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Arthur Henderson: Nobel Prize winner and foundryman.

Arthur Henderson greatly influenced the British Government between World War I and World War II, working diligently in his positions in Parliament to achieve disarmament. While his efforts ultimately failed, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934--not a small achievement for a foundryman.

Born in 1863, Henderson became an apprentice at Robert Stephenson and Sons' General Foundry Works at the age of 12. Having dropped out of school to help support his family, Henderson learned about life through newspapers and discussions at the foundry. He joined the Ironfounders' Union at 18, holding an office continuously in his union at the local, district or national level for the remainder of his life.

Henderson first won election to Parliament in 1903 under the sponsorship of the Labor Representation Committee, serving as the secretary of the Labor Party from 1911 to 1934. He took the lead in revising the party's constitution, so that it's membership would be open to those depending on their conviction and not vocation. This helped to make the Labor Party a power in Britain.

In 1917, he began to take an increased role in foreign affairs, serving as an official observer for the British Government in Russia. He was named Foreign Secretary in 1929, where he was pivotal in the resumption of Britain's diplomatic relations with Russia.

Henderson became the embodiment of the League of Nations' disarmament effort in 1931, when he spearheaded the Disarmament Conference, where he served as president. Unfortunately, despite his persistent work, the conference failed when Germany, under control of Adolf Hitler, withdrew in 1933. The failure of the conference was a clear foreshadowing of World War II.

However, for his disarmament efforts, Henderson received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934. During the ceremonies in Oslo, Sweden, Henderson optimistically insisted that the conference was very much alive, even without Germany's inclusion. Henderson died in 1935, shortly after the ceremony.
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Title Annotation:Shakeout: in case you didn't know ...
Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 1, 2003
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