Arthur Neville Chamberlain, born in
Birmingham (England) March 18, 1869, died
in Heckfield (England) November 9, 1940.
Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1937
Educated at Rugby and at Mason College,
Birmingham, Chamberlain’s interests
were at first with the business world, before
he turns to politics. He was elected to
the Birmingham city council in 1911, and
later mayor of that city (from 1915 to 1916).
He is elected to the House of Commons in
1918 as Conservative MP for Birmingham.
In Parliament, Chamberlain serves as Health
Minister (1923-1924, 1924-1929, 1931) and
as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1923-1924,
1931-1937). In 1937, he succeeds Stanley
Baldwin as Prime Minister. A conscientious
and responsible administrator, Chamberlain
faces the threat created by Fascist Italy
and Nazi Germany by favouring a policy of
appeasement, preferring negotiations with
Mussolini and Hitler to armed confrontation.
When Germany invades Poland in August 1939,
hostilities are inevitable and Great Britain
proclaims the state of war on September
3. His policies discredited, Chamberlain
resigns in May 1940. Winston Churchill succeeds
him as Prime minister.