Sir John Robert Chancellor
Seventh Governor of Trinidad and Tobago
Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Robert Chancellor GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO (1870–1952) was a British soldier and colonial official.
After a career in the British Army's Corps of Royal Engineers, which included service on the North West Frontier and being Secretary of the Colonial Defence Committee, he became a colonial administrator serving as the 20th Governor of Mauritius from 13 Sep 1911 to 28 Jan 1916.
Governor of Trinidad and Tobago (1916–1921) and Southern Rhodesia (1923–1928).
He also served as Principal Assistant Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence From 1922–1923
In 1898 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). In 1909 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. He was knighted in the 1913 King's Birthday Honours when he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG). In the 1922 Dissolution Honours List he was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG). He was appointed a Knight of Justice in the Venerable Order of Saint John on 19 December 1928.
In 1928, he became High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine, where he was perceived as being cool to Zionism and the Jewish people. Though he admired some Zionist leaders, in particular Pinchas Rutenberg, in general Chancellor's attitude towards Jews was negative. He wrote to his son that "truly the Jews are an ungrateful race".
His attitude towards Arabs was politically supportive but paternalistic; he wrote to his son "they are like children, and very difficult to help".
While he was in London in 1929, Arab riots protesting Jewish immigration broke out. On his return, he initially condemned Arab attacks but was subsequently less critical. He helped write the Lord Passfield's White Paper of 1930, which aimed to reinterpret the Balfour Declaration in order to back away from a commitment to the creation of a Jewish state. He left Palestine in1931.
In 1931, Jerusalem's Straus Street was renamed Chancellor Avenue in his honour. The street reverted to its original name after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
In 1937 he was appointed chairman of the Livestock Commission, which was set up following the passing of the Livestock Industry Act, 1937. In the 1947 King's Birthday Honours he was created a Knight Grand Cross in the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) for services to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Chancellor Avenue in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, now Harare, Zimbabwe, was named after him and still bears his name.