The British Passport Of A Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons“for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.

83 years earlier it was ARTHUR HENDERSON, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his work for the League of Nations, particularly its efforts in disarmament” and you can see his passport here, which is from my archive.

Arthur Henderson (13 September 1863 – 20 October 1935) was a British iron molder and Labour politician. He was the first Labour cabinet minister, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934 and, uniquely, served three separate terms as Leader of the Labour Party in three different decades. He was popular among his colleagues, who called him “Uncle Arthur” in acknowledgement of his integrity, his devotion to the cause and his imperturbability. He was a transitional figure whose policies were, at first, close to those of the Liberal Party, and the trades unions rejected his emphasis on arbitration and conciliation, and thwarted his goal of unifying the Labour Party and the trade unions. In 1929, Labour formed another minority government and MacDonald appointed Henderson as Foreign Secretary, a position Henderson used to try to reduce the tensions that had been building up in Europe since the end of the First World War. Diplomatic relations were re-established with the USSR and Henderson guaranteed Britain’s full support to the League of Nations.

There are two significant facts in Henderson’s passport!

The inner cover side has the usual greetings text of British passports and is signed by Arthur Henderson as Foreign Secretary and as it’s his own passport he literally issued the document to himself as Foreign Secretary. Furthermore, on page 10 of his passport there is the border control stamp of Bergen visible, when he was on the way to Sweden to receive his Nobel Peace Prize. The stamp is from 9 Dec 1934, one day before the ceremony.

The British Passport Of A Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


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