C. A. Smith


1895 –


Who is C. A. Smith?

Charles A. Smith, known as C. A. Smith, was a British politician who held prominent positions in several minor parties.

Born in Bishop Auckland, Smith studied at the University of Durham and the University of London, then trained as a school teacher, and later worked as a tutor for the Workers' Educational Association. During World War I, he received the Military Medal.

Smith was a Labour Party and Independent Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Dulwich in 1924 and 1929 and in New Forest and Christchurch in 1932.

In 1933, he attended a conference of left socialists, organised by the ILP. Following its conclusion, Smith and John Paton travelled to meet Trotsky. After this meeting, he argued broadly in favour of the Fourth International until at least 1935.

In 1939, he succeeded James Maxton as Chairman of the ILP. World War II began the same year, and the ILP opposed it, but in 1941 Smith surprised the party by announcing that he supported the prosecution of the war. As such, he resigned both from the ILP and his role as chair. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Common Wealth Party as its Research Officer, and in 1944 he succeeded Kim Mackay as the party chairman. With the onset of the Cold War, Smith became increasingly anti-communist, and increasingly a proponent of Zionism. Unable to gain support in Common Wealth for his ideas, he left in 1948.

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Bishop Auckland
  • University of London
  • Durham University

on July 23, 2013


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