Arthur Griffith-Boscawen

Arthur Griffith-Boscawen

Wales and Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen.----Cartoon from Punch magazine 10 November 1920, commenting on his work as a junior minister in establishing an Agricultural Wages Board
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur Sackville Trevor Griffith-Boscawen PC (18 October 1865 – 1 June 1946) was a British Conservative Party politician whose career was cut short by repeatedly losing a string of Parliamentary elections.

Griffith-Boscawen was born in Trefalyn, Denbighshire. He was educated at Rugby School and Queen's College, Oxford. In 1892 he was elected an MP and in his early years he carved out a niche for himself as a parliamentary Churchman. He became Hicks-Beach's private secretary in 1895, a job he held for five years until he became a member of the London County Council until 1913.

Griffith-Boscawen had a special interest in working class housing throughout his career. He was a Tariff Reformer who admired Joseph Chamberlain because he became a very influential Conservative even though he was not from an aristocratic background. He was knighted in 1911.

Griffith-Boscawen, who had been a Special Reserve officer for many years, commanded a garrison battalion in France from 1914 to 1916. He was recalled to become a junior minister in 1916 and supported the disestablishment of the Church in Wales. He was appointed to the Privy Council in the 1920 New Year Honours. [LondonGazette|issue=31712|supp=yes|startpage=1|date=30 December 1919|accessdate=2007-11-16]

In 1921 he was appointed to the Lloyd George Coalition Government as Minister of Agriculture but under the law at the time he was required to automatically stand for re-election to the House of Commons. Griffith-Boscawen lost the ensuring by-election, in part because of Beaverbrook's Canadian Cattle campaign, but another seat was found for him and he continued his career in government. Five years later the law on ministerial appointments would be amended to end the requirement for such by-elections.

When Lloyd George's government fell in October 1922, Griffith-Boscawen was one of only a few members of the outgoing Cabinet who agree to serve under the new Prime Minister, Andrew Bonar Law, who promoted him to Minister of Health. The following month a general election was held and Griffith-Boscawen once more lost his seat. He remained in government and set about producing a bill on local government rating which provoked fierce controversy in the country at large. In March 1923 he sought to re-enter the House of Commons in a by-election at Mitcham, but was defeated by the future Labour Cabinet Minister, James Chuter Ede. Griffith-Boscawen was forced to retire from politics as a result. The resulting vacancy in the Cabinet was filled by Neville Chamberlain.

Griffith-Boscawen wrote "Fourteen Years in Parliament" in 1907 and his "Memoirs" in 1925.



*Biography, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography"

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