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"He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the more refined art of skipping and skimming" - Arthur Balfour

Arthur James Balfour (1848 - 1930) was a British Conservative politician who served in a number of government positions from the time he entered parliament in 1874 until becoming Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905. The Conservative Party lost the election in 1905 but Balfour stayed on as leader of the opposition until 1911, when he resigned having failed to lead his party to victory in two General Elections.

He returned to the Cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915 and as Foreign Secretary from 1916 to 1919. He retired from the House of Commons in 1922 and was granted an Earldom, becoming 1st Earl of Balfour. He is perhaps best remembered for the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which supported the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

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