicians and the Slump, 262-70. Bondfield, (1873-1953), a former General Council member, is thought to have messed things up.

49 Skidelsky, Politicians and the Slump, 369.

50 ibid.,366.

51 Marquand, Ramsay MacDonald, 620-23 and 646-7. Marquand’s account captures the tense and bitter atmosphere of their exchanges.

52 Citrine, Men and Work, 287.

53 Bullock devotes an entire chapter to ‘The 1931 Crisis’ justifying Bevin and the General Council’s part. Ernest Bevin – Trade Union Leader, 476-503.

54 See also Robert Taylor’s account, TUC, 52-9.

55 ibid., 291.

56 Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, (2006), 456-7, 465.

57 Men and Work, 344-5 and 425.

58 A sympathetic biography, Stalin, (1952), by an Austrian friend of the Soviet Union in the 1930s, Nikolaus Basseches, 323-4, confirms Citrine’s view.

59 John Campbell, Nye Bevan – A Biography, (1987), 58.

60 Citrine, Men and Work, 287, 347, 399, 549-50, 564 and 590. The full report to the Congress is in the TUC Annual Report, 1933. TUC Archive, HD6661.

61 ibid., 357-9.

62 Guardian Century, 1940-49, Nazi Death blacklist booklet discovered in Berlin in 1945. Compiled by the Gestapo after France fell, for the invasion of Britain.

63 Bullock, Ernest Bevin – Trade Union Leader, 561-4.

64 He had indicated as much to Citrine in a private meeting at Brighton before the Conference debate. Citrine, Men and Work, 350-1.

65 Francis Williams, Ernest Bevin, Portrait of a Great Englishman, (1952), 190-96.

66 ibid., 570-1.

67 Bullock, vol 1 Ernest Bevin –Trade Union Leader, 570.

68 ibid., 564.

69 Citrine, Men and Work, 353.

70 Williams, Ernest Bevin, 190.

71 Citrine, Two Careers, 50-2.

72 Robert Taylor, The TUC: From the General Strike to New Unionism (2000), 76- 91. chapter 2, Ernest Bevin, Walter Citrine and the TUC’s War 1939-1945.

73 ibid., 198-9.

74 Citrine, Two Careers, 125-8, 132, 137-8.

75 ibid., 45-55, The chapter is entitled, This Man Bevin!

76 Daily Herald, 29th September 1941. Citrine Papers BLPES, 10/3.

77 Citrine Papers, BLPES, 10/3.

78 ibid., 10/2. Letter to Beaverbrook 12th November 1952.

79 Citrine, Two Careers,

Advertisements