Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Neville Chamberlain

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Arthur Neville Chamberlain (18 March 1869 – 9 November 1940) was a British Conservative politician

1874 After selling the family's business interests, Joseph Chamberlain was obliged to live off the profits of his investments in order to sustain his career in politics.

1890 Joseph instructed Neville to make his way to New York and proceed thence with Austen to the Bahamas to assess the profitability of sisal culture.

1891 the two brothers reported that high profits could be anticipated. Neville would supervise the entire undertaking.

By 1896 it was necessary to wind up the business at a personal loss to Joseph Chamberlain of £50,000.

From 1897 to 1916 Neville established himself as a leading figure in the industrial life of Birmingham. He was a director of Elliott's Metal Company, in which he was directly involved.

1897 Acquired the Bordesley firm of Hoskins and Son, manufacturers of ships' berths.

Later he joined the board of the Birmingham Small Arms Company, with which there was a family connection through an uncle.

1914 he was elected as alderman,

1915 He became lord mayor of Birmingham. He persuaded the Ministry of Munitions to underwrite the costs of increasing Birmingham's electricity supply

1918 At the general election was elected as the member for Birmingham, Ladywood

1937 Became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937, an office he held until May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. However when Adolf Hitler continued his aggression by invading Poland, Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, and Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of World War II.[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography, ODNB