Thomas Jones (T. J.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Thomas (Tom) Jones, CH (27 September 1870 – 15 October 1955) was a British civil servant and educationalist, once described as "one of the six most important men in Europe", and also as "the King of Wales" and "man of a thousand secrets".[citation needed]


Thomas Jones was born in Britain on 27 September 1870, at 100 High Street, Rhymney, Monmouthshire.

He became familiarly known as "T.J." He was Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet under four Prime Ministers: Lloyd George, Andrew Bonar Law, Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay MacDonald. His 3-volume Whitehall Diary (1969, 1971) threw much light on politics "behind the scenes", including the Irish Treaty, the 1926 General Strike, the meetings between Lloyd George and Adolf Hitler, the Cliveden Set, and so on. In 1914 he had started the magazine Welsh Outlook to promote social progress in Wales.

A friend of many rich and influential people including the Astors, Jones excelled at extracting money from rich people for worthwhile causes, notably adult education: he founded Coleg Harlech in Gwynedd in 1927, was secretary, trustee and chairman of the Pilgrim Trust from 1930, and was instrumental in the founding of Newbattle Abbey College in Midlothian in 1937.

He was Chairman of Gregynog Press throughout its existence, and also helped set up CEMA, the Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (forerunner of the Arts Council) as well as the Army Bureau of Current Affairs (designed to 'supply mental stimulant' to British troops during the Second World War).

Towards the end of his life Jones became President of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and was awarded the Gold Medal of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, as well as finally agreeing to become a Companion of Honour.

He died in London on 15 October 1955.

Jones' daughter, Eirene White, became a Labour politician and minister.


  • A Theme with Variations (1933)
  • Rhymney Memories (1938)
  • Cerrig Milltir (1942)
  • Leeks and Daffodils (1942)
  • The Native Never Returns (1946)
  • Welsh Broth (1950)
  • Lloyd George (1951)
  • The Gregynog Press (1954)
  • A Diary with Letters 1931-1950 (1954)
  • Whitehall Diaries, Vol I and II (1969)
  • Whitehall Diaries, Vol III (1971)

Offices held[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Edmund Davies, Baron Edmund-Davies
President of the University College of Wales Aberystwyth
Succeeded by
Sir David Hughes Parry


  • Ellis, Ted (1992). T.J.: A Life of Dr Thomas Jones, CH. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-1138-5. 

External links[edit]