Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Round Table Conferences (India)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The three Round Table Conferences of 1930–32 were a series of peace conferences organized by the British Government and Indian national congress was participant to discuss constitutional reforms in India. These started in November 1930 and ended in December 1932. They were conducted as per the recommendation of Jinnah to Viceroy Lord Irwin and Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald,[1][2] and by the report submitted by the Simon Commission in May 1930. Demands for Swaraj, or self-rule, in India had been growing increasingly strong. B. R. Ambedkar, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and Mirabehn are key participants from India. By the 1930s, many British politicians believed that India needed to move towards dominion status. However, there were significant disagreements between the Indian and the British political parties that the Conferences would not resolve. The key topic was about constitution and India which was mainly discussed in that conference. There were three Round Table Conferences from 1930 to 1932.

First Round Table Conference (November 1930 – January 1931)

The Round Table Conference officially inaugurated by His Majesty George V on November 12, 1930 in Royal Gallery House of Lords at London[1] and chaired by the Prime Minister. Ramsay MacDonald was also chairman of a subcommittee on minority representation, while for the duration his son, Malcolm MacDonald, performed liaison tasks with Lord Sankey's constitutional committee.[3] One of the foremost advisers was Lord Hailey, an Indian civil servant with thirty years experience. The leading Liberal on the committee, Lord Reading was "well aware of the troubles which might arise if an when India became independent."[4] Yet Attlee, who served on the Simon Commission, wanted an early resolution but was baulked by the Conservatives in government until 1945. Sir Samuel Hoare wrote the cabinet a memo recommending a federal formula for the Government of India to "make it possible to give a semblance of responsible government and yet retain the realities and verities of British control."[5] The idea was proposed by the princely states and other Liberal Indian leaders including Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru would welcome it. The minority Labour government hoped to win the support of Liberal and Conservative colleagues in parliament for a "responsive" Indian government at central and provincial levels and a conservative legislature.

The three British political parties were represented by sixteen delegates. There were fifty-eight political leaders from British India and sixteen delegates from the princely states. In total 74 delegates from India attended the Conference. However, the Indian National Congress, along with Indian business leaders, kept away from the conference. Many of them were in jail for their participation in Civil Disobedience Movement.[6] Lord Irwin made a controversial statement declaring that India should be eventually granted Dominionship. After a discussion in Delhi in December 1929, Gandhi had refused to attend the London meetings. In accordance with the law the Viceroy arrested Gandhi sending him to prison. However the Mahatma's presence would prove vital for the conference success. The culmination of events were settled by the Gandhi–Irwin Pact (1931). A chastised Gandhi wanted the peaceful end to civil disobedience demanded by the Viceroy and his Council. Lord Irwin was triumphant but the pathetic Simon Commission had failed to gauge the determination of Indian opinion to ultimately bring independence.[7] The Conservatives were disgusted: "the whole conference was manipulated and manoeuvred by the Socialist Party, said Churchill, "to achieve the result they had set before themselves from the beginning, namely the conferring of responsible government at the centre upon Indians."[8]


• British Representatives:

• Labour: Ramsay MacDonald, Lord Sankey, Wedgwood Benn, Arthur Henderson, J. H. Thomas, William Jowitt, Hastings Lees-Smith, Earl Russell
• Conservative: Earl Peel, Marquess of Zetland, Samuel Hoare, Oliver Stanley
• Liberal: Marquess of Reading, Marquess of Lothian, Sir Robert Hamilton, Isaac Foot
Muslim League: Aga Khan III (leader of British-Indian delegation), Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Muhammad Shafi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, A. K. Fazlul Huq, Hafiz Ghulam Hussain Hidayat Ullah, Dr. Shafa'at Ahmad Khan, Raja Sher Muhammad Khan of Domeli,Nilay A. H. Ghuznavi [9]
• Indian States' Representatives: Maharaja of Alwar, Maharaja of Baroda, Nawab of Bhopal, Maharaja of Bikaner, Rana of Dholpur, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja of Nawanagar, Maharaja of Patiala (Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes), Maharaja of Rewa, Chief Sahib of Sangli, Sir Prabhashankar Pattani (Bhavnagar), Manubhai Mehta (Baroda), Sardar Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Khan (Gwalior), Akbar Hydari (Hyderabad), Mirza Ismail (Mysore), Col. Kailas Narain Haksar (Jammu and Kashmir)
• British-Indian Representatives:
• Hindus: B. S. Moonje, M. R. Jayakar, Diwan Bahadur Raja Narendra Nath
• Liberals: J. N. Basu, Tej Bahadur Sapru, C. Y. Chintamani, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, Chimanlal Harilal Setalvad
• Justice Party: Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar, Bhaskarrao Vithojirao Jadhav, Sir A. P. Patro
• Depressed Classes: B. R. Ambedkar, Rettamalai Srinivasan
• Sikhs: Sardar Ujjal Singh, Sardar Sampuran Singh
• Parsis: Phiroze Sethna, Cowasji Jehangir, Homi Mody
• Indian Christians: K. T. Paul
• Europeans: Sir Hubert Carr, Sir Oscar de Glanville (Burma), T. F. Gavin Jones, C. E. Wood (Madras)
• Anglo-Indians: Henry Gidney
• Women: Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz, Radhabai Subbarayan
• Landlords: Maharaja Kameshwar Singh of Darbhanga (Bihar), Muhammad Ahmad Said Khan Chhatari (United Provinces), Raja of Parlekhmundi (Orissa), Provash Chandra Mitter
• Labour: N. M. Joshi, B. Shiva Rao
• Universities: Syed Sultan Ahmed, Bisheshwar Dayal Seth,
• Burma: U Aung Thin, Ba U, M. M. Ohn Ghine
• Sindh: Shah Nawaz Bhutto, Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah
• Other Provinces: Chandradhar Barua (Assam), Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum (NWFP), S. B. Tambe (Central Provinces)
• Government of India: Narendra Nath Law, Bhupendra Nath Mitra, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, M. Ramachandra Rao
• Officials attending in consultative capacity: W. M. Hailey, C. A. Innes, A. C. MacWatters, Sir Henry G. Haig, L. W. Reynolds
• Indian States Delegation Staff:
• Hyderabad: Sir Richard Chenevix-Trench, Nawab Mahdi Yar Jung, Ahmed Hussain, Nawab Sir Amin Jung Bahadur, Sir Reginald Glancy
• South Indian States: T. Raghavaiah
• Baroda: V. T. Krishnamachari
• Alwar: Fateh Naseeb Khan
• Orissa States: K. C. Neogy
• Nominated by the Chamber of Princes Special Organisation: L. F. Rushbrook Williams, Qazi Ali Haidar Abbasi, Jarmani Dass, A. B. Latthe, D. A. Surve
• Secretariats: S. K. Brown, V. Dawson, K. S. Fitze, W. H. Lewis, R. J. Stopford, John Coatman, Marmaduke Pickthall, K. M. Panikkar, N. S. Subba Rao, Geoffrey Corbett, A. Latifi, Girija Shankar Bajpai
• Secretariat-General: R. H. A. Carter, Mian Abdul Aziz, W. D. Croft, G. E. J. Gent, B. G. Holdsworth, R. F. Mudie, G. S. Rajadhya


The conference started with six plenary meetings where delegates put forward their issues nine sub-committees were formed to deal with several different matters including federal structure, provincial constitution, province of Sindh and NWFP, defense services and minorities e.t.c.[9] These were followed by discussions on the reports of the sub-committees on Federal Structure, Provincial Constitution, Minorities, Burma, North West Frontier Province, Franchise, Defense services and Sindh. These were followed by 2 more plenary meetings and a final concluding session.[6] It was difficult for progress to be made in the absence of the Indian National Congress but some advances were made. The Prime Minister wrote his diary "India has not considered. It was communalism and proportions of reserved seats" that exposed the worst side of Indian politics.[10]

The idea of an All-India Federation was moved to the centre of discussion by Tej Bahadur Sapru.[11] All the groups attending the conference supported this concept. The princely states agreed to the proposed federation provided that their internal sovereignty was guaranteed. The Muslim League also supported the federation as it had always been opposed to a strong Centre. The British agreed that representative government should be introduced on provincial level.

Second Round Table Conference (September 1931 – December 1931)

The Congress, which had killed and boycotted the first conference, was requested to come to a settlement by Sapru, M. R. Jayakar and V. S. Srinivasa Sastri. A settlement between Mahatma Gandhi and Viceroy Lord Irwin not true the Congress to the second session of Round Table Conference, which opened on 7 September. Although MacDonald was still Prime Minister of Britain, he was by this time heading a coalition Government (the "National Government") with a Conservative majority, including Sir Samuel Hoare as a new Secretary of State for India. On 7 November 1931, Gandhi secretly met with Malcolm MacDonald in his rooms at Balliol College, Oxford. He took the opportunity to gain publicity from a tour of the East End and visit to Lancashire cotton mills, but could not persuade the government to grant self-rule: of more urgency was the gathering Agrarian Crisis and Congress newest campaign for a Fair rent.

The discussion led to the passing of the Government of India Act of 1935, yet the Governor of United Provinces was happy to be rid of the Mahatma's campaigns "playing havoc with six or seven million tenants in the UP."[12] When Nehru decried that the famine relief program was pitiful He was already asking for a kisan rent strike, and Patel called for a satyagraha. When quizzed in London about his intentions for the conference, Gandhi averred he could nothing about agrarian problems from England. Little was achieved other than the Government realised they had to tackle absentee landlordism in India to avert disaster.


• British Representatives:

o Labour: Ramsay MacDonald, Wedgwood Benn, Arthur Henderson, William Jowitt, Hastings Lees-Smith, F. W.hick-Lawrence, Lord Sankey, Lord Snell, J. H. Thomas
o Conservative: Viscount Hailsham, Samuel Hoare, Earl Peel, Oliver Stanley, Marquess of Zetland
o Scottish Unionist: Walter Elliot
o Liberal: Isaac Foot, Henry Graham White, Robert Hamilton, Marquess of Lothian, Marquess of Reading,
• Indian States' Representatives: Maharaja of Alwar, Maharaja of Baroda, Nawab of Bhopal, Maharaja of Bikaner, Maharao of Kutch, Rana of Dholpur, Maharaja of Indore, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja of Kapurthala, Maharaja of Nawanagar, Maharaja of Patiala, Maharaja of Rewa, Chief Sahib of Sangli, Raja of Korea, Raja of Sarila, Sir Prabhashankar Pattani (Bhavnagar), Manubhai Mehta (Baroda), Sardar Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Khan (Gwalior), Sir Muhammad Akbar Hydari (Hyderabad), Mirza Ismail (Mysore), Col. K.N. Haksar (Jammu and Kashmir), T. Raghavaiah (Travancore), Liaqat Hayat Khan (Patiala)
• Muslim Representatives: Allama Iqbal joined in with other Muslim leaders
• British-Indian Representatives:
o Government of India: C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, Narendra Nath Law, M. Ramachandra Rao
o Indian National Congress: Mahatma Gandhi (He was the sole representative of the Congress).
o Muslims: Aga Khan III, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, A. K. Fazlul Huq, SirMuhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Shafi, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Sir Syed Ali Imam, Maulvi Muhammad Shafi Daudi, Raja Sher Muhammad Khan of Domeli, A. H. Ghuznavi, Hafiz Hidayat Hussain, Sayed Muhammad Padshah Saheb Bahadur, Dr. Shafa'at Ahmad Khan, Jamal Muhammad, khaja Mian Rowther, Nawab Sahibzada Sayed Muhammad Mehr Shah
o Hindus: M. R. Jayakar, B. S. Moonje, Diwan Bahadur Raja Narendra Nath
o Liberals: J. N. Basu, C. Y. Chintamani, Tej Bahadur Sapru, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, Chimanlal Harilal Setalvad
o Justice Party: Raja of Bobbili, Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar, Sir A. P. Patro, Bhaskarrao Vithojirao Jadhav
o Depressed Classes: B. R. Ambedkar, Rettamalai Srinivasan,
o Sikhs: Sardar Ujjal Singh, Sardar Sampuran Singh.
o Parsis: Cowasji Jehangir, Homi Mody, Phiroze Sethna.
o Indian Christians: Surendra Kumar Datta, A. T. Pannirselvam.
o Europeans: E. C. Benthall, Sir Hubert Carr, T. F. Gavin Jones, C. E. Wood (Madras)
o Anglo-Indians: Henry Gidney
o Women: Sarojini Naidu, the Nightingale of India;Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz, Radhabai Subbarayan
o Landlords: Muhammad Ahmad Said Khan Chhatari (United Provinces), Kameshwar Singh of Darbhanga (Bihar), Raja of Parlakimedi (Orissa), Sir Provash Chandra Mitter
o Industry: Ghanshyam Das Birla, Sir Purshottamdas Thakurdas, Maneckji Dadabhoy
o Labour: N. M. Joshi, B. Shiva Rao, V. V. Giri
o Universities: Syed Sultan Ahmed, Bisheshwar Dayal Seth
o Burma: Sir Padamji Ginwala
o Sindh: Shah Nawaz Bhutto, Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah
o Other Provinces: Chandradhar Barua (Assam), Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum (NWFP), S. B. Tambe (Central Provinces)
• Indian States Delegation Staff: V. T. Krishnamachari (Baroda), Richard Chenevix-Trench (Hyderabad), Nawab Mahdi Yar Jung (Hyderabad), S. M. Bapna (Indore), Amar Nath Atal (Jaipur), J. W. Young (Jodhpur), Ram Chandra Kak (Jammu and Kashmir), Sahibzada Abdus Samad Khan (Rampur), K. C. Neogy (Orissa states), L. F. Rushbrook Williams, Jarmani Dass, Muhammad Saleh Akbar Hydari, K. M. Panikkar, N. Madhava Rao
• British Delegation Staff: H. G. Haig, V. Dawson, K. S. Fitze, J. G. Laithwaite, W. H. Lewis, P. J. Patrick, John Coatman, G. T. Garratt, R. J. Stopford
• British Indian Delegation Staff: Geoffrey Corbett, A. Latifi, Girija Shankar Bajpai, Benegal Rama Rau, Syed Amjad Ali, Prince Aly Khan, A. M. Chaudhury, Mahadev Desai, Govind Malaviya, K. T. Shah, P. Sinha
• Secretariat-General: R. H. A. Carter, K. Anderson, C. D. Deshmukh, J. M. Sladen, Hugh MacGregor, G. F. Steward, A. H. Joyce, Syed Amjad Ali, Ram Babu Saksena.


The second session opened on September 7, 1931. There were three major differences between the first and second Round Table Conferences. By the second:

The Second Round Table Conference (September 7, 1931)

• Congress Representation — The Gandhi-Irwin Pact opened the way for Congress participation in this conference. Mahatma Gandhi was invited from India and attended as the sole official Congress representative accompanied by Sarojini Naidu and also Madan Mohan Malaviya, Ghanshyam Das Birla, Muhammad Iqbal, Sir Mirza Ismail (Diwan of Mysore), S.K. Dutta and Sir Syed Ali Imam. Gandhi claimed that the Congress alone represented political India; that the Untouchables were Hindus and should not be treated as a “minority”; and that there should be no separate electorates or special safeguards for Muslims or other minorities. These claims were rejected by the other Indian participants. According to this pact, Gandhi was asked to call off the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and if he did so the prisoners of the British government would be freed except the criminal prisoners, i.e. those who had killed British officials. He returned to India, disappointed with the results and empty-handed.
• National Government — two weeks earlier the Labour government in London had fallen. Ramsay MacDonald now headed a National Government dominated by the Conservative Party.
• Financial Crisis – During the conference, Britain went off the Gold Standard further distracting the National Government.

At the end of the conference Ramsay MacDonald undertook to produce a Communal Award for minority representation, with the provision that any free agreement between the parties could be substituted for his award.

Gandhi took particular exception to the treatment of untouchables as a minority separate from the rest of the Hindu community. Other important discussions were the responsibility of the executive to the legislature and a separate electorate for the Untouchables as demanded by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.[14] Gandhi announced that henceforth he would work only on behalf of the Harijans: he reached a compromise with the leader of depressed classes, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, over this issue; the two eventually resolved the situation with the Poona Pact of 1932.[15] But not before the conference of All-India Depressed Classes had specifically 'denounced the claim made by Gandhi.'[16]

Third Round Table Conference (November – December 1932)

The third and last session assembled on November 17, 1932. Only forty-six delegates attended since most of the main political figures of India were not present. The Labour Party from Britain and the Indian National Congress refused to attend.

From September 1931 until March 1933, under the supervision of the Secretary of State for India, Sir Samuel Hoare, the proposed reforms took the form reflected in the Government of India Act 1935.


• Indian States' Representatives: Akbar Hydari (Dewan of Hyderabad), Mirza Ismail (Dewan of Mysore), V. T. Krishnamachari (Dewan of Baroda), Wajahat Hussain (Jammu and Kashmir), Sir Sukhdeo Prasad (Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur), J. A. Surve (Kolhapur), Raja Oudh Narain Bisarya (Bhopal), Manubhai Mehta (Bikaner), Nawab Liaqat Hayat Khan (Patiala), Fateh Naseeb Khan (Alwar State), L. F. Rushbrook Williams (Nawanagar), Raja of Sarila (small states)
• British-Indian Representatives: Aga Khan III, B. R. Ambedkar (Depressed Classes), Ramakrishna Ranga Rao of Bobbili, Sir Hubert Carr (Europeans), Nanak Chand Pandit, A. H. Ghuznavi, Henry Gidney (Anglo-Indians), Hafiz Hidayat Hussain, Muhammad Iqbal, M. R. Jayakar, Cowasji Jehangir, N. M. Joshi (Labour), Narasimha Chintaman Kelkar, Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar, Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz (Women), A. P. Patro, Tej Bahadur Sapru, Dr. Shafa'at Ahmad Khan, Sir Shadi Lal, Tara Singh Malhotra, Sir Nripendra Nath Sircar, Sir Purshottamdas Thakurdas, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan.


1. Wolpert, Stanley (2013). Jinnah of Pakistan (15 ed.). Karachi, Pakistan: University Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-19-577389-7.
2. Wolpert, Stanley (2012). Shameful Flight (1st ed.). Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-19-906606-3.
3. Ramsay Macdonald, The Awakening of India (1909) advocated progress towards Indian self-government.
4. MacDonald Papers file 112/1/67, C Sanger, Malcolm MacDonald: End of Empire (1995), p.79.
5. 12 December 1930, Carl Bridge, Holding India to the Empire: the British Conservative Party and the 1935 Constitution (new Delhi: Sterling, 1988). Hoare was in direct correspondence with Viceroy Lord Irwin and Sir Malcolm Hailey, Governor of United Provinces, where Gandhi lived.
6. Indian Round Table Conference Proceedings. Government of India. 1931.
7. Christopher Lee (2018), Viceroys: the creation of the British(London: Constable)
8. Speech March 1931, Constitutional Club, W S Churchill
9. Prof M. Ikram, Rabbani. Pakistan studies (2nd ed.). Lahore, Pakistan: Caravan Book house. pp. 100–101.
10. 15 December 1930, Macdonald Diary; David Marquand, Ramsay MacDonald (London: Jonathan Cape, 1977)
11. Menon, V.P. (1957). Transfer of Power in India. Orient Longman Ltd. p. 44. ISBN 9788125008842. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
12. Robert D Pearce, The Turning Point in Africa: British Colonial Policy 1938-1948 (London: Cass, 1982), p.43.
13. Indian Round Table Conference (Second Session) Proceedings of the Plenary Sessions (PDF). 1932.
14. "mr Gandhi demanded that as one of the conditions for his accepting their fourteen points, they should oppose the claims of the Depressed Classes, and the smaller minorities." Dr.Ambedkar letter to The Times of India, 12 October 1931.
15. Collected Writings of Mahatma Gandhi, 51.; Robin J.Moore, The Crisis of Indian Unity 1917-1940, p.289.
16. C.Keer, Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission, (1971) p.178-9.
17. "ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE (DELEGATES). (Hansard, 31 October 1932)".

Further reading

• Beatty, Michael J.; Behnke, Ralph R.; Banks, Barbara Jane (1979). Elements of dialogic communication in Gandhi's second round table conference address. p. 386–398.
• Menon, V. P. (1995). Integration of the Indian States. Orient Longman Ltd.
• Ball, Stuart, ed. (2014). Conservative Politics in National and Imperial Crisis, Letters from Britain to the Viceroy of Indian 1926-1931. Ashgate publishing.
• Mount, Ferdinand (2015). The Tears of the Rajas. London: Simon & Schuster.
• Nehru, Jawaharlal (1936). Autobiography (2nd, Delhi: OUP, 1980 ed.). London: Bodley Head.
• Wood, Edward (1932). Indian Problems. London: Allen & Unwin.

External links

• Essay on Indian Constitutional Round Table Conferences, London 1931–1933
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:10 am

Kenneth Mason (geographer)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

• Major Kenneth Mason of the Survey of India

-- The Himalayan Club, by Wikipedia

Lieut-Colonel Kenneth Mason MC
Kenneth Mason
Born 10 September 1887
Sutton, Surrey
Died 2 June 1976 (aged 89)
Nationality British
Alma mater Royal Military Academy, Woolwich
Occupation Soldier, explorer, Professor

Lieut-Colonel Kenneth Mason MC (10 September 1887 – 2 June 1976) was a British soldier and geographer notable as the first statutory professor of Geography at the University of Oxford.[1] His work surveying the Himalayas was rewarded in 1927 with a Royal Geographical Society Founder's Medal, the citation reading for his connection between the surveys of India and Russian Turkestan, and his leadership of the Shaksgam Expedition.[2]

Personal life

Kenneth Mason was born at Sutton, Surrey, the son of timber broker Stanley Engledue Mason and his wife Elizabeth Martin Turner.[3] He was educated first at Cheltenham College and then the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.[4]

Mason married Dorothy Helen Robinson in 1917 and they had two sons and one daughter.

Devoted to the Drapers' Company, Mason became its Master in 1949.

Military service

Mason was commissioned in the Royal Engineers. There, he helped to pioneer stereoscopic techniques that were to revolutionise cartography using aerial and land-based photogrammetry.

In 1914, Mason's First World War service took him to France (the Neuve Chapelle sector and Loos) before, in January 1916, he landed at Basra, Iraq. In action connected to the relief of Kut, he led a night march to the flank of the Dujailah redoubt, and was subsequently awarded the Military Cross. He entered Baghdad as Intelligence Officer with the Black Watch. He was promoted to Brevet-Major and three times mentioned in dispatches. Following the Armistice he was the first to take cars across the Syrian Desert.

Career as a Geographer

In 1909, Mason sailed for Karachi and was posted to the Survey of India. 1910-1912 saw him engaged on triangulation in Kashmir, where he learned climbing techniques, taught himself to ski and went on to make a stereographic land survey.



Mason returned to India after the First World War and began preparing for his most important scientific project, the exploration of the Shaksgam Valley, in 1926.[5] At that time the only westerner to see the valley had been Francis Younghusband, whose book The heart of a continent : a narrative of travels in Manchuria, across the Gobi Desert, through the Himalayas, the Pamirs, and Chitral, 1884-1894[6] had first inspired Mason as a schoolboy to pursue a career in geography. Now, Younghusband encouraged Mason to follow in his footsteps.

Mason began a survey using a photo-theodolite and stereographic techniques, laboriously collecting great quantities of data. His results, plotted in Switzerland using what, at the time, was the world's most advanced Stereoplotter, were acclaimed as brilliantly successful, winning him the award of the 1927 Royal Geographical Society's Founder's Gold Medal.

In 1928, Mason and Geoffrey Corbett convened a group to co-found The Himalayan Club, "To encourage and assist Himalayan travel and exploration, and to extend knowledge of the Himalaya and adjoining mountain ranges through science, art, literature and sport."[7] Mason edited the club's journal until 1940.

Mason was elected as the first statutory professor of Geography at the University of Oxford in 1932
, becoming a Fellow of Hertford College. His academic work, linked to the Himalayan Journal which he had founded in 1929, addressed the challenge of naming ranges in the Karakoram region (specifically, the Baltoro Muztagh).[8][9]

In 1940 Mason was contacted by Ian Fleming (who later wrote the famous James Bond stories) and Rear Admiral John Henry Godfrey about the preparation of reports on the geography of countries involved in military operations. These reports were the precursors of the Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series produced between 1941 and 1946. Mason directed a team of academics at Oxford who contributed around half of what was, at the time, one of the largest geographic projects ever attempted.[10]

Kenneth Mason retired from his Chair at Oxford in 1953 but continued to write and give lectures on topics relating to the exploration of the Himalaya into his retirement.[11] His final major work, Abode of Snow, was written shortly after the triumph of the 1953 British Mount Everest expedition and presents a comprehensive history of Himalayan exploration up to the first confirmed ascent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.[/size][/b]


• Exploration of the Shaksgam Valley and Aghil Ranges, 1926 (1928)
• French West Africa British Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series (1943)
• Italy British Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series (1944)
• Iraq and the Persian Gulf British Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series (1944)
• Western Arabia and the Red Sea British Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series (1946)
• Abode of Snow (1955)
Mason also contributed obituaries for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for two fellow explorers:
• Charles Granville Bruce
• Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen


1. "Mason, Kenneth (1887–1976), geographer and mountaineer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
2. "List of Past Gold Medal Winners" (PDF). Royal Geographical Society. Archived from the original(PDF) on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
3. Morris, J (3 June 1976). "In memoriam: Lieut-Colonel Kenneth Mason". The Times.
4. "Obituary: Kenneth Mason". The Geographical Journal. 142 (3): 566–567. November 1976.
5. Mason, Kenneth (1928). Exploration of the Shaksgam Valley and Aghil ranges, 1926. p. 72. ISBN 9788120617940.
6. Younghusband, Francis (1896). The heart of a continent : a narrative of travels in Manchuria, across the Gobi Desert, through the Himalayas, the Pamirs, and Chitral, 1884-1894. London: John Murray. Archived from the original on 2009.
7. Corbett, GL (1929). "The Founding of the Himalayan Club". The Himalayan Journal.
8. Muir Wood, Robert (6 November 1980). "Science Goes to the Karakorum". New Scientist: 374–377.
9. Mason, Kenneth (January 1930). "The Proposed Nomenclature of the Karakoram-Himalaya". Geographical Journal: 38–44.
10. Clout, Hugh; Gosme, Cyril (April 2003). "The Naval Intelligence Handbooks: a monument in geographical writing". Progress in Human Geography. 27 (2): 153–173 [156]. doi:10.1191/0309132503ph420oa. ISSN 0309-1325.
11. Mason, Kenneth (1956). "Great figures of nineteenth‐century Himalayan exploration". Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society: 167–175.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:33 am

Worshipful Company of Drapers
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

Worshipful Company of Drapers
Motto Unto God Only be Honour and Glory
Location Drapers' Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, City of London
Date of formation 1361
Order of precedence 3rd
Master of company Tim Orchard (2019-20)

The Worshipful Company of Drapers is one of the 110 livery companies of the City of London. It has the formal name The Master and Wardens and Brethren and Sisters of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of the Mystery of Drapers of the City of London. More usually known simply as the Drapers' Company, it is one of the historic Great Twelve Livery Companies and was founded during the Middle Ages.[1]

The livery companies of the City of London, currently 110 in number, comprise London's ancient and modern trade associations and guilds, almost all of which are styled the 'Worshipful Company of...' their respective craft, trade or profession.[1][2] London's livery companies play a significant part in City life, not least by providing charitable-giving and networking opportunities. Liverymen retain voting rights for the senior civic offices, such as the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and City of London Corporation, its ancient municipal authority with extensive local government powers.[2]

The term livery originated in the specific form of dress worn by retainers of a nobleman and then by extension to special dress to denote status of belonging to a trade. Livery companies evolved from London's medieval guilds, becoming corporations under Royal Charter responsible for training in their respective trades, as well as for the regulation of aspects such as wage control, labour conditions and industry standards. Early guilds often grew out of parish fraternal organizations, where large groups of members of the same trade lived in close proximity and gathered at the same church.[3] Like most organisations during the Middle Ages, these livery companies had close ties with the Catholic Church (before the Protestant Reformation), endowing religious establishments such as chantry chapels and churches, observing religious festivals with hosting ceremonies and well-known mystery plays. Most livery companies retain their historical religious associations, although nowadays members are free to follow any faith or none. Companies often established a guild or meeting hall, and though they faced destruction in the Great London Fire of 1666 and during World War II, thirty-nine companies maintain their sometimes elaborate and historic halls.[3]

Most livery companies still maintain contacts with their original trade, craft or professional roles. Some still exercise powers of regulation, inspection and enforcement, while others are awarding bodies for professional qualifications. The Scriveners' Company admits senior members of legal and associated professions, the Apothecaries' Society awards post-graduate qualifications in some medical specialties, and the Hackney Carriage Drivers' Company comprises licensed taxi drivers who have passed the "Knowledge of London" test. Several companies restrict membership only to those holding relevant professional qualifications, eg. the City of London Solicitors' Company and the Worshipful Company of Engineers. Other companies, whose trade died out long ago, such as the Longbow Makers' Company, have evolved into being primarily charitable foundations.[2]

After the Carmen received City livery status in 1848 no new companies were established in London for 80 years until the Master Mariners in 1926 (granted livery in 1932).[2] Post-1926 creations are known as modern livery companies. The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars, the newest, was granted livery status on 11 February 2014, making it the 110th City livery company in order of precedence.[4] The Honourable Company of Air Pilots is exceptional among London's livery companies in having active overseas committees in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and North America.

-- Livery company, by Wikipedia


Drapers' Hall Garden, 1860

An informal association of drapers had organized as early as 1180, and the first (Lord) Mayor of London in 1189, Henry Fitz-Ailwin de Londonestone, was believed to have been a Draper. The organisation was formally founded in 1361; it received a Royal Charter three years later. It was incorporated as a company under a Royal Charter in 1438 and was the first corporate body to be granted a coat of arms. The charter gave the company perpetual succession and a common seal. Over the centuries the original privileges granted by Royal Charter have been confirmed and amended by successive monarchs. The acting charter of today is that granted by James I in 1607, amended by four supplemental charters, most recently in 2008.

The brotherhood of drapers, a religious fraternity attached to the church of St Mary Bethlehem in Bishopsgate, was founded in honour of the Virgin Mary by "good people Drapers of Cornhill and other good men and women" for the amendment of their lives. The majority of drapers lived in and around Cornhill, Candlewick Street (now Cannon Street) and Chepe (Cheapside). Possibly it was for this reason that their allegiance was transferred to St Mary le Bow in Cheapside and later to St Michael, Cornhill, where the company continues to worship today. Despite these changes, the drapers retain the Blessed Virgin Mary as their patron saint.

Originally, the organisation was a trade association of wool and cloth merchants. It has been one of the most powerful companies in London politics. Over one hundred Lord Mayors have been members of the company; the first, Henry Fitz-Ailwyn, is thought to have been a draper. During the Plantation of Ulster, the company held land around Moneymore and Draperstown in County Londonderry.

Amongst the royalty who have been members of the company, four had not been expected to become a monarch at the time of their birth but were later crowned:

• Prince William of Orange, later King William (III & II) of England, Scotland, France and Ireland
• Prince Carl of Denmark, later King Haakon VII of Norway
• Prince Albert, Duke of York, later George VI, King of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India
• Princess Elizabeth of York, later Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

Other well-known members have included Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Sir Francis Drake, Admiral Lord Nelson and Grinling Gibbons.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (who was elected to the Court of Assistants in 2017, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of her membership of the Company), King Harald V of Norway, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Gloucester, Admiral Lord Boyce, and Lady Victoria Leatham (who was elected the first female Master of the company in 2012) are among the many distinguished current members of the company.


Queen Elizabeth's College (almshouses)

Today, the company operates as a charitable, ceremonial and educational institution. This has included providing the site and some of the buildings of Queen Mary University of London, the library at Bangor University, and the site and the original nineteenth-century buildings of Bancroft's School. It also administers three almshouses: Queen Elizabeth College Greenwich, Edmanson's Close Tottenham and Walter's Close Southwark. It provides the chairman and four other governors of Bancroft's School, who use the Drapers' coat of arms and motto. It is the co-sponsor of Drapers' Academy, which uses a similar logo. The Company founded two girls' schools: in Llandaff and Denbigh, Wales, using the endowment of Welsh merchant Thomas Howell, who bequeathed a sum of money to the foundation. Both schools were independent and separate institutions but the Company still has a representative in the governing body of the former. The company also has close links with some eighteen other educational establishments, ranging from Oxbridge colleges to a primary school. It administers charitable trusts relating to relief of need, education and almshouses; it provides banqueting and catering services; and it fosters its heritage and traditions of good fellowship. The Court of Assistants is its governing body.[2]

The Drapers' Company continues to play a role in the life of the City. Its liverymen carry out important functions in the elections of the governance of the City and its offices.

Livery hall

Administration entrance to Drapers' Hall pictured in 2012.

The Drapers' Company is based at Drapers' Hall located in Throgmorton Street, near London Wall. The company has owned the site since 1543, when it purchased the London mansion of Thomas Cromwell, of Austin Friars, from King Henry VIII. Cromwell had been attainted and executed in 1540.

The building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and rebuilt to designs by Edward Jarman. After another fire in 1772, it was rebuilt again. This time the architect was John Gorham. Further extensive alterations were made in the 19th century. The hall survived the Blitz during the Second World War.

The hall includes four finely decorated main rooms used for the company's functions. The largest room is the Livery Hall, which can accommodate up to 276 guests for dinner.[3] These rooms are also available for hire[4] and have often been used for film locations, including for The King's Speech, GoldenEye, The Lost Prince and Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.[5][6] Groups may book a guided tour of Drapers' Hall; a donation to the company's charitable work is requested.


• St Michael's Cornhill [7]


The company's archives, works of art, silver and artefacts are in the care of the archivist. The document collection has items dating to the 13th century, including charters and coats of arms, charity records and records of the company's landholdings, including the Londonderry estates. The silver collection includes an ancient Celtic decorative collar found on the Londonderry estate and pieces of the company's own silverware from the 16th century onwards. There is also a collection of paintings, mostly of former members. Researchers may view its collections by appointment.

See also

• Coat of arms of the Drapers' Company
• Drapers' Gardens
• Sukiennice, or Drapers' Hall, Renaissance landmark of Kraków, Poland


1. W. Herbert, The History of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of London, 2 vols (Author, London 1834), I, pp. 389-495.
2. [1]
3. "The Livery Hall". Drapers' Company. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
4. London Venues, Drapers' Hall.
5. On the set of 'The King's Speech' Archived 18 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Time Out
6. "Location of the Month", March 2004, Film London
7. "Drapers' Company - Livery Companies of the City of London". Retrieved 8 October 2019.

External links

• The Drapers' Company
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:08 am

General Sir Walter Mervyn St George Kirke
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

• Major General Walter Kirke, acting Chief of the General Staff

-- The Himalayan Club, by Wikipedia

Sir Walter Kirke
Gen. Sir Walter Kirke
Born: 19 January 1877
Died: 2 September 1949 (aged 72)
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Service/branch: British Army
Years of service: 1896–1940
Rank: General
Commands held 5th Infantry Division
Western Command
Territorial Army
Home Guard
Battles/wars: First World War; Second World War
Awards: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath; Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order

General Sir Walter Mervyn St George Kirke GCB CMG DSO (19 January 1877 – 2 September 1949) was the Commander in Chief of the British Home Forces during the Second World War.

Military career

Born the second son of Colonel St. George Mervyn Kirke RE and his wife Sarah, Walter Kirke was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1896.[1] He served in Waziristan on the North West Frontier of India between 1901 and 1902.[1]

He served in the First World War as a General Staff Officer at GHQ in France and Belgium.[1] In 1918 he became Deputy Director of Military Operations at the War Office and was then moved to Aldershot in 1922.[1] In 1924 he was appointed Head of the British Military Mission to Finland and in 1925 President of Inter-Allied Commission of Investigation for Hungary.[1]

Then in 1926 he became Deputy Chief of the General Staff for India moving on to be General Officer Commanding 5th Division in 1929.[1] In 1933 he was appointed General Officer Commanding-in-Chief for Western Command and in 1936 he became Director-General of the Territorial Army.[1]

He served in the Second World War initially as Inspector-General of Home Defence and then as Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces.[2] in that role he always thought that the threat of a German invasion was exaggerated.[3] He retired in 1940.[1]

He was also an Aide-de-Camp General to the King from 1937 to 1940.[4]


1. Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
2. World War II: Great Britain at War Daily Telegraph, 4 September 1939
3. The home guard: a military and political history By S. P. Mackenzie, Page 19. Oxford University Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0-19-820577-7
4. Army List July 1940

Further reading

• Private Papers of General Sir Walter Kirke GCB CMG DSO can be found in the Imperial War Museum, Documents and Sound section, ref: Documents.20171 (82/28/1 & Con Shelf).
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:30 am

Part 1 of 2

Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax [Lord Halifax] [Lord Irwin] [Baron Irwin]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

• The Viceroy, Lord Irwin [Lord Halifax]

-- The Himalayan Club, by Wikipedia

In general, I have undoubtedly made mistakes in my lists of members, but the mistakes, such as they are, are to be found rather in my attribution of any particular person to the outer circle instead of the inner core, rather than in my connecting him to the Group at all. In general, I have attributed no one to the inner core for whom I do not have evidence, convincing to me, that he attended the secret meetings of the Group. As a result, several persons whom I place in the outer circle, such as Lord Halifax, should probably be placed in the inner core.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

The Right Honourable
The Earl of Halifax
The Earl of Halifax in 1947
20th Viceroy and Governor-General of India
In office
3 April 1926 – 18 April 1931
Monarch George V
Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwin
Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by The Earl of Reading
Succeeded by The Earl of Willingdon
Secretary of State for War
In office
7 June 1935 – 22 November 1935
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by The Viscount Hailsham
Succeeded by Duff Cooper
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
21 February 1938 – 22 December 1940
Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain
Winston Churchill
Preceded by Anthony Eden
Succeeded by Anthony Eden
British Ambassador to the United States
In office
23 December 1940 – 1 May 1946
Monarch George VI
Franklin Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
Clement Attlee
Preceded by The Marquess of Lothian
Succeeded by The Lord Inverchapel
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
22 November 1935 – 21 February 1938
George V
Edward VIII
George VI
Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwin
Neville Chamberlain
Preceded by The Marquess of Londonderry
Succeeded by The Earl Stanhope
In office
3 October 1940 – 22 December 1940
Monarch George VI
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Preceded by The Viscount Caldecote
Succeeded by The Lord Lloyd
Lord President of the Council
In office
28 May 1937 – 9 March 1938
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
Preceded by Ramsay MacDonald
Succeeded by The Viscount Hailsham
Lord Privy Seal
In office
22 November 1935 – 28 May 1937
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by The Marquess of Londonderry
Succeeded by The Earl De La Warr
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
In office
Preceded by The Viscount Grey of Fallodon
Succeeded by Harold Macmillan
Personal details
Born Edward Frederick Lindley Wood
16 April 1881
Powderham Castle, Devon, England
Died 23 December 1959 (aged 78)
Garrowby Hall, Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Lady Dorothy Onslow (m. 1909)
Anne Duncombe, Countess of Feversham
Lady Mary Wood
Charles Wood, 2nd Earl of Halifax
Major Hon Francis Wood
Richard Wood, Baron Holderness
Charles Wood, 2nd Viscount Halifax
Lady Agnes Courtenay
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, KG, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, TD, PC (16 April 1881 – 23 December 1959), styled The 1st Baron Irwin from 1925 until 1934 and The 3rd Viscount Halifax from 1934 until 1944, was a senior British Conservative politician of the 1930s. He held several senior ministerial posts during this time, most notably those of Viceroy of India from 1925 to 1931 and of Foreign Secretary between 1938 and 1940. He was one of the architects of the policy of appeasement of Adolf Hitler in 1936–38, working closely with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. However, after the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 he was one of those who pushed for a new policy of attempting to deter further German aggression by promising to go to war to defend Poland.

On Chamberlain's resignation early in May 1940, Halifax effectively declined the position of Prime Minister as he felt that Churchill would be a more suitable war leader (his membership of the House of Lords was given as the official reason). A few weeks later, with the Allies facing apparently catastrophic defeat and British forces falling back to Dunkirk, Halifax favoured approaching Italy to see if acceptable peace terms could be negotiated. He was overruled by Churchill after a series of stormy meetings of the War Cabinet. From 1941 to 1946, he served as British Ambassador in Washington.

Early life and education

Wood was born on 16 April 1881 at Powderham Castle in Devon, home of his maternal grandfather William Courtenay, 11th Earl of Devon. He was born into a Yorkshire family, the sixth child and fourth son of Charles Wood, 2nd Viscount Halifax (1839–1934), and Lady Agnes Elizabeth Courtenay (1838–1919). His father was President of the English Church Union, which pushed for ecumenical reunion, in 1868, 1919, and 1927–1934. His great-grandfather was Earl Grey, the Prime Minister who introduced the Great Reform Act of 1832.[1]

Between 1886 and 1890, Wood's three older brothers died young, leaving him, at the age of nine, heir to his father's fortune and seat in the House of Lords.[2] He was brought up in a world of religion and hunting. His religiosity as a devout Anglo-Catholic like his father earned him the nickname, possibly coined by Churchill, of the "Holy Fox". He was born with an atrophied left arm and no left hand, which did not stop him from enjoying riding, hunting and shooting.[1] He had an artificial left hand with a spring-operated thumb, with which he could hold reins or open gates.[3]

Wood's childhood was divided mainly between two houses in Yorkshire: Hickleton Hall, near Doncaster, and Garrowby.

Halifax attended St David's Prep School from September 1892 and Eton College from September 1894. He was not happy at school as he was not talented either at sport or classics. He went up to Christ Church, Oxford, in October 1899. He took no part in student politics but blossomed academically, graduating with a first class degree in Modern History.[1]

From November 1903 until 1910, he was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.[1] After a year at All Souls, he went on a Grand Tour of South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand with Ludovic Heathcoat-Amory. In 1905, he returned to England for two years of study at All Souls.[4] He visited Canada in 1907.[5] He wrote a short biography of the Victorian cleric John Keble (1909).[4]

Early political career and war service

Wood had not stood in the 1906 general election, at which the Liberals won a landslide victory, choosing to devote his energies to his All Souls Fellowship. By 1909 the political tides had turned enough for Wood to put himself forward for the Conservative candidacy at Ripon in Yorkshire, and he was easily selected through local influence.[6] Ripon had gone Liberal in 1906; Wood won it with a 1,000 vote majority in January 1910 and held it with a reduced majority in December 1910. He remained Member of Parliament for Ripon until his elevation to the Lords in 1925.[4] He was a Ditcher (i.e. opposed to the bitter end and ready to "die in the last ditch" to defend the House of Lords' right to veto legislation) in the disputes over the Parliament Act 1911 but really made little impact on politics before 1914. He was vigorously opposed to Welsh Disestablishment.[4]

Before the First World War he was already a captain in the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons, a West Riding yeomanry regiment. He made a rare intervention in debate, urging that conscription be introduced immediately. He was sent to the front line in 1916. In January 1917 he was Mentioned in dispatches ("Heaven Knows What For" he wrote). He rose to the rank of major. He was then Deputy Director of Labour Supply at the Ministry of National Service from November 1917 to the end of 1918. He was initially sympathetic to Lord Lansdowne's proposal for a compromise peace, but ultimately demanded all-out victory and a punitive peace.[4]

Wood was unopposed in the general elections of 1918, 1922, 1923 and 1924. He was a signatory to the April 1919 Lowther Petition calling for harsh peace terms against Germany in the Treaty of Versailles then being negotiated. In the 1918–1922 Parliament, Wood was an ally of Samuel Hoare, Philip Lloyd-Greame and Walter Elliot, all ambitious younger MPs in favour of progressive reform.[4]

In 1918, he and George Ambrose Lloyd (later Lord Lloyd) wrote "The Great Opportunity", a tract aiming to set an agenda for a revived Conservative and Unionist Party following the end of the Lloyd George coalition. They urged the Conservative Party to concentrate on the welfare of the community rather than the good of the individual. With the Irish War of Independence then in progress Wood urged a federal solution. At this time he concentrated on housing and agriculture and Ireland.[7]

Early ministerial career

In May 1920, he accepted the Governor-Generalship of South Africa, but the offer was withdrawn after the South African government announced that it wanted a Cabinet minister or a member of the Royal Family.[7]

In April 1921, he was appointed Under-Secretary for the Colonies, under Churchill who was initially reluctant to meet him (on one occasion he stormed into Churchill's office and told him that he "expected to be treated like a gentleman"). In the winter of 1921–1922, Wood visited the British West Indies and wrote a report for Churchill.[7]

On 16 October 1922, Wood attended the meeting of the junior ministers who expressed disquiet at the Lloyd George Coalition. On 19 October 1922, he voted at the Carlton Club meeting for the Conservatives to fight the next election as an independent force. The Coalition ended and Bonar Law formed a purely Conservative government. Wood was promoted to the Cabinet on 24 October 1922 as President of the Board of Education. Some saw this as an improvement in the moral character of the government. Austerity policies left no room for constructive policies. Wood, who spent two days hunting each week, was neither interested nor particularly effective in the job but saw it as a stepping stone to greater things. He was not happy about Stanley Baldwin's adoption of tariffs in December 1923, which saw the Conservatives lose their majority and give way to a minority Labour government.[7]

When the Conservatives were returned to power, on 6 November 1924, Wood was appointed Minister for Agriculture, a more onerous job than Education had been. He took an Agriculture and Tithes Bill through the Commons.[7]

Viceroy of India


In October 1925, Lord Birkenhead, Secretary of State for India, offered Wood the job of Viceroy of India at the suggestion of King George V. His paternal grandfather Sir Charles Wood had been Secretary of State for India in 1859–1865. He almost declined, as he had two sons of school age and his aged father seemed unlikely to live until 1931 when his term was due to end. He accepted on the advice of his father (who in the event lived to see him return). He was created Baron Irwin, of Kirby Underdale in the County of York. He left for India on 17 March 1926,[7] and arrived in Bombay on 1 April 1926.

Irwin was honoured with the GCSI and GCIE in 1926.[8]

Irwin relished the pomp of the Viceroyalty. He was an able horseman, and stood 6' 5". He had a "Cecilian stoop and sympathetic kindly eyes" and gave an impression of a Prince of the Church (R. Bernays Naked Fakir 1931). Several attempts were made to assassinate him. He was more sympathetic to Indians than his predecessors had been, although he had no compunctions about signing death warrants when he thought them justified. He wanted Indians to be more united and friendly to the UK; his first major speech as Viceroy, and several more throughout his term of office, urged an end to communal violence between Hindus and Muslims.[7]

Simon Commission

The 1919 Government of India Act had incorporated the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms ("Diarchy" - shared rule between British and Indians at the local level) and had promised that after ten years there would be a commission to inquire about a new constitution and to advise on whether further reforms were needed. Irwin accepted that greater self-government was necessary, as Indian national aspirations had grown since 1919. Birkenhead brought forward the date of the commission, and put it under Sir John Simon. Irwin recommended an all-British inquiry, as he thought that the Indian factions would not agree among themselves but would fall into line behind the results of the inquiry.[7] David Dutton believes that this was "the most fateful mistake of his viceroyalty, and one he came bitterly to regret".[8]

In November 1927, the composition of the Simon Commission was announced. All the leading Indian parties, including the Indian National Congress, boycotted it. Irwin assured Birkenhead that Simon could win over moderate Indian opinion. Simon arrived in Bombay on 3 February 1928. He achieved some limited successes, but Irwin became convinced that a new gesture would be necessary.[8]

Indian responses to Simon's arrival included the All-Parties Conference, a committee of which produced the Nehru Report (May 1928), advocating dominion status for India. However, there was also violence, including the death of Lala Lajpat Rai in November 1928 and the revenge attack of Bhagat Singh in December 1928. Other responses included the Muslim League leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah's 14 points (March 1929).

The Irwin Declaration

In June 1929, a new Labour government took office in the UK, with Ramsay MacDonald Prime Minister for the second time and William Wedgwood Benn as Secretary of State for India. On 13 July 1929, Irwin arrived in the UK on leave, bringing with him a "suggested" draft exchange of letters between MacDonald and Simon. His plan was for Simon to write proposing a Round Table Conference to discuss the findings of the Commission, and that MacDonald would then reply pointing out that the 1917 Montagu Declaration implied a commitment to dominion status (i.e. that India should become completely self-governing, like Canada or Australia). Simon saw the drafts and had serious misgivings about the planned Round Table Conference. The exchange of letters did not mention Dominion Status as the other Commissioners did not favour it, although Simon did not report the depth of their feeling, which he came to share, that such a declaration would undermine the findings of the Commission and that Dominion Status would now become a minimum demand for the Indian leaders rather than an ultimate goal. The author David Dutton finds it "curious" that Irwin, who had believed that Simon would not object to Dominion Status, did not understand this.[8]

The Irwin Declaration of October 1929 committed Britain to eventual Dominion Status for India. Despite such a policy having been implicit for a decade, the Declaration was denounced by many on the Tory Right. Lord Reading (Irwin's predecessor as Viceroy) denounced it, and Simon made his displeasure known. There was brief hope of a breakthrough in Anglo-Indian relations, but the New Delhi Conference of December 1929 between Irwin and the Indian leaders failed to reach agreement. Gandhi now began a campaign of civil disobedience with a view to achieving complete independence. He walked for 24 days to the sea, where he proceeded to make salt, in breach of the government's historic monopoly. Irwin had all the Congress leaders put behind bars, including Gandhi eventually.[8]

Some criticism of Irwin may have been unfair, but he had made an error and the consequences were serious and unrest grew. Irwin's position was seen as excessively lenient by London but as half-hearted in India. With little room for manoeuvre, Irwin resorted to repression using his emergency powers to ban public gatherings and crush rebellious opposition. Gandhi's detention, however, only made matters worse.

Agreement with Mahatma Gandhi

In November 1930, King George V opened the First Round Table Conference in London; no Congress delegates took part because Gandhi was in gaol.[8]

In January 1931, Gandhi was released and at Irwin's invitation they had eight meetings together. Irwin wrote to his aged father that "it was rather like talking to someone who had stepped off another planet onto this for a short visit of a fortnight and whose mental outlook was quite other to that which was regulating most of the affairs on the planet to which he had descended". But they had mutual respect based on their respective religious faiths.[8]

The First Round Table Conference was inaugurated by King George-V on Nov.12, 1930 in London, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Delegate, seen in the left row (9th)

The fortnight-long discussions resulted in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact of 5 March 1931, after which the Civil Disobedience Movement and the boycott of British goods were suspended in exchange for a Second Round Table Conference that represented all interests.[8]

The salient points were:

• The Congress would discontinue the Civil Disobedience Movement.
• The Congress would participate in the Round Table Conference.
• The Government would withdraw all ordinances issued to curb the Congress.
• The Government would withdraw all prosecutions relating to offences not involving violence.
• The Government would release all persons serving sentences of imprisonment for their activities in the civil disobedience movement.

It was also agreed that Gandhi would join the Second Round Table Conference as the sole representative of the Congress.

On 20 March 1931, Irwin paid tribute to Gandhi's honesty, sincerity and patriotism at a dinner given by ruling princes.


A month following the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, Lord Irwin's term ended and he left India. On Irwin's return to England in April 1931, the situation was calm, but within a year the conference collapsed and Gandhi was again arrested.

Despite the mixed outcomes, Irwin was overall a successful Viceroy; he had charted a clear and balanced course and had not lost the confidence of his home government. He had demonstrated toughness and independence. His successful term as Viceroy ensured that he returned to British politics with significant prestige.

British politics 1931–1935

Irwin returned to the UK on 3 May 1931. He was honoured with the KG (he became chancellor of the order in 1943). In 1931 he declined the Foreign Office in the new National Government, not least because the Tory Right would not have liked it. Officially, he declared that he wanted to spend time at home. He went to Canada, at the invitation of Vincent Massey, to speak at the University of Toronto.[8]

He was still a firm protégé of Stanley Baldwin. In June 1932, on the sudden death of Sir Donald Maclean, he returned to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Education, for the second time, having been apparently genuinely reluctant to accept. His views were somewhat old-fashioned: he declared: "We want a school to train them up to be servants and butlers".[8]

Irwin became Master of the Middleton Hunt in 1932 and was elected as Chancellor of Oxford University in 1933. In 1934 he inherited the title Viscount Halifax on the death of his 94-year-old father.[9]

He helped Hoare draft what became the Government of India Act 1935, the largest single piece of legislation of the 1931–1935 government.[9]

In June 1935, Baldwin became Prime Minister for the third time, and Halifax was appointed Secretary of State for War. He was pleased to give up the Education job. He felt the country was unprepared for war, but he resisted the Chiefs of Staffs' demands for rearmament.[9]

In November 1935, after the general election, Halifax became Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords.[9]

Foreign policy

Colleague of Eden

By this time, Halifax was becoming increasingly influential in foreign affairs.[9] Cabinet met on the morning of 18 December 1935 to discuss the public outcry over the Hoare–Laval Pact. Halifax, who was due to make a statement in the Lords that afternoon, insisted that the Foreign Secretary Samuel Hoare must resign to save the government's position, causing J. H. Thomas, William Ormsby-Gore and Walter Elliott also to come out for his resignation. Anthony Eden was appointed Foreign Secretary in Hoare's place.[10] The following year, Halifax said the provisions of the Pact "were not so frightfully different from those put forward by the Committee of Five [of the League]. But the latter were of respectable parentage: and the Paris ones were too much like the off-the-stage arrangements of nineteenth-century diplomacy".[11]

Effectively, although not formally, Halifax was deputy Foreign Secretary to Eden. In general they got on well.[9] Halifax and Eden were in agreement about the direction of foreign policy (and in line with prevailing opinion throughout Britain) that Germany's remilitarization of the Rhineland, its "own backyard", would be difficult to oppose and should be welcomed insofar as it continued Germany's seeming progress towards normality after the tribulations of the post-First World War settlement.[citation needed]

In 1936, Neville Chamberlain recorded that Halifax was always saying he wanted to retire from public life.[12] In May 1937, when Neville Chamberlain succeeded Baldwin as Prime Minister, Halifax became Lord President of the Council, as well as remaining Leader of the House of Lords.[9] Chamberlain began increasingly to intervene directly in foreign policy, activity for which his background had not prepared him, and which caused increasing tension with Eden.[citation needed]

Lord Halifax with Hermann Göring at Schorfheide, Germany, 20 November 1937.

In his capacity as Master of the Middleton Hunt, Halifax accepted an invitation from Hermann Göring to go to a hunting exhibition in Berlin and hunt foxes in Pomerania in November 1937. Halifax later put it on the record that, far from this being an attempt by Chamberlain to bypass the Foreign Office, Eden had pressed him to accept. Halifax was not keen about the way the meeting was arranged.[9] Göring was a passionate hunter and gave Halifax the nickname Halalifax, after Halali!, a German hunting call, but Halifax was publicly and correctly regarded as acting on behalf of the British government to renew dialogue with the German government.[13]

On being taken to meet Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, Halifax almost created an incident by nearly handing his coat to him, believing him to be a footman:

"As I looked out of the car window, on eye level, I saw in the middle of this swept path a pair of black trousered legs, finishing up in silk socks and pumps. I assumed this was a footman who had come down to help me out of the car and up the steps and was proceeding in leisurely fashion to get myself out of the car when I heard von Neurath or somebody throwing a hoarse whisper at my ear of Der Führer, der Führer; and it then dawned upon me that the legs were not the legs of a footman, but of Hitler."[14]

A long and barbed meeting with the Führer then ensued.[14] In discussions with Hitler, Halifax spoke of "possible alterations in the European order which might be destined to come about with the passage of time". Ignoring Eden's reservations, he did not object in principle to Hitler's designs on Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia and Poland, although he stressed that only peaceful processes of change would be acceptable.[9] Writing to Baldwin on the subject of the conversation between Karl Burckhardt (the League of Nations' Commissioner of Danzig) and Hitler, Halifax said:

"Nationalism and Racialism is a powerful force but I can't feel that it's either unnatural or immoral! I cannot myself doubt that these fellows are genuine haters of Communism, etc.! And I daresay if we were in their position we might feel the same!"[15]

Halifax and Winston Churchill in 1938. Note Halifax's artificial left hand, concealed under a black glove.

In December 1937, Halifax told the Cabinet that "we ought to get on good terms with Germany", as despite the best efforts of Eden and Chamberlain, Britain was still faced with the prospect of war with Germany, Italy and Japan.[9]

By February 1938, Halifax warned Chamberlain of strains in the Cabinet, and tried to broker a deal between Chamberlain and Eden. Eden resigned as Foreign Secretary on 20 February, in protest at Chamberlain's wish to make further concessions to Benito Mussolini, whom Eden regarded as an untrustworthy gangster, without gestures of good faith on his part. Halifax was appointed Foreign Secretary on 21 February 1938, despite some criticism from Labour and elsewhere that so important a job was being given to a peer.[9]

Halifax commented "I have had enough obloquy for one lifetime" (i.e., as Viceroy of India) before accepting appointment as Foreign Secretary.[16] Chamberlain preferred him to the excitable Eden: "I thank God for a steady unruffled Foreign Secretary."[9]

Foreign Secretary


Halifax's political line as Foreign Secretary must be seen in the context of existing British foreign policy, which was predicated on a broad consensus that in none of the democracies was there popular support for war, military pressure, or even rearmament. There was debate about the extent to which the dictatorships' very separate interests could be teased apart. It was clear that an alignment of Germany and Italy would divide Britain's forces in any general war and that, without at least a neutral Italy, Britain would be unable to move large naval forces east to confront Japan, given America's refusal to help. For many, especially in the Foreign Office, appeasement was a necessary compromise to buy time for rearmament, a process to which Britain was already heavily committed.[17] Others, especially Churchill, hoped that a strong military alliance with France would permit a more robust foreign policy towards the dictators. Many shared Churchill's confidence in the large French Army, although fewer shared his belief that France would be a resilient ally.

Chamberlain embraced the policy of appeasement as a moral force for good, as did many others who were deeply opposed to war and defence spending. By comparison, Halifax's policy appears more pragmatic, like that of Samuel Hoare, coupled to a firm commitment to rearmament, albeit unenthusiastically. All parties recognised the hostility of public opinion to war or military preparations, and the difficulty of acting without a readiness on the part of America or the Soviet Union to play their part (the Labour Party opposed rearmament until well after the Munich Agreement). Nonetheless, Halifax was criticised as an appeaser, along with Chamberlain, Hoare, and twelve others, in the anonymous 1940 book Guilty Men.


Adolf Hitler greets British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on the steps of the Berghof, 15 September 1938 during the crisis over Czechoslovakia. Joachim von Ribbentrop stands on the right.

Hitler's annexation of Austria in March 1938 made Halifax keener on rearmament. Czechoslovakia was clearly next on the agenda, but neither Britain nor France believed they had the military capacity to support her, and in the summer of 1938, Halifax still wanted to urge the Czechs in private to make concessions to Germany, which was making demand about the status of the Sudeten Germans.[18]

Halifax remained in London and did not accompany Chamberlain on his dramatic flights to Germany in the autumn of 1938. This was once seen as a sign of Chamberlain's dominance of his Cabinet.[18]

It appears that a frank conversation with his pugnacious Permanent Secretary, Sir Alexander Cadogan, brought Halifax to the sharp realisation that the road to appeasement had taken Britain into a series of concessions that were unwise and that were unlikely to secure the necessary pacification of Germany.

On 25 September 1938, Halifax spoke out in Cabinet against the inflated demands presented by Hitler in the Godesberg Memorandum after his second summit meeting with Chamberlain.[19] It is now known that Halifax, under Cadogan's influence, persuaded the Cabinet to reject the Bad Godesberg terms. Britain and Germany came close to war until Chamberlain flew to Munich. Chamberlain could hardly afford to lose a second Foreign Secretary, and his dominance of his Cabinet was never so overwhelming again.[18]

The eventual Munich Agreement, signed after Chamberlain's third summit meeting with Hitler, was apparently popular around the world and humiliating to many in the British government, but it was short of Hitler's desires (and of Chamberlain's proposed concessions) and increased Hitler's determination to return to destroy Czechoslovakia in the spring.

On 3 October 1938, Halifax defended the Munich Agreement in the House of Lords, in much more measured terms than the Prime Minister had done, not as a triumph but as the lesser of two evils.[18]

The Munich crisis had seen Halifax begin to take a stronger line than Chamberlain against further concessions to Germany. Andrew Roberts argues that from this point on, Halifax set his face firmly towards a policy of deterrence. He hoped that increased rearmament—including strengthening of alliances with and economic support to the countries of Eastern Europe, and the reintroduction of conscription—coupled with a firmer line towards Germany, Italy, and Japan would reduce the risks of those three hostile powers acting in combination. (It is of note that, when war did begin, neither Japan nor Italy was prepared to join in until the pendulum had swung much further in Germany's favour.)
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Part 2 of 2

After Munich

After Munich, Halifax (successfully) advised Chamberlain against capitalising on his popularity by calling a snap general election; instead he urged (in vain) that Chamberlain widen the National Coalition by offering jobs not just to Churchill and Eden but also to Labour and Liberal figures.[18] Halifax was also disgusted by the anti-Jewish pogrom of Kristallnacht (10 November). He advocated British financial aid to the countries of central and eastern Europe to discourage them from coming under Germany's influence.[18]

With Hitler's lack of commitment regarding the Munich Agreement becoming clearer, Halifax worked steadily to assemble a stronger British position, pushing Chamberlain to take economic steps to underpin British interests in Eastern Europe and prevent additional military supplies from reaching Germany, such as tungsten.

Neville Chamberlain, Benito Mussolini, Halifax, and Count Ciano at the Opera of Rome, January 1939

In January 1939, Halifax accompanied Chamberlain to Rome for talks with Mussolini. That month Halifax pushed for staff talks with France, in view of the danger of war with both Germany and Italy simultaneously. After Hitler broke the Munich agreement and occupied the rump of "Czecho-slovakia" (the hyphen had been added after Munich), Chamberlain gave a speech in Birmingham on 17 March 1939, pledging that Britain would go to war to defend Poland. Halifax had been one of the drivers in this change of policy.[18] By March 1939, Eden, then out of office, observed that thanks to Halifax the government are "now doing what we would wish".[12]

Halifax granted a guarantee to Poland on 31 March 1939, triggered by alarming intelligence of German preparations, in hopes of sending clear signals to Germany that, in Halifax's words, there would be "no more Munichs".

The Foreign Office received intelligence in early April 1939 that Italy was about to invade Albania. At a Cabinet meeting on 5 April 1939, Halifax rejected these reports. Two days later, Italy invaded Albania; Halifax met Sir Alexander Cadogan and "decided we can't do anything to stop it".[20]

Although he disliked the Soviet regime, not least because of its atheism, Halifax was quicker than Chamberlain to realise that Britain should attempt to ally with the USSR. The negotiations (in summer 1939) failed, and the USSR allied with Germany instead on 23 August. It has been suggested that Halifax should have led the negotiations himself.[18] With Poland now looking likely to be carved up between Germany and the USSR (as indeed soon took place), the diarist "Chips" Channon, PPS to Halifax's junior minister Rab Butler, recorded (25 August 1939) that "the barometer of war kept shifting" and that "the Polish guarantee was [Halifax]'s pet scheme and favourite god-child" (Butler opposed the guarantee).[18]

When Germany invaded Poland, Halifax refused any negotiations while German troops remained on Polish soil. However, he stood solid with Chamberlain, who delayed in giving a commitment to go to war until the French also committed. The two of them were the objects of the Cabinet revolt which insisted that Britain honour the guarantee to Poland. Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939.[18]

Phoney War

After the outbreak of war, Halifax's diplomacy aimed to dissuade the Soviets from formally joining the Axis. He opposed the bombing of Germany, lest the Germans retaliate.[18]

Swedish intermediary Birger Dahlerus had approached Britain for peace talks in August 1939, just before the outbreak of war. Again, on 1 November 1939, Halifax replied to an approach through Swedish channels that no peace was possible with Hitler in power. Even that aroused the wrath of Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, who sent a private note to Halifax rebuking him that such talk was dangerous.[21] Halifax remained opposed to any hint of a compromise peace during the Phoney War.[22]

In January 1940, Halifax met an emissary of Ulrich von Hassell, a leading member of the German resistance, who stated that "he personally would be against the Allies taking advantage of a revolution in Germany to attack the Siegfried Line."[citation needed]

Churchill as Prime Minister

On 8 May 1940, Chamberlain's government survived a motion of no confidence brought about by the deteriorating military situation in Norway. The government had a nominal majority of 213 in the House: at the end of the "Norway Debate", they won the vote with a majority of only 81; 33 Conservatives and 8 of their allies voted with the opposition parties, and 60 abstained. Churchill had only grudgingly been appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Nevertheless, he mounted a strong and passionate defence of Chamberlain and his government in the debate preceding the vote.[23]

Under ordinary circumstances, such a weak vote would not have been politically disastrous, but it was decisive at a time when the Prime Minister was being strongly criticised by both sides of the House and there was a strong desire for national unity.[24] Talking to Churchill after the vote, Chamberlain admitted his dismay and said that he would try for a coalition government with the Labour and Liberal Parties, but Churchill opposed that.

At 10.15 am the next morning (9 May), Chamberlain met with Halifax and Churchill in the Cabinet Room. Churchill's own account of these events, published eight years later in The Gathering Storm, the first volume of his The Second World War, does not tally exactly with contemporary accounts such as Halifax's own diary and Alexander Cadogan's record of his conversations with Halifax, or accounts given by Chamberlain or by the Chief Whip David Margesson (whose presence at the meeting Churchill does not mention). Churchill described a battle of wills in which Chamberlain opened the meeting by arguing that Churchill could not command the support of the Labour Party after he had had to defend the government at the Norway Debate, only to be met with a lengthy silence before Halifax, with some hesitation, expressed his own unfitness for the job. Other eyewitness accounts describe Halifax demurring much more rapidly, and Churchill actively agreeing with him. Churchill also misdates the events of 9 May to the following day, and although his writing assistant William Deakin accepted responsibility for this error he later confirmed, in an interview in 1989, that Churchill's account was embellished after numerous retellings and was not meant to be taken seriously.[25]

The description of Chamberlain attempting to persuade Churchill to agree tacitly to Halifax's appointment as Prime Minister is also hard to reconcile with Halifax's having expressed his reluctance to do so to Chamberlain at a meeting between the two men on the morning of the 9th.[26][27]

At 4.30 pm that afternoon Chamberlain held another meeting, attended by Halifax, Churchill, and the leader and the deputy leader of the opposition Labour Party (Clement Attlee and Arthur Greenwood respectively). He asked the Labour leaders if they would agree to serve in a coalition government. They replied that it might be possible but only with a different Prime Minister and that before they could give an official answer, they would need the approval of Labour's National Executive Committee, then in Bournemouth preparing for the annual conference which was to start on the Monday. They were asked to telephone with the result of the consultation by the following afternoon.[28][29]

In his diary entry for 9 May, written up the following morning, Halifax later wrote:

I had no doubt at all in my own mind that for me to succeed him would create a quite impossible situation. Apart altogether from Churchill's qualities as compared with my own at this particular juncture, what would in fact be my position? Churchill would be running Defence, and in this connexion one could not but remember the relationship between Asquith and Lloyd George had broken down in the first war... I should speedily become a more or less honorary Prime Minister, living in a kind of twilight just outside the things that really mattered.[30]

The Labour leaders telephoned at 5 pm on the 10th to report that the party would take part in a coalition government, although it had to be under the leadership of someone other than Chamberlain. Accordingly, Chamberlain went to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation, recommending that the King ask Churchill to form a government.[28] On doing so, one of Churchill's first actions was to form a new, smaller War Cabinet by replacing six of the Conservative politicians with Greenwood and Attlee, retaining only Halifax and Chamberlain.

Churchill's political position was weak, although he was popular with the Labour and Liberal Parties for his stance against appeasement in the 1930s. He was unpopular in the Conservative Party, however, and he might not have been the choice of the King. Halifax had the support of most of the Conservative Party and of the King and was acceptable to the Labour Party. His position as a peer was a merely technical barrier given the scale of the crisis, and Churchill reportedly was willing to serve under Halifax. As Lord Beaverbrook said, "Chamberlain wanted Halifax. Labour wanted Halifax. Sinclair wanted Halifax. The Lords wanted Halifax. The King wanted Halifax. And Halifax wanted Halifax." Only the last sentence was incorrect, however; Halifax did not want to become Prime Minister. He believed that Churchill's energy and leadership skills were superior to his own.[31]

Unlike Simon, Hoare and Chamberlain, Halifax was not the object of Labour hatred in May 1940. Dutton argues that he "drew back" because of "inner self-doubt". "Political ambition had never been the most compelling motivation". He had a stomach ache, possibly psychosomatic, at the thought of becoming Prime Minister, and also probably thought that he could wield more influence as Churchill's deputy.[18] Like Chamberlain, he served in Churchill's cabinet but was frequently exasperated by Churchill's style of doing business. Like many others, Halifax had serious doubts about Churchill's judgement.[22]

May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis

Main article: May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis

Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and France on 10 May 1940, the day that Churchill became Prime Minister. On 22–23 May, the German army reached the English Channel, isolating the British Expeditionary Force. Churchill soon had a confrontation with Halifax who believed that the United Kingdom should try to negotiate a peace settlement with Hitler, in view of the successful German invasion of France and the encirclement of British forces at Dunkirk, using Mussolini as an intermediary. He believed it better to try to get terms "safeguarding the independence of our Empire, and if possible that of France", in the belief that peace talks would make it easier to get the BEF home. He did not believe that there was any realistic chance of defeating Germany.[22] Churchill disagreed, believing that "nations which went down fighting rose again, but those which surrendered tamely were finished" and that Hitler was unlikely to honour any agreement. Moreover, he believed that this was the view of the British people.

On 24 May, Hitler issued the order for his armies to halt before they reached Dunkirk. Two days later, the British and French navies began an evacuation of the Allied forces, assisted by the Royal Air Force. Between 25 and 28 May, Churchill and Halifax each fought to bring the British War Cabinet around to their own respective points of view; by 28 May, it seemed as if Halifax had the upper hand and that Churchill might be forced from office. Halifax came close to resignation, which might have brought down Churchill's government.[22]

However, Churchill outmanoeuvred Halifax by calling a meeting of his 25-member Outer Cabinet, to whom he delivered a passionate speech, saying, "If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground",[32] convincing all who were present that Britain must fight on against Hitler whatever the cost. Churchill also obtained the backing of Neville Chamberlain, who was still Conservative Party leader.[22]

Churchill told the War Cabinet that there would be no negotiated peace. Halifax had lost. A few weeks later, in July 1940, Halifax rejected German peace offers presented through the Papal Nuncio in Berne and the Portuguese and Finnish prime ministers.

Halifax wrote in his memoirs of an occasion during a short holiday in Yorkshire:

One such interlude early in June 1940 is for ever graven into my memory. It was just after the fall of France, an event which at the time it happened seemed something unbelievable as to be almost surely unreal, and if not unreal then quite immeasurably catastrophic. Dorothy and I had spent a lovely summer evening walking over the Wolds, and on our way home sat in the sun for half an hour at a point looking across the plain of York. All the landscape of the nearer foreground was familiar—its sights, its sounds, its smells; hardly a field that did not call up some half-forgotten bit of association; the red-roofed village and nearby hamlets, gathered as it were for company round the old greystone church, where men and women like ourselves, now long dead and gone, had once knelt in worship and prayer. Here in Yorkshire was a true fragment of the undying England, like the White Cliffs of Dover, or any other part of our land that Englishmen have loved. Then the question came, is it possible that the Prussian jackboot will force its way into this countryside to tread and trample over it at will? The very thought seemed an insult and an outrage; much as if anyone were to be condemned to watch his mother, wife or daughter being raped.[33]

Ambassador to the United States

When Chamberlain retired from the Cabinet due to ill health, Churchill tried to ease Halifax out of the Foreign Office by offering him a job as de facto Deputy Prime Minister, living at 11 Downing Street. Halifax refused, although he agreed to become Leader of the Lords once again.[22]

In December 1940, the Marquess of Lothian, British Ambassador to the United States, died suddenly. Halifax was told to take the job by Churchill, with the proviso that he could still attend meetings of the War Cabinet when he was home on leave in London.[22] Churchill's secretary John Colville recorded on 20 December that Churchill thought the Washington job was a great opportunity for Halifax to help bring the United States into the war. Colville recorded Churchill's view that Halifax "would never live down the reputation for appeasement which he and the F.O. had won themselves here. He had no future in this country." Colville thought Churchill had been influenced by the monthly censorship reports, which showed that Halifax had inherited some of Chamberlain's unpopularity.[34] Halifax was the last man linked with appeasement to leave the Cabinet, as Chamberlain had by then died, and both Hoare and Simon had already moved to other jobs. Halifax and his wife desperately tried to persuade Eden to take the Washington job instead, but to no avail. Eden was restored to the Foreign Office in Halifax's place, and Halifax set sail for the still neutral United States in January 1941.[22]

Halifax and Soviet ambassador Maxim Litvinov at a garden party in Washington, D.C. in 1942

President Franklin D. Roosevelt welcomed him in person when he arrived. Casting aside diplomatic protocols, Roosevelt took the presidential yacht the Potomac to greet Halifax as his ship made harbour in the Chesapeake Bay. Initially Halifax damaged himself by a series of public relations disasters. Two weeks after his arrival in the United States, Halifax went to Capitol Hill, meeting with House and Senate leaders. Upon leaving, Halifax told reporters that he had inquired about the timetable for passage of the Lend-Lease Act.[15] Isolationists seized upon the meetings to decry British meddling in American political affairs. He likened Washington politics to "a disorderly day's rabbit shooting".[22]

Halifax was initially a cautious and elusive public figure, not an effective public diplomat like his predecessor. His relations with Roosevelt were satisfactory, but Halifax kept a low profile. Churchill's close engagement with the United States and his investment in personal communication with the President meant a more constrained role for the British Ambassador. Communications technology meant that Churchill could communicate directly with Roosevelt and was a regular visitor to Washington.

Halifax's cousin Angus McDonnell helped him find his feet, and he soon led a very effective propaganda effort. Even an incident that autumn where he was pelted with rotten eggs and tomatoes by isolationists helped his reputation in the long run. He maintained good relations with Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins, and toured the country, meeting many more ordinary Americans than his predecessor had done. He became especially popular after Pearl Harbor.[22]

Lord Halifax in the middle (behind a seated Franklin D. Roosevelt) as a member of the Pacific War Council.

Relations also increasingly turned on military issues channelled through the Joint Chiefs of Staff secretariat in Washington. Halifax wearied of Washington, especially after the death in action of his middle son Peter in November 1942, and the serious wounding of his younger son Richard in January 1943. In March 1943 he vainly asked Anthony Eden to be relieved of his post, but had to stay.[22]

In May 1944 he was created Earl of Halifax, the fourth creation of the title.[22]

Halifax took part in a plethora of international conferences over the UN and the Soviet Union.

With Labour in power under Clement Attlee from July 1945, Halifax agreed to Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin's request to stay on until May 1946. In February 1946, he was present at Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech at Fulton, Missouri, of which he did not entirely approve. He believed that Churchill's view of the Soviet threat was exaggerated and urged him to be more conciliatory. He also helped John Maynard Keynes negotiate the Anglo-American loan, which was finalised in July 1946.[12]

The final year of his Ambassadorship also witnessed the transition to President Harry S. Truman. Those years contained fraught moments and challenges for the relationship, as American power eclipsed that of Britain, and Britain's interests and rights were ignored on occasion, in particular, the cessation of nuclear co-operation after construction of the atom bomb. However, the partnership in World War II was immensely successful and as close as any other such partnership. It was a demanding post by any standards, but Halifax could reasonably claim to have played his part, and he enjoyed a notably longer term than his less successful successor Archibald Clark Kerr, 1st Baron Inverchapel.[original research?]

Later life

Back in the United Kingdom, Halifax refused to rejoin the Conservative front bench, arguing that it would be inappropriate as he had been working for the Labour Government then still in office. The Labour Government were proposing that India become fully independent by May 1948 (later brought forward to August 1947) with no plans in place to protect minorities. Viscount Templewood (as Samuel Hoare was now known) opposed the plan, but Halifax spoke in the government's favour, arguing that it was not appropriate to oppose the plan if no alternative was suggested. He persuaded many wavering peers to support the government.[12]

In retirement he returned to largely honorary pursuits. He was Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. He was an active governor of Eton and Chancellor of Oxford University. He was an honorary Fellow of All Souls from 1934. He was Chancellor of the University of Sheffield and High Steward of Westminster. He was Master of the Middleton Hunt. He was President of the Pilgrims Society, a society dedicated to better Anglo-American relations. From 1947 he was chairman of the General Advisory Council of the BBC. From 1957 he was Grand Master of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.[12]

By the mid-1950s his health was failing.[12] One of his last major speeches in the House of Lords was in November 1956, when he criticised the government's Suez policy and the damage it was doing to Anglo-American relations.[12] He did little to challenge the critical view of appeasement which was then fashionable. His 1957 autobiography Fulness of Days was described in the Dictionary of National Biography as "gently evasive".[35] David Dutton describes it as "an extremely reticent book which added little to the historical record".[12] He gave the impression that he had been Chamberlain's faithful subordinate, omitting to mention his role in changing policy in spring 1939.[9]

He died of a heart attack at his estate at Garrowby on 23 December 1959, aged 78. His widow survived him until 1976.[12]

Halifax had sold Temple Newsam to the City of Leeds for less than market value in 1925, and in 1948 he donated 164 of his paintings to a museum being opened there by Leeds City Council.[36] His will was valued for probate at £338,800 10s 8d (not including settled land - land tied up in family trusts so that no individual has full control over it), equivalent to around £7m at 2016 prices.[37][38] Despite his great wealth, Halifax was notoriously mean with money. Rab Butler recounted a tale of how he had once been having a meeting with Halifax, his boss at the time. An official brought in two cups of tea and four biscuits for them; Halifax passed two of the biscuits back, instructing the official not to charge him for them.[37][39]


Halifax could not pronounce his "r"s. He had professional charm and the natural authority of an aristocrat, the latter aided by his immense height. He stood 1.96 metres (6 ft 5 in).[12]

Harold Begbie described Halifax as "the highest kind of Englishman now in politics" whose "life and doctrine were in complete harmony with a very lofty moral principle, but who has no harsh judgement for men who err and go astray."[40]

Harold Macmillan said that Halifax possessed a "sweet and Christian nature."[41]

Rab Butler called him "this strange and imposing figure—half unworldly saint, half cunning politician."[42]

In 1968, the official records were released of Halifax's years as Foreign Secretary (the "fifty-year rule" was replaced by the "thirty-year rule"). Conservative historian Maurice Cowling argued that Halifax's stance of increasing resistance to Hitler, especially the Polish guarantee in the spring of 1939, was motivated not so much by considerations of strategy but by a need to keep ahead of a sea-change in British domestic opinion. He wrote in 1975: "To history, until yesterday, Halifax was the arch-appeaser. This, it is now recognised, was a mistake. His role, however, was complicated. In these pages he is not the man who stopped the rot, but the embodiment of Conservative wisdom who decided that Hitler must be obstructed because Labour could not otherwise be resisted."[43]

David Dutton argues that Halifax, like Chamberlain, was slow to appreciate the sheer evil of Hitler and was overly confident that negotiation could yield results. His period as Foreign Secretary was "the pivot of his career and it remains the period upon which his historical reputation ultimately depends"; just as Eden saved his reputation by resigning in time, so Halifax damaged his by being Foreign Secretary in 1938–40. "He deserves some credit for abandoning, or at least for decisively modifying, the policy of appeasement". His refusal to seize the premiership in May 1940 was "the most significant act of his long career". He argues that later that month, far from being a potential Quisling, Halifax based his policies on rational considerations, and that "on rational grounds, there had been much to be said for the Foreign Secretary's line that Britain should at least have investigated what peace terms were on offer." However, his "most important role in public life" was, in Dutton's view, as Ambassador to the United States, where he helped to smooth a relationship which was "often more fraught than early interpretations … tended to suggest".[44]

Halifax College at the University of York is named after him. Lady Irwin College, a women's college in Delhi, was established under the patronage of Dorothy, Lady Irwin in 1931.[45]


Arms of The Rt Hon. Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax

• 16 April 1881 – 8 August 1885: Edward Frederick Lindley Wood
• 8 August 1885 – 1910: The Hon. Edward Frederick Lindley Wood
• 1910 – 25 October 1922: The Hon. Edward Frederick Lindley Wood MP
• 25 October 1922 – 22 December 1925: The Rt. Hon. Edward Frederick Lindley Wood MP[46]
• 22 December 1925 – 3 April 1926: The Rt. Hon. The 1st Baron Irwin PC[47]
• 3 April 1926 – 18 April 1931: His Excellency The Rt. Hon. The Lord Irwin PC, Viceroy and Governor-General of India[48]
• 18 April 1931 – 19 January 1934: The Rt. Hon. The Lord Irwin PC
• 19 January 1934 – December 1940: The Rt. Hon. The 3rd Viscount Halifax PC
• December 1940 – 1944: His Excellency The Rt. Hon. The 3rd Viscount Halifax PC, HM Ambassador to the United States of America
• 1944–1946: His Excellency The Rt. Hon. The 1st Earl of Halifax PC, HM Ambassador to the United States of America
• 1946–1959: The Rt. Hon. The 1st Earl of Halifax PC


• Honours of Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax

Marriage and family

Halifax married Lady Dorothy Evelyn Augusta Onslow (1885–1976), daughter of William Onslow, 4th Earl of Onslow, former Governor-General of New Zealand, on 21 September 1909.[4]

They had five children together:[49]

• Lady Anne Dorothy Wood, OBE JP (31 July 1910 – 25 March 1995); married Charles Duncombe, 3rd Earl of Feversham, on 14 December 1936.[50]
• Lady Mary Agnes Wood (31 July 1910 – 3 August 1910)
• Charles Ingram Courtenay Wood, 2nd Earl of Halifax (3 October 1912 – 19 March 1980)
• Major Hon Francis Hugh Peter Courtenay Wood (born 5 October 1916, killed in action[51] 26 October 1942)
• Richard Frederick Wood, Baron Holderness (5 October 1920 – 11 August 2002); MP from 1950, holding office from 1955.[12]

In popular culture

• Halifax was portrayed by Richard Murdoch in the 1981 TV miniseries Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years.
• Halifax features in the novel The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and the 1993 film of the same name, in which he is portrayed by Peter Eyre.
• Halifax appears in the film Gandhi, portrayed by Sir John Gielgud. The film incorrectly depicts him as possessing a left hand.
• Halifax appears as Lord Irwin in the film The Legend of Bhagat Singh, played by the Israeli actor Gil Alon.
• Halifax is a significant character in Michael Dobbs' novels Winston's War and Never Surrender.
• He is portrayed by British actor Richard Durdon in the BBC docudrama miniseries Dunkirk (2004).
• His cabinet struggle with Churchill is the subject of the 2011 play Three Days in May by Ben Brown.
• He appears as a character in the BBC television drama Cambridge Spies played by James Fox.
• He was played by Donald Sumpter in the HBO/BBC biographical film Into the Storm.
• Halifax is mentioned in the 2011 novel The Afrika Reich by Guy Saville, an alternative history novel in which Halifax became Prime Minister following a massacre of British forces at Dunkirk, the novel's divergence point, and negotiates an uneasy peace with Nazi Germany. He also plays a minor part in the 2015 sequel The Madagaskar Plan.
• In the alternative history novel Dominion by C. J. Sansom, World War II ended in June 1940 when the British government, under the leadership of Halifax, signed a peace treaty with Nazi Germany in Berlin. Due to poor health, Halifax resigned as Prime Minister in 1941 and was succeeded by the 78-year-old David Lloyd George.
• In the alternative history novel For the Sake of England by Richard K. Burns, in which Winston Churchill was born in New York City in 1874 when his mother Jennie Jerome left his father Lord Randolph Churchill and was elected President of the United States in 1936, Halifax became Prime Minister in 1940 and signed a peace treaty with Nazi Germany after the Battle of France. However, Hitler betrayed Halifax and attacked the UK in 1941, leading the United States to enter the war.
• In Upstairs Downstairs, Halifax is portrayed by British actor Ken Bones.
• Halifax appears briefly in three different alternate history novel series by Harry Turtledove: Worldwar, Southern Victory, and The War That Came Early. In Southern Victory, he is portrayed with a modicum of dignity and integrity, whereas in the other two series he is portrayed as an incompetent bumbler used for comic relief.
• Halifax is mentioned in episode four of Close to the Enemy, where it is claimed he had been given a now defunct key to the back garden of Buckingham Palace to enable him secret meetings with Queen Elizabeth to discuss matters of state, intimating that he might have been a front runner for Prime Minister ahead of Winston Churchill.
• Halifax is portrayed by Stephen Dillane in Joe Wright's 2017 drama Darkest Hour, opposite Gary Oldman as Churchill.

See also

• List of covers of Time magazine (1920s) – 12 April 1926


1. Matthew 2004, p. 81.
2. Roberts 1991, p. 10.
3. Roberts 1991, p9
4. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Matthew 2004, p. 82.
5. Roberts 1991, p11
6. Roberts 1991, pp11-12
7. Matthew 2004, p. 83.
8. Matthew 2004, p. 84.
9. Matthew 2004, p. 85.
10. Roberts 1991, pp. 78–79.
11. Keith Feiling, A Life of Neville Chamberlain (London: Macmillan, 1970), p. 275.
12. Matthew 2004, p. 88.
13. Lois G. Schwoerer, "Lord Halifax's Visit To Germany: November 1937." Historian 32#3 (1970): 353–375.
14. The Earl of Halifax, Fulness of Days (London: Collins, 1957), p. 185.
15. Andrew Roberts, The Holy Fox. The Life of Lord Halifax (Phoenix, 1997), p. 282.
16. Jago 2015, p. 85.
17. "Britain to increase spending on arms". The Guardian. 4 March 1935. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
18. Matthew 2004, p. 86.
19. Jago 2015, p. 106.
20. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (London: Allen Lane, 2009), p. 208.
21. Howard 1987, p. 96.
22. Matthew 2004, p. 87.
23. "Conduct of the War". Hansard. 8 May 1940. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
24. Jenkins 2002, p. 582.
25. Roberts 1991, pp. 275–277.
26. Jenkins 2002, p. 583.
27. On the 9 May meeting, see Taylor Downing, "Cometh the finest hour." History Today 60.5 (2010): 25ff.
28. Jenkins 2002, p. 586.
29. Roberts 1991, p. 279.
30. Roberts 1991, p. 277.
31. Blake, Robert (1993). "How Churchill Became Prime MInister". In Blake, Robert B.; Louis, William Roger (eds.). Churchill. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 264–270. ISBN 0-19-820626-7.
32. "Churchill decides to fight on". BBC. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
33. Halifax, p. 215.
34. Colville, Fringes of Power, p. 321.
35. Martin, Stanley (2007). The Order of Merit: one hundred years of matchless honour. London: I. B. Tauris. p. 375.
36. Roberts 1991, p. 14; the book says "there" which presumably means at Temple Newsam rather than the Leeds City Museum.
37. Matthew 2004, p. 89.
38. "Compute the Relative Value of a U.K. Pound". Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
39. Roberts 1991, p. 14.
40. A Gentleman with a Duster [pseud. for Harold Begbie], The Conservative Mind (London: Mills & Boon, 1924), pp. 47–48.
41. Harold Macmillan, Winds of Change (London: Macmillan, 1966), p. 531.
42. Lord Butler, The Art of the Possible (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1971), p. 77.
43. Maurice Cowling, The Impact of Hitler: British Politics and British Policy, 1933–1940 (Cambridge University Press, 1975), p. 9.
44. Matthew 2004, pp. 85–88.
45. "Making history with brick and mortar". Hindustan Times. 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012.
46. "No. 32759". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 October 1922. p. 7527.
47. "No. 33117". The London Gazette. 25 December 1925. p. 8567.
48. "No. 33139". The London Gazette. 5 March 1926. p. 1667.
49. The Peerage, entry for 1st Earl of Halifax
50. Lady Anne Dorothy Wood profile,; accessed 27 March 2016.
51. Christ Church Oxford, Biography Archived 2012-12-24 at the Wayback Machine


• Churchill, Winston S., Their Finest Hour. New York, 1949.
• Churchill, Winston S., The Gathering Storm. Boston, 1948.
• Colville, John, The Fringes of Power: 10 Downing Street Diaries 1939–1955. New York, 1985.
• Dalton, Hugh, The Fateful Years, Memoirs 1939–1945. London, 1957.
• Gilbert, Martin, Churchill: A Life. New York, 1991.
• Gilbert, Martin, Finest Hour: Winston S. Churchill 1939–1941. London, 1983.
• Gilbert, Martin (ed.), The Churchill War Papers Volume I: At the Admiralty. September 1939 – May 1940. London, 1993.
• Gilbert, Martin (ed.), The Churchill War Papers Volume II: Never Surrender. May 1940 – December 1940. London, 19.
• Gries, Thomas E. (ed.), The Second World War: Europe and the Mediterranean. West Point, New York 2002.
• Halifax, Lord, Fullness of Days. New York, 1957.
• Howard, Anthony, RAB: The Life of R. A. Butler, Jonathan Cape 1987 ISBN 978-0224018623.
• Jago, Michael, Rab Butler: The Best Prime Minister We Never Had?, Biteback Publishing 2015 ISBN 978-1849549202.
• Jenkins, Roy, Churchill. London: Pan, 2002. ISBN 0 330 48805 8.
• Liddell-Hart, B. H., History of the Second World War. Old Saybrook, CT: Konecky & Konecky, 1970. ISBN 978-1-56852-627-0.
• Lukacs, John, Five Days in London: May 1940. Yale University, 1999 ISBN 0-300-08466-8.
• Matthew (editor), Colin (2004). Dictionary of National Biography. 60. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198614111., essay on Halifax (pp. 81–89) written by David Dutton.
• Roberts, Andrew, The 'Holy Fox': The Life of Lord Halifax. London, 1991.
• Schwoerer, Lois G. "Lord Halifax's Visit To Germany: November 1937." Historian 32.3 (1970): 353-375.
• Young, Peter (ed.), Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia. Volume 2. Jaspard Polus, Monaco 1966.


• Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (London: Allen Lane, 2009).
• A Gentleman with a Duster [pseud. for Harold Begbie], The Conservative Mind (London: Mills & Boon, 1924).
• Lord Butler, The Art of the Possible (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1971).
• Maurice Cowling, The Impact of Hitler: British Politics and British Policy, 1933–1940 (Cambridge University Press, 1975).
• Keith Feiling, A Life of Neville Chamberlain (London: Macmillan, 1970).
• The Earl of Halifax, Fulness of Days (London: Collins, 1957).
• Andrew Roberts, The Holy Fox: The Life of Lord Halifax (Phoenix, 1997 (originally published 1991)).

Further reading

• Alan Campbell-Johnson and R. Hale. Viscount Halifax: A Biography. 1941
• Earl of Birkenhead. Earl of Halifax: The Life of Lord Halifax. Hamilton, 1965.

External links

• Works by Charles, Lord Halifax Lindley at Faded Page (Canada)
• Works by or about Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax at Internet Archive
• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Halifax
• Lord Irwin
• Biography,
• Bibliography
• Lord Halifax, Our War Aims – Now and After, radio broadcast November 1939
• Newspaper clippings about Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:43 am

Malcolm Hailey, 1st Baron Hailey
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

• Sir Malcolm Hailey, Governor of the Punjab

-- The Himalayan Club, by Wikipedia


William Malcolm Hailey, 1st Baron Hailey OM GCSI GCMG GCIE PC (15 February 1872 – 1 June 1969), known as Sir Malcolm Hailey between 1921 and 1936, was a British peer and administrator in British India.


Hailey was a graduate of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, having been educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood, and entered the Indian Civil Service in 1896.

Hailey College of Commerce is a constituent undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate college of the University of the Punjab in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. Established on 4 March 1927 after the name of Sir Malcolm Hailey, the then Governor of the Punjab and the Chancellor of the university. It is the oldest specialized institution of commerce in Asia.


Hailey was Governor of the Punjab from 1924 to 1928, a compromiser with the Akali leadership,[1] and Governor of the United Provinces 1928 to 1934. He was early convinced of the strength of Indian nationalism, but remained ambivalent about it.[2]

He was appointed a CIE in 1911, a Companion of the Order of the Star of India in 1915, a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire 1921 and appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1928 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of India in 1932. In 1936, while he was the Governor of United Provinces, India's oldest national park was created and was named Hailey National Park in his honour (later renamed Jim Corbett National Park). The same year, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Hailey, of Shahpur in the Punjab and Newport Pagnell in the County of Buckingham.[3] In 1937 he was elected President of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. [4] In 1939 he was made a GCMG.

He subsequently spent time on missions to Africa, producing the African Survey in the late 1930s that proved very influential.[5] He advised limited recognition of African national movements.[6] He was invited to a meeting by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Malcolm MacDonald, in 1939 at which the setting up of the Colonial Social Science Research Council was discussed. In 1942 he was appointed to lead the British Colonial Research Committee.[7]

In 1948, he was made a member of the Privy Council. His powers of speaking and intellectual synthesis were widely recognised.[8] He became a member of the Order of Merit in 1956.

Hailey also served as a Trustee of The Rhodes Trust from 1941-1964.

Personal life

Malcolm Hailey married Andreina Alesandra Balzani in 1896.[9]

Lord Hailey died in 1969 aged 97. With his death, the barony became extinct, as his only son and heir, Alan Hailey (1900–1943) had been killed without issue in the Middle East during the Second World War.


• 1872–1911: Malcolm Hailey
• 1911–1915: Malcolm Hailey, CIE
• 1915–1921: Malcolm Hailey, CSI, CIE
• 1921–1928: Sir Malcolm Hailey, KCSI, CIE
• 1928–1932: Sir Malcolm Hailey, GCIE, KCSI
• 1932–1936: Sir Malcolm Hailey, GCSI, GCIE
• 1936–1939: The Right Honourable The Lord Hailey, GCSI, GCIE
• 1939–1948: The Right Honourable The Lord Hailey, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE
• 1948–1956: The Right Honourable The Lord Hailey, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC
• 1956–1969: The Right Honourable The Lord Hailey, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC


1. Jaito Da Morcha
2. Thomas R. Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj (1994) , p. 227.
3. "No. 34307". The London Gazette. 21 July 1936. p. 4670.
4. "The Journal Of The Royal Asiatic Society 1937". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
5. Robert D. Pearce, The Turning Point in Africa: British Colonial Policy, 1938-48 (1982), p. 43.
6. Barbara Bush, Imperialism, Race and Resistance: Africa and Britain, 1919-1945 (1999), p. 263.
7. Hargreaves, J. D. (1978). "Anglo-Saxon attitudes: A personal note about Sierra Leone Studies". Revue française d'histoire d'outre-mer. 65 (241): 553–556. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
8. Robin W. Winks, Alaine M. Low, The Oxford History of the British Empire (1999), p. 31.
9. Lundy, Darryl. "William Malcolm Hailey, 1st and last Baron". The Peerage.


• Concise Dictionary of National Biography
• John W. Cell (1992), Hailey: A Study in British Imperialism, 1872–1969
• Lundy, Darryl. "William Malcolm Hailey, 1st and last Baron". The Peerage.
• 1942 speech
• SIR WILLIAM MALCOLM HAILEY, site hosted by National Informatics Centre, UP State Unit, retrieved 19 September 2012
• Newspaper clippings about Malcolm Hailey, 1st Baron Hailey in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:56 am

Sir Edwin Hall Pascoe
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

• Sir Edwin Pascoe, Director of the Geological Survey of India

-- The Himalayan Club, by Wikipedia


Sir Edwin Hall Pascoe (17 February 1878 – 7 July 1949) was an English geologist who worked in India with the Geological Survey of India. He proposed the idea that an Indo-Brahm river flowed between the rising Himalayas and Gondwanaland. The idea was that it was north of the current Gangetic plain and was shifted south with the rise of Himalayas and by deposition of soil by the river.

Early Life

Born in London to Edwin Pascoe and Mary A. Hall, he went to St John's College, Cambridge and joined the Geological Survey of India in 1905.


His early study in India was on the Great Kangra earthquake of 4 April 1905. He surveyed oil fields in Burma, Assam, Punjab, and on the Arabian Coast. He became the director of the GSI in 1921 and retired from it in 1932. He also worked with the Indian Museum and presided over the Indian School of Mines. He was a specialist on the Tertiary formations of India and hypothesized that the northern rivers of India (including the Brahmputra and the Ganges) flowed as one stream (the "Indobrahm" or the Shiwalik river of G.E. Pilgrim) draining west into the Arabian Sea.[1] He revised and published the third edition of the Manual of the Geology of India whose first edition had been by H.B. Medlicott and W.T. Blanford in 1879 with a second edition in 1893 by R.D. Oldham.[2]

He was knighted in the 1928 New Year Honours. [3]


1. Pascoe, E. H (1919). "The Early History of the Indus, Brahmaputra, and Ganges". Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. 75: 138. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1919.075.01-04.11.
2. Fermor, L. L (1949). "Sir Edwin Pascoe". Nature. 164 (4176): 817. doi:10.1038/164817a0.
3. "No. 33343". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1927. p. 2.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:02 am

General Sir Kenneth Wigram
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

• Major General Kenneth Wigram

-- The Himalayan Club, by Wikipedia

Sir Kenneth Wigram
Born: 5 December 1875
Died: 11 July 1949 (aged 73)
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Service/branch: British Indian Army
Years of service: 1896–1936
Rank: General
Commands held: Northern Command, India (1934–36)
Chief of the General Staff, India (1931–34)
Waziristan District (c. 1926–30)
Delhi Brigade Area (1922–24)
2nd Battalion, 2nd King Edward's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles) (circa 1921)
Battles/wars: North-West Frontier; First World War
Awards: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of the Star of India
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Knight of the Legion of Honour (France)
Commander of the Order of the Crown (Belgium)
Croix de guerre (Belgium)
Knight Commander of the Order of the Crown of Siam

General Sir Kenneth Wigram, GCB, CSI, CBE, DSO (5 December 1875 – 11 July 1949) was a British Indian Army officer. From 1931 to 1934 he was Chief of the General Staff of the Indian Army. From 1934 to 1936 he was General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command in India.

Military career

Wigram was the son of Herbert Wigram, Indian Civil Service, and younger brother of Clive Wigram, 1st Baron Wigram. He was educated at Winchester College and was commissioned from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst as a Second Lieutenant, with a view to his appointment to the Indian Staff Corps on 22 January, 1896, and was eventually posted to the 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles).[1]

He saw active service on North West Frontier of India from 1897 to 1898 and again from 1901 to 1902 before serving in Tibet from 1903 to 1904.[2]

At the outbreak of the First World War, Wigram was a major serving as a staff officer at the Indian Army headquarters. He remained in staff posts during the war, until February 1917 when he was promoted to temporary brigadier general and appointed Head of Operations (B) Section at the General Headquarters of the British Army in France. The following year, at the start of October, he was granted an RAF commission as a temporary brigadier general and he served on the Air Staff until April 1919 when he returned to the Army.[3]

He was appointed Director of Staff Duties at Army Headquarters in India in 1919, Commander of the Delhi Brigade Area in 1922 and Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster General at Northern Command in India in 1924.[2] He went on to be Commander of the Waziristan District in 1926, Chief of the General Staff in India in 1931 and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, India in 1934 before retiring in 1936.[4]

He was appointed Colonel of the Colonel of the 2nd K.E. VII's Gurkha Rifles in 1930. He relinquished his appointment as Colonel of the 2nd K.E. VII's Gurkha Rifles, 5th Dec. 1945.[5]


1. Winchester College 1867-1920. A Register.
2. Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
3. Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation – General Sir Kenneth Wigram
4. "No. 34166". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 May 1935. p. 3594.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:19 am

William Louis Oberkirch Twiss (Indian Army officer)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

• Brigadier W. L. O. Twiss

-- The Himalayan Club, by Wikipedia

William Louis Oberkirch Twiss
Born: 18 January 1879
Died: 13 October 1962
Allegiance: United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch: British Indian Army
Years of service: 1898 - 1939
Rank: Major-General
Unit 25th Madras Infantry
9th Gurkha Rifles
1st Punjab Regiment
Battles/wars Boxer Rebellion
British expedition to Tibet
First World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross

Major-General Sir William Louis Oberkirch Twiss KCIE CB CBE MC FRGS (1879-1962) was a senior British Indian Army officer.


Born on 18 January 1879, William Twiss was educated at Bedford School and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He received his first commission in January 1898, was appointed to the 25th Madras Infantry March 1899 and then was appointed to the 9th Gurkha Rifles in 1901.[1] He served in China during the Boxer Rebellion between 1900 and 1901 as a Transport Officer and was mentioned in despatches and during the British expedition to Tibet, between 1903 and 1904.

He served during the First World War in France and Flanders from September 1914 to September 1917 on the Staff and was Deputy Director of Military Intelligence, Army Headquarters, India, between 1917 and 1919.[2] He commanded the 2/9th Gurkha Rifles, between 1921 and 1923, was Director of Military Intelligence, Army Headquarters, India, between 1923 and 1924, and Director of Military Operations, Army Headquarters, India, between 1924 and 1927.

Promoted to the rank of Major General in 1929, he was Military Secretary, Army Headquarters, India, between 1932 and 1936, General Officer Commanding, Burma Independent District, between 1936 and 1937, and General Officer Commanding, Army in Burma, between 1937 and 1939.[3]

Major General Sir William Twiss was awarded the Military Cross in the London Gazette of 1 January 1916, became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 12 December 1919,[4] a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 1 January 1930,[5] and a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire on 14 June 1938.[6] He retired from the British Indian Army in January 1939 and died on 13 October 1962.[7]


1. Indian Army List January 1901
2. Supplement to the Indian Army List January 1939
3. Who's Who
4. "No. 31684". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 December 1919. p. 15452.
5. "No. 33566". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1929. p. 3.
6. "No. 15500". The Edinburgh Gazette. 14 June 1938. p. 488.
7. Supplement to the Indian Army List January 1939
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