Arthur Salter, 1st Baron Salter

James Arthur Salter, 1st Baron Salter, GBE, KCB, PC (15 March 1881 – 27 June 1975) was a British civil servant, politician, and academic who was a significant politician behind the concept of European political union, often in conjunction with his close friend and colleague Jean Monnet.

The Lord Salter
Minister of Materials
In office
24 November 1952 – 1 September 1953
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byThe Viscount Swinton
Succeeded byThe Lord Woolton
Minister for Economic Affairs
In office
26 October 1951 – 24 November 1952
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byHugh Gaitskell
Succeeded byGeorge Brown (Sec. of State)
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
25 May 1945 – 26 July 1945
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byErnest Brown
Succeeded byJohn Hynd
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport
In office
29 June 1941 – 23 May 1945
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byJohn Llewellin
Succeeded byPeter Thorneycroft
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Shipping
In office
13 November 1939 – 29 June 1941
Prime MinisterNeville Chamberlain
Winston Churchill
Preceded byLeslie Wilson (1919)
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
12 November 1953 – 27 June 1975
Hereditary peerage
Member of Parliament
for Ormskirk
In office
5 April 1951 – 12 November 1953
Preceded byRonald Cross
Succeeded byDouglas Glover
Member of Parliament
for Oxford University
In office
27 February 1937 – 23 February 1950
Preceded byHugh Cecil
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
James Arthur Salter

15 March 1881
Died27 June 1975 (aged 94)
Alma materBrasenose College, Oxford

Background and education edit

Salter was the eldest son of James Edward Salter (1857–1937) of the Thames boating company Salters Steamers, and who became Mayor of Oxford in 1909.[1] Educated at Oxford City High School and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was a scholar, he graduated with first class honours in Literae Humaniores in 1903.

Career edit

Salter joined the Civil Service in 1904 and worked in the transport department of the Admiralty, on national insurance, and as private secretary, being promoted to Assistant Secretary grade in 1913. On the outbreak of war, he was recalled to the Admiralty, and became director of ship requisitioning. He was sent to Washington D.C. to press for a US programme of new construction.

In 1917–18 he was a colleague of Jean Monnet in the Chartering Committee of the Allied Maritime Transport Council, and in 1919 appointed secretary of the Supreme Economic Council in Paris. In 1920 he was appointed the first Secretary General to the Reparation Commission established by the Treaty of Versailles,[2] a position he held from 1920 to 1922.[3] Salter then joined Monnet at the League of Nations Secretariat in Geneva, as head of the Economic and Financial Section, where he was involved in the stabilization of currencies of Austria and Hungary and resettlement of refugees in Greece and Bulgaria.

He returned to London in 1930, and worked as journalist and author. In 1932, he presided over a Conference on Road and Rail Transport tasked with looking at the true costs and benefits of transport, and whose results were known as the Salter Report. It recommended changes to the way that public roads were funded to account for the growing demands of the motor car and road freight, and to ensure that road and rail were evenly regulated and competed fairly.

Salter was part of the World Conference for International Peace through Religion, which produced a report in 1932 on the causes of war.[4]

In 1933, he had published the book The United States of Europe[5] in which he included an essay first published on 2 September 1929, entitled "The 'United States of Europe' Idea", in which he set out the arguments for a Europe-wide Zollverein, stating that this could only be achieved "under the conditions of an overwhelmingly political motive and an extremely close political association between the countries concerned".

In his book, he also set out a template remarkably similar to that adopted by his former colleague Jean Monnet for the structure of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957. To that extent, Salter is regarded by some as co-author, with Jean Monnet, of the supranational structure of what became the European Union.

In 1934, he was appointed Gladstone professor of political theory and institutions at Oxford University, and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He was Independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Oxford University from 1937 to 1950.

On outbreak of war in 1939, he resumed his role in shipping, being appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Shipping.

In June 1940, he once more supported Jean Monnet on the short-lived Franco-British Union proposal to politically unify Britain and France as a bastion against Nazism. Later, Salter headed the British shipping mission to Washington from 1941 to 1943, where he employed Monnet and they worked together on what would become the Victory Program of military industrial buildup.

He was appointed a Privy Councillor in 1941. In 1944 he was appointed deputy director-general of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. He served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the short-lived Churchill caretaker ministry (May–July 1945).

He was elected as Conservative MP for Ormskirk in 1951. Churchill offered him a new economic department in the Conservative Government formed that November, but he decided to join the Treasury provided he had access to the Cabinet.[6] He served as Minister of State for Economic Affairs at the Treasury, and as Minister of Materials in 1952. Rab Butler, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, claimed in his 1971 memoirs that Churchill called Salter "the greatest economist since Jesus Christ" and drily recorded that “for thirteen months Salter wrote me numberless minutes in green ink with which I did not always agree”.[7] Butler's biographer Anthony Howard writes that Salter was "never more than a minor, and sometimes visible, irritant to the new Chancellor".[8] Butler called him "Micawber Salter" because of his opposition to Butler's proposal to let the pound float ("Operation ROBOT").[9] However, Edmund Dell wrote that Salter was "not the figure of fun of Butler’s memoirs".[10]

In the mid-1950s he was invited by Nuri al-Said to be one of the external members of the Iraqi government's Development Board; while working with this board, he produced what came to be known as the "Salter Report" on industrial development of the Iraqi economy. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Salter, of Kidlington in the County of Oxford, on 16 October 1953.[11] He had received many honours during his career, being first appointed a Companion of the Bath in 1918, a Knight Commander of the Bath in 1922, and a GBE in 1944. His peerage became extinct when he died in 1975, aged 94.

Bibliography edit

  • Sir Arthur Salter, Toward a Planned Economy. John Day 1934.[12]

References edit

  1. ^ "A Brief History of Salter's". Archived from the original on 9 May 2008.
  2. ^ Money, Leon Chiozza (1920). The Triumph of Nationalization. London: Cassell & Co.
  3. ^ "Arthur Salter (1881–1975)". Dumbarton Oaks.
  4. ^ Balls, William B. (1933). "Review of The Causes of War". American Journal of Sociology. 38 (5): 792–792. ISSN 0002-9602.
  5. ^ Europe, Sir Arthur Salter (1933). The United States of Europe. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
  6. ^ Dell 1997, pp. 160-1
  7. ^ Butler 1971, p.156
  8. ^ Howard 1987, p. 181
  9. ^ Howard 1987, p. 187
  10. ^ Dell 1997, pp. 160-1
  11. ^ "No. 39988". The London Gazette. 16 October 1953. p. 5498.
  12. ^ Salter, Arthur (1934). Toward a Planned Economy. New York: John Day.

Sources edit

Further reading edit

  • Aster, Sidney, Power, Policy and Personality: The Life and Times of Lord Salter, 1881–1975. Amazon, 2016. ISBN 9781517179502.
  • Butler, Rab (1971). The Art of the Possible. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0241020074.
  • Dell, Edmund. The Chancellors: A History of the Chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945–90 (HarperCollins, 1997)
  • Howard, Anthony, RAB: The Life of R. A. Butler. London: Jonathan Cape, 1987. ISBN 978-0224018623.
  • Le Dréau, Christophe, Arthur Salter face à la construction européenne (1929–1951), Mémoire de DEA de l'Université Paris I Sorbonne, sous la direction de Robert Frank, 1999, 232p.
  • James Arthur Salter, Allied Shipping Control. Oxford, 1921.
  • James Arthur Salter, Slave of the Lamp: a Public Servant's Notebook. London, 1967.

External links edit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Oxford University
With: A. P. Herbert
University constituencies abolished
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Ormskirk
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
May–July 1945
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Hugh Gaitskell
Minister for Economic Affairs
Office abolished
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Salter