Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu was born on 6 February 1879. He was the son of Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling and Ellen Cohen.
He married Beatrice Venetia Stanley, daughter of Edward Lyulph Stanley, 4th Baron Sheffield and Mary Katherine Bell, on 26 July 1915.
He died on 15 November 1924 at age 45.
He graduated with a Clifton, City of London Sch and Trin College Cambridge Master of Arts (M.A.).1 He was Privy Counsellor (P.C.).
He was Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Lib) Chesterton , Parly U-Sec India 1910–14, Fin Sec Treasury 1914–15 and 1915–16, Chllr Duchy Lancaster 1915 and 1916, Minister Munitions 1916, Sec State India 1917–22 in 1906.
Child of Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu and Beatrice Venetia Stanley
Judith Venitia Montagu + b. 6 Feb 1923, d. 8 Nov 1972
Edwin Samuel Montegu to the left in the picture.
Montagu was the second British Jew to enter the Cabinet, the inner circle of government. However, he was strongly opposed to Zionism, which he called "a mischievous political creed", and opposed the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which he considered anti-semitic and whose terms he managed to modify. In a memo to the Cabinet, he outlined his views on Zionism thus: "...I assume that it means that Mahommedans [Muslims] and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test." He was opposed by his cousin Herbert Samuel, a moderate Zionist who became the first High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine.
Montagu was elected Member of Parliament for Chesterton in 1906, a seat he held until 1918, and then represented Cambridgeshire until 1922. He served under H. H. Asquith as Under-Secretary of State for India from 1910 to 1914, as Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1914 to 1915 and again from 1915 to 1916 and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (with a seat in the Cabinet) in 1915 and 1916. In 1915 he was sworn of the Privy Council. In 1916 he was promoted to Minister of Munitions. He was initially left out of David Lloyd George's coalition government, but in 1917 he was appointed Secretary of State for India, which he remained until March 1922, when he resigned. He was primarily responsible for the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms which led to the Government of India Act 1919, committing the British to the eventual evolution of India to dominion status.
Montagu led the Indian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, where he opposed plans for dividing Turkey (including the Greek occupation of Smyrna and the projected removal of the Sultan from Constantinople). On this subject, at the Council of Four on 17 May 1919, he introduced representatives of Muslim India (including the Aga Khan) and urged that Muslim peoples were beginning to see the Conference as "taking sides against Islam".
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