Philip Henry Kerr, 11th Marquis of Lothian, KT, CH, PC, DL (18 April 1882 – 12 December 1940), was
known as Philip Kerr until 1930, when he succeeded a cousin in the marquisate.
Kerr was born in London as the eldest son of Major-General Lord Ralph Kerr, who was the third son of
John Kerr, 7th Marquess of Lothian. His mother was Lady Anne Fitzalan-Howard, the daughter of Henry
Fitzalan-Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk, by the Honourable Augusta Mary Minna Catherine Lyons, the
daughter of Vice-Admiral Edmund Lyons, 1st Baron Lyons. Kerr was a nephew of Edmund FitzAlan-
Howard, 1st Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent, and a great-nephew of Richard Lyons, 1st Viscount Lyons.
Kerr was educated at The Oratory School, Birmingham, Cardinal Newman’s foundation, from 1892 to
1900, and at New College, Oxford, where he took a First in Modern History in 1904.
Kerr served in the South African government from 1905 to 1910 as a member of the ‘Milner
Kindergarten’, a group of Oxford graduates who played a prominent role in the process of unification of
the four colonies Natal, Cape, Orange River and Transvaal in the creation of South Africa. He returned to
England with the other members of the Kindergarten in 1910 and took part in the creation of the Round
Table Movement, advocating the transformation of the British Empire into a federation. He served as
editor of the journal of the movement, The Round Table, from 1910 to 1916, when he was appointed
David Lloyd George’s private secretary. At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 he played a key role in
shaping the Treaty of Versailles, and in particular in the Anglo-American Treaty of Guarantee to the
North-Eastern French borders, an essential element of the peace settlement. The essence of this idea later inspired, with the Dunkirk and Brussels treaties, the foundations of the post-Second World War European security system, with the permanent involvement of the United States as the warrantor of the European strategic stability.
Kerr was a director of United Newspapers from 1921 to 1922 and secretary to the Rhodes Trust from
1925 to 1939. In March 1930 he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and entered the
House of Lords. After the formation of the National Government in August 1931, he became Under-
Secretary of State for India, a post he held until 1932, playing a leading role in the creation of the Indian
Federation (the 1935 India Act).
Lothian was a key driving force behind the National Trust Act of 1937, using his position in the House of
Lords to allow individuals to bequest country homes and estates to the Trust permitting descendants to
avoid death duties. This led to a huge expansion of country homes being obtained by the National Trust
known as the Country Houses Scheme. On his death Lothian bequeathed his Norfolk country home
Blickling Hall to the National Trust.
As a founder and leading figure of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), Lothian
contributed to the creation in New York of the Council on Foreign Relations, bridging the two shores of
the North Atlantic. From the perspective of an ever closer Anglo-American cooperation in managing
world affairs, Lothian had been the main theorist and wire puller behind the scenes of the policy of
appeasement. As soon as it became manifest, after an interview with Roosevelt in early 1939, of the
growing fear in the United States of Hitler’s hegemonic ambitions, Lothian made the most spectacular
political inversion, asking and obtaining in April 1939 for the introduction of compulsory conscription, in order to face with France Hitler’s continental power politics. Never in peacetime had such an extreme
measure been adopted in the United Kingdom. On Lothian’s initiative the country initiated a moral and
military rearmament that would gradually be extended to all English-speaking peoples.
In September 1939, Lothian was appointed Ambassador to the United States, a post he held until his
death, aged 58, in December 1940, playing a crucial role in the Destroyers for Bases Deal (July 1940) and Lend-Lease Program. Moreover, he initiated the joint Anglo-American military organisation of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.
Lothian was sworn of the Privy Council in August 1939 and made a Knight of the Thistle in November
1940. His remains were cremated, but with the Battle of the Atlantic making sea travel risky and air travel
limited to only items of the highest importance, the United Kingdom agreed that Lord Lothian’s ashes
should remain in the United States until such time as they might be safely conveyed across the Atlantic.
His ashes were interred in the Maine Mast Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery on December 15,
1940, after a funeral at the Washington National Cathedral. Lothian’s ashes were returned to the United
Kingdom aboard an American naval vessel in December 1945.
Lothian’s federalist conception of international relations outlined in The Prevention of War, Pacifism is
not enough, and The Ending of Armageddon were seminal in the federalist conversion of Altiero Spinelli
and the drafting of the Ventotene Manifesto, a fundamental text of the Resistance, and for the movements which led the process of European unification.

Pacifism is not enough 

Download HERE the book edited by John Pinder and Andrea Bosco with the collected lectures and speeches by LORD LOTHIAN