Chamberlain, Sir Austen

Chamberlain, Sir Austen (Joseph Austen Chamberlain) chāmˈbərlĭn [key], 1863–1937, British statesman; son of Joseph Chamberlain and half-brother of Neville Chamberlain. He entered Parliament as a Conservative in 1892. He was chancellor of the exchequer (1903–5), secretary of state for India (1915–17), a member of Lloyd George's war cabinet (1918), again (1919–21) chancellor of the exchequer, and lord privy seal (1921–22). Although he succeeded Andrew Bonar Law as Conservative leader in 1921, he opposed the Conservative withdrawal that brought down Lloyd George's government in 1922. From 1924 to 1929, Chamberlain was foreign secretary under Stanley Baldwin. The Locarno Pact of 1925 was largely his work, and in the same year he was awarded (with Charles G. Dawes) the Nobel Peace Prize. He last held a cabinet position in 1931, but he continued to be influential in Parliament until his death.

See his Down the Years (1935), Politics from Inside (1936), and Seen in Passing (1937); Sir Charles Petrie, Life and Letters of Sir Austen Chamberlain (1939–40); biography by D. Dutton (1985).

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