Francis Alfred Broad

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Frank Broad
Francis Alfred Broad about 1922.tif
Francis Alfred Broad
MP for Edmonton c. 1922
Member of Parliament
for Edmonton
In office
15 November 1922 – 27 October 1931
Preceded by Sir Alfred Warren
Succeeded by John Chalmers
Member of Parliament
for Edmonton
In office
14 November 1935 – 5 July 1945
Preceded by John Chalmers
Succeeded by Evan Durbin
Personal details
Born Francis Alfred Broad[1]
Hammersmith, London
Died January 1956 (aged 81–82)
Edmonton, London
Nationality British
Political party Independent Labour Party
Other political
Co-operative Party, Amalgamated Engineering Union
Spouse(s) Eliza Macer
Children William Cyril, Herbert Frank and Sidney Thomas
Residence Ware, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Occupation Scientific Instrument Maker

Francis Alfred Broad JP (1874 – 3 January 1956), sometimes known as Frank Broad, was a Labour politician in the United Kingdom who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Municipal Borough of Edmonton during the years 1922–1931 and 1935–1945.[2][3]

One of the founder members[i] of the Amalgamated Instrument Makers Trade Society,[ii] Broad was president when, in 1920,[6] the union joined the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU). He remained a member of the AEU until his death,[4] stating in the commons in 1931 that "... I have never been a paid officer of that union but I have 40 years membership in it".[7] He joined the Independent Labour Party in 1893.[4]

In July 1923, on the subject of birth control, Broad "... asked the Minister of Health whether his Department will raise any objection to birth control information being given at infant welfare centres to married women who desire it by voluntary workers attached to the centres, or otherwise to their being informed, on request, where such information can be obtained?". Mr Chamberlain replied that his "... view is that such information as is referred to should not be given at infant welfare centres, but that women for whom it appears to be needed on medical grounds should be referred to a private doctor or a hospital".[8] In May 1924, Broad led a delegation of the birth control movement to the then health minister, Clydesdale MP John Wheatley. The delegates included H G Wells, the Hon. Mrs Bertrand (Dora) Russell, Dr Frances Huxley, and others.[9] Wheatley dodged the issue with the pronouncement "A clear distinction must be drawn between allowing access to knowledge, and actually distributing knowledge".[9]

Broad produced two papers. A memorandum on birth control: presented on 9 May 1924 to the Workers Birth Control Group,[10] and The organised worker: problems of Trade union structure and policy; a report by the Industrial Policy Committee published by the Independent Labour Party (Great Britain).[11] Broad was part of the Empire Parliamentary Association 1926 delegation to Australia chaired by the Marquis of Salisbury.[12] At the civic reception in the Sydney Millions Club on the day of arrival, 17 September 1926, Broad said "A country like Australia is capable of absorbing a great number of people and the problem must be precipitated in a proper spirit of understanding".[13]

He was made a justice of the peace in 1933.[14] Broad announced in 1944 that he did not intend to stand as a parliamentary candidate again, saying, "The world is rather cluttered up with older men".[2] He retired from politics in 1945.[15] He was awarded the freedom of Edmonton in September 1946.[14]

He was for a time a governor of The Latymer School and a board member of the North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton; the same hospital where he died from a short illness on 3 January 1956. Broad House, Fore Street, Edmonton, London, is a permanent memorial. It was opened in 1954 by Clement Attlee.[4] Broad was survived by his wife since 1900,[16] Eliza Broad née Macer and three sons.[4]


  1. ^ A printed union membership card suggests F. A Broad, by trade a[n] Electrical Instrument Maker, was member number 33 of the South London number 5 branch of the Scientific Instrument Makers' Trades Society and was elected on 26 September 1893. It is signed by Broad, the president J Holmes and the secretary H J Carter
  2. ^ We are following the source here.[4] However, the archives of the Amalgamated Instrument Makers Society indicate that the society was formed in 1887 as the "Scientific Instrument Makers' Trade Society"[5]
  1. ^ Baptised 31 May 1874: London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Barnabas, Kensington, Register of baptisms, P84/BAN, Item 003 ( London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database on-line])
  2. ^ a b "Mr F A Broad". The Times. Galegroup via Cambridgeshire libraries. 4 January 1956. p. 11. Issue 53419; col C. 
  3. ^ Broad, Francis. "Hansard 1805-2005 People". Hansard. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Lifetime of service to his fellow men. Death of Mr. A. F. Broad, former Edmonton M.P.". Tottenham & Edmonton Weekly Herald. 6 January 1956. 
  5. ^ "Amalgamated Instrument Maker's Society (MSS.259/IM)". Archive Hub at the centre for great research. Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Jeffreys, James B (1945). The story of the Engineers. Lawrence & Wishart for the Amalgamated Engineering Union on the 25th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Union, 1920–1945. pp. 192–193. 
  7. ^ HC Deb, 25 September 1931 vol 256 cc1973–2057
  8. ^ HC Deb, 25 July 1923 vol 167 c480W
  9. ^ a b Simms, Madeleine (February 1978). "Parliament and birth control in the 1920s". TheRoyal College of General Practitioner. 28 (187): 83–88. PMC 2158715free to read. PMID 359797. 
  10. ^ Broad, F A (1924). Memorandum on birth control. Workers birth control group. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Broad, F A (1927). The organised worker. Independent Labour Party. p. 29. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  12. ^ VIATOR; Empire Parliamentary Association (1927). From up along down under. St. John's, N. F. p. 421. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  13. ^ VIATOR; Empire Parliamentary Association (1927). From up along down under. St. John's, N. F. p. 121. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Freedom of Edmonton for Mr. F. A. Broad, J.P. No free bus rides!". Tottenham & Edmonton Weekly Herald. September 1946. 
  15. ^ Meltzer, Albert (1996). "1". I couldn't paint golden angels. California, USA: AK Press. ISBN 978-1-873176-93-1. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  16. ^ FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index: 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Alfred Warren
Member of Parliament for Edmonton
Succeeded by
John Chalmers
Preceded by
John Chalmers
Member of Parliament for Edmonton
Succeeded by
Evan Durbin