Educated at Owen's School, Islington and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, for many years he was secretary of the National Federation of Housing Societies He joined the Labour Party soon after the First World War.
At the 1945 general election he was the party's candidate for the south London suburban constituency of Norwood. The constituency had been held comfortably by the Conservatives since its creation in 1885, but a landslide in favour of Labour saw Chamberlain elected member of parliament, overturning a Conservative majority of 12,456 to win the seat by 2,023 votes. He was appointed parliamentary private secretary to the Minister of Town and Country Planning, Lewis Silkin. Chamberlain was regarded as a "maverick" member on the left wing fringe of the Parliamentary Labour Party. He was disciplined after voting against the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949. He also controversially accepted an invitation to visit Francoist Spain, returning with favourable reports on the régime. He narrowly avoided de-selection prior to the 1950 general election. When the election was held he was unseated, with the Conservatives regaining the seat.
In 1971 he resigned from the Labour Party over its support for trade unions whose only purpose he claimed was the "continual forcing up of wage rates, regardless of their less fortunate brothers and sisters and equally regardless of the public interest."
- "CHAMBERLAIN, Ronald". Who Was Who. A & C Black. 1920–2008. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "N" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]
- Chamberlain, Ronald (16 January 1971). "Parting with the Labour Party". The Times. p. 16.
- "South London Activity Marginal Seats In Doubt". The Times. 15 February 1950. p. 5.
- "Ministers' Secretaries". The Times. 27 August 1945. p. 2.
- "Labour Party Discipline. New Warning To Dissidents". The Times. 20 May 1949. p. 4.
- Buchanan, Tom (2007). The Impact of the Spanish Civil War on Britain: War, Loss And Memory. Sussex Academic Press. p. 171. ISBN 9781845191276.
- Shaw, Eric (1988). Discipline and Discord in the Labour Party: The Politics of Managerial Control in the Labour Party, 1951-87. Manchester University Press. p. 91. ISBN 9780719024832.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Ronald Chamberlain
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Norwood
1945 – 1950
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