Arthur Jenkins (politician)

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For other people named Arthur Jenkins, see Arthur Jenkins (disambiguation).

Arthur Jenkins (1884 – 25 April 1946) was a Welsh trade unionist and Labour Party politician.

Jenkins was a coal miner's agent who studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and at Ruskin College, Oxford, before becoming Vice-President of the South Wales Miners Federation. At the 1935 general election he was elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Pontypool, replacing former Labour minister Thomas Griffiths. He held the seat until his death in 1946 at the age of 62.

Jenkins married Hattie Harris, the daughter of a local steelworks manager. Their son Roy Jenkins (1920–2003) was a Labour, SDP and Liberal Democrat politician, serving as Home Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer and President of the European Commission and as Liberal Democrat leader in the House of Lords.

Arthur Jenkins Indemnity Act 1941[edit]

Jenkins accepted chairmanship of a local appeals board created under the Essential Work (General Provisions) Order 1941 for a Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF Glascoed. The role gave the right to a small payment per sitting, which Jenkins did not accept. However, the position was deemed to be an office for profit under the Crown, therefore leading to Jenkins vacating his seat in Parliament.

Although the House of Commons Disqualification (Temporary Provisions) Act 1941 had been brought in to remedy such situations, it applied to MPs who had accepted offices of profit between the start of the war and the passing of that act. Jenkins took up the chairmanship of the appeals board after the act was passed. The Temporary Provisions Act also permitted the Prime Minister to issue a certificate to an MP to permit them to take up an office for profit without losing his or her seat. Unfortunately Jenkins had not done so before taking the chairmanship, and was thus no longer an MP.

The Indemnity Act therefore operated to restore Jenkins to his seat in the Commons.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Griffiths
Member of Parliament for Pontypool
19351946
Succeeded by
Daniel Granville West
Preceded by
S. O. Davies
Vice-President of the South Wales Miners Federation
1934–1935?
Succeeded by
W. J. Saddler