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"Tributes paid to MP who shaped modern Swindon". Swindon Advertiser. ]

"Obituary". Daily Telegraph. 28 September 2009.

The son of the Quaker Nobel Peace Prize winner Lord Noel-Baker, he entered parliament in 1945 as the "baby" of the new intake, campaigning for the overthrow of General Franco. But he would give Left-wing Greeks a pretext to demand seizure of the estate by supporting the Right-wing junta of the Colonels.

The estate at Prokopi has been in the family since 1832, when his forebear Edward Noel bought it from a departing Turkish bey for 10,000 sovereigns, borrowed from Lady Byron; he was in Greece to ascertain how Lord Byron, to whom the family was related, had died. Noel-Baker inherited it from his mother, setting up several businesses, a community charity and a clinic opened by King Paul and Queen Frederika.

Though the estate was half its original size by the time Andreas Papandreou's socialist government attempted to seize all but the house and 50 acres in 1984, Noel-Baker still valued his 11,000 acres at 20 million. After his ownership was assured in the late 1980s, he accommodated discerning holidaymakers.

Noel-Baker's Greek connections and fluency in the language proved valuable to Anthony Eden at the height of the Cyprus emergency in 1956. Noel-Baker mediated between the governor, Sir John Harding, and Archbishop Makarios as the guerrilla campaign for enosis (or union) with Greece escalated.

The negotiations broke down despite what the Colonial Secretary Alan Lennox-Boyd called Noel-Baker's "ceaseless and selfless" efforts, and Makarios was exiled to the Seychelles. When Cyprus was eventually granted independence in 1960, Noel-Baker regarded the elaborate Greco-Turkish power-sharing agreement as a recipe for disaster. He warned that Greeks would want to pursue enosis and Turkey might invade to stop it. Sure enough, 14 years later the Turks did invade. In Athens, the Colonels' junta, which Noel-Baker supported, fell; and in Euboea he faced a campaign of disruption by islanders who resented that support. His pressure for the return of the Elgin Marbles counted for little.

Francis Edward Noel-Baker was born on January 7 1920, the only son of Philip (later Baron) Noel-Baker and the former Irene Noel. He was educated at Westminster and King's College, Cambridge, taking a First in History in a year and founding the University Labour Club.

Joining the Army in 1940 as a trooper in the Royal Tank Regiment, he was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps and served at home and in the Middle East, being mentioned in despatches. In 1945 he was adopted as Labour candidate for the Conservative-held seat of Brentford and Chiswick, and was elected.

Only 25, Noel-Baker was not overawed by the Commons or his father's presence as a Foreign Office minister. In January 1946 he tackled Noel-Baker senior so vigorously about the situation in Slovenia that his father did not answer his question.

He campaigned on what he saw as a manifesto commitment to overthrow Franco, clashed with his father on the issue at the 1946 party conference, then secretly visited resistance leaders in Spain. He returned insisting there was no support for restoring the monarchy. Disconcertingly for the Left, Noel-Baker also proved staunchly anti-communist. He was alarmed by communists' activities in Greece, was an early champion of Western European political integration he eventually resigned from the Labour party when it turned against the Common Market and investigated claims that Stalin had sent 59 Spanish republicans to the gulag.

In June 1949 he became a parliamentary private secretary at the Admiralty, but a year later lost his seat by 857 votes. Out of the Commons, he concentrated on journalism; he had edited magazines for the United Nations and Unesco, and now joined the BBC European service and became editor of Go!, a travel magazine in three languages.

He returned to Westminster in 1955 as MP for Swindon, and his prime concern became the railway workshops on which Swindon then depended, and the 9,000 engineering workers employed there and at the Pressed Steel plant. Later, disillusioned at Labour's failure to halt the contraction of the railways, he earned the opprobrium of British Railways' chairman Stanley Raymond for questioning the calibre of his managers.

Though holding no official position, Noel-Baker found the doors of the great opening for him. In December 1958 he spent three hours in the Kremlin with Khrushchev, who told him that the West's behaviour over Berlin would be a "litmus paper" of its Cold War intentions. The next month he met Nasser, who insisted that the restoration of diplomatic relations could not be linked to the settling of Britons' financial claims against Egypt; and in July 1963 he had talks at the Elysée with de Gaulle, paving the way for a visit by Harold Wilson.

With Wilson in office, Noel-Baker's disenchantment set in. He abstained on the 1967 defence White Paper his first such vote not because of its content but because he objected to Richard Crossman, Leader of the House, treating him like "lobby fodder" over decimalisation. He also believed that the Foreign Secretary, George Brown, was taking disastrous decisions on Aden, trying to hand over to moderate Arabs while keeping a military presence. Voting against the Bill to grant Aden independence, he described Brown's policy as a recipe for a "bloody and unnecessary colonial war".

In February 1968 Noel-Baker announced his retirement at the next election. Two months later he said he would go sooner, because party politics and the Commons had become "increasingly unsatisfactory and unpleasant"; parliament, he said, had a "death wish". Preparations were made for a by-election and Labour selected a candidate (the eventual Lord Stoddart of Swindon) but Noel-Baker did not resign. He went to Greece, leaving his agent to handle all constituency business; then, in December, he had a nervous breakdown.

Noel-Baker finally resigned in March 1969, after Left-wing MPs had tried to oust him as chairman of the all-party committee on Greece because he refused to acknowledge human rights abuses under the Colonels. At the subsequent by-election the Conservatives took the seat.

Noel-Baker now concentrated on his estate. In 1952 a constitutional amendment had threatened its division among the local farmers, and Noel-Baker appealed to the State Council for an exemption, granted in 1957. In 1961 he set up the Northern Euboean Foundation, a charity to help the island's poorest inhabitants; the next year he arranged treatment in London for a 16-year-old boy with a blood disease that had killed seven of his ten siblings.

In 1962 Noel-Baker invited the King and Queen of Greece to be godparents at the Anglican christening of his son on Euboea. The Greek Orthodox Church was not keen, but before it could pronounce the christening was moved to London. When Queen Frederika was given a hot reception there by demonstrators against the continued detention of communist prisoners, Noel-Baker accused them of "molesting" a woman with no say on the matter.

Noel-Baker had supported the democratic government overthrown by the coup of 1967, but he praised the "honest Colonels" for tackling corruption and inefficiency. He scorned torture allegations by Amnesty International as "grossly exaggerated", and hailed the regime as "the best for years".

After the departure of the Colonels, Noel-Baker's priority was to stay out of jail. He bought a sawmill on Euboea, only for the vendor to realise he would be taxed on the gain and accuse him of falsifying an invoice. A local court sentenced him to 10 months or a 900 fine, but the case was dismissed on appeal. The same court tried to imprison him again, for 15 days, for modifying a beach house; he paid a 45 fine instead.

During 1975 Left-wing locals staged demonstrations against him, culminating in arson attacks. The minister of agriculture then declared that because of the "unrest", the government must seize the estate. After documents found in his father's air-raid shelter showed the original purchase of the estate had Greek as well as Turkish approval, Noel-Baker's title was confirmed in 1978. A later attempt to have him evicted failed when Papandreou dropped the matter.

In 1971 Noel-Baker quit the Labour Party, its decision to oppose EC membership being the "final straw". He flirted with the Ecology Party, then in August 1981 joined the SDP. Not offered a seat, he left in January 1984 for the Conservatives.

He was founder president of the European Council for Villages and Small Towns, and a member of the Soil Association.

Francis Noel-Baker married, in 1947 (dissolved 1956), Ann Saunders; he married secondly, in 1957, Barbara Sonander, who died in 2004. Four sons and a daughter from his two marriages survive him, and a son predeceased him.

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Francis Noel-Baker: Labour MP | Times Online Obituary

The youngest Labour MP when he was elected to the Commons in 1945, Francis Noel-Baker started out in politics full of promise. He was the only son of Philip Noel-Baker, who was to serve as Secretary of State for Air and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations in the postwar Attlee Government and who in 1959 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

At the outset of his career the young Noel-Baker was himself an almost equally ardent crusader for liberal, international causes; while his unbridled zeal sometimes provoked friction, he spent himself unsparingly on those things in which he believed. But, after 18 years during which he sat as a backbencher and obtained no preferment, he informed his constituency Labour Party early in 1968 that he proposed to resign his seat because of ill-health and for personal reasons. But he took no action to vacate the seat for more than a year and this made him the subject of much public criticism, in the constituency and elsewhere.

For various reasons he appears to have become disillusioned with parliamentary life and also with his party. In one statement he declared himself to have found party politics in the House of Commons as they are at present increasingly unsatisfactory and unpleasant. He added that he disliked many policies and decisions he had been asked to support, some of which did not square with his partys hopes and intentions as advocated at the last election. In this frame of mind, he withdrew to Greece, where he felt he could do more useful work looking after a family property he had inherited from his mother in the island of Euboea and occupying himself with the philanthropic activities of the North Euboean Foundation a charitable trust established by the Noel-Baker family of which he was chairman.

Francis Edward Noel-Baker was educated at Westminster School and Kings College, Cambridge. His university career was interrupted by the Second World War and in 1940 he left Cambridge to join the Army as a trooper in the Royal Tank Regiment. He was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps and served in the Middle East, where he reached the rank of captain and was mentioned in dispatches.

At the general election of 1945 he was elected at the age of 25 Labour MP for Brentford & Chiswick. As early indications of official encouragement, he was made a member of a British delegation to Greece in 1945, was the Labour Partys fraternal delegate to the Spanish Socialist Party congress in 1946 and accompanied a parliamentary delegation to Spain in 1948. In 1949 he was appointed parliamentary private secretary to the Civil Lord of the Admiralty.

Noel-Baker was defeated, if only by a narrow margin, at Brentford & Chiswick at the general election of 1950 and, having gone off to work cheerfully enough for the BBC European Service in Bush House, did not get back to the House of Commons until he was elected Labour MP for Swindon at the general election of 1955. From his familys connections with Greece he had an intimate knowledge of that country and spoke the language fluently. With this background, it was inevitable that he should throw himself into the troubles that afflicted Cyprus in the 1950s.

With little but active discouragement from Whitehall, the still youthful Noel-Baker constituted himself an unofficial emissary to the leaders of the Greek Cypriots and made repeated visits to the eastern Mediterranean. After Archbishop Makarios had been deported from Cyprus he sought permission to visit the Archbishop in the Seychelles. In refusing this request the Colonial Secretary then, Alan Lennox-Boyd, acknowledged that Noel-Baker genuinely wanted to help in the pacification of Cyprus but said that with the generous impulses which actuated him there had also gone an astonishing naivety. When Archbishop Makarios was released from detention Noel-Baker flew to Madagascar to accompany him back to Cyprus.

He was proud of his familys long connection with Greece and particularly of his mothers record of social and philanthropic work in Euboea. His maternal great-grandfather, Edward Noel a cousin of Lady Byron bought land from a former Turkish owner in Euboea and settled there in the early 19th century. The original estate was cut down in size by land reforms and now consists only of a small home farm and surrounding woodlands and mountain. Francis Noel-Baker, who administered the remnant of the estate, gave 50 acres of the remaining land for the establishment in 1961 of the North Euboean Foundation, of which he became chairman.

In his time in the Commons Noel-Baker was chairman of the all-party United Nations Parliamentary Group and also of the British-Greek Parliamentary Group. In 1967 he flew to Greece to call on some members of the colonels junta that had just taken power (his own family had always been closely allied with the Greek Royal Family).

His refusal to defend democracy in Greece became one of the grievances that his critics in the Labour Party held against him and their reservations were fully returned in kind. Noel-Baker formally resigned from the Labour Party in 1969 and, having stopped off at the SDP on the way, ended his life as a fully paid-up Conservative.

Poignantly, in happier days under Hugh Gaitskells leadership he had been chairman of the Labour Partys advertising inquiry council, a high-profile body that counted Lord Reith among its members. He was the author of several books, of which two were about Greece, one about Cyprus and one about Spain. He also wrote The Spy Web, a study of communist espionage, and a book on Fridtjof Nansen, the Arctic explorer.

Noel-Baker was married in 1947 to Ann Lavinia Saunders, daughter of Hilary Saunders, Librarian of the House of Commons, but this marriage was dissolved in 1956. In 1957 he was married to Barbro Kristina Sonander, a Swede. She died in 2004. He is survived by three sons and a daughter. Another son predeceased him.

Francis Noel-Baker, Labour MP for Brentford & Chiswick, 1945-50, and for Swindon, 1955-69, was born on January 7, 1920. He died on September 25, 2009, aged 89

Francis Noel-Baker: Labour politician who clashed with the party over Cyprus and helped create Amnesty International By Tam Dalyell  Independent Wednesday, 30 September 2009

To his astonishment and consternation because he was due in October 1945 to return to King's College, Cambridge, to complete the second and third year of his degree Francis Noel-Baker found himself, at the age of 25, elected as Member of Parliament for Brentford and Chiswick in the unforeseen, Attlee-led Labour landslide.

The result was all the more unexpected because his opponent, Colonel Sir Harold Mitchell, who had occupied the seat since 1931 and had risen to vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, was known as a close friend of Winston Churchill and had the reputation of being a good constituency MP.

Noel-Baker was the "baby of the Parliamentary Labour Party", a slightly uncomfortable position, as I know, having been elected at the age of 29. He came to the House of Commons, as he told me in 1962, "too young for my own good". In my judgement, as MP for Swindon from 1955 to 1968 he would have had Cabinet office had Hugh Gaitskell survived, or had George Brown or Jim Callaghan and not Harold Wilson become leader of the Labour Party.

I attended a dinner in 1964 arranged by Noel-Baker so that the Prime Minister could spend the evening conversing with his young MPs. Wilson, normally the most genial of men, was nasty, unnecessarily so, to Noel-Baker, and one realised that as long as he led the party the "feud" between he and the Noel-Bakers, father and son, would put the kibosh on any chance of ministerial preferment.

I was the secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Labour Party when Francis's father, Philip Noel-Baker, was chairman, and therefore in a position to know that he greatly irritated the Labour leadership in his opposition to the war in Vietnam. Part of the trouble which generated resentment against his son was that Philip was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and those at the top of the Labour Party were jealous at a time when they thought that they were doing their best to promote the cause of multilateral disarmament.

Francis Noel-Baker was born into a political dynasty. His grandfather, Joseph Allen Baker, was a Liberal member for Finsbury East, elected in 1906 and serving Campbell Bannerman and Asquith. His father Philip was an athlete of distinction at the 1920 Paris Olympic Games and subsequently a senior official of the United Nations in Geneva, whose virtues he preached, and Labour MP for Derby.

Leaving Westminster School, from which he had an exhibition in history, to go to King's College, Francis, an idealist, took himself off to fight in the Spanish Civil War. This was to endear him to a number of trade unionists, in particular Jack Jones, who had done the same thing. Arriving in Cambridge in 1939, he spent a year being taught by Sir John Clapham, John Saltmarsh and Arthur Pigou. He was awarded first class honours in the prelims but then volunteered for military service.

He joined the Royal Tank Regiment as a trooper in the 43rd Battalion, then changed to the Intelligence Corps. While he was serving in Egypt, friends such as Tom Fraser (MP for Hamilton) and John Parker (MP for Dagenham and secretary of the Fabian Society), persuaded him to contest Brentford and Chiswick in the 1945 election. He came home, did a bit of canvassing and was back in Cairo by the time his victory was announced three weeks after polling day (many results were delayed by the need to gather votes from servicemen overseas).

Inevitably, given the Conservative revival, Francis Noel-Baker lost his seat in 1950, and from then until 1954 he worked for the BBC's European Service. The friends who had persuaded him to stand for Parliament in 1945 then did so again, and he was elected to represent Swindon in 1955.

As Parliamentary Private Secretary to the team of defence ministers led by Emmanuel Shinwell, he became an excellent presenter of a case, and his talents were never more effectively deployed than in 1967, when he introduced private members' legislation to ban advertising of tobacco on television. Against all the odds, and passionate opposition from the smoking lobby, Noel-Baker won: it was the first step on the road to banning smoking in public places. As so often, he was before his time.

Perhaps his most significant achievement as an MP was to be a key participant in the founding of Amnesty International. He was instrumental in introducing to eachother at his London home his two friends, the Reverend Austin Williams, vicar of St Martin in the Fields, and Peter Benenson, a meeting which led to the organisation being set up in 1961.

My main parliamentary memory of Francis Noel-Baker is the cascade of speeches he made and questions he asked in relation to the burning issue of Cyprus. He was a close friend and champion of Archbishop Makarios, the leader of the Greek community there a further source of discomfort to the Labour leadership. I heard him described as Makarios's chaperone when the Archbishop came to Britain. But Noel-Baker was resolute in his opposition to Colonel George Grivas and Eoka, the Cypriot nationalists. He was extremely angry at the actions of the Greek government, which provided an excuse for the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus, and in my opinion he can be acquitted of the charge of undue adulation of the Greek military regime.

In 1968, at the annual dinner of the Swindon Labour Party, held at the Co-operative Restaurant in Fleet Street, Noel-Baker told his supporters that he wished to leave Parliament at the first convenient opportunity without causing embarrassment. The Labour chief whip John Silkin, who was not well disposed, was determined to try to avoid a by-election which was won by the Conservatives.

I asked Francis why he had done this in my capacity as a candid friend. The answer was that he was fed up with the animosity of Wilson, and in particular that he had not been listened to when he had complained time and again about the Government's attitude to the railways, and to the railway workshops at Swindon. I remember being invited to a meeting of the Swindon Labour Party, which Noel-Baker did not attend, and finding an outburst of fury over the Labour government's treatment of the railway town. I am not surprised Noel-Baker felt uncomfortable.

After he left the House of Commons he toyed with the SDP, and finding them unsatisfactory joined the Ecology Party. This was understandable since he was a very active member of the Soil Association, one of the causes dear to himself and his wife Barbro, with whom he had a wonderfully happy marriage. She was the daughter of a Swedish businessman, an exporter of farm machinery from Sweden to Russia in the 1920s and 1930s, and had served in the Swedish diplomatic corps in China and Argentina in the 1950s.

For the last 40 years of his life Noel-Baker lived on the Greek island of Euboea, where he had inherited a huge estate from Frank Noel, his paternal grandfather. He set out to be a model landlord and forestry owner. George David, a leading Greek businessman and philanthropist to the University of Edinburgh, where he had been a student, recalled to me that in the late 1950s he had travelled to Euboea and asked why it was that some parts of the forest were in a much better state than the rest. He was told that the good part belonged to the Noel-Baker family, who for the first time anywhere in Greece had brought in professional management.

When I asked David about Noel-Baker's relations with the Greek Colonels, which caused so much criticism in the Parliamentary Labour Party, he said that anyone wishing to do anything constructive for people in Greece at that time had to keep their proverbial noses clean in relation to the military government: "It was all very well for 18- and 20-year-old students to demonstrate against them but it was rather a different matter for anybody with a family and a stake in the country."

When the All Party Heritage Group visited Greece under the leadership of Sir Patrick Cormack and Lord Craythorne (we paid for ourselves!), we were told by a diverse number of Greek politicians, academics and businesspeople that the Noel-Bakers had the same kind of reputation as Lord Byron though not in their personal behaviour as being English friends of Greece.

With Noel-Baker's passing he was buried in Euboea according to the rites of the Greek Orthodox church only Michael Foot and John Freeman remain with us of those elected to Parliament in the watershed election of 1945.

Francis Edward Noel-Baker, politician and landowner: born Kensington, London 7 January 1920; educated Westminster School and King's College Cambridge; War service in Royal Tank Regiment and Intelligence Corps; MP for Brentford and Chiswick 1945-50, MP for Swindon 19551969; married 1957 Barbro (Barbara) Sonander (died 2004; four sons, one daughter, one son deceased); died Euboea, Greece 25 September 2009.

Francis Noel-Baker obituary | Politics | The Guardian

Greece;: The whole story by Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1946)

Spanish summary by Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1948)

The spy web; by Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1955)

Greece (The lands and peoples series) by Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1957)

Fridtjof Nansen (Lives to remember) by Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1958)

Looking at Greece by Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1967)

My Cyprus file: From my personal records, 1956-1984 = Phakellos Kyprou by Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1985)

A taste of hardship by Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1987)

Philip Noel-Baker -   1959"

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The Nobel Peace Prize 1959
Philip Noel-Baker
The Nobel Peace Prize 1959
Philip Noel-Baker
The Right Honorable Philip John Noel-Baker (November 1, 1889-1982) is a man of strong and steadfast convictions. To a reporter who interviewed him after the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that he had been awarded the Peace Prize, he said, War is a damnable, filthy thing and has destroyed civilization after civilization - that is the essence of my belief.1

Noel-Baker, who formally joined his wife's surname with his own in 1943, was reared in an atmosphere of affluence, religious observance, and political activism. He was one of seven children of a Canadian-born Quaker, Joseph Allen Baker, who moved to England to establish what became a profitable machine manufacturing firm. The elder Baker was a pactfist and humanitarian who held a seat on the London County Council from 1895 to 1907 and in the House of Commons from 1905 to 1918.

Noel-Baker excelled in school. After attending Bootham School in York and Haverford College in Pennsylvania - both of them Quaker-affiliated institutions - he took honors in the history tripos in 1910 and in the economics tripos in 1912 at King's College, Cambridge, and in both 1911 and 1913 was named the Whewell scholar in international law. Before the First World War he also studied for a brief time in Paris and Munich. At Cambridge in 1912, Noel-Baker was president of the debating society and from 1910 to 1912 president of the Cambridge University Athletic Club. A stellar performer in the middle distances, he ran in the Olympic Games held in Stockholm in 1912 and captained the British track team at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp and at the 1924 Games in Paris.

From 1914 until the present day, Noel-Baker has three times accepted academic posts but has left them to pursue a career in public service. Having completed his M.A., he accepted the post of vice-principal of Ruskin College at Oxford in 1914, but with the onset of the war, he organized and became the commandant of the Friends' Ambulance Unit attached to the fighting front in France (1914-1915) and subsequently became adjutant of the First British Ambulance Unit for Italy (1915-1918). In France he won the Mons Star (1915); in Italy, the Silver Medal for Military Valor (1917) and the Croce di Guerra (1918 ). In 1915 he met and married a field hospital nurse, Irene Noel, the daughter of a British landowner in Achmetaga, Greece.

Noel-Baker participated in the formation, the administration, and the legislative deliberations of the two great international political organizations of the twentieth century - the League of Nations and the United Nations. In 1918-1919, during the Peace Conference in Paris, he was principal assistant to Lord Robert Cecil on the committee which drafted the League of Nations Covenant; from 1920 to 1922 a member of the Secretariat of the League, being principal assistant to Sir Eric Drummond, first secretary-general of the League; from 1922 to 1924 the private secretary to the British representative on the League's Council and Assembly. Meanwhile, he also was acting as a valued adviser to Fridtjof Nansen in his prisoner-of-war and refugee work. From 1929 to 1931 he was a member of the British delegation to the Assembly of the League and then for a year an assistant to Arthur Henderson, the chairman of the Disarmament Conference.

For a brief period notable for its scholarly productivity, he returned to academic pursuits. He accepted the invitation issued by the University of London to become the first Sir Ernest Cassell Professor of International Law, occupying this chair from 1924 to 1929. Out of his League experience and further research, he wrote and published The Geneva Protocol f or the Pacifc Settlement of International Disputes (1925), The League of Nations at Work (1926), Disarmament (1926), Disarmament and the Coolidge Conference (1927). From his research for a course of lectures in the summer of 1927 at the Academy of International Law at The Hagué came Le Statut juridique actuel des dominions britanniques dans le domaine du droit international (1928). Except for a year spent as Dodge Lecturer in 1933-1934 at Yale University, Noel-Baker henceforth devoted his life to politics and international affairs.

For four decades Noel-Baker was prominent in the Labor Party. He was unsuccessful in a 1924 contest for a seat in the House of Commons, but from 1929 to 1931 he sat as a member from Coventry, from 1936 to 1950 as a member from Derby, and from 1950 to 1970 from Derby South. He was elected to the National Executive Committee of the Labor Party in 1937 and in 1946 succeeded Harold Laski as chairman of the party.

From 1936 to 1942, Noel-Baker was in the Opposition in the Commons, but accepted the office of Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of War Transport proffered by Winston Churchill in 1942. In the Attlee government elected in 1945, he was, successively, 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 (1950-1951). When the Labor Party lost power, Noel-Baker became a member of the shadow cabinet , was named vice-chairman of the foreign affairs group of the Parliamentary Labor Party in 1961 and its chairman in 1964.

At the close of World War II, the functions which Noel-Baker discharged in connection with the United Nations were analogous to those he performed for the League of Nations a generation earlier. Having been in charge of British preparatory work for the United Nations beginning in 1944, he helped to draft the Charter of the UN at San Francisco the next year and in 1946 was appointed to membership on the British delegation.

In the formative days of the UN, Noel-Baker was concerned with the selection of a site for UN headquarters (he favored Geneva) and with outlining privileges, restrictions, and responsibilities of members of the UN staff - the ground rules, in a sense, of a world civil service. A delegate to the Food and Agriculture Organization at Quebec in 1945, he helped give viability to that imperilled organization by delineating a compromise between pure research programs on the one hand and relief operations on the other. As the United Kingdom delegate to the Economic and Social Council, he called for an action program to abolish poverty in an affluent world. In the General Assembly, he supported regulation of arms traffic, plans for atomic controls, economic aid for refugees and re-institution of the Nansen passport, the economic unification of the Allied zones in Germany, and wide-ranging plans for economic development and organization in Europe.

In the decade of the fifties, Noel-Baker returned to his studies on disarmament. He had published a long book in 1936, The Private Manufacture of Armaments. In The Arms Race: A Programme for World Disarmament, published in 1958, he summarizes the results of extensive research combined with personal experiences which began at the Peace Conference in Paris in 1919. This comprehensive, historical, and analytical study won the Albert Schweitzer Book Prize in 1961.

Although his days of active participation in track have long since passed, Noel-Baker retains the lean look of the athlete and an absorption in athletics. He was commandant of the 1952 British Olympic team and in 1960 became president of the International Council of Sport and Physical Recreation of UNESCO.

Noel-Baker has continued to reside in London since the death of his wife in 1956. For about twenty years he had the pleasure of serving in the House of Commons as a colleague of his only child, Francis Noel-Baker.

Noel-Baker died in 1982.

Selected Bibliography
Baker, Elizabeth B., and Philip John Noel-Baker, J. Allen Baker, Member of Parliament: A Memoir. London, Swarthmore, 1927.
Current Biography, 7 (1946).
The New York Times (November 6, 1959). Announcement of Prize, pp. 1 and 4. An Athletic Pacifist, p. 4.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, The Arms Race: A Programme for World Disarmament. London, Stevens, 1958.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, Disarmament. London, Hogarth, 1926.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, Disarmament and the Coolidge Conference. London, Leonard and Virginia Woolf, 1927.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, The Geneva Protocol for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. London, King, 1925.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, Hawkers of Death: The Private Manufacture and Trade in Arms, London, Labour Party, 1934.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, The League of Nations at Work. London, Nisbet, 1926.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, A National Air Force No Defence and The International Air Police Force, in Challenge to Death, ed. by Storm Jameson. London, Constable, 1934.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, The Obligatory Jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice, in The British Year Book of International Law (1925), pp. 68-102.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, Peace and the Official Mind, in Challenge to Death, ed. by Storm Jameson. London, Constable, 1934.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, The Present Juridical Status of the British Dominions in International Law. London, Longmans, Green, 1929. English version of Le Statut juridique actuel des dominions britanniques dans le domaine du droit international, in Académie de droit international: Recueil des cours, Tome 4 en 1927, pp. 247-491. Tome 19 de la Collection. Paris, Hachette, 1928.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, The Private Manufacture of Armaments. London, Gollancz 1936.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, UN, the Atom, the Veto. Speech at the Plenary Assembly of the United Nations: 25 October, 1946. London, Labour Party, 1946.
Noel-Baker, Philip John, The Way to World Disarmament-Now! London, Union of Democratic Control, 1963.
Russell, Bertrand, Philip Noel-Baker: A Tribute, in International Relations, 2 (1960) 1-2.
1. New York Times (November 6, 1959), p. 4.

From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1951-1970, Editor Frederick W. Haberman, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.


Philip Noel-Baker died on October 8, 1982.
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