November 24th, 1913

Thu, Nov 24, 2011, 00:00

FROM THE ARCHIVES:Jim Larkin toured Britain unsuccessfully during the 1913 lockout seeking sympathetic strikes and addressing mass meetings such as one in Cardiff attended by 6,000 people, where he had this to say. JOE JOYCE

THE GRAVEST fight of the twentieth century was now being carried on in Dublin, and he appealed to working men and women in this country to give their assistance.

The men of Dublin were in the trenches. If they did not get ammunition it was inevitable that they could only stay there for a limited period. Nature was fighting against them, but human beings could conquer nature.

The people of Great Britain could clothe and feed the women and children, and the blood that ran through the veins of the men would keep them warm.


“We make no apology for what has been done, and what we are doing in Dublin,” he said, amidst cheers. “They talk about Home Rule, but that will not solve the poverty problem, though it will help to give us the machinery which we shall have to use to get rid of this great sore in the body politic. (Cheers.)

“We are out for the root remedy, but the people of Ireland have had their minds so concentrated upon the one issue of getting back their Parliament that you cannot get that one idea out of their heads. You cannot get it out of their heads after a century that Home Rule will bring them the millennium.

“We can say to the Liberal and Tory parties that this measure of Home Rule is the best bargain that could have been made for England, but it is one of the worst that could have been made for Ireland. What I say is that the workers of Ireland have made no bargain with England. We stand neutral.

“Get the bill, get what you can, but the people will find out that what they have been talking about is as ashes in the mouth.

“We tell them that the only remedy is the abolition of commercialism and capitalism. (Cheers.) It only means a change of masters, and we want no masters. We must lay our masters low.

“If the workers of England and Wales and Scotland say there shall be no Home Rule, there will be no Home Rule. Stigma and disgrace lie upon the Ancient Order of Hibernians, because of its wire-pullers and political hired hooligans.

“They raised the conspiracy that we were sending children to England to proselytise them. They induced the priests to jump to the rescue of their flock in what they thought was a time of danger.

“Ireland has the right to make these creatures explain. I demand from the leader of the Irish race an answer to my question: ‘Do you believe we of the trades unionist and Socialist world would take a child as a guest, and then, when we had got it in our home, try to take away its religion!’ (Cheers.)

“We say to Redmond and Carson: ‘A curse on both your houses.’ When you scratch one you scratch both, for they both stand for capitalism. (Hear, hear.)