The Info List - Arthur Greenwood

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Arthur Greenwood, CH (8 February 1880 – 9 June 1954) was a British politician. A prominent member of the Labour Party from the 1920s until the late 1940s, Greenwood rose to prominence within the party as secretary of its research department from 1920 and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health in the short-lived Labour government of 1924. In 1940, he was instrumental in resolving that Britain would continue fighting Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
in World War II.


1 Early life 2 Political career 3 Death 4 Family 5 References 6 External links

Early life[edit] Greenwood was born in Hunslet, Leeds, the son of a painter and decorator. He was educated at the Yorkshire
College (which later became the University of Leeds), where he took a B.Sc. Political career[edit] Greenwood was first elected to the House of Commons at the 1922 general election for the constituency of Nelson and Colne in Lancashire. He held the seat until being defeated at the 1931 election, but returned to Parliament the following year, winning a by-election in the Yorkshire
constituency of Wakefield. Greenwood continued to represent Wakefield until his death in 1954. Greenwood was an active freemason, associated with the New Welcome Lodge.[1] In 1929, Greenwood was appointed Minister of Health and sworn into the Privy Council, a position he held until the collapse of the Labour government in August 1931. During his time at the Ministry of Health, Greenwood raised widows' pensions and through the Housing Act 1930 enacted large-scale slum clearance. Greenwood became Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under Clement Attlee. Undoubtedly his most famous moment came on 2 September 1939 when, acting for an absent Attlee, he was called to respond to Neville Chamberlain's ambivalent speech on whether Britain would aid Poland. Preparing to respond, he was interrupted by an angry Conservative backbencher and former First Lord of the Admiralty, Leo Amery, who exclaimed "Speak for England, Arthur!"[2] A flustered Greenwood proceeded to denounce Chamberlain's remarks, to the applause of his colleagues. When the wartime coalition government was formed, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
appointed him to the War Cabinet
War Cabinet
as Minister without Portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
in 1940. He was generally seen as ineffectual, but in May 1940 he emerged as Churchill's strongest and most vocal supporter in the lengthy War Cabinet
War Cabinet
debates on whether to accept or reject a peace offer from Germany.[3] Without the vote in favour of fighting on by Greenwood and Clement Attlee, Churchill would not have had the slim majority he needed to do so.[4] After that his position declined and he resigned in 1943. The same year, he was elected as Treasurer of the Labour Party, beating Herbert Morrison in a close contest.[5] Until the end of World War II, Greenwood also performed the function of Leader of the Opposition, though he did not receive the salary. During the Attlee government, he served successively as Lord Privy Seal and Paymaster-General. Death[edit] Greenwood was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium
Golders Green Crematorium
on 14 June 1954. His ashes and memorial lie in Bay 17 of the East Boundary Wall.[6] Family[edit] Greenwood's son Anthony Greenwood (later Lord Greenwood) (1911–1982) was an MP from 1946 until 1970, first for Heywood and Radcliffe and later for Rossendale, and a member of Harold Wilson's governments. References[edit]

^ "'The Masons' Candidate': New Welcome Lodge
New Welcome Lodge
No. 5139 and the Parliamentary Labour Party". Labour History Review. 2006.  ^ Olson, Lynne. Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill To Power and Helped Save England
(Toronto, Anchor Canada, 2008) ^ Jenkins, Roy, Churchill: A Biography (London, Macmillan, 2001), page 601 ^ Marr, Andrew: A History of Modern Britain (2009 paperback), page xvii ^ "Greenwood, Arthur", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ^ Golders Green Crematorium
Golders Green Crematorium
guide notes

External links[edit]

Works by Arthur Greenwood
Arthur Greenwood
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Arthur Greenwood
Arthur Greenwood
at Internet Archive Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Arthur Greenwood

Parliament of the United Kingdom

Preceded by Robinson Graham Member of Parliament for Nelson and Colne 1922–1931 Succeeded by Linton Thorpe

Preceded by George Brown Hillman Member of Parliament for Wakefield 1932–1954 Succeeded by Arthur Creech Jones

Political offices

Preceded by Neville Chamberlain Minister of Health 1929–1931 Succeeded by Neville Chamberlain

Preceded by The Lord Hankey Minister without Portfolio 1940–1942 Succeeded by Sir William Jowitt

Preceded by Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Leader of the Opposition 1942–1945 Succeeded by Clement Attlee

Preceded by The Lord Beaverbrook Lord Privy Seal 1945–1947 Succeeded by The Lord Inman

Preceded by Vacant Paymaster-General 1946–1947 Succeeded by Hilary Marquand

Party political offices

Preceded by Clement Attlee Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 1935–1945 Succeeded by Herbert Morrison

Preceded by George Lathan Treasurer of the Labour Party 1943–1954 Succeeded by Hugh Gaitskell

Preceded by Harry Earnshaw Chair of the Labour Party 1952–1953 Succeeded by Wilfrid Burke

v t e

Leaders of the Opposition of the United Kingdom

House of Commons

Fox Howick Ponsonby Tierney Peel Althorp Peel Russell Peel Russell Bentinck Granby Granby/Herries/Disraeli Disraeli Russell Disraeli Palmerston Disraeli Gladstone Disraeli Gladstone Hartington Northcote Gladstone Hicks Beach Gladstone Balfour Harcourt Campbell-Bannerman Balfour Chamberlain Balfour Law Vacant Carson Asquith Maclean Asquith MacDonald Baldwin MacDonald Baldwin Henderson Lansbury Attlee Lees-Smith Pethick-Lawrence Greenwood Attlee Churchill Attlee Morrison Gaitskell Brown Wilson Douglas-Home Heath Wilson Heath Thatcher Callaghan Foot Kinnock Smith Beckett Blair Major Hague Duncan Smith Howard Cameron Harman Miliband Harman Corbyn

House of Lords

Grenville Grey 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne Wellington 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne Wellington Melbourne Wellington Melbourne 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne Stanley 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne Derby (Stanley) Granville Derby Russell Granville Malmesbury Cairns Richmond Granville Beaconsfield 3rd Marquess of Salisbury Granville 3rd Marquess of Salisbury Granville Kimberley 3rd Marquess of Salisbury Rosebery Kimberley Spencer Ripon 5th Marquess of Lansdowne Crewe Curzon of Kedleston Haldane Parmoor 4th Marquess of Salisbury Hailsham Parmoor Ponsonby of Shulbrede Snell Addison 5th Marquess of Salisbury Addison Jowitt Alexander of Hillsborough Carrington Shackleton Carrington Peart Cledwyn of Penrhos Richard Cranborne Strathclyde Royall of Blaisdon Smith of Basildon

v t e

Secretaries of State for Health

Ministers of Health

Christopher Addison Alfred Mond Arthur Griffith-Boscawen Neville Chamberlain William Joynson-Hicks John Wheatley Neville Chamberlain Arthur Greenwood Neville Chamberlain Edward Hilton Young Kingsley Wood Walter Elliot Malcolm MacDonald Ernest Brown Henry Willink Aneurin Bevan Hilary Marquand Harry Crookshank Iain Macleod Robin Turton Dennis Vosper Derek Walker-Smith Enoch Powell Anthony Barber Kenneth Robinson

Secretaries of State for Social Services

Richard Crossman Sir Keith Joseph Barbara Castle David Ennals Patrick Jenkin Norman Fowler John Moore

Secretaries of State for Health

Kenneth Clarke William Waldegrave Virginia Bottomley Stephen Dorrell Frank Dobson Alan Milburn John Reid Patricia Hewitt Alan Johnson Andy Burnham Andrew Lansley Jeremy Hunt

Secretaries of State for Health and Social Care

Jeremy Hunt

v t e

Paymasters General

Parnell Stanley Knatchbull Baring Macaulay Granville Stanley Colchester Stanley Pleydell-Bouverie Lowe Donoughmore Lovaine Wilson Cowper Hutt Goschen Monsell Cave Dufferin Childers Adam Cave Plunket Wolverton Beauchamp Thurlow Beauchamp Brownlow Jersey Windsor Seale-Hayne Hopetoun Marlborough Crossley Causton Ashby Strachie Newton Henderson Compton-Rickett Walters vacant Chamberlain Joynson-Hicks Boyd-Carpenter Gosling vacant Sutherland Onslow Arnold vacant Walters Rochester Hutchison Munster Winterton vacant Cranborne vacant Hankey Jowitt Cherwell vacant Greenwood Marquand Addison Macdonald Cherwell Selkirk vacant Monckton Maulding Mills H. Brooke Boyd-Carpenter Wigg vacant Shackleton Hart Lever Eccles Macmillan Dell Williams A. Maude Pym Parkinson J. Gummer Clarke P. Brooke Caithness Ryder Belstead Cope Heathcoat-Amory Willetts Bates Robinson Primarolo Jowell F. Maude Hancock B. Gummer Stride

v t e

War Cabinet
War Cabinet
of Winston Churchill

Prime Minister Minister of Defence

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill

Deputy Prime Minister

Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee

Lord President of the Council

Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
(1940) Sir John Anderson (1940–1943) Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee

Lord Privy Seal

Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
(1940–1942) Sir Stafford Cripps
Stafford Cripps

Chancellor of the Exchequer

Sir Kingsley Wood
Kingsley Wood
(1940–1942) Sir John Anderson (1943–1945)

Foreign Secretary

Viscount Halifax (1940) Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden

Home Secretary

Herbert Morrison
Herbert Morrison

Minister of Aircraft Production

Lord Beaverbrook (1940–1941)

Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee

Minister of Labour and National Service

Ernest Bevin
Ernest Bevin

Minister Resident Middle East

Oliver Lyttelton (1942) Richard Casey (1942–1944) Lord Moyne (1944)

Minister without Portfolio

Arthur Greenwood
Arthur Greenwood

Minister of Reconstruction

Lord Woolton (1943–1945)

Minister of State

Lord Beaverbrook (1941)

Minister of Supply

Lord Beaverbrook (1941–1942)

Minister of Production

Lord Beaverbrook (1942) Oliver Lyttelton (1942–1945)

v t e

Labour Party



History of the Labour Party


General election manifestos History of the socialist movement in the United Kingdom Lib–Lab pact One more heave New Labour Tony's Cronies Blue Labour One Nation Labour



Hardie Henderson Barnes MacDonald Henderson Adamson Clynes MacDonald Henderson Lansbury Attlee Gaitskell Wilson Callaghan Foot Kinnock Smith Blair Brown Miliband Corbyn

Deputy Leaders

Clynes Graham Attlee Greenwood Morrison Griffiths Bevan Brown Jenkins Short Foot Healey Hattersley Beckett Prescott Harman Watson

General Secretaries

MacDonald Henderson Middleton Phillips Williams Nicholas Hayward Mortimer Whitty Sawyer McDonagh Triesman Carter Watt Collins McNicol Formby


Henderson MacDonald Henderson Lathan Greenwood Gaitskell Bevan Nicholas Davies Callaghan Atkinson Varley Booth McCluskie Burlison Prosser Elsby Dromey Holland

Leaders in the Lords

Haldane Cripps Ponsonby Snell Addison Jowitt Alexander Pakenham Shackleton Shepherd Peart Hughes Richard Jay Williams Amos Ashton Royall Smith

PLP Chairs

Hardie Henderson Barnes MacDonald Henderson Hodge* Wardle* Adamson Clynes MacDonald Henderson Lansbury Attlee Lees-Smith* Pethick-Lawrence* Greenwood* Gaitskell Wilson Houghton Mikardo Hughes Willey Dormand Orme Hoyle Soley Corston Clwyd Lloyd Watts Cryer

* = wartime, in opposition

Internal elections

Leadership elections

1922 (MacDonald) 1931 (Henderson) 1932 (Lansbury) 1935 (Attlee) 1955 (Gaitskell) 1960 1961 1963 (Wilson) 1976 (Callaghan) 1980 (Foot) 1983 (Kinnock) 1988 1992 (Smith) 1994 (Blair) 2007 (Brown) 2010 (Miliband) 2015 (Corbyn) 2016

Deputy Leadership elections

1952 (Morrison) 1953 1956 (Griffiths) 1959 (Bevan) 1960 (Brown) 1961 1962 1970 (Jenkins) 1971 1972 (Short) 1976 (Foot) 1980 (Healey) 1981 1983 (Hattersley) 1988 1992 (Beckett) 1994 (Prescott) 2007 (Harman) 2015 (Watson)

Shadow Cabinet elections

1952 (Attlee) 1953 (Attlee) 1954 (Attlee) 1955 (Attlee) 1956 (Gaitskell) 1957 (Gaitskell) 1958 (Gaitskell) ... 1979 (Callaghan) 1980 (Foot) 1981 (Foot) 1982 (Foot) 1983 (Kinnock) 1984 (Kinnock) 1985 (Kinnock) 1986 (Kinnock) 1987 (Kinnock) ... 1990 (Kinnock) 1991 (Kinnock) 1992 (Smith) 1993 (Smith) 1994 (Blair) 1995 (Blair) 1996 (Blair) 2010 (Miliband)

Party structure


Labour Party Constitution

Clause IV

Rule Book


National Executive Committee General Secretary Treasurer


Parliamentary Labour Party

Labour Chief Whip

European Parliamentary Labour Party


Labour Party Conference


Scottish Labour Party Welsh Labour Labour Party in Northern Ireland

Directly elected city mayoral authorities

Labour Party


Constituency Labour Party


National Policy Forum Affiliated trade unions Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation Labour Co-operative

Co-operative Party

Labour – Federation of Labour Groups

Associated organisations


Organisations associated with the Labour Party

Sectional groups

Young Labour Labour International LGBT Labour Labour Students

Factional groups

Christians on the Left Compass Fabian Society

Young Fabians

Grassroots Alliance Jewish Labour Movement Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform Labour CND Labour Friends of Israel Labour Party Irish Society Labour Representation Committee (2004) LabourList Momentum National Union of Labour and Socialist Clubs Progress Socialist Appeal Socialist Health Association Socialist Educational Association Socialist Environment and Resources Association Socialist Campaign Group Socialist Youth Network Socialist societies Tribune

Party alliances


List of current alliances Party of European Socialists Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Progressive Alliance Socialist International

v t e

Labour Party leadership election, 1935

Clement Attlee Arthur Greenwood Herbert Morrison

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 37848353 LCCN: no00001948 ISNI: 0000 0001 2278 4545 GND: 124321410 SUDOC: 097911291 BNF: cb11109718n (da