Walter Citrine, 1st Baron Citrine

Walter Citrine, 1st Baron Citrine

Walter McLennan Citrine, 1st Baron Citrine GBE, PC (August 22, 1887, Wallasey - January 22, 1983, Brixham) was a British trade unionist and politician.

Citrine was an electrician by trade, becoming Mersey District secretary of his trade union, the Electrical Trades Union, in 1914. Twelve years later he became General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, holding the post for twenty years, including through World War II. He was also president of the International Federation of the Trade Unions 1928-45 and president of the World Trade Union Conference in 1945.

Citrine strengthened the TUC's influence over the Labour Party. He opposed plans by the Labour Government in 1931 to cut unemployment benefits and as a result led the campaign to have Ramsay MacDonald expelled from the party. He supported Clement Attlee's government's policy of nationalisation and served on the National Coal Board and served as chairman of the Central Electricity Board 1947-57. He was granted a peerage in 1947.

Citrine was the author of "The ABC of Chairmanship", regarded by many in the labour movement as the "bible" of committee chairmanship. His autobiography "Men and Work" was published in 1964.

Citrine's personal papers are held at the London School of Economics.

World War II

Policies during WWII

In December 1939 Citrine met with French Labour Minister Charles Pomaret in Paris, after which Britain and France set wage policies to favor wartime production goals. This brought condemnation from the anti-war left.

Citrine sued the "Daily Worker" after it accused him and his associates of "plotting with the French Citrines to bring millions of Anglo-French Trade Unionists behind the Anglo-French imperialist war machine." The case turned into a display of the "Daily Worker's" editorial position as being directed from the Soviet Union. [cite web | url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,884032,00.html |title=Reds, Labor and the War|date=May 13, 1940|publisher=TIME]

Finland

Cirtine visited Finland at the height of the Winter War as a part of a British Labour delegation. He left Britain on 21 January 1940 and returned on 8 February 1940. [Citrine, 1940] He interviewed many people ranging from General Mannerheim to Russian prisoners. He visited the front line near the Summa sector of the Mannerheim line [Citrine, 1940, p190] He wrote a popular account of his brief visit in "My Finnish Diary".

References

Notes

General references

*cite book
last = Citrine
first = Walter
title = My Finnish Diary
publisher = Penguin
series =
year = 1940

External links

* [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUcitrine.htm Walter Citrine biography]
* [http://archives.lse.ac.uk/dserve.exe?dsqServer=lib-4.lse.ac.uk&dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqCmd=Overview.tcl&dsqSearch=(RefNo='citrine') Walter Critrine holdings at London School of Economics archives]
* [http://www.angeltowns.com/town/peerage/ Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page]


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