Title: Letter of 12 January 1919 from John F. Maguire to R. B. Russell
Author: Maguire, John
Source: Archives of Manitoba, MG 14 A18, Winnipeg General Strike 1919, File 1
Page 1 of 2

Transcription

No. 1703
Bob Russel,
Dear Comrade,- Jan 12th 1919
Yours to hand and glad to kwow that at last
Winnipeg is making a move. We have just return-
ed from the Alberta Federation of Labor Convention
in Medine Hat. We had sometime and never I
think in the history of labor conventions has such
drastic revolutions [resolutions] been passed and by good solid
majorities. I am enclosing you copy of one that
went thru [through] quite easily altho [although] there was over two
hours discussion on it. The opposition did not take
up twenty minutes on the matter. They had nothing
definite to offer but we took advantage of the chair
whom I think was so deeply interested that he forgot
all about time and four of us spoke to the motion
each taking more than 30 minutes. All delegates
listened most attentively and also there were a good
many of the citizens in the hall listening to the
discussion and they certainly got an education. We
read from newspapers and the Red funeral and another
artic [article] in the Liberator and gave the Bolsheviki the
finest boost that has been accomplished for sometime.
Alex Ross the labor M. P. P. for Calgary did all
possible to block it, also that arch traitor Farmilo
and his gang but out of the 108 delegates present we
carried it with a large majority. The Western Con-
ference came up for discussion and we carried that
much against the wishes of the machine. They did all
possible to show that it was a great mistake and that
we were doing the worst thing in the interests of
organized labor and that we should reserve our ex-
pression until the Congress in Hamilton and then we
might accomplish something. That it was unfair and
autocratic to cut out the East and so forth so on,
but we voted them down again by a big majority so
their mext move was to move that only ten represent-
atives be sent from each province and that they meet
and decide what action they thought best and then
communicate by letter to all Locals for their endorsat-
ion. Much discussion resulted form this and the
general feeling was for a full representation from each
province. The amendment which carried was to the effect
that we confer with Manitoba, Sask and B. C. as to their
basis of representation and line up the same. I feel
sure that the Executive will try to bring pressure to
bear on your bodies in Man. and also B. C. to send
a small representation but I want you to up a fight
for the same basis as for the Trades Congress as the
whole of the delegates baring the machine favored a f
number delegates. In fact the idea was expressed
that they do like wise. Ross and out-fit were as mad
as wet hens at this and tried all possible to gain
their point for the handful of delegates from eah
province but they lost out badly too. So for
goodness sake fight for a full delegation to come from
Manitoba. I am also writing Stevenson of the D. E. C.
for the boys there to take the same stand and if we have
500 delegates so much the better.
We passed a resolution in favor of industrialism
and the Executive are instructed Text to exert every
effort to accomplish the same. Another resolution was
that they pledged themselves to call a general strike if
all political prisoners were not released within 60 days.

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