|Sir Richard Acland|
26 November 1906|
|Died||24 November 1990(aged 83)|
|Title||Acland Baronetcy of Columb John|
|Term||9 June 1939 – 24 November 1990|
|Predecessor||Francis, 14th Baronet|
|Successor||John, 16th Baronet|
|Spouse(s)||Anne Stella Alford|
Sir Richard Thomas Dyke Acland, 15th Baronet (26 November 1906 – 24 November 1990) was one of the founding members of the British Common Wealth Party. He had previously been a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) and joined the Labour Party in 1945. He was one of the founders of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
Acland was the son of Sir Francis Acland, a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP). Born in Broadclyst, Devon, he was educated at Rugby School and Balliol College, Oxford and became a barrister and architect. He served as a lieutenant in the Royal North Devon Yeomanry.
Acland stood for Parliament without success for Torquay at the 1929 general election. He was elected Liberal MP for Barnstaple at the 1935 election, having first contested the seat in the 1931 general election. He was a junior whip for the Liberals. His politics changed course subsequently, as seen in the various pamphlets he wrote, and in 1942 he broke from the Liberals to found the socialist Common Wealth Party with J. B. Priestley, opposing the coalition between the major parties. He advocated public land ownership and donated his West Country estate at Killerton, Devon to the National Trust.
The Common Wealth Party had shown signs during World War II of a breakthrough, especially in London and Merseyside, and winning three by-elections. However, the 1945 general election was a severe disappointment. Only one Member of Parliament (Ernest Millington) was elected and other figures had left or joined the Labour Party. Acland himself lost in Putney, where he came third. He then joined Labour and was selected to fight the Gravesend seat following the expulsion of Labour MP Garry Allighan for making allegations of corruption. He won the Gravesend by-election in November 1947 with a majority of 1,675.
Back in Parliament, Acland served as Second Church Estates Commissioner 1950–51. In 1955, he resigned from Labour in protest against the party's support for the Conservative government's nuclear defence policy, and lost Gravesend as an independent the same year, allowing the Conservatives to take the seat from the official Labour candidate, Victor Mishcon. He helped form the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in 1957 and was senior lecturer in education at St. Luke's College of Education, Exeter. When he left parliament he was appointed to Wandsworth Grammar School in Sutherlad Grove, Southfields, London as a maths teacher. He started in September 1955. He was a successful and charismatic teacher, popular with his pupils.
- Unser Kampf (Our Struggle), Penguin Books, 1940
- The Forward March, Allen & Unwin, 1941
- What It Will Be Like in the New Britain, Victor Gollancz, 1942
- How It Can Be Done, MacDonald, 1943
- Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 6
- 1947 By Elections
- Leigh Rayment's list of baronets [self-published source][better source needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- The Acland Papers at the University of Exeter
- Neil Stockley, Richard Acland in Brack & Randall (eds.) Dictionary of Liberal Thought, Politico's 2007, pp3–5
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Richard Acland
- Portraits of Sir Richard Thomas Dyke Acland, 15th Bt at the National Portrait Gallery, London
- History of St Luke's, Exeter http://education.exeter.ac.uk/pages.php?id=133
J. B. Priestley
|Chairman of the Common Wealth Party
|Chairman of the Common Wealth Party
C. A. Smith
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Barnstaple
|Member of Parliament for Gravesend
|Baronetage of England|
Francis Dyke Acland
(of Columb John, Devonshire)
John Dyke Acland