Arthur Henderson

Picture of Arthur Henderson

Date of Birth: 09/13/1863

Age: 72

Place of birth: Glasgow

Citizenship: United Kingdom


Communication with the workers in the shop, the experience as a secular preacher of the Methodist Church and membership in Taynsaydskom discussion club laid the foundation for the success of his political career. In 1892 he was elected city councilor, and in 1896 - a member of the Board of County Durham. In 1903 he became the first mayor of Darlington workers.

From 1900 to the end of his life Henderson sent his talent and energy to the organization of the labor movement in Britain. He participated in the conference of socialists and trade unions in London, which established in 1900, the Committee of the labor offices (KTP), on the basis of which later emerged the British Labour Party. In 1903, thanks to the support in sets, he won election to Parliament. In 1906 he presided over the conference, which established a new political force - the Labour Party. He was the leader of the parliamentary faction of the Labor Party, and c 1911 to 1934 - Secretary of the whole party.

In 1918 he led together with Sydney Webb campaign to revise the statutes of the Labour Party in order to make it open to all people who want to join the party to convince, not only because of its working past. As a result of this reform, a political mechanism that has made Labour the second main party in the country. Henderson three times was the chairman of the parliamentary faction of the party, three times - the main "whip" (responsible for party discipline in parliament).

In 1914, openly supported Britain`s entry into the First World War. When Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald left the House of Commons to protest against the military government`s policies, Henderson took over its functions. A year later, he entered the coalition government of Herbert Asquith as Chairman of the Board of Education. A year later became the first Labour - to a member of the Cabinet, was appointed to the post of General Treasurer (finance minister). As minister without portfolio, he served as advisor on business issues in an "office of five" David Lloyd George. In 1917, after the February Revolution, he visited Russia as part of a special mission to persuade the interim government of Alexander Kerensky to continue the war until victory. From the same motives, he proposed the idea of ??the British delegation`s participation in the International Socialist Congress in Stockholm. However, the cabinet meeting, which discussed his proposal took place in the absence of Henderson, and when Lloyd George addressed him with criticism, he resigned. Congress did not take place.

In 1923 he chaired the Socialist Workers` International in Hamburg. In 1924 he came as interior minister in the first Labour government R.Makdonalda, but the lion`s share of the attention paid to two international issues: the implementation of Charles Dawes Plan for reparations payments by Germany and the development within the framework of the League of Nations, Geneva Protocol, which provided for the resolution of disputes by arbitration.

His track record made him an ideal candidate for the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, which he began in 1929 with the formation of the second cabinet Macdonald. in the office For two years he has restored diplomatic relations with Russia (interrupted after 1917); thanks to his diplomatic skills during negotiations with Aristide Briand and Gustav Stresemann made the withdrawal of Allied troops from the Rhineland and reduce the German war reparations; He played a prominent role in the 10th and 11th Assemblies of the League of Nations.

His name was always associated with the initiatives of international arbitration and disarmament. At the invitation of the Council of the League in 1931, he became chairman of the World Disarmament Conference. Despite all his efforts, the great economic depression and the output of Nazi Germany from the conference in 1933 determined the failure of the event. In 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia, and Germany began to re-program. However, for the perseverance in the defense case of international disarmament Henderson was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1934 in the world.

Proceedings: Henderson, Arthur, Labour`s Foreign Policy. London, Labour Party, 1933; Labour`s Way to Peace. London, Methuen, 1935.