Halifax, Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st earl of

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Halifax, Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st earl of

Edward Frederick Lindley Wood Halifax, 1st earl of, 1881–1959, British statesman. He entered the House of Commons (1910) as a Conservative and was president of the Board of Education (1922–24) and of the Board of Agriculture (1924–25). Created Baron Irwin in 1925, he served (1926–31) as viceroy of India. Confronted with the civil disobedience campaign of Mohandas Gandhi and his followers, he promised (1929) dominion status for India and induced Gandhi to participate in the further roundtable conferences on India's future. Succeeding his father as Viscount Halifax in 1934, he became Conservative leader of the House of Lords in 1935, serving also as secretary for war (1935) and lord privy seal (1935–38). As foreign secretary (1938–40) Halifax firmly supported Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement toward Nazi Germany. From 1941 to 1946 he was ambassador to the United States. He was created an earl in 1944. He wrote John Keble (1932); his speeches are collected as Indian Problems (1932), Speeches on Foreign Policy (1940), and American Speeches (1947).

See his autobiography, Fullness of Days (1957); biographies by A. Johnson (1941), the earl of Birkenhead (1965), and A. Roberts (1991).

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