Freedom and Democracy Trust
The Freedom and Democracy Trust
- Part of this anti-communist programme was the creation of 'an influential group, including several members of
the [[[TUC]]] General Council, which was determined to root out the communists.'(76) Among the group were George Chester (General Secretary of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives), George Gibson (former TUC chair), Lincoln Evans (General Secretary of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation [ISTC]) Andrew Naesmith (General Secretary of the Amalgamated Weavers' Association), Alf Roberts (General Secretary of the National Association of Card, Blowing and Ring Room Operatives, later on the Board of the Bank of England), G. H. Bagnall (TUC General Council representative; General Secretary in 1939 of National Union of Dyers, Bleachers and Textile Workers), John Brown (ISTC) and Tom O'Brien (Kine Employees).(77) In April 1948 this group became the Freedom and Democracy Trust, and began publishing a periodical called Freedom First. with the help of IRD.(78)
Unfortunately for all concerned, mixing with the founders of the Trust was an American businessman called Sydney Stanley, and the whole enterprise was 'blown' when Stanley became the centrepiece of the infamous Lansky Tribunal hearings into civil service corruption during the winter of 1948. Not only did Stanley have many pre-war contacts with the U.S unions, he adopted the robust American attitude to officialdom: bribe it when you have to. But he got caught.
75. Weiler p. 216 76. Ibid. p. 217 citing The Times, February 10, 1948. 77. Weiler op. cit. fn 184, p. 369 78. Ibid. fn 189 citing The Times, 2 December 1948.