Minnie Pallister

Minnie Pallister (12 March 1885 – 26 March 1960) was an English political activist, political writer, self-described "Socialist propagandist",[1][2] unsuccessful political candidate for the Independent Labour Party, and radio personality.

Minnie Pallister
A white woman with short fair hair, in an oval frame
Minnie Pallister in 1923
Born12 March 1885
Kilkhampton, Cornwall
Died26 March 1960
OccupationPolitical activist, writer, broadcaster

Pallister was born in Cornwall, and was the daughter of a clergyman. She was trained as a teacher at Cardiff University, and worked for a decade as a schoolteacher in a Welsh elementary school. She joined the Independent Labour Party, and in 1914 became the president of the party's federation in Monmouthshire.

During World War I, Pallister helped organise the pacifist organization No-Conscription Fellowship. Also during the war, she was an active orator for the causes of peace and Labour. In the general elections of 1923 and 1924, Pallister was an unsuccessful candidate for the Bournemouth constituency in Hampshire.

Due to health problems, Pallister retired from active politics in the 1920s. In the 1920s, she wrote a number of books on the topic of socialism. In the 1930s, she wrote books about gardening. In 1936, Pallister joined the pacifist organisation Peace Pledge Union, and in 1945 she was elected as a member of the organization's council. In the 1950s, Pallister was affiliated with BBC Radio as a regular contributor in the radio magazine programme Woman's Hour. She died in 1960, at the age of 75.

Early life and educationEdit

Minnie Pallister was born in Kilkhampton, Cornwall, the middle of three daughters of William and Rose (Parsons) Pallister. Her father was a clergyman. She attended Tasker's High School for Girls and earned a teaching credential at Cardiff University.[3]

CareerEdit

Minnie Pallister taught for ten years in an elementary school in Brynmawr, where she became familiar with Welsh working lives. Her piano skills were also welcomed by local musicians. By 1914 she was president of the Monmouthshire Federation of the Independent Labour Party (the first woman elected to that position),[4] and serving on the Breconshire Education Committee.[5] Keir Hardie described her "like a new meteor on the horizon" for her eloquence.[3]

In World War I and later she was busy as a speaker for the peace and Labour movements,[6] and organised the No-Conscription Fellowship in Wales.[7] In 1922, as ILP organiser for South Wales, she was quoted on the front page of the Labour Leader declaring: "We were right on the War. We were right on the Peace. We were right on Reparations."[8] She was advertised as "Wales' Greatest Woman Orator" in newspaper announcements.[9] She also ran for office several times in the 1920s, and was quoted about Ramsay MacDonald in The New York Times in 1924.[10]

Pallister stood in Bournemouth at the general elections in 1923 and 1924. In 1923, Pallister gained 5,986 votes, 19.5% of the votes cast. She finished third among the candidates, behind Henry Page Croft of the Unionist Party (with 50.4% of the votes) and Cyril Berkeley Dallow of the Liberal Party (with 30.1% of the votes). In 1924, Pallister gained 7,735 votes, 27.3% of the votes cast. She finished second among candidates, behind Henry Page Croft of the Unionist Party (with 72.7% of the votes). [11]

Pallister's health suffered from her constant activity, and she was advised by doctors to change her schedule. She became a full-time writer, though she remained interested in political matters. "My politics are me," she said, "it seems almost impossible that there should still be people who believe that politics do not matter."[12] A lifelong pacifist, she joined the Peace Pledge Union in 1936, was elected to its Council in 1945 and later became a Sponsor. She was a regular contributor to the Woman's Hour BBC radio programme in the 1950s.[13]

WorksEdit

Books by Minnie Pallister include Socialism for Women (pamphlet, 1923);[14] The Orange Box: Thoughts of a Socialist Propagandist (1924);[15] Socialism, Equality and Happiness (pamphlet, 1925);[16] Rain on the Corn and Other Sketches (1928);[17] Gardener's Frenzy: Being an Alphabet of the Garden (1933);[18] and A Cabbage for a Year (1934).[19]

DeathEdit

Minnie Pallister died on 26 March 1960, aged 75. Towards the end of her life, an unspecified illness had forced her to retire from political activities. At the time of her death, she was mainly active as a radio broadcaster. [20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Minnie Pallister, The Orange Box: Thoughts of a Socialist Propagandist (Leonard Parsons 1924).
  2. ^ Labour Party National Committee Conference, Volumes 59-61 (1960–1961): 53. "Minnie Pallister, who died in March aged 75, was well-known for her propaganda work, first in Wales and then all over the country in the 1920s. She was compelled by illness to withdraw from active politics for some years, but in recent years became a frequent broadcaster on radio."
  3. ^ a b "Miss Minnie Pallister" Pioneer (11 September 1915): 8.
  4. ^ "Lady as ILP Leader" Llais Llafur (1 August 1914): 1.
  5. ^ "Minnie Pallister in Merthyr" Pioneer (15 March 1919): 3.
  6. ^ "Minnie Missioning: The Gospel to East Denbighshire" Pioneer (4 October 1919): 1.
  7. ^ "Anti-Conscription Meeting at Ystalyfera" Llais Llafur (8 March 1919): 4.
  8. ^ Matthew Brown, "WWI: The ILP and the 'Great' War" Independent Labour Publications (3 February 2014).
  9. ^ Advertisement for Minnie Pallister lecture, Llanelly Star (22 March 1919): 1.
  10. ^ "Sees British Throne's End; MacDonald's Election Agent Predicts Sloughing Off of Monarchy" New York Times (12 February 1924).
  11. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  12. ^ June Hannam and Karen Hunt, Socialist Women, Britain, 1880-1920s (Routledge 2012). ISBN 9781134766673
  13. ^ Synopsis, "Woman's Hour" (5 March 1951).
  14. ^ Minnie Pallister, Socialism for Women (Independent Labour Party Information Committee 1923).
  15. ^ Minnie Pallister, The Orange Box: Thoughts of a Socialist Propagandist (Leonard Parsons 1924).
  16. ^ Minnie Pallister, Socialism, Equality and Happiness (Independent Labour Party 1925).
  17. ^ Minnie Pallister, Rain on the Corn and Other Sketches (Independent Labour Party 1928).
  18. ^ Minnie Pallister, Gardener's Frenzy: Being an Alphabet of the Garden (Methuen & Co 1933).
  19. ^ Minnie Pallister, A Cabbage for a Year (Blackie & Son 1934).
  20. ^ Labour Party National Committee Conference, Volumes 59-61 (1960–1961): 53. "Minnie Pallister, who died in March aged 75, was well-known for her propaganda work, first in Wales and then all over the country in the 1920s. She was compelled by illness to withdraw from active politics for some years, but in recent years became a frequent broadcaster on radio."

SourcesEdit

  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press, revised edition 1977)

External linksEdit