Person NameWoodburn; Arthur (1890-1978); Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party, Labour MP and Secretary of State for Scotland
EpithetSecretary of the Scottish Labour Party, Labour MP and Secretary of State for Scotland
ActivityArthur Woodburn, PC D.Litt. (1890-1978), was born in Edinburgh on 25 October 1890, the son of Matthew Woodburn and Janet nee Brown. He was educated at Bruntsfield and Boroughmuir schools and took part time work in his free time. Aged fourteen he entered employment with the Free Church as a publicity officer, handling the press and dealing with inquiries concerning dispures over title to church properties. His next job was with Miller's London Road Foundry, Edinburgh, where he remained for 25 years. He attended Heriot-Watt College part time, taking classes, four or five nights a week. It was at Heriot-Watt that his interest in politics began. He became a member of the Heriot-Watt debating society. He attended Extra-Mural classes in economics at the University of Edinburgh. In 1916 he joined the No-Conscription Union and recorded his protest against conscription despite working in an exempted occupation. In November 1916 he was arrested and court martialled following a series of public meetings at which he condemned mlitary conscription. He was imprisoned until 1919. He lectured in economics and finance for the Edinburgh branch of the Scottish Labour College and became honourary secretary in 1925 and in 1937 president of the National Council of Labour Colleges. He was Labour member of parliament for Clackmannan and East Stirling, 1939-1970, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply 1945-1947, and Secretary of State for Scotland, 1947-1950. He had married Barbara Halliday, teacher, in 1919 and died on 1 June 1978 in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
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