Chamberlain, Austen


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Chamberlain, Austen

 

(also Joseph A. Chamberlain). Born Oct. 16, 1863, in Birmingham; died Mar. 16, 1937, in London. British state figure. Son of Joseph Chamberlain.

Austen Chamberlain, who was educated at the exclusive Rugby School and at Cambridge University, entered Parliament in 1892. He served as financial secretary to the treasury from 1900 to 1902, postmaster general in 1902, and chancellor of the exchequer from 1903 to 1905 and from 1919 to 1921. He was secretary of state for India from 1915 to 1917, a member of the war cabinet in 1918, minister without portfolio in 1921 and 1922, and foreign secretary from 1924 to 1929.

Chamberlain fought to establish Great Britain as the leading European power. He favored a strong and rearmed Germany, hoping to use it against the USSR and as a counterbalance to France; the signing of the Locarno Treaties of 1925 was a major step toward the realization of this policy. Chamberlain helped initiate the breaking off of diplomatic relations with the USSR in 1927 (relations were resumed in 1929 by the new Labour government) and sought to renew the military intervention in the USSR. He served as first lord of the admiralty in 1931. In his final years, Chamberlain spoke out in Parliament about the aggressive intentions of Germany.

V. G. TRUKHANOVSKII

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Back Row, from left, Neville Chamberlain, Austen Chamberlain and Joseph |Chamberlain.
INFLUENTIAL: Neville Chamberlain, Austen Chamberlain and Joseph Chamberlain.