Area 4: Thomson as politician

  1. Leeuwarden Barracks (right) (C. Niemandal Collection, Groningen)
  2. Liberal Union election committee postcard, 1905 (IMG, The Hague)
  3. Minutes of city council meeting The Hague, 13 June 1913 (IMG, The Hague)
  4. “Scheveningen 23, Majoor Thomson” (A. Bijer Collection, Niezijl)
  5. Political cartoon by Braakensiek (De Groene Amsterdammer Collection)

As a company commander in Leeuwarden (A), Thomson came into conflict with his regimental commander. Since his position in the armed forces had become critical, he decided to stand for parliament in the elections for the House of Representatives in 1905 for the constituency of Leeuwarden (B). The candidates he defeated included the socialist Wibaut and he took a seat in the House. Four years later, he would defeat the socialist Troelstra before the latter won the seat in 1913. Troelstra appreciated the efforts his liberal predecessor Thomson had made to introduce democratic ideals into the army. From 1909 to 1913, Thomson also sat on the city council of The Hague. Among the positions he supported were measures to use cinemas to educate students and to provide better civil service preparation for council meetings (C). To honour his efforts on behalf of the fishing port, fishing boats Scheveningen 23 (1915-1917) and, later, the Scheveningen 5 (1917-1925) were named after Thomson (D). During the government crisis of 1911, caused in part by Duymaer van Twist, Thomson was among those named as potential Minister of War, a position that eventually went to H. Colijn (E). In 1912, Colijn sent Thomson abroad as a military observer to the Balkans.