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Alfred Mond, 1st Baron Melchett

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The Lord Melchett
First Commissioner of Works
In office
10 December 1916 – 1 April 1921
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterDavid Lloyd George
Preceded byLewis Vernon Harcourt
Succeeded byThe Earl of Crawford
Minister of Health
In office
1 April 1921 – 19 October 1922
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterDavid Lloyd George
Preceded byChristopher Addison
Succeeded bySir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen
Personal details
Alfred Moritz Mond

23 October 1868 (1868-10-23)
Farnworth, Widnes, Lancashire, England
Died27 December 1930 (1930-12-28) (aged 62)
Political partyLiberal
SpouseViolet Goetze (d. 1945)
Children4, including Henry Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett
Parent(s)Ludwig Mond
Frieda Löwenthal
Alma materSt. John's College, Cambridge
University of Edinburgh

Alfred Moritz Mond, 1st Baron Melchett, PC, FRS, DL (23 October 1868 – 27 December 1930), known as Sir Alfred Mond, Bt between 1910 and 1928, was a British industrialist, financier and politician. In his later life he became an active Zionist.

Early life and education[edit]

Mond was born in Farnworth, Widnes, Lancashire, England, the younger son of Ludwig Mond, a chemist and industrialist who had emigrated from Germany, and his wife Frieda, née Löwenthal, both of Jewish extraction. He was educated at Cheltenham College and St. John's College, Cambridge,[1] but failed his natural sciences tripos. He then studied law at the University of Edinburgh and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1894.[2][3]

Business career[edit]

Following this he joined his father's business Brunner Mond & Company as director, later becoming its managing director. He was also managing director of his father's other company, the Mond Nickel Company. Other directorships included those of the International Nickel Corporation of Canada, the Westminster Bank and the Industrial Finance Investment Corporation. His major business achievement came in 1926 when he worked to create the merger of four companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), one of the world's largest industrial corporations at the time.[2] He became its first chairman.[4]

Political career[edit]

Mond was also involved in politics and sat as Liberal Member of Parliament for Chester from 1906 to 1910, for Swansea from 1910 to 1918 and for Swansea West from 1918 to 1923. He served in the coalition government of David Lloyd George as First Commissioner of Works from 1916 to 1921, and as Minister of Health (with a seat in the cabinet) from 1921 to 1922. After losing his seat at the 1923 general election, he returned to Parliament as a Liberal for Carmarthen at a by-election in August 1924, holding the seat until his elevation to the peerage in 1928. Although a supporter of the "New Liberalism" in his early political career and a "vocal proponent of constructive social reform" in the postwar government,[5] Mond became a Conservative in January 1926 after falling out with Lloyd George over the former Prime Minister's controversial plans to nationalise agricultural land.[2][6][7]

Mond was created a Baronet, of Hartford Hill in Great Budworth in the County of Chester, in 1910,[8] and was admitted to the Privy Council in 1913.[2][9] In 1928 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Melchett, of Landford in the County of Southampton.[2][10]


In the aftermath of the 1926 General Strike, Mond led efforts to establish cooperation between workers (represented by trades unions and the General Council of the TUC) and the large employers; this short-lived initiative became known as Mondism [Wikidata].[11][12]

Benefactions, Zionism and honours[edit]

Statue of Lord Melchett, Tel Mond, Israel
The Iconoclast
Sir Alfred Mond: "I'm sorry to have to disturb Your Majesty, but, owing to the shortage of sites—"
George III: "Shortage of sights, indeed!"
Cartoon from Punch, 18 August 1920

Mond's father had bequeathed a collection of old master paintings to the National Gallery, and Alfred provided housing for them in 1924. In 1929 he provided land in Chelsea for the Chelsea Health Society.[2]

An enthusiastic Zionist, in 1920 Mond donated ten thousand pounds to Vladimir Jabotinsky.[13] The following year he visited Palestine with Chaim Weizmann. He contributed money to the Jewish Colonization Corporation for Palestine and wrote for Zionist publications.[2] He became President of the British Zionist Foundation and made financial contributions to Zionist causes.[14] Melchett founded the town of Tel Mond, now in Israel.[15] He also started building what is now one of the few private houses on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, now known as Villa Melchett. Tel Aviv and several other Israeli cities have a Melchett Street commemorating him.

One of Mond's most enduring contributions to Zionism did not come through direct political means but through his enthusiastic and active support of Pinhas Rutenberg, to whom the British Government granted exclusive concessions to produce and distribute electricity in Palestine. Mond sat on the Board of the Palestine Electric Company and promoted the case of the company in London's political and industrial circles.[16]

Mond was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1928 and received a number of honorary degrees from Oxford, Paris and other universities.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 1894 Mond married Violet Goetze and they had one son, Henry Ludwig, and three daughters, Eva Violet, Mary Angela, and Norah Jena. Mond died in his London home in 1930, and his son succeeded in the barony.[2]


  • Industry and Politics (1927)
  • Imperial Economic Unity (1930)

Literary references[edit]

Mond is mentioned in T. S. Eliot's 1920 poem A Cooking Egg.[17] He is also – along with the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – widely considered to be the inspiration behind Mustapha Mond, one of the ten world controllers in Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel Brave New World.[18]

Coat of arms[edit]

Coat of arms of Alfred Mond, 1st Baron Melchett
Coat of arms of the Mond family
A coronet of a Baron
A Demi-Bear holding between the paws a Fountain both proper
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Gules a Demi-Lion rampant argent between in chief a Decrescent and an Increscent and in base a Crescent all Or on a Chief Argent an Eagle displayed between two Mullets Sable (Mond); 2nd and 3rd, Azure on a Pile between three Mullets Argent an Eagle displayed Sable (Lowenthal)
Dexter: a Doctor of Science of the University of Oxford holding in the exterior hand a Chemical Measure Glass; Sinister: a Labourer holding in the exterior hand a Pick resting on the shoulder, all proper
Make Yourself Necessary

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mond, Alfred Moritz (MNT886AM)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Greenaway, Frank (2004) 'Mond family (per. 1867–1973)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. [1] Retrieved on 9 March 2007.
  3. ^ "Mond, Alfred Moritz". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 1241.
  4. ^ ICI's first chairman Sir Alfred Mond, Picture Stockton, retrieved 25 June 2007[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Sir Alfred Mond (Lord Melchett), 1868-1930". Liberal History. 20 May 2012.
  6. ^ Bolitho, Alfred Mond: First Lord Melchett; Carmarthen Record Office, Dynevor Papers"
  7. ^ "Sir Alfred Mond - Letter to Carmathen Liberals". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 26 January 1926.
  8. ^ "No. 28400". The London Gazette. 26 July 1910. pp. 5391–5392.
  9. ^ "No. 29728". The London Gazette. 13 June 1913. p. 4187.
  10. ^ "No. 33395". The London Gazette. 19 June 1928. p. 4180.
  11. ^ Gallacher, W. (1947). The Rolling of the Thunder. Lawrence & Wishart. p. 103. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Glossary of Terms: Mo". Marxists Internet Archive Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  13. ^ Segev, Tom (2018 - 2019 translation Haim Watzman) A State at Any Cost. The Life of David Ben-Gurion. Apollo. ISBN 9-781789-544633. p. 166
  14. ^ Weintraub, Bob, Alfred Mond (Lord Melchett): Great Zionist Leader, The Israel Chemical Society, p. 6, retrieved 25 June 2007
  15. ^ Tel Mond, Israel, Sarasota Sister Cities Association, archived from the original on 3 April 2012, retrieved 25 June 2007
  16. ^ Shamir, Ronen (2013) Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine. Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 121, 127, 134
  17. ^ "4. A Cooking Egg". www.bartleby.com.
  18. ^ Sexton, James (1989). "Aldous Huxley's Bokanovsky ("Bokanowski" de Aldous Huxley)". Science Fiction Studies. 16 (1): 85–89. JSTOR 4239919.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bolitho, Hector. Alfred Mond: First Baron Melchett. A Biography (Martin Secker, 1933)

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Chester
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Swansea
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Swansea West
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Carmarthen
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by First Commissioner of Works
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Health
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Melchett
Succeeded by
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Hartford Hill)
Succeeded by