Arthur Henderson

Henderson, Arthur, 1863–1935, British statesman, organizer and leader of the British Labour party. In early life he was an ironworker and a labor union leader. Elected (1903) to Parliament, he was chairman of the parliamentary Labour party (1908–10, 1914–17), president of the Board of Education (1915–16), paymaster general (1916), and a member of the war cabinet (1916–17). In Ramsay MacDonald's first ministry (1924) he was home secretary. As foreign secretary (1929–31) Henderson worked to moderate Franco-German problems and supported the League of Nations. He led Labour opposition to the formation of the National government in 1931 and lost his seat in Parliament. From 1932 until his death he was president of the World Disarmament Conference, and he was awarded the 1934 Nobel Peace Prize. His writings include The Aims of Labour (1919).

See biography by M. A. Hamilton (1938); study by D. Carlton (1970).

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