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George Nicoll Barnes

(1859-1940), Trade unionist and Labour politician; MP for Glasgow

20th Century Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 15 portraits
Born in Lochee, Forfarshire, became an active member of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers and joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) on its foundation in 1893; national secretary of the Society for twelve years from 1896; elected for Glasgow Blackfriars (later Gorbals) at the 1906 general election and held the seat until his retirement in 1922; became a major spokesman for Labour, especially during the mobilisation of national resources to fight the First World War; resigned his ministerial post in 1920 and from politics more generally in 1922; continued to support the ILP throughout his retirement and published several books, including his autobiography; died in April 1940 in London.

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Angela Burrill

23 November 2017, 14:52

Leader of the Labour Party 1910-1911
Key role leading to the introduction of the state pension 1910
member of Inner War Cabinet from 1916 when appointed first Minister of Pensions.
Plenipotentiary to Paris and negotiator and then signatory for GB on Treaty of Versailles in 1919.He opposed the harsh reparation clauses (with limited success on this point)
A Founder or the International Labour Office, Geneva and involved with their work until his death in 1940.
His home at Herne Hill Was bombed ww2 and key papers destroyed unfortunately.
Son of James Barnes of Lancs and Catherine Langlands of Forfarshire. Wife was Jessie Langlands of Dundee. 3 sons 1 daughter now no living direct descendants as far as I am aware. I am descended from his elder brother William Langlands Barnes and donated remaining papers to BLPES several years ago.

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