Papers of Arthur Creech Jones MP (1891-1964), trade unionist and socialist... Papers of Arthur Creech Jones MP (1891-1964), trade unionist and socialist, 1923-1957
1 box (2 files)
Arthur Creech Jones was born in Bristol on 15 May 1891. In 1916 he joined the War Office as a clerk, later transferring to the Crown Agents' Office. He became a trade unionist and socialist at a young age and was a founder member of the Camberwell Trades and Labour Council in 1913 and also the Dulwich branch of the Independent Labour Party. A conscientious objector throughout the First World War, he was imprisoned from 1916 to 1919. This prevented him from returning to the Civil Service, and he instead secured an appointment as Organiser of the National Union of Docks, Wharves, and Shipping Staffs, deputy to its General Secretary, Charles Ammon. On its amalgamation to form the Transport and General Workers' Union in 1922, he became National Organiser and Assistant National Secretary of the Administrative, Clerical and Supervisory National Trade Group, succeeding Alfred Short as National Secretary the following year. He served in this role until 1929, when he left the T&G to become Organising Secretary of the Workers' Travel Association.
He was a founder member of the Socialist League in 1931, but soon left it and joined the Labour Party. In 1935 he was elected Labour MP for Shipley, having unsuccessfully contested Heywood and Radcliffe for the ILP in 1929. Long interested in colonial affairs, he was immediately appointed to the Labour Party Advisory Committee on Imperial Questions, of which he became chairman in 1943, and also co-founded the TUC Colonial Affairs Committee in 1937 and sat on the Colonial Office Advisory Committee on Education in the Colonies. In 1940 he co-founded the Fabian Colonial Bureau. From May 1940 to June 1944 he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to his friend Ernest Bevin at the Ministry of Labour. He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies from October 1945 to October 1946 and Secretary of State for the Colonies from October 1946 until he lost his seat by 81 votes in the general election of February 1950. He failed to win Romford in 1951, but won a by-election in Wakefield in 1954 and represented the constituency until ill-health forced him to resign in August 1964. He died on 23 October 1964.
Prior written permission to see unpublished material must be obtained from Siobhan Endean, Acting Director of Education, Unite, Transport House, 128 Theobald's Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN, or by email via her personal assistant Joan Francis (Joan.Francis@unitetheunion.org). Publications may be consulted without permission.
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