Robert Young (trade unionist)

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For the Labour MP for Islington North, see Robert Young (London politician).
For other people named Robert Young, see Robert Young (disambiguation).
Robert Young in 1929 by Lafayette

Sir Robert Young (26 January 1872 – 13 July 1957) was a trades unionist and Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom.

Young was born in Glasgow, and attended Mossbank Industrial School in the city before taking up a career in engineering. He subsequently became one of the first students enrolled at Ruskin College, Oxford. Following his graduation he delivered some of Ruskin's extramural lectures to union branches and co-operative societies. In 1910 he married Bessie Laurina Choldcroft, and they had three children.[1]

In 1906 he became a member of the permanent staff of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, becoming the union's assistant secretary in 1913 and its general secretary in 1919. He was awarded the OBE in 1917.[1]

At the 1918 general election, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Newton in Lancashire, which eventually led to him resigning from his union post. He was appointed Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons in the first Labour government of 1924. He was reappointed to the position by the second Labour government of 1929 - 1931.[1]

He lost his seat at the 1931 general election to the Conservative Reginald Essenhigh, but regained it at the 1935 general election. For the next fifteen years he was to be a member of a number of parliamentary committees, and chaired the Select Committee on House of Commons Procedure and the Standing Committee for the Consideration of Bills.[1]

Young was knighted in 1931, and retired from the House of Commons at the 1950 general election.[2]

Among his interests outside parliament, he was chairman of the Workers Temperance League and independent chairman of the Ophthalmic Benefit Approved Societies.


  1. ^ a b c d Obituary: Sir Robert Young, Trade Unionist Of The Old School, The Times, July 15, 1957, p.14
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33693. p. 1353. 1931-02-27. Retrieved 2008-09-11.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Roundell Palmer
Member of Parliament for Newton
Succeeded by
Reginald Essenhigh
Preceded by
Reginald Essenhigh
Member of Parliament for Newton
Succeeded by
Frederick Lee
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Frederick Crompton
Assistant General Secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering Union
1908 – 1913
Succeeded by
Albert Smethurst
Preceded by
Jenkin Jones
General Secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers
1913 - 1919
Succeeded by
Tom Mann