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Labour and the municipality : Labour politics in Leeds 1900-1914

By Raymond David Dalton


This thesis examines the emergence of the Labour Party in Leeds, from\ud its establishment as the Leeds Labour Representation Committee in 1902\ud up to the outbreak of the First World War. This will include a description\ud and analysis of the very different political features of the Labour Party in\ud Leeds in the parliamentary and municipal elections in this period.\ud \ud \ud While only able to have elected one member of parliament before 1914,\ud the Labour Party was to obtain a presence on the City Council in 1903\ud and by 1914 became the second largest party.\ud \ud \ud The success of the Labour Party in municipal politics was due to the\ud willingness of most trade unions in Leeds to join with the Independent\ud Labour Party in giving it political and financial support. This was\ud achieved by the Party's advocacy of municipal government as a vehicle of\ud social reform. In particular, they argued in favour of using the trading\ud profits of municipally owned services for the financing of these reforms.\ud \ud \ud A powerful voice in the Leeds Labour Party was provided by the unions\ud organising municipal workers. As a result, the Labour group was to act\ud as their defenders on the City Council in the face of a hostile\ud Conservative-Liberal majority. However, the Party in Leeds was to\ud establish a broad base of support from the trade union and socialist\ud movements in the city, which enabled it to survive relatively unscathed\ud the defeat of a general strike of municipal workers in 1913 and 1914

Topics: JN101, HN, D204
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  1. (1913). all three by-elections saw straight fights between Liberal and Labour candidates, returning to the City Council, John Buckle for Holbeck Ward, Frank Fountain for East Hunslet and Albert Talbot for New Wortley.
  2. (1913). Annual return of Leeds Licensing Committee
  3. Baron Askwith was the Chief Industrial Commissioner 1911-19 and leading arbitrator of industrial disputes.
  4. for close relationship of Isabella Ford and her sisters with Philip and Ethel Snowden.
  5. For details of advertised activities of socialist clubs and societies,
  6. (1913). for details of local Women's Labour League activities.
  7. (1908). for details of the strained relationship between the SDF and the Leeds LRC, particularly after
  8. (1912). For Macrae's admission of liability for deficits owing to the Party see
  9. For the career of D. B. Foster up to 1911, see Woodhouse, Nourishing the Liberty Tree,
  10. Isabella Ford,
  11. Landlord and Tenant doi
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  13. (1996). Nourishing the Liberty Tree: Liberals and Labour doi
  14. (1978). One Hand Tied Behind Us: The Rise of the Women's Suffrage Movement, doi
  15. (1914). Primary Sources Personal Papers and Collections Alfred Mattison Collection,
  16. (1912). referring to the establishment of a Socialist Institute and Sunday School at Franklands Place in the North Leeds suburb of Harehills.
  17. (1901). reporting very little attendance and the edition of 9
  18. (1914). See articles contributed by Armitage on a weekly basis to the March and April editions of the Leeds Weekly Citizen
  19. (1913). Slater's Director? of Leeds 1897, Kelly's Directory of Leeds
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  21. The History of the Social Democratic Federation doi
  22. (1911). The Logic of the Alliance or the Labour Party Analyzed and Justified,
  23. (1974). The Origins of the Labour Party (1954); Paul Thompson, Socialist, Liberal and Labour: The Strumale for London 1885-1914 (1963); Ross McKibbin, The Evolution of the Labour Party 1910-24
  24. The resolution indicated the municipal strike's identification with the Dublin strikes as objects of Murphyism', named after the Dublin employers' leader, William Murphy, the epitome of aggressive and uncompromising anti-trade unionism and strike breaking.
  25. (1995). The Rise of Labour and the Decline of Liberalism, the State of the Debate', in History, doi
  26. (1990). The Rise of the Labour Party in Local Perspective', `llte
  27. (1991). The Rising Sun of Socialism: The ILP in the Textile District of West Riding of Yorkshire,

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