Rhondda, David Alfred Thomas, 1st Viscount rŏn´də [key]
, 1856–1918, British industrialist and public official. He entered his father's coal business in S Wales and eventually developed one of the largest coal combines in Britain. He sat in Parliament, as a Liberal, from 1888 to 1910. During World War I he served the government in facilitating the munitions output and arranging war contracts in the United States and Canada. In 1917 he was made food minister, instituted a compulsory rationing system of vital foodstuffs, and successfully curbed food profiteering. He was created baron in 1916 and viscount shortly before his death.
His daughter, Margaret Haig, 2d Viscountess Rhondda, 1883–1958, by special provision inherited his title. She was active from 1906 to 1914 in the militant woman-suffrage movement and was founder (1920) and editor of Time and Tide, a liberal and feminist weekly. She and her father were both on the Lusitania when it was sunk by the Germans in 1915.
See biography of him by his daughter (1921).
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