Politician and international socialist, born in Bristolon 15 May 1891, son of a lithographic printer. On leaving school he became a Civil Servant. A Methodist by upbringing, through the Liberal Christian League he came into contact with the Liberal Party, but his political education caused him to cease to be a Methodist member by 1912, and he ultimately became a humanist. Politically, he moved to the Independent Labour Party and was an absolutist conscientious objector in the First World War, suffering imprisonment from September 1916 to April 1919. As a result he could no longer work as a Civil Servant. His trade union activities saw his appointment as the Secretary of the National Union of Docks, Wharves and Shipping Staff, which in 1922 became a constituent part of the Transport and General Workers Union. In the same year he was elected to the London County Council as a Labour councillor for Peckham. He also became a governor of Ruskin College, Oxford. In the 1929 general election he stood unsuccessfully for Heywood and Radcliffe but was elected MP for Shipley in 1935 only to lose the seat in 1950. An acknowledged expert on colonial affairs, he served in the Colonial Office from 1945, first as parliamentary under-secretary and then as Secretary of State. He played a significant part in preparing British dependencies for political independence. In 1951 he failed to be elected for Romford in the general election, but was returned for Wakefield in a by-election in 1954, continuing in parliament until ill-health compelled his resignation ten years later. He died at Lambeth on 23 October 1964.
Patricia M. Pugh in ODNB