A Short History of the Labour Party by Henry Pelling (auth.)

By Henry Pelling (auth.)

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With an election pending in rgog, the Labour Party was suddenly struck an unexpected blow in the law-courts. This was the Osborne Judgment, which declared its system offund-raising from the trade unions to be illegal. s. He sought an injunction against the union, and this was upheld by the courts and on appeal by the House of Lords. The view taken by the 23 A Short History of the Labour Party Lords was that, since political action was not mentioned among the legitimate objects of unions in the Trade Union Act of I876, it was therefore illegal.

Determined to secure legislation to reverse the decision. In the meantime, it had to fight the two general elections of I g I o, and in both its dependence upon the Liberals was very obvious. In the January election, not a single member was returned against official Liberal opposition ; the same was true of the December election except for two mining seats. In the earlier of these general elections Grayson was defeated. But he had already become of more significance outside Parliament than in it, for he was running a vigorous campaign to free the Socialist movement of the encumbrance of the 'Labour alliance', as he saw it.

P. Maddox, for the book already cited; Carl F. , I 94 I) ; and Stephen R. , I956). A. J. P. Taylor, The Trouble Makers ( I957), contains an interesting account of the Union of Democratic Control. See also Henry Pelling, America and the British Lift (I956), ch. vii. On MacDonald, seeR. W. Lyman, 'James Ramsay MacDonald and the Leadership of the Labour Party, I918-22', Journal of British Studies, ii (1962). A. Hamilton's Arthur Henderson (1938) is not without merit, but lacks documentation. It may be supplemented by M.

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