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Arthur George Bottomley, Baron Bottomley, OBE, PC (7 February 1907 – 3 November 1995) was a British Labour politician, Member of Parliament and minister.

The Lord Bottomley

Arthur Bottomley MP.jpg
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
In office
18 October 1964 – 1 August 1966
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Preceded byDuncan Sandys
Succeeded byHerbert Bowden
Minister of Overseas Development
In office
11 August 1966 – 29 August 1967
Preceded byAnthony Greenwood
Succeeded byReg Prentice
Personal details
Born7 February 1907
Died3 November 1995 (aged 88)
Spouse(s)Dame Bessie Bottomley

Early lifeEdit

Before entering parliament he was a trade union organiser of the National Union of Public Employees (which later became part of UNISON). From 1929 to 1949 he was a councillor on Walthamstow Borough Council, and in 1945-1946 he was Mayor of Walthamstow. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1941 Birthday Honours.[1]

Parliamentary careerEdit

He was first elected to parliament in the 1945 general election for the Chatham division of Rochester and he held the seat (later renamed Rochester and Chatham) until losing it in the 1959 general election to the Conservative Julian Critchley. He returned to parliament by winning Middlesbrough East in a by-election in 1962 and held the seat, and its successor Middlesbrough, until his retirement in 1983.

He was a junior minister in Clement Attlee's governments, being Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (1946–47), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1947) and Secretary for Overseas Trade at the Board of Trade (1947–51). In Harold Wilson's governments he was Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1964–66) — during which time he sought to deal with the consequences of Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence — and Minister of Overseas Development (1966–67).

Announced in the 1984 New Year Honours,[2] he was created a life peer as Baron Bottomley, of Middlesbrough in the County of Cleveland on 31 January 1984.[3]

Lord Bottomley died on 3 November 1995 aged 88.


His wife, Bessie Ellen Bottomley, JP, was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1970 "[f]or public and social services."

Bessie Ellen Bottomley died in 1998 in Redbridge, Essex.


The Use and Abuse of Trade Unions, London : Ampersand, 1963.

Control of Commonwealth Immigration. An Analysis and Summary of the Evidence taken by the Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration 1969-70. Bottomley, Arthur ; Sinclair, George. (ISBN 9780902397033).

Commonwealth, Comrades, and Friends, Somaiya Publications, 1986.


  1. ^ "No. 35184". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1941. p. 3287.
  2. ^ "No. 49583". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1983. p. 1.
  3. ^ "No. 49637". The London Gazette. 3 February 1984. p. 1579.

External linksEdit