George Henry Roberts - Encyclopedia


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"GEORGE HENRY ROBERTS (1869-), English Labour politician, was born at Chedgrave, Norfolk, July 27 1869. His parents removed to Norwich where he attended an elementary school and evening classes. In 1883 he was apprenticed to the trade of printer and compositor. At the expiration of apprenticeship he went to London and joined the London Society of Compositors. After a year he returned to Norwich and identified himself with the movement to organize local printers in a branch of the Typographical Association, of which he became president and ultimately secretary. He also became president of the Norwich and District Trades and Labour Council. He was elected to the Norwich School Board in 1899, being the first candidate run by the local Labour party to win a seat on a public body. In 1904 he was elected to the post of national organizer of the Typographical Association and was chosen as its parliamentary representative. He was returned as one of the members for Norwich at the general election of 1906, and has held the seat since. He was whip of the parliamentary Labour party for about eight years and a member of the executive council of the party. When the Labour party joined the Coalition movement in 1915 he became a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury; he was parliamentary secretary to the Board of Trade 1916-7; Minister of Labour, 1917-8; Food Controller, Jan. 1919. He resigned from the Government Feb. 1920.

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