In 1925 a sensational near victory took place in local elections in Wednesbury. A Communist, T Gee, in an out-of-the-blue (red?) straight fight with an Independent in Town Hall ward (one of five in Wednesbury Borough Council), polled 536 votes to L A Dingley’s 1,465.
The local paper – the Express & Star – was clearly relieved that the Communist had been beaten, but they went on to report his speech after the count almost verbatim. Gee said “Fellow members of the working class. When I entered this struggle I was not particularly keen to win because I think the working class struggle has to be carried out somewhere else beside the ballot box.‟ He was satisfied that there were over 500 rebels in Town Hall ward on which the Communist Party could build.
When on 8th May 1926, the Birmingham headquarters of the Communist Party at Hockley Hill were raided, five Communist trade unionists were arrested, including T Gee. (The others were Tom Lowe, Jim Gardner, Miss Clarke, and a Mr Eskell.)
A Thomas Gee (surely the same man?) stood for the Wednesbury constituency for the Communist Party in the 1929 general election for the Party but did very badly.
It is not clear what became of him but it is possible that he was the T. Gee, the son of a miner, born in 1893. (A complication is that two Thomas William Gees were born in Birmingham that year.) This T Gee was educated at an elementary and then a technical school. He was clearly someone who had stood for parliament but the record is hazy as to what Party’s interest.
The coincidence would seem unlikely, so it is assumed that the former Communist turned hostile at some point in the 1930s or 40s. No record of another contest of parliament by a T Gee has been found.
While working as a switchboard operator at a power station Gee wrote the pamphlet "Politics and the Trade Unions"(1945)published by “Signpost Booklets”, a short-lived publisher seeming to be matching the Communist Party’s own pamphlet success, almost title for title.
This enabled him to become a journalist writing on trade union questions, and a lecturer for the Empire Industries Association. This was a lobbying body aiming to promoting imperial preference. In 1947 the Association partly amalgamated with the British Empire League. Gee lived in Rugby at this time.
Be the first to comment