was opposed to Britain becoming involved in the First World
War and was president of the Clyde Workers' Committee and organisation
that had been formed to campaign against the Munitions Act,
which forbade engineers from leaving the works where they were
employed. David Lloyd George and Arthur Henderson met Gallacher
and the Clyde Workers' Committee in Glasgow but they were unwilling
to back down on the issue.
the Clyde Workers' Committee journal, The Worker, was prosecuted
under the Defence of the Realm Act for an article criticizing
the war. Gallacher and John Muir, the editor were both found
guilty and sent to prison. Gallacher for six months and Muir
for a year.
war Gallacher was involved in the struggle for a 40 hour week.
The police broke up an open air trade union meeting at George
Square on 31st January, 1919. The leaders of the union were
then arrested and charged with "instigating and inciting
large crowds of persons to form part of a riotous mob".
Gallacher was sentenced to five months and Emanuel Shinwell
got three months. The other ten were found not guilty.
joined the Communist Party and attempted to be elected to the
House of Commons at Dundee (1922 and 1923), West Fife (1929
and 1931) and Shipley (1930). He was eventually elected for
West Fife in 1935.
Gallacher joined members of the Labour Party such as Ellen Wilkinson,
Stafford Cripps, Aneurin Bevan and Charles Trevelyan in arguing
for giving military help to the Spanish Popular Front government
fighting for survival against General Francisco Franco and his
right-wing Nationalist Army. The author of several books, his
autobiography, The Chosen Few, was published in 1940.
was elected to represent East Fife in the 1945 General Election.
In the House of Commons Gallacher associated with a group of
left-wing members that included fellow Communist Party member,
Phil Piratin, and John Platts-Mills, Konni Zilliacus, Lester
Hutchinson, Ian Mikardo, Barbara Castle, Sydney Silverman, Geoffrey
Bing, Emrys Hughes, D. N. Pritt, Leslie Solley and William Warbey.
opposition to the Cold War and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) made him an unpopular figure in post-war England and
he was defeated when he stood in the 1950 General Election.
Gallacherremained in politics and served as President of the
Communist Party between 1956 and 1963.
Gallacher died on 12th August 1965.