Philip Noel-Baker

Philip Noel-Baker

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Philip Noel-Baker was born on 1st November, 1889. His father, Joseph Allen Baker, was a Quaker who ran a successful machine manufacturing form. Baker, a pacifist, was a member of the London County Council (1895-1907) and the House of Commons (1905-1918).

After graduating from King's College, Cambridge, he continued his education in Paris and Munich and in 1914 was appointed vice-principal of Ruskin College in Oxford. On the outbreak of the First World War he became the commandant of the Friends' Ambulance Unit and served on the Western Front (1914-15) and in Italy (1915-18).

In 1918 Noel-Baker became principal assistant to Robert Cecil on the committee which drafted the League of Nations Covenant. After its formation he was a member of the Secretariat of the League as served as principal assistant to Sir Eric Drummond, the secretary-general of the League.

Noel-Baker was fluent in seven languages. He was also an exceptional athlete and was captain of the British team in the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp and won the silver medal in the 1,500 metres.

In 1924 Noel-Baker became professor for international relations at London University. He held the post until 1929 when he was appointed as a member of the British delegation to the Assembly of the League of Nations. During this period Noel-Baker wrote several books including The League of Nations at Work (1926), Disarmament (1926) and Disarmament and the Coolidge Conference (1927).

Noel-Baker, a member of the Labour Party, was elected to the House of Commons in 1929. He was a member of the National Executive of the Labour Party and took a keen interest in foreign policy.

In 1936 the Conservative government feared the spread of communism from the Soviet Union to the rest of Europe. Stanley Baldwin, the British prime minister, shared this concern and was fairly sympathetic to the military uprising in Spain against the left-wing Popular Front government.

Leon Blum, the prime minister of the Popular Front government in France, initially agreed to send aircraft and artillery to help the Republican Army in Spain. However, after coming under pressure from Stanley Baldwin and Anthony Eden in Britain, and more right-wing members of his own cabinet, he changed his mind.

In the House of Commons on 29th October 1936, Philip Noel-Baker, Clement Attlee and Arthur Greenwood argued against the government policy of Non-Intervention. As Noel-Baker pointed out: "We protest with all our power against the sham, the hypocritical sham, that it now appears to be."

During the Second World War he joined the government as parliamentary secretary to the Master of War Transport. In 1944 Noel-Baker was placed in charge of British preparatory work for the United Nations and the following year helped to draft the Charter of the UN at San Francisco. In 1946 Noel-Baker was a member of the British delegation.

In the government led by Clement Attlee Noel-Baker served as Minister of State in the Foreign Office (1945-1946), Secretary of State for Air (1946-1947), Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1947-1950) and Minister of Fuel and Power (1950-51).

After the Labour Party lost the 1951 General Election Noel-Baker became a member of the shadow cabinet. He also published his books, The Arms Race: A Programme for World Disarmament (1958). The following year he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1960 Noel-Baker was appointed as president of the International Council on Sport and Physical Recreation of UNESCO. Other books by Noel-Baker include The Arms Race (1960), The Private Manufacture of Armaments (1975)Disarm or Die (1978) and The First World Disarmament Conference (1979).

Philip Noel-Baker died in London on 8th October, 1982.

When this information was discussed by the British Labour Movement Conference on the same afternoon there was general support for the continuation of Non-Intervention so long as it could be made more effective. This was the attitude of Attlee, Grenfell and Noel-Baker, another leading critic at Edinburgh, who argued that Non-Intervention was "the right policy provided it was equally applied". Citrine said that there was no alternative to Non-Intervention that could "really materialise for the benefit of the Spanish people". He perceived the question of `volunteers' as one area where Non-Intervention had not been applied and had worked, at least in numerical terms, against the Spanish government. Finally, he believed that they should not create the false impression at the conference that they had the potential to supply British arms to Spain - under no circumstances could they "get the people of this country to go to war about Spain". Therefore, all of their efforts should concentrate on making Non-Intervention "as complete and strong as possible". Bevin continued in this vein, arguing that they had to tell the Spanish "the truth about our position here and (tell them) their only salvation was to get absolute unity to face Franco in Spain". He also suggested that the Labour Party should concentrate its future attacks on the German threat to British financial interests in the Rio Tinto mines. He concluded with a four-point programme which was duly accepted as British policy for the conference.

Olympic Bio of the Day – Philip Noel-Baker

Philip John Baker was born in London on 1 November 1889, one of seven children of Canadian-born parents. He was raised in a Quaker home. His parents moved to England when his father, Joseph Allen Baker, was asked to establish a British branch of his father’s engineering business. In London, Joseph Baker became a member of the London County Council and later served in the House of Commons on the Liberal ticket, beginning in 1905. Thus, his upbringing gave him exposure to both politics and peaceful ways.

Philip Baker attended the Bootham School in York, after which he spent several years at a Quaker school in Philadelphia, Haverford College. He returned to England to earn his degrees from King’s College, Cambridge, earning honors in history (1910) and economics (1912). He received an M.A. with honors from Cambridge in 1913.

Baker ran for Cambridge and joined the Cambridge Athletic Club. He represented Haverford in the IC4A championships in 1907, finishing fifth in the 880 yards. For Cambridge he won the 880 yards against Oxford in 1910, 1911, and 1912, and the mile in 1909 and 1911. At the Cambridge University AC sports days, he won the mile in 1910 and both the half-mile and mile in 1911 and 1912. He ran three times at the AAA Championships, finishing fifth in the 1910 mile, fourth in the 1911 mile, and participating on the winning medley relay team in 1920.

Baker eventually ran for Great Britain at the 1912 and 1920 Olympic Games. At Stockholm, he failed to survive the first round of the 800 metres. In the 1,500 metres, he qualified for the final, but sacrificed his own chances to pace his teammate, Arnold Jackson. Jackson won the gold medal, and Baker finished sixth. At Antwerp in 1920, Baker again ran in the 800 metres. He qualified for the semi-finals, but did not start in that round. In the 1,500 metres, he ran well, but was narrowly beaten by his teammate, Albert Hill, and earned a silver medal.

Baker’s fame came from his career after sports. As a Quaker pacifist, he rejected combat service in World War I, but commanded the Friends’ Ambulance Corps, serving at the front in France, and earning decorations for valor. He was later an adjutant in a British ambulance unit in Italy, and earned the British Silver Medal for Military Valor, and the Italian War Cross. In 1915, Philip Baker married Irene Noel, and would eventually take her name, being known as Philip Noel-Baker from the late thirties onward. They eventually had one child, Francis, a son born in 1920.

After the war, Noel-Baker was an assistant to Robert Cecil at the Paris Peace Conference and he helped draft the Covenant of the League of Nations. He was later named chief assistant to the secretary-general of the League, Eric Drummond, until 1922. During this time, he became associated with Fridtjof Nansen, the Norwegian explorer and humanitarian, who became known for his work on behalf of war refugees.

In 1924, Noel-Baker became Sir Ernest Cassell Professor of international relations at the University of London. He was elected to Parliament from Coventry in 1929, serving two years. In 1926 he wrote two books, The League of Nations at Work, and Disarmament, which earned him a reputation as an expert on disarmament. He was later (1932) appointed the parliamentary private secretary to Arthur Henderson, chairman of the World Disarmament Conference convened in Geneva in 1932. He was re-elected to Parliament in 1936 and held a seat representing Derby until 1970.

During World War II, Noel-Baker served as official spokesman for the War Ministry in the House of Commons. In 1945, when the Labour Party returned to power, he was made minister of state, a non-cabinet position under the foreign secretary. In that capacity, he headed the British delegation to the United Nations Preparatory Commission, and later served on the subcommittee that drew up the preliminary agenda for the United Nations General Assembly. He served as Secretary of State for Air from 1946-1947, and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations from 1947-1950.

Noel-Baker was a forceful advocate of arms control, and later served on the U.N. Economic and Social Council. His final book was published in 1958, The Arms Race: A Programme for World Disarmament. It was a comprehensive analysis of the history of disarmament with practical suggestions for the future course of the policy, and in 1960 was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Book Prize.

In 1959, for his work with the League of Nations, the United Nations, his lifetime commitment to peace, his work on behalf of war refugees, and his vast knowledge of disarmament, Philip John Noel-Baker was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. During his Nobel Prize lecture, he spoke of the threat posed by nuclear weapons and the arms race. He declared that the solution lay, not in partial measures, but in a comprehensive and complete program of disarmament under the United Nations. “Disarmament is … for every nation,” he stated, “the safest and most practicable system of defense.”

Noel-Baker retired from the House of Commons at age 80, declaring, “While I have the health and strength, I shall give all my time to the work of breaking the dogmatic sleep of those who allow the nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional arms race to go on.” In 1977, Philip John Noel-Baker was made a life peer as Baron Noel-Baker of Derby. He died in London on 9 October 1982.

Remembering an Olympian

Philip Noel-Baker with the Haverford track team at the 1907 Penn Relay Races.

(This article first appeared in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Haverford magazine.)

With the Summer Olympics set to open in London in July, it seems fitting that we pay tribute to Haverford's own Olympian alumnus, Philip Noel-Baker, who won a silver medal in the 1500 meters in the 1920 games in Antwerp. Noel-Baker, a Quaker from England who spent the 1906-07 academic year at Haverford as a visiting student (he later graduated from Cambridge), has an even more impressive distinction: He remains the only person in history to have won both an Olympic medal and a Nobel Prize.

Noel-Baker won the 1959 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his lifelong efforts to find peaceful solutions to political conflicts. He served in the Friends Ambulance Unit in France during the First World War, later worked with Fridtjof Nansen on his humanitarian relief efforts and assisted in the for- mation of the League of Nations. He served in the governments of two prime ministers, became a leader of the Labor Party and was elected to the House of Commons. And he wrote more than a dozen books, many of them on the subject of disarmament, an issue about which he was passionate.

Noel-Baker, who returned to Haverford in 1954 for a weeklong visit during which he met with students and faculty and gave a lecture titled“A British Appraisal of American Foreign Policy,” was also one heck of an athlete.

Besides his own silver medal in the 1920 Olympics, he captained Great Britain's track team (immortalized in the film Chariots of Fire) in the 1924 Olympics in Paris.“As a freshman [at Haverford], he was the best college soccer player in the country, and he broke the school record in the mile by eight seconds,” says Joe Quinlan '75, who gave a lecture titled“Philip Noel-Baker: Quaker Hero” at a March reception in London sponsored by the Haverford College International Council.

“Philip Noel-Baker left Haverford in 1907 and fought the good fight for peace and justice for the next 75 years,” says Quinlan.“His accomplishments could fill a dozen lifetimes.”

Francis Noel-Baker

Francis Edward Noel-Baker (7 January 1920 – 25 September 2009) was a British Labour Party politician. His father was Labour MP and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Philip Noel-Baker.

He was educated at Westminster School and King's College, Cambridge and served with the Intelligence Corps in World War II.

He was first elected to the House of Commons in the Labour landslide at the 1945 general election as Member of Parliament for Brentford and Chiswick. When elected, he was the youngest Labour MP. He lost his seat at the 1950 general election, but returned to Parliament at the 1955 election as MP for Swindon. He resigned his seat in March 1969, by taking the Chiltern Hundreds.

In 1971 he left the Labour Party in response to the party's opposition to British membership of the European Economic Community. He later joined the Social Democratic Party and later still the Conservative Party.

In 1948, Francis acted covertly for the British Government inside Franco's Fascist Spain. His report "Spanish Summary" with a forward written by Lady Megan Lloyd George M.P. had a huge influence in shaming the British and other governments and world-wide organisations for allowing the fascist state to remain undefeated in Europe until Franco's death.

While he was an MP Noel-Baker advocated reforms to moderate the influence of outside interests in Parliament. In 1961 he published an article in Parliamentary Affairs warning that "the door, in fact, is wide open for a new form of political corruption, and there is an uneasy feeling in Parliament and outside that its extent could be much greater than the known or published facts reveal".

Before his death in 2009 Noel-Baker was one of the few surviving members of the 1945 Parliament, the others being Michael Foot and John Freeman. He married in 1947 (dissolved 1956), Ann Saunders. In 1957 he married secondly Barbara Sonander, who died of skin cancer in 2004. Four sons and a daughter from his two marriages survive him, and a son predeceased him.


In the 1990s, GBPSR broadened its mission to include other major public health issues, including environmental health, human rights and social justice issues such as domestic violence and structural racism, and climate change.

We have likewise broadened our membership: we welcome and are honored to include members of all backgrounds and professions.

In 1992, GBPSR became a medical community leader in addressing environmental health with a groundbreaking conference at the MIT titled Human Health and Environment, organized by Dr. Eric Chivian. Over 700 people attended. Chivian and others would go on to author a seminal book, Critical Condition: Human Health and the Environment (MIT Press, 1993), that included chapters from leading epidemiologists and public health physicians who were among the first to emphasize the environment as a social determinant of health.

Since that time, GBPSR has worked effectively to educate the medical community, policy makers and the public about the health consequences of air pollution, environmental pollutants such as pesticides and dioxin, and climate change.

Our seminal research reports, Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment (1996, and MIT Press, 1999), In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development (2000), No Room to Breathe (2000) and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging (2008) have provided the scientific groundwork for advocacy campaigns to protect health and have helped change public policies as well as clinical practice.

GBPSR’s Human Health and the Environment Project (HHEP), led by Drs. Ted Schettler, Jill Stein, Gina Solomon and Jeff Dickey, along with Maria Valenti, was one of the first in the PSR organization to focus on the individual and public health consequences of environmental pollution. HHEP helped educate the medical community on the linkages between environmental exposures and health, activating members to work to protect public health, providing community groups with resources on human health and environment issues, and participating in public policy debates.

Stein and Schettler created numerous lectures for health and medical organizations including a grand rounds lecture on environmental health that they presented around the country. Dr. Jefferson Dickey, author of No Room to Breathe, focussed on the health effects of air pollution from fossil fuel burning power plants, and would go on to found the Committee on Environmental and Occupational Health at the Massachusetts Medical Society, which he and Schettler both served on.

GBPSR has educated over 10,000 health professionals through its education courses and broke new ground by developing clinical tools on environment and health, such as its Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, featured in a five-state training program funded by the EPA, and subsequently as an online CME course developed in conjunction with the US Centers for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit. GBPSR served for many years on the community advisory committee of the Boston University Superfund Basic Research Program (BUSBRP), which conducts research into the reproductive and developmental effects of many pollutants including dioxin and PCBs. GBPSR contributed to the BU Health Studies Guide for Communities and the development of the Health and Environment Assistance Resources (HEAR) Database.

Philip John Noel-Baker

In 1907, Philip Noel-Baker took part in the international peace conference in the Hague. There the great powers refused to enter into agreements concerning disarmament and arbitration. World War I broke out a few years later, and Noel-Baker was convinced that the private armaments industry bore much of the responsibility for the outbreak of war and the bloodbath that followed. The struggle for disarmament became a leitmotif for him for the rest of his life, and led to his being awarded the Peace Prize in 1959.

Noel-Baker read history and law at Cambridge. He participated in World War I as a volunteer medical orderly. After the war he worked at the League of Nations, employment which brought him into close cooperation with such Peace Prize Laureates as Fridtjof Nansen, Normann Angell and Lord Cecil.

During World War II he was a Minister in Winston Churchill's coalition Government, and after the war he became Foreign Minister in Clement Attlee's Labour Government. Noel-Baker helped to draw up the United Nations Charter, and for the rest of his life he engaged in intense efforts to prevent nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Autumn Delights

“The mellow autumn came, and with it came the promised party.” – Lord Byron, probably one thing you could trust him on was to spot an opportunity for a good time. And surely autumn is the best of times. Glowing leaves, crisp skies, bright berries urging us to get out there and snatch the last golden days before the winter dark. New England may have ‘leaf-peeping’ hotlines, but the beech-woods of Bucks have their own enchantments. Even when it rains.

I love autumn, so was delighted to be asked to pick some places to enjoy autumn in Bucks (even if it rains) for Buckinghamshire Life magazine – Bucks Autumn

And here’re links to the places featured in the article –

Waddesdon Manor

For fairy-tale grandeur and innovative art installations

Bruce Munro art installations for the ‘Winter Light’ trail through the grounds

Chiltern Open Air Museum

For Halloween nights, harvest traditions and stories by the fire in the roundhouse

Hughenden Manor

For all things apple and for being a secret WWII map-making base, codename ‘Operation Hillside’

Apple Day – 57 varieties grown at Hughenden One of Ed Elliott’s ‘Watchmen’ sculptures commemorating the top-secret WWII map-makers


For neoclassical elegance and pumpkin hunting through the grounds

Wendover Woods

For the Rothschilds creating a trackway through the woods for their zebra & cart, but mainly for the Gruffalo….

My niece making friends with the Gruffalo at Wendover Woods


Born Philip John Baker in Brondesbury Park, London, he was a finalist in the 1912 Olympics and, in 1920, captain of the British Olympic team and a silver medallist in the 1,500-metre race. He retained a profound belief in the positive role that sport could play in fostering good international relations.

During the 1920s Noel-Baker – who adopted the additional surname following his 1915 marriage to Irene Noel – held a chair in international relations at the University of London and was involved in the work of the League of Nations. Having been elected to Parliament in 1929, he went on to hold several ministerial portfolios in the post-war Labour government, including Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1947–50). Writing in her diary in 1936, Noel-Baker’s contemporary Virginia Woolf concluded ‘Phil Baker shd do half what he does, and should drink wine’.

In 1959, a year after the publication of his most famous book, The Arms Race: A Programme for World Disarmament, Noel-Baker was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Ennobled in 1977, he died at number 16 five years later.

Philip Noel-Baker, alkujaan Baker, syntyi Kanadassa, mutta muutti pian isänsä Joseph Allan Bakerin mukana Englantiin. Isä oli mukana politiikassa ja toimi kansanedustajana Yhdistyneen kuningaskunnan parlamentissa.

Cambridgen yliopistossa opiskellessaan Noel-Baker harrasti aktiivisesti urheilua opiskelijoiden urheilukerhossa. Hänet valittiin Ison-Britannian olympiajoukkueeseen Tukholmaan 1912. 1920 hän sekä toimi joukkueen kapteenina että osallistui kisoihin Antwerpenin olympialaisissa. Antwerpenissa Noel-Baker voitti hopeaa 1 500 metrin juoksussa. Hänen aikansa oli 4.02,4, joka oli 0,6 sekuntia hitaampi kuin kilpailun voittaneella Albert Hillillä [1] .

1915 Philip Baker nai Irene Noelin. Yhdysnimen hän otti käyttöön 1943. [2]

Ensimmäisen maailmansodan syttyessä Noel-Baker katsoi, ettei voinut osallistua sotatoimiin pasifistisen maailmankatsomuksensa ja väkivallan kieltävän uskontonsa (Noel-Baker oli kveekari) takia. Sen sijaan hän organisoi ja johti vapaaehtoista ambulanssiyksikköä Ranskan rintamalla. Sodan loppupuolella hän toimi brittiläisen ambulanssiyksikön adjutanttina Italiassa. Toimistaan sodassa hän vastaanotti kunniamerkit sekä Ranskalta, Italialta että Isolta-Britannialta.

Sodan päätyttyä Noel-Baker osallistui aktiivisesti Kansainliiton perustamiseen ja toimi sen ensimmäisen pääsihteerin Sir Eric Drummondin avustajana. 20- ja 30-luvuilla hän toimi myös luennoi kansainvälisestä oikeudesta Lontoon yliopistossa ja Yalessa. Erityisesti hän työskenteli aseistariisunnan hyväksi ja toimi kansainvälisessä aseistariisuntakomissiossa sekä julkaisi lukuisia kirjoja aiheesta.

Noel-Bakerin poliittinen ura Britannian työväenpuolueessa alkoi vuoden 1924 parlamenttivaaleissa, joissa hän ei saanut tarpeeksi ääniä tullakseen valituksi. Vaaleissa 1929 hän kuitenkin pääsi edustamaan Coventryn kaupunkia parlamenttiin. Toisen maailmansodan aikana Baker toimi parlamentin sihteerinä. Sodan päätyttyä hän piti hallussaan eri ministerin salkkuja eri Clement Attleen hallituksissa. Noel-Bakerilla oli merkittävä asema Työväenpuolueen sisällä ja hän toimi puolueen puheenjohtajana 1964. [3]

Noel-Baker oli mukana Britannian ensimmäisessä edustajistossa Yhdistyneisiin kansakuntiin ja osallistui sen peruskirjan laatimiseen. Vuonna 1959 hän vastaanotti Nobel-palkinnon työstään aseistariisunnan hyväksi. [4]

The United States of Europe

Like other Socialist projects, the idea of a "United States of Europe" originated in liberal capitalist circles, notably those around Richard Cobden, and was adopted by leading Socialists like Engels and Wilhelm Liebknecht, founder of the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany (SDAP) (Liebknecht, 1889).

By 1914, when the Fabian Society was exploring international government, the idea had become part of the official policy of the Fabian-created and controlled Independent Labour Party (ILP) ("Review of the Week", Labour Leader, 1 Oct. 1914). During and after World War I, the project was actively promoted by leading Fabians like Arthur Ponsonby, Joseph Retinger, Arthur Salter (a former member of the Fabian Society) and collaborators like Aristide Briand.

Tellingly, the project enjoyed the support of leading financiers like Louis von Rothschild of S. M. von Rothschild & Sohne, Vienna. Moreover, the political drive for a united Europe worked hand in hand with the drive by international financiers to establish a new world financial order involving a network of central banks controlled by themselves.

Thus, in January 1920, Liberal Herbert Asquith and Labourite J.R. Clynes, along with Rothschild agents Paul Warburg, Jacob Schiff and J.P. Morgan Jr., as well as Bank of England, Lazard and Rockefeller representatives, jointly called for an international economic conference to reorganise the world's financial and commercial structure. (see "Powers To Confer On World Finance", New York Times, 15 Jan. 1920)

In November 1921, plans for a "Gold Reserve Bank of the United States of Europe" were presented by Frank Vanderlip of the Rockefeller-controlled and Morgan-associated National City Bank of New York. (see "Vanderlip Gives Details Of Plan For World Bank", New York Times, 13 Nov 1921)

[The Bank for International Settlements was founded in 1930 to manage "gold deposit and swap facilities" on behalf of the central banks. The Morgan and Rockefeller banks provided part of the initial capital. --ed]

Watch the video: Sue Wiseman Mile 2016 - Highlights Video (July 2022).


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