The Daily Herald

In December 1910 London printers were locked out in retaliation for their demand for a 48 hour week. In an attempt to communicate their side of the story, they produced a strike sheet called The World. Will Dyson, a socialist from Australia, began contributing cartoons for the strike sheet. The following month The World was renamed the Daily Herald. The first issue of 13,000 copies sold out. Over the next few weeks sales continued to increase.

Rowland Kenney was one of those who worked for the newspaper during this period: "That one room was the Editorial Department. It contained either two or three tables, two chairs and a telephone on the floor in one corner and the day's newspapers. There was not a piece of copy paper or a pencil, blue or otherwise; nothing. So on my suggestion Seed slipped out and bought a parcel of scribbling pads and other material. Then we began to discuss our news service!"

When the strike ended in April the printers stopped publishing their newspaper. However, the striking printers had shown that there was a market for a left-wing newspaper and several leaders of the labour movement, including George Lansbury and Ben Tillett, joined together to raise the necessary funds. George Bernard Shaw donated £300 to the cause. Francis Meynell was brought in as the business manager of the newspaper. Ken Coates has pointed out: "It set off... as a co-operative Labour daily, staunchly unofficial and rebellious, a veritable hell raiser."

The Daily Herald reappeared on 15th April, 1912, and Will Dyson was recruited as the newspaper's cartoonist. His editor, Charles Lapworth, gave him a full page and complete freedom on how to fill it. Dyson's cartoons created a sensation. He was acclaimed by one critic as the best cartoonist seen in Britain since James Gillray. Sometimes they were so powerful that the editor decided to let it take over the whole of the front page. Within a few weeks sales of the Daily Herald reached 230,000 a day.

Martin Walker, claims in Daily Sketches: A Cartoon History of Twentieth Century Britain (1978) that when attempts were made by the Hearst Press to lure Dyson away, a special fund was created, allowing the newspaper to pay him £20 a week. "one of the angriest and most ferocious cartoonists ever to sketch a line."

Writers who contributed to the Daily Herald during this period included Henry Brailsford, George Lansbury, William Mellor, Evelyn Sharp, Norman Angell, Gerald Gould, William Norman Ewer, George Douglas Cole, John Scurr, Morgan Phillips Price, Hannen Swaffer, Vernon Bartlett, Havelock Ellis, Henry Nevinson, G. K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. The Countess Muriel de la Warr was the main source of funds for the newspaper. According to Lansbury she "has always been one of the first and most generous of our friends; there has never been a crisis overcome without her help."

Another investor was Henry Devenish Harben, the grandson of Henry Harben, the chairman of the Prudential Insurance Company. Harben left the Liberal Party after Herbert Asquith and his government refused to introduce legislation to give women the vote. On 14th February, 1913 Harben wrote to Emmeline Pankhurst about his financial support of the newspaper: "It would have been a disaster if the only daily paper which has furiously championed militancy in both the women's and the labour movements, had been allowed to die, and I was at work till after eleven last night to advert this." Sylvia Pankhurst claims that this money was used to acquire the Victoria House Printing Press.

The Daily Herald was the only national newspaper that fully supported the actions of the women fighting for the vote. Most days, the newspaper gave a whole page to news and views on the subject. Will Dyson felt very strongly about this issue and produced a series of cartoons attacking the way the government was treating the suffragettes.

Whereas newspapers usually condemned strikers, the Daily Herald encouraged workers to take industrial action. Evelyn Sharp recalled that "These were the days when universal revolution seemed more imminent than subsequent events proved it to be in this country." As one critic pointed out, the cartoons of Will Dyson "featured boldly drawn figures representing clear symbols of the noble, wronged worker verses brutal, evil employers." Some Labour politicians believed that Dyson was going too far with some of his cartoons.

George Lansbury, a socialist and a Christian, complained when Dyson portrayed capitalist as devils. Others were worried when his drawings began to attack the Labour Party for not being radical enough. Ramsay MacDonald, the leader of the party, was a particular target of Dyson's scorn. At a joint conference in October 1912, the TUC and the Labour Party decided to give their support to another newspaper, The Daily Citizen.

Will Dyson, Daily Herald, 1913
Will Dyson, Daily Herald, 1913

In 1913 George Lansbury became concerned about the way the newspaper was treating individuals. Lansbury told Charles Lapworth, the editor of the newspaper: “Hatred of conditions by all means, but not of persons”. When he refused to change his approach, Lapworth was sacked.

By early 1914 the Daily Herald was achieving sales of 150,000 copies a day. The outbreak of the First World War resulted in a slump in sales. The mood of the British public changed and they now preferred the militaristic opinions of the other newspapers to the anti-war stance of the Daily Herald. Several of their writers, including William Mellor and G. D. H. Cole were imprisoned as conscientious objectors. The newspaper also suffered from the loss of Will Dyson who had joined the Australian army. To survive, the newspaper had to be published weekly, rather than daily during the war.

William Norman Ewer was sent to cover the Russian Revolution. His reports included an interview with Leon Trotsky. The Daily Herald held a meeting on 31st March, 1918, where it welcomed the revolution. Russian Revolution. According to Stanley Harrison, the author of Poor Men's Guardians (1974): "It was the first of a series of huge meetings in the Albert Hall to welcome the Revolution and demand in general terms that all governments follow the Russian example in restoring freedom. twelve thousand people filled every seat and five thousand were turned away."

William Mellor and G. D. H. Cole became important figures in the newspaper. A friend, Margaret Postgate, claimed that they formed "an almost perfect pamphleteering partnership" with Mellor's "greater natural understanding of the working-man's mind... and gift for straightforward eloquence." William Norman Ewer later wrote that by the end of the First World War the Daily Herald was "almost a national institution, a political force... its circulation was now nearer a quarter of a million."

In May 1919 the newspaper published a secret War Office instruction to commanding officers, requiring them to find out whether their men would help in breaking strikes and be ready to be sent "overseas, especially to Russia". The government threatened to prosecute but the following month Winston Churchill admitted the document was genuine. He also made a public statement that troops would not be used for strike breaking.

The Daily Herald also campaigned against British intervention in the Russian Civil War. The Trade Union Congress resolved that all action necessary, including a general strike, would be taken to prevent war. David Lloyd George and his government backed down but claimed that George Lansbury was in the pay of the Bolsheviks. Lansbury at once published the complete list of the persons and organisations who had provided the newspaper with money. The audited circulation figures of 329,869, convinced the government that Daily Herald had the support of the public and it withdrew its claims.

Philip Snowden, a leading figure in the Labour Party, was not convinced that the Daily Herald would be a success: "A Labour Newspaper is at a disadvantage from the point of view of establishing a circulation by feeling under an obligation to maintain a higher moral standard than that observed by ordinary newspapers. The directors of a Labour newspaper regard it as inconsistent with their principles to give prominence to sensational news... they have a mission to carry out. They have a gospel to preach. To them a newspaper is primarily a medium for propogating their ideas. The ordinary newspaper is conducted on entirely different lines. It is primarily a commercial venture. It has no scruples which are allowed to interfere with the success of its appeal for popular support."

Ernest Bevin disagreed with this assessment: "We may be certain that there is such a growing working-class consciousness that a large clientele is awaiting serious literature. Labour's press must be a real educational factor, provoking thought and stimulating ideas. In addition it must not be full of the caprices of princes, the lubricities of courts and the sensationalism produced by display of the sordid. All these things are but passing phases and are the products of an evil system which is rotten at the base."

In 1919 the Daily Herald became the first newspaper to accept adverts for birth-control clinics. The circulation manager argued that the income of about £35 a week was outweighed by damage to the paper's standing. However, the newspaper continued to be the only newspaper to carry these adverts for the next ten years.

The newspaper's left-wing stance meant that they suffered an advertisers' boycott. It was forced to raise its price to twopence, twice the price of any daily paper of comparable size, on 11th October, 1920. The newspaper succeeded in raising sales to 40,000 during the 1921 miners lockout. It also ran a national collection which brought in £20,000 for the miners' children.

In September 1922 the Trade Union Congress took over the Daily Herald. George Lansbury left and the experienced journalist, Hamilton Fyfe, became editor. Clifford Allen was appointed as a member of the management team. According to Huw Richards, the author of The Bloody Circus: The Daily Herald and the Left (1997), Allen would be a major influence on the newspaper for the rest of the 1920s. Fyfe recruited writers such as Morgan Philips Price, Henry Nevinson and Evelyn Sharp to write for the paper.

In the 1923 General Election, the Labour Party won 191 seats. Although the Conservatives had 258, Ramsay MacDonald agreed to head a minority government, and therefore became the first member of the party to become Prime Minister. MacDonald had the problem of forming a Cabinet with colleagues who had little, or no administrative experience. As MacDonald had to reply on the support of the Liberal Party, he was unable to get any socialist legislation passed by the House of Commons.

MacDonald was disappointed that he did not get more support from the Daily Herald. He wrote to editor, Hamilton Fyfe: "My major objection to the whole paper is that it shows nothing but incapacity from beginning to end, and instead of being a great Party organ giving us spirit and uplift, it is a miserable, cantankerous, narrow-minded and pettifogging propaganda sheet." Fyfe replied: "The Herald is the organ, not of your Government, not of a Party, but of the Labour Movement. In that Movement there are many currents of opinion."

Over the next four years the Daily Herald increased its circulation. Daily sales rose from below 300,000 to over 400,000 in December 1923. By 1925 it had stabilised at around 360,000. However, that year the newspaper lost £11,882. In 1925 Fyfe decided to introduce the new craze for crossword puzzles but said that "cross words will pass. we shall be bored by them and seek out new inventions."

According to Huw Richards, the author of The Bloody Circus: The Daily Herald and the Left (1997), Ramsay MacDonald wrote to the editor, Hamilton Fyfe, showing concern about the "communist sympathies" of William Norman Ewer. On 17th September 1925, Clifford Allen, who was on the board of directors, sent a memo arguing: "He (Ewer) should be removed at once." Fyfe refused to sack Ewer claiming that "he was the best journalist on the paper, among the best in London and kept his views out of the paper."

The Daily Herald had difficulty attracting advertising. According to a memo sent to the editor on 21st January, 1926, this was blamed on its attitude towards the commercial world: "I should be glad if you could discourage editorial attacks on known advertisers... they only make our task harder and the securing of advertisements for the Daily Herald, even at the best of times, is far from easy ... Is there not ample scope for editorial vigour in concentrating on capitalism and its attendant evils, without the necessity of referring to individual advertisers?"

During the General Strike interest in the newspaper increased. On 12th May 1926, the newspaper sold 713,000 copies. However, after the strike was called-off, sales fell to 450,000. Hamilton Fyfe was unpopular with some members of the trade union movement. Ernest Bevin wrote: "The editor has not the real co-operation and confidence of the staff and this is not due to any lack on the part of staff to co-operate, but purely a temperamental weakness of the Editor, it is made worse by the fact that his judgment is unstable and erratic, that he has not the knowledge of the different phases of the movement that several members of the staff possess and is too susceptible to personal influence."

Fyfe was unwilling to accept attempts by the TUC to control the content of the newspaper and he left on 31st August 1926 with a £750 payoff. Frederic Salusbury was appointed editor-in-chief and William Mellor became the new editor. Mellor, like most of the newspaper's working-class readers, was very interested in sport and therefore the Daily Herald increased its coverage of football and cricket.

Mellor was to the left of Fyfe and this pleased some of the staff. One memo written in 1926 said: "His wide, unbiased and very thorough knowledge of the movement enables him to correct errors of policy and fact... it is because of the personal affection of the staff for him, his journalistic ability and his knowledge of the movement that under such conditions of stress he is able to carry out this unequal task. In the periods that he has acted as Editor he has created a different atmosphere in the office."

Christopher Andrew argues in The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009) that Nikolai Klishko had started a spy-ring headed by William Norman Ewer in London. According to Andrew the Daily Herald foreign correspondent was working with John Henry Hayes, the MP for Liverpool Edge Hill (1923-1931). They managed to recruit three members of Special Branch, Inspector Hubertus van Ginhoven, Sergeant Charles Jane and Albert Allen. All three men were arrested and Allen admitted that: "Any move that Scotland Yard was about to make against the Communist Party or any of its personnel was nearly always known well in advance to Ewer who actually warned the persons concerned of proposed activities of the Police."

The three men were dismissed from Special Branch but it was decided not to prosecute them of Ewer. Guy Liddell, a senior MI5 officer, wrote in his diary that the trial would bring back memories of the Zinoviev Letter. As the arrests took place before the 1929 General Election Liddell argued "the general belief is that it was thought to be bad politics that have a show-down... it was felt generally that another Zinoviev letter incident should be avoided."

In 1930 the TUC sold a 51 per cent share of the newspaper to Odhams Press. Mellor was elevated to the Odhams board and given a management position and Will Stevenson, a Welsh ex-miner, became the new editor. William Norman Ewer claimed that Stevenson was "a very nice mannered person, methodical, but not an innovator." Attempts were made to make it a more mainstream publication. This was a great success and by 1933 the Daily Herald became the world's best-selling daily newspaper, with certified net sales of 2 million.

© , September 1997 - April 2014

Primary Sources

(1) Huw Richards, The Bloody Circus: The Daily Herald and the Left (1997)

From its first issue, on 15 April 1912, to its last, on 14 September 1964, the Herald was a challenge to the norms and assumptions of the British press. The rhetoric of the national press proclaims that it is an industry characterised by individualism and diversity. In practice, driven by competitive pressures and fear of failure, it tends to conformity and convergence, ever vulnerable to the latest gimmick, craze or means of sales promotion for fear of losing a march on rivals. The Daily Herald was different. Where other Fleet Street papers were essentially commercial in motivation, the Herald was overtly political. Fleet Street's ideology was capitalist, but the Herald espoused anti-capitalism. Other papers were created and owned by wealthy proprietors - the Herald was first the creation of part of the labour movement and then the property of the whole of it.

(2) Henry Hamilton Fyfe became editor of the Daily Herald in 1922.

The Daily Herald had never emerged entirely from the first stage of its existence as a daily strike sheet a year or two before the war. While the war was on, it became a weekly with a bite to it. In 1919 it resumed appearance as a daily with so much of the old bite left that it gained ground slowly. Most supporters of Labour have Tory tastes. They dislike actual changes, however loudly they may demand future reforms. They were used to a certain type of daily newspaper; the Herald did not conform to type. Also it attacked most of the leaders whom Labour people had been taught to revere. Those leaders hated Lansbury, the founder of the paper, who had, with immense energy, collected funds for its rebirth. They did more to hinder than to help it on.

(3) Philip Snowden, Why Labour Papers Fail (1919)

A Labour Newspaper is at a disadvantage from the point of view of establishing a circulation by feeling under an obligation to maintain a higher moral standard than that observed by ordinary newspapers. The directors of a Labour newspaper regard it as inconsistent with their principles to give prominence to sensational news ... [they] have a mission to carry out. They have a gospel to preach. To them a newspaper is primarily a medium for propogating their ideas. The ordinary newspaper is conducted on entirely different lines. It is primarily a commercial venture. It has no scruples which are allowed to interfere with the success of its appeal for popular support.

(4) Ernest Bevin, speech (1919)

We may be certain that there is such a growing working-class consciousness that a large clientele is awaiting serious literature. Labour's press must be a real educational factor, provoking thought and stimulating ideas. In addition it must not be full of the caprices of princes, the lubricities of courts and the sensationalism produced by display of the sordid. All these things are but passing phases and are the products of an evil system which is rotten at the base.

(5) Rowland Kenney, Westering (1939)

That one room was the Editorial Department. It contained either two or three tables, two chairs and a telephone on the floor in one corner and the day's newspapers. There was not a piece of copy paper or a pencil, blue or otherwise; nothing. So on my suggestion Seed slipped out and bought a parcel of scribbling pads and other material. Then we began to discuss our "news service!"

(6) Gerald Gould, The Daily Herald (16th May, 1920)

Yesterday was the heaviest defeat that has befallen the Labour Movement within the memory of man. It is no use trying to minimise it. It is no use pretending that it is other than it is. We on this paper have said throughout that if the organised workers stood together they would win. They have not stood together and they have reaped the reward.... What we need is a new machinery and a new spirit. The old machinery has frankly, in the hour of emergency, failed.

(7) In his autobiography, Looking Backwards - And Forwards, George Lansbury, explained the importance of Muriel De La Warr to the survival of The Daily Herald.

Of all the women, outside those belonging to my family and the working classes, whom I have known and worked with, none stands higher in my memory and esteem than Muriel, Countess De La Warr. I never heard her make a speech, though she must have attended hundreds of public meetings and many private gatherings of committees.

Over and over again she and her friends saved the Daily Herald from death in the old days when it was independent, and often it was her example and her work which helped women suffragists to hold on in the darkest days of defeat.

Her love for human rights and duties kept her very largely out of society. She spent her days almost secretly doing good. Many, many people like myself owe her a big debt of gratitude for the continuous help she gave to causes in which we worked.

(8) Morgan Philips Price, My Three Revolutions (1969)

I found that the cost of upkeep of the farms was swallowing up the whole of the estate rents and more. Inflation of costs and prices had made deficits on landed estates inevitable. So I finally decided to sell half the farms on the Tibberton estate and use the money for the upkeep and improvement of the remaining farms and for house-building. Meanwhile, I gave a considerable sum, which had accumulated as dividends from the timber business, to the Daily Herald. For George Lansbury then required help to build the paper up and, being a paper of the Left, it had a hard struggle to make good in a country where the newspaper industry was commercialized. So I gave my brother Power of Attorney to pay to George Lansbury £15,000 to help the Daily Herald.

(9) William Poyster, memo to Hamilton Fyfe (21st January, 1926)

I should be glad if you could discourage editorial attacks on known advertisers... they only make our task harder and the securing of advertisements for the Daily Herald, even at the best of times, is far from easy ... Is there not ample scope for editorial vigour in concentrating on capitalism and its attendant evils, without the necessity of referring to individual advertisers?

(10) Ramsay MacDonald to Clifford Allen (27th November 1925)

My major objection to the whole paper is that it shows nothing but incapacity from beginning to end, and instead of being a great Party organ giving us spirit and uplift, it is a miserable, cantankerous, narrow-minded and pettifogging propaganda sheet.

(11) Ramsay MacDonald to Ben Turner (3rd March 1925)

For a long time the Herald has been a mischievous influence in the party... Nothing contributed more to our defeat than the policy of the Herald and the way it handled our case... If I did not consider it a duty I should no more think of subscribing to the Herald than I would to the Morning Post.

(12) Hamilton Fyfe, My Seven Selves (1935)

The Herald is the organ, not of your Government, not of a Party, but of the Labour Movement. In that Movement there are many currents of opinion ... it would be foolish to aim at making the policy of the Herald fit in with all these currents of opinion, but it is very important that no section shall feel resentment at not being allowed to express its views in its own newspaper...

If I were to say to any section of them "I will not publish your opinions because that would be unpleasant to the Prime Minister", there would be good reason to retort that I was setting the momentary interest of a Ministry above the permanent interest of the Movement, which is beyond question the greater of the two.

I never publish complaints or criticism of the Government unless I know - from my study of correspondence which comes in every day - that it represents a fairly large body of opinion. You could not point to any letter, much less to any article - which did not voice the feelings of a great many people in the Movement...

You tell me I don't know my business as an editor. Assuredly I have much yet to learn, but I have been in training for thirty years. You have been Prime Minister for eight months without any experience. Isn't it just possible that you have some things to learn as well?"

(13) George Lansbury, The Miracle of Fleet Street (1925)

Muriel Countess de la Warr also sent a subslantial sum (to the Daily Herald), and has always been one of the first and most generous of our friends; there has never been a crisis overcome without her help. She is one of the few titled women in our land who for years past has sleadily supported our Movement; and not only the Labour cause, but other unpopular rnovements - the Irish and Indian demand for Home Rule, Women's Suffurage, and the great cause of Pacifism. Her son, Earl de la Warr, was a member of the first Labour Government. If he serves the Cause as wholeheartedly as his mother has served all good causes, Labour in him will have secured one of its finest recruits.

(14) Morgan Philips Price, Daily Herald (August, 1923)

The reactionary movements which flourish in Bavaria are at present not quite so formidable as appears on the surface. They are divided into various sections and they do not appear to agree well together. Nevertheless, here is a movement which may make trouble in the future. It is based on the old officers of the Prussian Army migrated to Bavaria and using the weakness of the peasant government in Munich to rally the impoverished middle classes and rentiers, ruined by the inflation, round the Pan-German Nationalist and anti-French flag. Their cry is "Down with the Socialist and Jewish towns of Northern Germany; Down with France." This philosophy is also the basis of the other forces of the Right in Bavaria, namely German Fascism. Herr Hitler has built up a force estimated at about 30,000 armed men, but he is keeping them in the background and is for the moment concentrating on trying to convert some of the less stable elements of the working classes in the Bavarian towns to his National Socialist programmes.

The Majority Social-Democrats in Munich with whom I have spoken tell me that they have to fight for their ordinary liberties and rights of propaganda just as under the Hohenzollem regime. Their newspapers are continually being suppressed by so-called police simply for publishing information about the illegal activities of Herr Hitler and his armed bands.

The Social-Democrats are, however, not without their means of defence. Not long before I was in Munich, there had been a parade of the Social-Democratic fighting organizations on the great Theresa meadow outside the town. Several thousand workers marched past with Red Flags. They were unarmed, but could defend themselves if need be. I had the impression that the industrial centres of Bavaria could, with the aid of the railwaymen, suppress a Hitler rising if they acted promptly.

(15) George Lansbury, The Miracle of Fleet Street (1925)

I never agreed entirely with Dyson's method of expression. Theirs was mainly the good old gospel of hate. I can hate conditions with the best or the worst of men, but I never have felt hatred of anybody. It is possible to dislike people's ways, but who am I to think I am worthy to judge them? Dyson's cartoons were masterpieces of cynicism and sardonic humour. Ramsay MacDonald, Philip Snowden, J. H. Thomas, the Webbs, Shaw and all the fabian family were stripped bare, shorn of all their glory, and treated like ordinary, stupid, or, on occasion, rather cunning people.

(16) Tom Hopkinson, Of This Our Time (1982)

I was working for, though not on, a Labour newspaper, the Daily Herald, whose views I had started to assimilate. Back in 1926 at the time of the General Strike, I had readily come up from Oxford to act as a strikebreaker; in 1931 when the National Government came in, I had voted for it as a matter of course, but I now began to be appalled at its incompetence and complacency. There were other, more personal reasons. Our money troubles of the last few years had made me realize how differently life is organized for those who have and those who lack, and when in the company of rich people I found their callousness - particularly over the rising number of unemployed - as offensive as though it was some repellent disease.

(17) The Daily Herald (23rd January 1924)

Up to now its political representatives have been critics: they have attacked Tory and Liberal governments for sins of omission and commission: they have told what they would do and what they would avoid if they had the opportunity of governing.

Now they have it: now they are critics no longer; they are become marks for criticism: now the great Movement which they have behind them waits with its leaders to justify the confidence and loyalty that have placed them where they are.

(18) Hamilton Fyfe, The Daily Herald (26th November, 1923)

The only party which has a real programme, the only one which understands how to remedy unemployment, the only one which is inspired by the noble ideals of justice, Freedom, Generosity and Comradeship; the only one which looks beyond the petty war of politics and marches forward with its eyes fixed firmly on the City of God, a city in which there shall be no workless, no wage-slavery, no hungry children and no slums.

(19) Ernest Bevin, memo on Hamilton Fyfe (July, 1926)

The editor has not the real co-operation and confidence of the staff and this is not due to any lack on the part of staff to co-operate, but purely a temperamental weakness of the Editor, it is made worse by the fact that his judgment is unstable and erratic, that he has not the knowledge of the different phases of the movement that several members of the staff possess and is too susceptible to personal influence.

(20) Huw Richards, The Bloody Circus: The Daily Herald and the Left (1997)

William Mellor, deputy editor since 1922, was the obvious successor if, as Newspaper World said was likely, the search was confined to internal candidates. There is no evidence that the board ever seriously considered anyone else and the 37-year-old Mellor was appointed on 26 August. He was a formidable character - Margaret Cole described him as a powerful personality whose emotions were easily aroused, formidably effective in argument but prone to bullying. Michael Foot, who worked with him on Tribune in the late 1930s, remembers him as a shouting editor and described him as an "endearing ogre". Margaret Cole would describe him as "stronger in the spoken than the written word". Unequivocally of the left, successively guild socialist, conscientious objector, proponent of direct action and founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, he was never to move far to the right, and later became the first editor of Tribune as well as being denied endorsement as a Labour candidate in the late 1930s because of his Socialist League activities.

All this mattered less to the Herald board than the breadth of support and respect he enjoyed. Allen, proponent of conventional news values rather than socialist controversialism, nevertheless provided a reference. Fyfe had praised him for his work on the British Worker. MacDonald, so fearful of Ewer's influence, appeared to have no such worries about Mellor - although Fyfe suggests that in this MacDonald was misguided...

Deputies, particularly those with Mellor's connection with a paper - his first contributions were before 1914 and he had been on the staff since the postwar relaunch - are frequently more popular than editors. Allen, like Mellor, had been imprisoned three times as a conscientious objector and MacDonald had been a prominent, much-vilified critic of the war, so this created a bond with others who had shared the same views and experience of persecution.

In backing so unregenerate a leftist, Allen knew what he was doing. Proof can be seen in Mellor's statement to the 1926 TUC when he defined himself: "as a Labour journalist".Mellor was unequivocally of the labour movement. Where Fyfe, a late recruit, gave the impression that he was doing the movement a favour, Mellor had no qualms about regarding himself as its servant, prepared to tolerate its disciplines and idiosyncracies. Though well to the left of Fyfe he would be far more prepared to accept direction from the leadership. External circumstances would also aid this stronger sense of central direction. While Ben Turner would note wryly at the 1927 TUC that "I think it would be the millennium coming if we got something to satisfy us all", the bitter political recriminations which followed the failure of the General Strike and the progressive falling out between the TUC and Russia meant that the two sides of the movement increasingly agreed that communists were to be regarded as a threat rather than allies. Mellor, in spite of his own sympathies, would conform to this view.

(21) Anonymous memo on William Mellor (1926)

His (William Mellor) wide, unbiased and very thorough knowledge of the movement enables him to correct errors of policy and fact ... his corrections are not always agreed to by the Editor ... it is because of the personal affection of the staff for him, his journalistic ability and his knowledge of the movement that under such conditions of stress he is able to carry out this unequal task. In the periods that he has acted as Editor he has created a different atmosphere in the office.

(22) The Daily Herald (7th November, 1927)

The great gain which overshadows every other, and dwarfs the sins and omissions of this new era, is the liberation of the working class ... Workers children grow up, for the first time in the world's history, without the deadening consciousness that they belong to an inferior caste. They know that they are members of a society organised for the purpose of aiding them to develop all the talents of human nature. That is the glory of Russia, and in the wide world she boasts it alone.

(23) Huw Richards, The Bloody Circus: The Daily Herald and the Left (1997)

Allen argued again in mid 1927 that political fixation was the paper's main problem. The Herald was speaking only to a committed minority. Where lively and varied presentation of news in other papers reached the non-political mass, influencing their view of political and industrial events, the Herald was addressing only a committed minority. Most readers, he argued, lacked "the psychology of the political enthusiast, seeking an informative tendentious pamphlet. The average reader is out for distraction and not for a daily diet of self-improvement".

(24) Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009)

Shadowing other members of Ewer's network led Ottaway's Observation team to Walter Dale, who had first been observed (though his identity was then unknown) keeping under surveillance the rendezvous originally chosen for the first meeting between "D" and Ewer. Dale in turn unwittingly led investigators to his main contacts in the Special Branch, the Dutch-born Inspector Hubertus van Ginhoven and Sergeant Charles Jane. After Dale's arrest, the discovery of his diary revealed further details of the operation of Ewer's network. It confirmed that Allen had operated for some time as the "cut-out" between Ewer and the Special Branch officers.The diary also gave details of Dale's other duties, among them the observation of British intelligence officers; surveillance of expatriate Russians; provision of lists of prominent individuals of possible interest to the Russians; and counter-surveillance for Russian agents, including Ewer and EPA employees. For the five years covered by the diary Dale and others maintained "unremitting surveillance" on the locations and some employees of British intelligence agencies, including SIS and GC&CS, which included noting officers' licence-plate numbers and trailing them to their homes.

(25) The Daily Herald (15th March, 1930)

The paper began in a fighting spirit; in a fighting spirit it has lived. And from Monday it will carry on the fight with a power never before possible... Behind it was the Socialist spirit, the Socialist ideal and these are invincible... No paper has ever had such splendid supporters. They gave themselves unstintingly to the Daily Herald. Never will it fully be known what sacrifices they made in time and money. That is why the paper lived. That is why, despite its meagre equipment, it grew in power and influence.