Arthur Henderson Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Arthur Henderson (13 September 1863 – 20 October 1935) was a British union leader, politician, disarmament advocate, and the 1934 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

He served three short terms as the leader of the Labour Party from 1908-10, 1914-17 and 1931-32.

Arthur Henderson was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1863, the son of a textile worker who died when Arthur was only 10 years old. After his father's death, the Hendersons moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England.

Henderson worked in a locomotive factory from the age of 12. After finishing his apprenticeship at seventeen, Arthur Henderson moved to Southampton for a year and then returned to work as an iron moulder (a type of foundryman) in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He converted to Methodism (having previously been a Congregationalist) in 1879. This had a major impact on Henderson and he became a Lay preacher. In 1884, Henderson lost his job, and concentrated on his education, and preaching commitments.

As World War I drew to a close, Henderson's thinking took on an international dimension. In 1917 he went to Russia as an official observer for the British government; in 1918 he broke with Lloyd George over his refusal to send delegates to a proposed international conference of socialists, a conference which, as it turned out, was never convened. In the same year he initiated the call for a conference at Bern, with delegates from the defeated and neutral nations joining those of the victorious, to formulate recommendations to send to Versailles where the representatives of the Allies were assembling to draw up the terms of the peace. In 1923 he was chairman of the Labor and Socialist International at Hamburg. In 1924 he was home secretary in MacDonald's cabinet, but spent most of his energy on two international problems: the implementation of the Dawes Plan for German reparations and the drafting of the Geneva Protocol on the ultimate settlement of international disputes by arbitration.