Harry Nathan, 1st Baron Nathan

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Harry Nathan

Harry Louis Nathan, 1st Baron Nathan, PC (2 February 1889 – 23 October 1963) was a Liberal politician, who later joined the Labour Party.

Early life[edit]

Nathan was born in London in 1889, son of Michael Henry Nathan, a fine art publisher and Justice of the peace. Educated at St Paul's School, he became a solicitor and member of the firm of Herbert Oppenheimer Nathan and Vandyk. He became honorary secretary of the Brady Working Lads' Club, the oldest and largest of the London Jewish Lads' Clubs.

Nathan served in World War I, leaving with the rank of Major. He acted as honorary solicitor to the Land and Nation League.


He stood as a Liberal without success in the 1924 general election for Whitechapel and St. George's. He was first elected in 1929 as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bethnal Green North East and was re-elected in 1931. In 1934, he defected to the Labour Party. Although Labour won the seat at the 1935 general election, Nathan was not their candidate, opting instead to stand in Cardiff South. He lost by just 541 votes.

In 1937, Nathan was able to return to Parliament in a by-election in Wandsworth Central as the Labour candidate. He in turn stepped down in 1940 to make way for Ernest Bevin, and was created a hereditary peer as Baron Nathan of Churt in the County of Surrey on 28 June 1940.[1] He continued in active politics from the House of Lords, serving as Under-Secretary of State for War (1945–46 and Minister for Civil Aviation (4 October 1946 - 31 May 1948). He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1946.


His wife Eleanor Nathan was Chairman of the London County Council.[2] He was succeeded to the barony by his son Roger ( 1922–2007).


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34884. p. 3941. 28 June 1940.
  2. ^ "Lady Nathan presides over London County Council". Sydney Morning Herald. 7 August 1947. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Walter Windsor
Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green North East
Succeeded by
Daniel Chater
Preceded by
Sir Henry Jackson
Member of Parliament for Wandsworth Central
Succeeded by
Ernest Bevin
Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Henderson
Sir Henry Page Croft
Under-Secretary of State for War
Succeeded by
The Lord Longford
Preceded by
Reginald Fletcher
Minister of Civil Aviation
Succeeded by
The Lord Longford
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Nathan
Succeeded by
Roger Nathan