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"A library is thought in cold storage." - Herbert Samuel

British politician Herbert Samuel (1870-1963) was born in Liverpool, brought up in the Jewish religion and educated at University College School in Hampstead, London and Oxford University where he renounced all religious belief, declaring he would no longer adhere to any outward practice of religion.

Before becoming a Member of Parliament in 1902 he was a social worker in the London slums and, as an MP, he effected legislation that established juvenile courts and the borstal system for young offenders. In 1910 he was appointed postmaster general and was responsible for nationalizing the telephone system. As Britain's first high commissioner for Palestine (1920-25) he improved the region's economy and promoted harmony among its religious communities. After this he presided over the royal commission on the coal industry and helped to settle the general strike of May 1926. He led the Liberal Party in the House of Commons from 1931-1935 and, after being made Viscount Samuel in 1937, was leader of the Liberal party in the House of Lords from 1944-55).

As president of the British Institute of Philosophy (later the Royal Institute) for almost thirty years he wrote popular works such as Practical Ethics (1935) and Belief and Action (1937); and in his later years wrote Essays in Phyics (1951), In Search of Reality (1957) and a collaborative work, A Threefold Cord: Philosophy, Science, Religion (1961).

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