Alun Gwynne Jones, Baron Chalfont
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Chalfont
OBE MC PC
|Chalfont during a visit to Germany in 1966|
|Born||Alun Arthur Gwynne Jones
5 December 1919
Chalfont was educated at West Monmouth School, and subsequently at the School of Slavonic Studies in the University of London. Joining the South Wales Borderers when the Second World War broke out, from 1941 to 1944 he fought in Burma alongside the Welsh poet Alun Lewis. He stayed in the Army to take part in a series of anti-terrorist campaigns, was awarded the Military Cross in the Malayan jungle in 1957, after his involvement in a series of ambushes against communists, stating, "I was lucky enough to carry out some successful ones."
He was a minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1964 to 1970 and appointed to the Privy Council in the former year. On 27 March 1967, in the House of Lords, Chalfont became the spokesman/figurehead for Harold Wilson's Labour Government's attempt to divest Britain of the Falkland Islands. In November 1968 Chalfont travelled to the Falklands to canvas the people, and try to persuade them of the merit in becoming Argentine citizens. He is sent away in no doubt that the islanders wished to remain British, but returns to Britain reporting, “I do not believe that the Falkland Islands can continue to exist for many years, as they are presently constituted. I believe one day that the Falkland Islands may be prepared to choose Argentine sovereignty. We must at all costs avoid giving the impression that we want to get rid of them, since that would set up precisely the reaction we would want to avoid”.
Chalfont resigned from the Labour Party in the early 1970s. He declared his resignation a "decision of personal and political principle". In October 1974, just after Labour won a second general election that year, he stated in an interview with the BBC journalist Robin Day: "I had hoped for a realignment of the politics of the radical left in this country and I believed when I left the Labour Party that a great success by the Liberal Party in this election could have helped that forward."
He was created Baron Chalfont, of Llantarnam in the County of Monmouthshire on 11 November 1964. His life peerage is the most senior extant (since the death of Lord Shawcross in 2003), and Lord Chalfont is placed higher in the order of precedence than four hereditary barons whose inherited titles were created after his.
He contributed an article on The Strategic Defence Initiative to the Conservative Monday Club's October 1985 Conservative Party Conference issue of their newspaper, Right Ahead. Chalfont is a former chairman of the Radio Authority which regulated commercial radio in the UK until its role was absorbed by Ofcom. Chalfont set up the Institute for the Study of Terrorism with Jillian Becker in 1985.
He is on permanent leave of absence from the House of Lords.
Marriage and child
Chalfont was married to Mona Mitchell, daughter of Harry Douglas Mitchell, in 1948. She died on 31 May 2008. Together they had one child, a daughter.
- 1976: Montgomery of Alamein. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
- 1979: Waterloo: Battle of Three Armies. Anglo-Dutch by William Seymour; French by Jacques Champagne; Prussian by E. Kaulbach; prologue & epilogue by Lord Chalfont; edited by Lord Chalfont. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 978-0283987489.
- 1985: Star Wars: suicide or survival? London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
- 1987: Defence of the Realm. London: Collins.
- 1989: By God's Will: A Portrait of the Sultan of Brunei. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
- 2000: The Shadow of my Hand. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (autobiography).
- Interview with Lord Chalfont BBC October 1974. Starts at 2min 30 sec on clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XVUvCalI_g&feature=related.
|Senior life peer