Diary: Government post for Luton MP

The appointment was officially announced on Thursday evening at 10 Downing Street of Luton and South Beds MP Mr Cecil B. Harmsworth to be Under-Secretary to the Foreign Office, in succession to Mr Francis D. Acland, who has become Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

Mr Harmsworth was born in 1869. He represented the Droitwich [Worcestershire] Division in the 1906-1910 Parliament, and was returned for the Luton Division at a by-election in July 1911. He is pictured in his 1911 election campaign car.

Mr Harmsworth, as Parliamentary Secretary to Mr Runciman, has been closely identified with two great departments - the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Board of Trade. His work on behalf of our sea fisheries and our sea fishermen, says the Daily Chronicle, has been exceedingly valuable. A businessman of first-rate abilities, he is certain to prove a successful Minister.

Mr Harmsworth is a brother of Lord Northcliffe and of Lord Rothermere.

Contrary to expectations, Mr Harmsworth's acceptance of the position does not necessitate a by-election in South Beds.

  • The remarkably fine work being done by the YMCA among the troops in Luton can only be fully comprehended by a visit to the improvised building on the Moor. A Saturday Telegraph representative paid a visit to the YMCA hut on Thursday evening and was agreeably surprised to find the all-too-small building full to the doors with soldiers, some reading, others writing home, others listening to a forcible address at one end of the room, and some patronising the refreshment counter where coffee, tea, cakes etc are sold very cheaply, and the post office where the attendants are kept busy every evening.

  • Bedfordshire County Council yesterday agreed to pay £35 to Luton Town Council, being one-third of the total cost of improvements at the corners of New Bedford Road and Cromwell Road, and Dunstable Road and Inkerman Street, Luton, and the the sum of £13 be also paid, being one half the cost of repaving in Park Street.

  • Pc William George Byron, formerly of the Luton constabulary whose wife and children live in Naseby Road, Luton, has now left the hospital where he has been for eight week suffering from rheumatism. He does not anticipate returning to the firing line, however, and is now a Corporal of Horse, indicating he is connected with the police branch.

  • One of two men arrested in Luton charged with being absent without leave from the 5th Battalion Leicester Regiment stationed at Sawbridgeworth told magistrates he was fed up with the 5th Leicesters but would not mind being transferred to another regiment. The other said had "had enough of it". Both were remanded to await an escort.

  • A member of the Grenadier Guards who walked into Luton Police Station yesterday afternoon and admitted he was a deserter had left the regiment depot on January 19th, just four days after he joined up. He was remanded for an escort.

  • The billeting of troops in Luton has made some of the furnishers busy. There is a boom in cheap mattresses, camp bedsteads etc.

  • A branch of Parr's Bank Ltd will be opened at 59 George Street, Luton, on Monday, 15th February, under the management of Mr Arthur J. Hubbard.

  • Luton Licensed Victuallers Association failed to get pub closing hours extended from 9.30 pm. The licensing justices did however make an amendment excluding guests living in hotels from the 9.30 ruling - but not the landlord or his staff. Solicitor Mr H. W. Lathom, for the LVA, said: "That bona fide lodgers should be allowed to have a drink is all right, but that while they have a drink the landlord or his wife or staff cannot seems a most extraordinary thing."

  • Mr B. F. Major, former manager of the Wellington Street Picture Palace, has been visiting his Luton home on furlough and will return to the front on Monday. He is now attached to the Indian Expeditionary Force and is driving a Vauxhall touring car at the front. When under fire he said he always followed an officer's advice - "duck your hear and ride like the devil".

  • Cpl T. Dumpleton, 3rd Beds Regt, who was timekeeper at the Diamond Foundry in Luton before being called up, had a rather nasty experience leaving St Mary's Hall in Newmarket. Owing to the lights being all out, he made for the wrong door in the darkness and fell 20ft into the cellar. He was knocked senseless for a time but after about ten minutes was able to call for help. Fortunately he was not hurt as much as first thought and suffered no broken bones, although he is not able to move his left leg and will need to spend about a week in bed.

  • Despite it being wartime, Leagrave and District Horticultural Society held its customary annual dinner in the Old School. The organisation was described as having grown by leaps and bounds over the past two or three years to become one of the most progressive and up-to-date village societies for miles around. The only question mark for the coming year was whether, in view of the unsettled state of the country, it would be possible to hold its annual show.

  • Luton Town played an away friendly against local rivals Watford, winning 2-1 after leading 1-0 at the interval. Wileman and Rollinson were the Luton scorers for a team that included Lieut F. W. Houseman, a Notts and Derby Territorial and well-known amateur footballer, at centre-forward.

Stories from the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph, February 6th, 1915