began working closely with other socialists in Glasgow including
John Wheatley, Emanuel Shinwell, James Maxton, William Gallacher,
John Muir, David Kirkwood, Jimmie Stewart, Neil Maclean, George
Hardie, George Buchanan and James Welsh.
of the Labour Party, Johnston was elected to the House of Commons
in November 1922. Also successful were several other militant
socialists based in Glasgow including John Wheatley, Emanuel
Shinwell, James Maxton, John Muir, David Kirkwood, Jimmie Stewart,
Neil Maclean, George Hardie, George Buchanan and James Welsh.
MacDonald became prime minister following the 1929 General Election,
he appointed Johnston as Under-Secretary of State for Scotland.
of the Labour Government in 1929 coincided with an economic
depression and Ramsay MacDonald was faced with the problem of
growing unemployment. MacDonald asked Sir George May, to form
a committee to look into Britain's economic problem. When the
May Committee produced its report in July, 1931, it suggested
that the government should reduce its expenditure by £97,000,000,
including a £67,000,000 cut in unemployment benefits.
MacDonald, and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Snowden,
accepted the report but when the matter was discussed by the
Cabinet, the majority voted against the measures suggested by
Sir George May.
was angry that his Cabinet had voted against him and decided
to resign. When he saw George V that night, he was persuaded
to head a new coalition government that would include Conservative
and Liberal leaders as well as Labour ministers. Most of the
Labour Cabinet totally rejected the idea and only three, Philip
Snowden, Jimmy Thomas and John Sankey agreed to join the new
a strong opponent of MacDonald's new government, lost his seat
at Stirling and Clackmannan in the 1931 General Election.
returned to the House of Commons in November 1935. He held the
seat until he retired in June 1945. After leaving Parliament
he was Chairman of the Scottish National Forestry Commission
(1945-48), Chairman of North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board
(1946-59), Chancellor of Aberdeen University (1951-65) and governor
of the British Broadcasting Board (1955-56). Tom Johnston died
on 5th September, 1965.