James Henry Thomas

Thomas, James Henry, 1874–1949, British statesman and labor leader. A railroad worker, he held various offices in the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants and was a leader of the railway strike of 1911. He helped organize (1913) the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) of which he became general secretary in 1917. During the general strike (1926) he worked for conciliation. Thomas was colonial secretary in the 1924 Labour government and in 1929 was made lord privy seal and special minister for employment. He became dominion secretary in 1930 and retained that position in Ramsay MacDonald's National government (1931–35). As a result he was expelled from the Labour party and the NUR. Thomas was colonial secretary (1935–36) but was forced to resign after leaking budget secrets.

See biography by G. Blaxland (1964).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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