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Walter McLennan Citrine, 1st Baron Citrine, GBE, PC (22 August 1887, Wallasey - 22 January 1983, Brixham) was a British trade unionist and politician. Citrine was an electrician by trade, becoming Mersey District secretary of his trade union, the Electrical Trades Union, in 1914. Twelve years later he became General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, holding the post for twenty years, including through World War II. He was also president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions 1928-45 and president of the World Trade Union Conference in 1945. Citrine strengthened the TUC's influence over the Labour Party. He opposed plans by the Labour Government in 1931 to cut unemployment benefits and as a result led the campaign to have Ramsay MacDonald expelled from the party. He supported Clement Attlee's government's policy of nationalisation and served on the National Coal Board and served as chairman of the Central Electricity Board 1947-57. He was granted a peerage in 1947. Citrine was the author of The ABC of Chairmanship, regarded by many in the labour movement as the "bible" of committee chairmanship. His autobiography Men and Work was published in 1964. Citrine's personal papers are held at the London School of Economics. Contents 1 World War II 1.1 Policies during WWII 2 Finland 3 References 3.1 Notes 3.2 General references 4 External links World War II My Finnish Diary: Walter Citrine's account of his visit to Finland during the Winter War. Policies during WWII After a December 1939 meeting in Paris between Citrine and French Labour Minister Charles Pomaret, the latter "clamped down on French labour with a set of drastic wage-&-hour decrees and Sir Walter Citrine agreed to a proposal by Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir John Simon that pay rises in Britain be stopped"[1] This brought condemnation from the communist newspaper The Morning Star, then called the Daily Worker. Citrine sued the Daily Worker for libel after it accused him and his associates of "plotting with the French Citrines to bring millions of Anglo-French Trade Unionists behind the Anglo-French imperialist war machine"; the publisher pleaded the British press equivalent of 'fair comment'. Citrine alleged, in response to his lawyer's questioning, that the Daily Worker received £2000 pounds per month from "Moscow", and that Moscow directed the paper to print anti-war stories.[1] The Daily Worker's counsel, Denis Nowell Pritt, asked Citrine "Have you ever considered," he asked Sir Walter, "whether there is any alternative to carrying on this war to a bitter conclusion?" Replied Secretary Citrine: "The alternative is to capitulate to Hitler and lose our freedom."[1] Finland Cirtine visited Finland at the height of the Winter War as a part of a British Labour delegation. He left Britain on 21 January 1940 and returned on 8 February 1940.[2] He interviewed many people ranging from General Mannerheim to Russian prisoners. He visited the front line near the Summa sector of the Mannerheim line.[3] He wrote a popular account of his brief visit in My Finnish Diary. References Notes ^ a b c "Reds, Labor and the War". TIME. May 13, 1940. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,884032,00.html. Retrieved 14 July 09.  ^ Citrine, 1940 ^ Citrine, 1940, p190 General references Citrine, Walter (1940). My Finnish Diary. Penguin.  External links Walter Citrine biography Walter Citrine holdings at London School of Economics archives Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages Political offices Preceded by Fred Bramley General Secretary of the TUC 1925–1946 Succeeded by Vincent Tewson Peerage of the United Kingdom Preceded by New Creation Baron Citrine Succeeded by Norman Arthur Citrine