Austen Chamberlain and Charles Gates Dawes Win the Nobel Peace Prize

Austen Chamberlain was born in Birmingham, the second child and eldest son of Joseph Chamberlain, then a rising industrialist and political radical, later Lord Mayor of Birmingham and a dominant figure in Liberal and Unionist politics at the end of the 19th Century. His mother, the former Harriet Kenrick, died in childbirth. Joseph married Harriet's cousin, Florence, and had further children, the oldest of whom, Neville, would become Prime Minister in the year of Austen's death. Austen was educated first at Rugby School, before passing on to Trinity College, Cambridge. Chamberlain made his first political address there in 1884 at a meeting of the Political Society of his university, and it would appear that from an early age his father had intended for politics to be his Austen's future path. He was Vice-President, but not President, of the Cambridge Union Society.

With this in mind, Austen was dispatched first to France, where he studied at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (best known as the Sciences Po). Whilst there, Austen developed a lasting admiration (some would say love) for the French people and their culture. For nine months, he was shown the brilliance of Paris under the Third Republic, and met and dined with the likes of Georges Clemenceau and Alexandre Ribot.

From Paris, Austen was sent to Berlin for twelve months, there to imbibe the political culture of the other great European power, Germany. Though in his letters home to Beatrice and Neville he showed an obvious preference for France and the lifestyle he had left behind there, Chamberlain undertook to learn German and learn from his experience in the capital of the Kaiserreich. Among others, Austen met and dined with the “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck, an experience which was to hold a special place in his heart for the duration of his life.

While attending the University of Berlin, Austen also developed a suspicion for the pronounced nationalism then arising in the German Empire. This was based upon his experience of the lecturing style of Heinrich von Treitschke, who opened up to Austen "a new side of the German character - a narrow-minded, proud, intolerant Prussian chauvinism", the consequences of which he was later to ponder during the First World War, and the crises of the 1930s.

Though he was again upset to leave his newfound friends and return to the constraints of life under his father’s roof, Austen returned to the United Kingdom in 1888, lured largely by the prize of a parliamentary constituency.

He was first elected to parliament as a member of his father's own Liberal Unionist Party in 1892, sitting for the seat of East Worcestershire. Owing to the prominence of his father and the alliance between the anti-Home Rule Liberal Unionists and Conservative Party, Chamberlain was returned unopposed on 30 March, and at the first sitting of the new session, Austen walked up the floor of the house flanked by his father and his uncle Richard.

Owing to the dissolution of parliament and the August general election, Chamberlain was unable to make his maiden speech until April 1893. This speech, when delivered, was acclaimed by the four-time Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone as “one of the best speeches which has been made”. That Chamberlain was speaking against Gladstone’s Second Home Rule Bill does not seem to have dampened the enthusiasm of the Prime Minister, who responded by publicly congratulating both Austen and his father Joseph on such an excellent performance. This was highly significant, given the bad blood existing between Joseph Chamberlain and his former leader.

Appointed a junior Whip of the Liberal Unionists after the general election, Austen’s main role was to act as his father’s “standard bearer” in matters of policy. Upon the massive Conservative and Unionist landslide win in the election of 1895, Chamberlain was appointed a Civil Lord of the Admiralty, holding that post until 1900, when he became Financial Secretary to the Treasury. In 1902, following the retirement of Prime Minister Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, Chamberlain was promoted to the position of Postmaster General by the new premier, the Conservative Arthur James Balfour.

In the wake of the struggle between his father and Balfour, Austen Chamberlain became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1903. Austen's appointment was largely a compromise solution to the bitter division of the two Unionist heavyweights, which threatened to split the coalition between supporters of Chamberlain's free-trade campaign and Balfour's more cautious advocacy of protectionism. While Austen supported his father’s programme, his influence within the cabinet was diminished following the departure of the senior Chamberlain to the back benches. Facing a resurgent Liberal opposition and the threat of an internal party split, Balfour eventually took the Unionists into opposition in December 1905, and in the ensuing rout in the election of 1906, Austen Chamberlain found himself one of the few surviving Liberal Unionists in the House of Commons.

Following his father's stroke and enforced retirement from active politics a few months later, Austen became the effective leader of the Tariff Reform campaign within the Unionist Party, and thus a contender for the eventual leadership of the party itself.

Charles Gates Dawes (August 27, 1865 – April 23, 1951) was an American banker and politician who was the 30th Vice President of the United States. For his work on the Dawes Plan for World War I reparations he was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served in the First World War, was U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, the first director of the Bureau of the Budget, and, in later life, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Dawes was married to Caro Blymyer on January 24, 1889, and they had two biological children, Rufus Fearing Dawes and Carolyn Dawes, and two more adopted children, Dana McCutcheon and Virginia Dawes.

Dawes was born in Marietta, Washington County, Ohio to Civil War soldier Rufus R. Dawes and Mary Beman Gates. He graduated from Marietta College in 1884, and from the Cincinnati Law School in 1886. While attending Marietta College he joined The Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He was admitted to the bar and practiced in Lincoln, Nebraska, between 1887 and 1894. When Lt. John Pershing, the future Army general, was appointed military instructor at the University of Nebraska while attending the law school, he and Dawes became acquainted, forming a lifelong friendship.

Dawes' lineage made him the great-great-grandson of the Revolutionary War figure William Dawes and the son of Brigadier General Rufus Dawes, who commanded the 6th Wisconsin regiment of the Iron Brigade from 1863-1864 during the American Civil War. His brothers were Rufus C. Dawes, Beman Gates Dawes, and Henry May Dawes, all prominent businessmen or politicians. He also had two sisters, Mary B. Dawes and Betsy D. Dawes.

In 1894, Dawes acquired interests in a number of midwestern gas plants and became president of both the Lacrosse Gas Light Company in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and the Northwestern Gas Light and Coke Company in Evanston, Illinois.

Dawes was a self-taught pianist and composer and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music. His 1912 composition, "Melody in A Major," became a well-known piano and violin piece, and was played at many official functions as his signature tune. It was transformed into the pop song, "It's All In The Game," in 1951 when Carl Sigman added lyrics. Tommy Edwards' recording of "It's All in the Game" was a number one hit on the American Billboard record chart for six weeks in the fall of 1958. Edwards' version of the song also hit number one on the UK chart that year. Since then, it has since become a pop standard recorded hundreds of times by artists including The Four Tops, Van Morrison, Cliff Richard, Nat "King" Cole, Brook Benton, Elton John, Mel Carter, Barry Manilow, and Keith Jarrett.