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Arthur William James Anthony Greenwood, Baron Greenwood of Rossendale PC (14 September 1911 – 12 April 1982) was a prominent Britishmarker Labour Party politician in the 1950s and 1960s.

Background and education

The son of Arthur Greenwood (Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under Clement Attlee) and his wife Catherine Ainsworth, Greenwood was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, and then read politics, philosophy and economics at Balliol College, Oxfordmarker, where he held the posts of chairman of the Labour Club and, in 1933, president of the Oxford Unionmarker. In 1933 he visited India as a member of the British Universities' Debating Team.

Early life

After university Greenwood continued with political work, which included debating trips to the USA and some freelance journalism. He began, but did not complete, studies for the Bar at the Middle Temple. Early employment consisted of a spell as economic secretary to an industrialist and then, in 1938-9, work for the National Fitness Council. From 1939 to 1942 Greenwood worked at the Ministry of Information where, in 1941, he became private secretary to the Director-General, Walter Monckton, with whom he travelled to Russia and the Middle East. In the summer of 1942 he joined the Royal Air Force and in February 1943 was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer. In December 1944 he was seconded to the War Cabinet Offices to work with Monckton on an inquiry into the Mulberry harbours.

Political career

Greenwood joined the Labour Party at the age of 14 and was a prospective candidate for Colchester before the war. He led the Labour group on Hampsteadmarker borough council from 1945 to 1949 and entered Parliament as member for Heywood and Radcliffe in a by-election in February 1946. Following boundary changes he moved to Rossendalemarker constituency in 1950. He became vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party in 1950-1 and was in the Shadow Cabinet in 1951-2 and 1955-60. He also served on the party's National Executive Committee from 1954 to 1960 and became the first Chair of Labour Friends of Israel in 1957. He was the left wing challenger to Hugh Gaitskell in the 1961 leadership election when he received the support of just over a quarter of the Labour MPs. He served successively from 1964 to 1969 as Secretary of State for the Colonies, Minister of Overseas Development and Minister for Housing and Local Government in Harold Wilson's governments. On 22 September 1970, he was created a life peer as Baron Greenwood of Rossendale, of East Mersea, in the County of Essex. From 1977 to 1979 he was Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities and Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees.

Business career

While in the Lords Greenwood held a number of business directorships. He remained a member of the Commonwealth Development Corporation board until 1978, was a Director of the Britannia Building Society from 1972 until his death and Chairman from 1974 to 1976, Chairman and a Director of Weeks Natural Resources (UK) Ltd., an oil exploration company, and Chairman of Greenwood Development Holdings Ltd. He was Chairman of Integrated Professional Development Service and a Director of Pochin Ltd.

Other public appointments

He also held several public service appointments, such as Chairman of the Local Government Training Board and Staff Commission, President of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, President of the District Heating Association, President of the Cremation Society, a member of the Maplin Development Authority board and Central Lancashire Development Corporation and became involved in several housing organisations. He was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lancastermarker from 1972 to 1978 and financial adviser for the University of Guyana's UK appeal. He became Chairman of the Anglo-Israel Association in 1972, was a Trustee of the Jerusalem Educational Trust and Chairman of the Labour Friends of Israel. He gave support to many charitable organisations and was a founding member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,


Greenwood married Gillian Crawshay-Williams, an artist and a great-granddaughter of Thomas Huxley, in 1940. They had two daughters, Susanna and Dinah. He died in April 1982, aged 70.

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