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

By Henry Pelling (auth.)

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Upon the London Trades Council, and the unwillingness of that body up till 1914 to regard the Labour Party with favour. There were, of course, already a number of local Labour Parties in London boroughs or constituencies. Municipal activity by local parties and trades councils was constantly expandin!. C. C. from 1910 onwards. The increasing size of the extra-parliamentary party meant that one man could no longer effectively combine the secretaryship with major parliamentary duties. Ramsay MacDonald from 1906 to 191 I managed to be secretary of both the parliamentary and the extra-parliamentary party; but by 1910 he was an obvious candidate for the 31 A Short History of the Labour Party chairmanship ofthe parliamentary party and it was clear that he could not do justice both to this post and to his extraparliamentary responsibilities.

MacDonald's elevation by the parliamentary party in place of the incumbent, J. R. Clynes, was a remarkable success, and it could not have happened if the 1922 general election had not completely transformed the character of the parliamentary party. s who were not sponsored by the unions. P. C. type. ers - MacDonald had long worn the martyr's crown as the principal opponent of the war. The 52 The MacDonald Leadership (1922-31) Clydeside men were soon to regret their choice, because of the very moderate tone of MacDonald's domestic policies.

The fact that the parliamentary party had established its right to be regarded as the official Opposition in the Commons meant additional prestige and importance for its principal spokesman, who now became the prospective dispenser of government patronage. -vis the trade unions. MacDonald's elevation by the parliamentary party in place of the incumbent, J. R. Clynes, was a remarkable success, and it could not have happened if the 1922 general election had not completely transformed the character of the parliamentary party.

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