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If Glasgow Corporation ran a bank...

Mitchell Library, The Bailie

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If Glasgow Corporation ran a bank...

Bailie John Wheatley, portrayed as a banker in this 1920 cartoon from The Bailie. The weekly periodical had strong Conservative sympathies, and the depiction of the city's Independent Labour Party leader as a "bloated" capitalist was ironic if not subtle.

At the municipal elections in November 1919, Wheatley had been vociferous in his support of the ILP plan to establish a municipal bank. He proposed that Glasgow Corporation should summon a conference of all Scottish local authorities to consider the advisability of constituting a joint-stock bank, the shares of which would be held only by local authorities. This would permit the authorities to raise money cheaply to fund job creation and house building. His proposal was defeated at a Corporation meeting.

The ILP gained five seats in the 1919 elections, increasing their number to twenty-four but failing to win control of the Corporation. Wheatley was re-elected for Shettleston ward, and appointed Dean of Guild.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 052 BAI

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries, Information and Learning

bankers, cartoons, councillors, Dean of Guild, elections, Glasgow Corporation, ILP, Independent Labour Party, municipal banks, socialism, socialists

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