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J D Mack

J D Mack was a leading member of the early Communist Party in Leeds. A member of the Labour Party, he led a group of Communists in the Central division of Leeds Labour Party, which included S Richardson, C Crowther and S Boffman. Their primary work within the Labour Party increasingly came to be to oppose the ban on Communists holding office or being members of the Labour Party imposed by the national Labour Party, starting with Edinburgh Labour Party conference amendments in 1923.

Through Mack�s efforts, the left only narrowly lost a resolution at their Constituency Labour Party, stating that the Edinburgh amendments were `Contrary to the unity of the Working Class Movement', being defeated by 46 votes to 40. Leeds City Labour Party also opposed the circular of June 1926, which demanded the expulsion of Communist Party members, and banned them from holding office in the Labour Party. The local Labour Party branded the Labour Party circular `disreputable and discreditable'.

Mack, already a Labour-Communist Councillor in Leeds, secured an alderman's position on the Leeds City Council, he resigned from the council in 1927 on the grounds that he was `spending too much time outside the City'. Mack was active in the campaign against the Conservative Government's Trade Union & Trade Dispute Bill in 1927. But he was also a prominent supporter of the Communist Party's new united front organisation `The National Left Wing Movement'.

Mack remained active within the Leeds Labour Party, securing some support for the NLWM. It had been Joe Vaughan, the Communist councillor and mayor of Stepney, who was instrumental in setting up the NLWM in November 1925. Its first Secretary being Ralph Bond (see separate entry for Bon), a young communist activist. While its chairman was Will Crick of Manchester & Salford Trades Council. Other communists in the NLWM included Dr Robert Dunstan of Birmingham and C J Moody of Richmond. The NLWM headquarters were at Grays Inn Road, London, in the offices of the Sunday Worker. The National Left Wing Movement finally closed by the Party in 1929.

Will (W.T.E.) Brain, the Midlands Communist Party organiser and prominent activist in Birmingham Trades Council was selected as the Leeds Communist Party candidate for the South East constituency in 1929, where he secured 512 votes (4.2% of the vote).

In January J.D. Mack 1928 left Leeds and moved to Liverpool.

Source: `Labour heartland' (West Yorkshire) Reynolds & Laybourn

Michael Walker