David Davies, 1st Baron Davies

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David Davies, circa 1905.

David Davies, 1st Baron Davies (11 May 1880 – 16 June 1944), was a Welsh Liberal politician and public benefactor, the grandson of the industrialist, David Davies "Llandinam". The barony was created for him in 1932.

Davies was born and died at Llandinam, Montgomeryshire. His father, Edward Davies, was "Llandinam's" only son. He was educated at Merchiston Castle School and King's College, Cambridge, graduating in 1903.[1] Like his two sisters, Gwendoline and Margaret, who became renowned patrons of the arts, Davies was a philanthropist who donated to a number of good causes both locally and nationally. In 1910 he contributed £150,000 to the King Edward VII Welsh National Memorial, which was formed with the aim of eradicating tuberculosis in Wales.

Politically and personally, David now followed the lead set by his grandfather. From 1906 to 1929, he was the Liberal Member of Parliament for the Montgomeryshire constituency. After 1929 when he stood down as MP to accept a seat in the Lords, Davies continued to support the official Liberal Party. He became President of Montgomeryshire Liberal Association and was at odds with his successor as MP, Clement Davies. In 1931 Clement Davies became a Liberal National and continued to support the National Government after the official Liberal Party moved into opposition in 1933. In 1938 with a general election likely to occur in the near future, Lord Davies put pressure on Clement Davies by persuading the Montgomeryshire executive to seek clarification from their MP on his views regarding the National Government and appeasement. The MP shortly after opposed appeasement and resigned the Liberal National whip.[2]

He was an active supporter of the League of Nations. In 1932 he established the New Commonwealth Society for ‘the promotion of international law and order’, writing several books on the right use of force, notably The Problem of the Twentieth Century (1930), which was translated into German and other languages. His ideas influenced the writing of the United Nations Charter, especially with regards to sanctions and the transition of national armies to an international police. He endowed perhaps the world's first Chair in International Politics, established in honour of Woodrow Wilson in 1919 at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth,[3] which also hosts the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies.

A statue commissioned in honour of his Grandfather stands in Llandinam in Powys on the A470. The Llandinam Building at Aberystwyth University was named in his honour.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Davies, David (DVS899D)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Dutton, David (2008). Liberals in Schism: A History of the National Liberal Party. London: Tauris. ISBN 1845116674. 
  3. ^ "The Legacy of One Man's Vision". Aberystwyth University, Department of International Politics. Retrieved 2015-01-27. 

Further reading[edit]

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Humphreys-Owen
Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire
19061929
Succeeded by
Clement Davies
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Davies
1932–1944
Succeeded by
David Davies