Reading, Rufus Daniel Isaacs, 1st marquess of

Reading, Rufus Daniel Isaacs, 1st marquess of

(rĕd`ĭng), 1860–1935, British statesman. Called to the bar in 1887, he achieved great success in his profession. He entered Parliament as a Liberal in 1904, became attorney general in 1910, and in 1912 was given a seat in the cabinet. Involved in charges of buying stock in the American Marconi Corp. while the government was contracting with the British branch of the firm, he was, however, exonerated and in 1913 was created lord chief justice. During World War I he served the government in financial operations, becoming (1915) president of an Anglo-French loan commission to the United States, where he subsequently served as special envoy (1917) and special ambassador (1918–19). In 1921 he was made viceroy of India at a time when the people, partly under the influence of Mohandas GandhiGandhi, Mohandas Karamchand
, 1869–1948, Indian political and spiritual leader, b. Porbandar. In South Africa

Educated in India and in London, he was admitted to the English bar in 1889 and practiced law unsuccessfully in India for two years.
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 and partly as a result of the massacre at AmritsarAmritsar
, city (1991 pop. 709,456), Punjab state, NW India. It is a district administrative center, as well as a trade and industrial city where carpets, fabrics of goat hair, and handicrafts are made.
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 (1919), were roused against British rule. Faced with the passive resistance of the Gandhi adherents, Isaacs authorized the imprisonment of Gandhi and felt compelled to allow the hated salt tax. He returned to England in 1926 and was created a marquess (having already been created in succession baron, viscount, and earl), but he was much criticized for his administrative acts in India. He was (1931) foreign secretary in Ramsay MacDonaldMacDonald, Ramsay
(James Ramsay McDonald), 1866–1937, British statesman, b. Scotland. The illegitimate son of a servant, he went as a young man to London, where he joined the Social Democratic Federation (1885) and the Fabian Society (1886).
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's National government.

Bibliography

See biographies by his son G. R. Isaacs, 2d marquess of Reading (2 vol., 1943–45), H. M. Hyde (1967), and D. Judd (1982).

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