Labour History Review

Circulars, Surveys and Support: Trades Councils and the Marches of 1936

Labour History Review (2008), 73, (1), 89–112.

Abstract

Whether unemployed protest marches to London in 1936 were worth the effort was a question that was heatedly debated at the time and is still a subject of dispute among historians today. This article takes a fresh look at this question by examining a hitherto ignored source — a TUC survey among those trades councils who were approached by marchers for support in 1936. This survey reveals the widespread support for unemployed protest marches among the local trade union activists, despite the fact that it was them who had to shoulder most of the work connected with these events. It also shows how the TUC leadership subsequently tried to distort the result of the survey to justify its own opposition towards unauthorized marches.

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Author details

Reiss, Matthias