Arthur Bottomley

Arthur George Bottomley, Baron Bottomley, OBE, PC (7 February 1907 – 3 November 1995) was a British Labour politician, Member of Parliament and minister.

Before entering parliament he was a trade union organiser of the National Union of Public Employees (which later became part of UNISON). From 1929 to 1949 he was a councillor on Walthamstow Borough Council, and in 1945-1946 he was Mayor of Walthamstow.

He was first elected to parliament in the 1945 general election for the Chatham division of Rochester and he held the seat (later renamed Rochester and Chatham) until losing it in the 1959 general election to the Conservative Julian Critchley. He returned to parliament by winning Middlesbrough East in a by-election in 1962 and held the seat, and its successor Middlesbrough, until his retirement in 1983.

He was a junior minister in Clement Attlee's governments, being Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (1946-47), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1947) and Secretary for Overseas Trade at the Board of Trade (1947-51). In Harold Wilson's governments he was Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1964-66) — during which time he sought to deal with the consequences of Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence — and Minister of Overseas Development (1966-67).

He was created a life peer in the 1984 New Year's Honours as Baron Bottomley, of Middlesbrough in the County of Cleveland. He died on 3 November 1995.


His wife, Bessie Ellen Bottomley, JP, was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1970 "[f]or public and social services."

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Leonard Frank Plugge
Member of Parliament for Chatham
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Rochester and Chatham
Succeeded by
Julian Critchley
Preceded by
Hilary Marquand
Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough East
1962February 1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough
February 19741983
Succeeded by
Stuart Bell
Political offices
Preceded by
Duncan Sandys
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
Succeeded by
Herbert Bowden
as Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs
Preceded by
Anthony Greenwood
Minister of Overseas Development
Succeeded by
Reginald Prentice

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