Arthur Steel-Maitland, the son of Colonel E. H. Steel and Emmeline Drummond, was born on 5th July, 1876. Educated at Rugby and Balliol College, Oxford, he assumed the name Ramsay Steel-Maitland, on his marriage to Mary Gibson-Maitland in 1901.
An Assistant Poor Law Commissioner, he was unsuccessful in his attempt to become a Conservative MP for Rugby in the 1906 General Election. Elected for East Birmingham in the 1910 General Election, he was appointed as Head of the Conservative Organization (1911-1916). In the coalition government formed by Herbert Asquith during the First World War Steel-Maitland was Under-Secretary for the Colonies. David Lloyd George promoted him to the Board of Trade in 1917. In the same year he was created a baronet.
Steel-Maitland entered the cabinet when Stanley Baldwin appointed him Minister of Labour in November 1924. During the General Strike Steel-Maitland worked closely with Baldwin, William Joynson-Hicks (Home Secretary) and Winston Churchill (Chancellor of the Exchequer) in the dispute with the miners.
Arthur Steel-Maitland held the seat until his death on 30th March 1935.