Arthur Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede

Arthur Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby Of Shulbrede

Arthur Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede

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Arthur Augustus William Harry Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede (16 February 1871 – 23 March 1946) was a British politician, writer, and social activist. He was the third son of Sir Henry Ponsonby, Private Secretary to Queen Victoria, and the great-grandson of Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough. Frederick Edward Grey Ponsonby, 1st Baron Sysonby, was his elder brother.

Lord Ponsonby is probably most remembered for the statement: "When war is declared, truth is the first casualty", which he made in his book Falsehood in Wartime: Propaganda Lies of the First World War (1928). A similar line previously had been spoken in 1917 by US Republican Senator Hiram Johnson.Hiram Johnson said "The first casualty when war comes is truth." From a speech, U.S. Senate 1918 quoted in The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When, by Ralph Keyes, Macmillan, p. 228, 2006, ISBN 0312340044

Education and early career

He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, and joined the Diplomatic Service, taking assignments in Constantinople and Copenhagen.


At the 1906 general election he ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate, but was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Stirling Burghs at a by-election in 1908.

He was opposed to Britain's involvement in World War I, and joined with George Cadbury, Ramsay MacDonald, E. D. Morel, Arnold Rowntree and Charles Trevelyan, to form the Union of Democratic Control (UDC),...
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