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James Duncan article in History Scotland vol.19 no.4

Since the article on Treaty of Versailles Delegate James Duncan was published two events have taken place. Our Hidden Histories writer and broadcaster Neil McLennan attended the Palace of Versailles on the 100th anniversary of the signing. There he shared James Duncan’s story and the foundations of the International Labour Organisation. We also received the following statement from Councillor Ailson Evison: ‘The article in the July/Aug 2019 issue of History Scotland refers to a decision not to fund a memorial to James Duncan, and states: “A Labour local elected member and union leaders, it appears, got cold feet when they discovered that Duncan’s own union, the granite cutters, did not accept black workers”.

The Aberdeen Trades Union Council and Portlethen’s Labour Councillor Alison Evison strongly refute this statement. The decision they took was the principled one that they could not fund a memorial to James Duncan from Trades Union Council funds, when presented with a request to do so by a local historian.

Tommy Campbell (ATUC) said: “Trades Union Council funds are there to support the aims and objectives of the ATUC. These include providing services to affiliated branches on a wide range of industrial, social and community issues, improving the economic and social conditions of all working people and promoting social, cultural, educational and sports facilities for all working people. Underpinning all of this work, are clear principles of equality and diversity and antiracism. It would not be appropriate for ATUC funds to be used to commemorate someone who did not promote these principles, especially someone who worked so successfully for change in other areas”.

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History Scotland
History Scotland Sep -Oct 2019

Other Articles in this Issue

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The City of Literature Trust has unveiled a proposal for John Knox House on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to become the Literature House for Scotland, as part of an expanded ‘literary quarter’ in the Netherbow area of the historic thoroughfare
A letter written 100 years ago and dropped over Nova Scotia from the R.34 airship during its recordbreaking double transatlantic crossing is now on display at the National Museum of Flight to mark the centenary of the R.34’s departure from its East Fortune base
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The lost medieval home of the lords of the isles has been reconstructed virtually by experts at the University of St Andrews, showing the isle of Islay settlement when it was the administrative and ceremonial centre of the lordship of the isles
Julie Holder provides a new assessment of the celebrity brothers John and Charles Edward Sobieski Stuart, whose assertion of descent from Prince Charles Edward Stuart has tended to overshadow their important work in the study of tartan and the history of Gaelic culture
Dr Fraser Hunter provides a timely reassessment of the Traprain Treasure with the results of a ten-year research project that invites us to reassess why this treasure was ‘hacked’ and what this can tell us about Roman links to Scotland
Duncan B Campbell investigates an old legend that a Roman legion was destroyed by the ancestors of the Scots – and discovers a strange tale that has its roots in 19th-century excavations in Silchester
Dr Darren Swanson presents his research on an Aberdour businessman who forged a successful career in Japan, integrating into what was, at the time, a closed and secretive society
The Italian chapel in Orkney, one of the greatest symbols of peace to emerge from the second world war, celebrates its 75th anniversary this summer. Philip Paris refl ects on how the building brought former enemies together and how it still reaches out to us today with messages of hope and love
Diana Sproat presents the results of recent excavations on the Water of Leith, where the remains of an 18th-century paper mill were uncovered, allowing the mill buildings to give up their secrets
GUARD archaeologists have discovered a hitherto unknown Roman marching camp that was constructed during the Roman conquest of Scotland, alongside a west coast route from which Ireland can be glimpsed
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Karie Schultz recounts the story of the six ministers and scholars of Aberdeen who publicly opposed the national covenant of 1638, suggesting that they should be understood as symbols of a much more fractious theological landscape than the traditional picture of a monolithic covenanting movement tends to allow
Dr D.C. McWhannell explores the economic fortunes of modern Arbroath, discovering that the effects of Scotland’s mercantile and industrial expansion since the mid-18th century made themselves felt even in this small Angus town
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History Scotland’s consultant editor, Dr Allan Kennedy, explores the infamous murder of the young earl of Douglas during a dinner at Edinburgh castle
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Archivist Veronica Schreuder shares unique eyewitness accounts from the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet, as seen through the eyes of a teenage midshipman writing home to his family
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