Churchill war ministry

The Churchill war ministry was the United Kingdom's coalition government for most of the Second World War from 10 May 1940 to 23 May 1945. It was led by Winston Churchill, who was appointed Prime Minister by King George VI following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain in the aftermath of the Norway Debate.

Churchill war ministry
1940–1945
Churchill HU 90973.jpg
Winston Churchill on 2 August 1944
Date formed10 May 1940 (1940-05-10)
Date dissolved23 May 1945 (1945-05-23)
People and organisations
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Deputy Prime MinisterClement Attlee (1942–1945)
Total no. of members223 appointments
Member parties
Status in legislatureMajority (coalition)
History
Legislature term(s)37th UK Parliament
Incoming formationNorway Debate
PredecessorChamberlain war ministry
SuccessorChurchill caretaker ministry

At the outset, Churchill formed a five-man War Cabinet which included Chamberlain as Lord President of the Council, Clement Attlee as Lord Privy Seal and later as Deputy Prime Minister, Viscount Halifax as Foreign Secretary and Arthur Greenwood as a minister without portfolio. Although the original war cabinet was limited to five members, in practice they were augmented by the service chiefs and ministers who attended the majority of meetings. The cabinet changed in size and membership as the war progressed but there were significant additions later in 1940 when it was increased to eight after Churchill, Attlee and Greenwood were joined by Ernest Bevin as Minister of Labour and National Service; Anthony Eden as Foreign Secretary – replacing Halifax, who was sent to Washington D.C. as ambassador to the United States; Lord Beaverbrook as Minister of Aircraft Production; Sir Kingsley Wood as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sir John Anderson as Lord President of the Council – replacing Chamberlain who died in November (Anderson later became Chancellor after Kingsley Wood's death in September 1943).

The coalition was dissolved in May 1945, following the final defeat of Germany, when the Labour Party decided to withdraw in order to prepare for a general election. Churchill, who was the leader of the Conservative Party, was asked by the King to form a new, essentially Conservative, government. It was known as the Churchill caretaker ministry and managed the country's affairs until completion of the general election on 26 July that year.

BackgroundEdit

The 1935 general election had resulted in a Conservative victory with a substantial majority and Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister. In May 1937, Baldwin retired and was succeeded by Neville Chamberlain who continued Baldwin's foreign policy of appeasement in the face of German, Italian and Japanese aggression. Having signed the Munich Agreement with Hitler in 1938, Chamberlain became alarmed by the dictator's continuing aggression and, in March 1939, signed the Anglo-Polish military alliance which supposedly guaranteed British support for Poland if attacked. Chamberlain issued the declaration of war against Germany on 3 September 1939 and formed a war cabinet which included Winston Churchill (out of office since June 1929) as First Lord of the Admiralty.[1]

Dissatisfaction with Chamberlain's leadership became widespread in the spring of 1940 after Germany successfully invaded Norway. In response, the House of Commons held the Norway Debate from 7 to 9 May. At the end of the second day, the Labour opposition forced a division which was in effect a motion of no confidence in Chamberlain. The government's majority of 213 was reduced to 81, still a victory but nevertheless a shattering blow for Chamberlain.[2]

9–13 May 1940: Creation of a new governmentEdit

 
Neville Chamberlain resigned to make way for Churchill as Prime Minister.

On Thursday, 9 May, Chamberlain attempted to form a National Coalition Government. In talks at Downing Street with Viscount Halifax and Churchill, he indicated that he was quite ready to resign if that was necessary for Labour to enter such a government. Labour's leader Clement Attlee and his deputy Arthur Greenwood then joined the meeting, and when asked, they indicated that they must first consult their party's National Executive Committee (then in Bournemouth to prepare for the annual conference), but it was unlikely they could serve in a government led by Chamberlain; they probably would be able to serve under some other Conservative.[3]

After Attlee and Greenwood left, Chamberlain asked whom he should recommend to the King as his successor. The version of events given by Churchill is that Chamberlain's preference for Halifax was obvious (Churchill implies that the spat between Churchill and the Labour benches the previous night had something to do with that); there was a long silence which Halifax eventually broke by saying he did not believe he could lead the government effectively as a member of the House of Lords instead of the House of Commons.[4] Churchill's version gets the date wrong, and he fails to mention the presence of David Margesson, the government Chief Whip.[4][5][6]

Halifax's account omits the dramatic pause and gives an additional reason: "PM said I was the man mentioned as most acceptable. I said it would be hopeless position. If I was not in charge of the war (operations) and if I didn't lead in the House, I should be a cypher. I thought Winston was a better choice. Winston did not demur."[3] According to Halifax, Margesson then confirmed that the House of Commons had been veering to Churchill.

In a letter to Churchill written that night,[7] Bob Boothby asserted that parliamentary opinion was hardening against Halifax, claiming in a postscript that according to Liberal MP Clement Davies, "Attlee & Greenwood are unable to distinguish between the PM & Halifax and are not prepared to serve under the latter". Davies (who thought Chamberlain should go, and be replaced by Churchill) had lunched with Attlee and Greenwood (and argued his case) shortly before they saw Chamberlain.[8] Labour's Hugh Dalton, however, noted in his diary entry for 9 May that he had spoken with Attlee, who "agrees with my preference for Halifax over Churchill, but we both think either would be tolerable".[9]

On the morning of Friday, 10 May, Germany invaded the Netherlands and Belgium. Chamberlain initially felt that a change of government at such a time would be inappropriate, but upon being given confirmation that Labour would not serve under him, he announced to the War Cabinet his intention to resign.[10] Scarcely more than three days after he had opened the debate, Chamberlain went to Buckingham Palace to resign as Prime Minister. Despite resigning as PM, however, he continued to be the leader of the Conservative Party. He explained to the King why Halifax, whom the King thought the obvious candidate,[11] did not want to become Prime Minister. The King then sent for Churchill and asked him to form a new government; according to Churchill, there was no stipulation that it must be a coalition government.[12]

At 21:00 on 10 May, Chamberlain announced the change of Prime Minister over the BBC. Churchill's first act as Prime Minister was to ask Attlee to come and see him at Admiralty House. Next, he wrote to Chamberlain to thank him for his promised support. He then began to construct his coalition cabinet: before he went to bed at 03:00 on Saturday, 11 May, six hours after Chamberlain's original announcement, Churchill had established the composition of the new War Cabinet and appointed the heads of the three Service Ministries.[13]

 
Clement Attlee was the serving deputy to Churchill from 1942.

On Saturday, 11 May, the Labour Party agreed to join a national government under Churchill's leadership and he was able to form his war cabinet. In his biography of Churchill, Roy Jenkins described the Churchill cabinet as one "for winning", while the former Chamberlain cabinet was one "for losing".[14] Labour leader Clement Attlee relinquished his official role as Leader of the Opposition to become Lord Privy Seal (until 19 February 1942 when he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister). Arthur Greenwood, Labour's deputy leader, was appointed a minister without portfolio.[15]

The main problem for Churchill as he became Prime Minister was that he was not the leader of the majority Conservative Party and, needing its support, was obliged to include Chamberlain in the war cabinet, but this was not to Labour's liking. Initially, Churchill proposed to appoint Chamberlain as both Leader of the House of Commons and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Attlee objected and Churchill decided to appoint Chamberlain as Lord President of the Council. The fifth member of the war cabinet was Halifax, who retained his position as Foreign Secretary.[16] Instead of Chamberlain, Kingsley Wood became Chancellor but, until 3 October 1940, he was not a member of the war cabinet.[17]

Churchill appointed himself as Leader of the House (it was normal procedure until 1942 for a prime minister in the Commons to lead the House) and created for himself the new role of Minister of Defence, so that he would be permanent chair of the Cabinet Defence Committee which included the three service ministers and the three service chiefs.[18] Anthony Eden became Secretary of State for War, Labour's A. V. Alexander succeeded Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty and the leader of the Liberal Party, Sir Archibald Sinclair, became Secretary of State for Air.[19] The three service Chiefs of Staff (CoS) at this time were Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, the First Sea Lord; Air Marshal Sir Cyril Newall, the Chief of the Air Staff; and Field Marshal Sir Edmund Ironside, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS). (On 27 May, Ironside was replaced at Churchill's request by his deputy Field Marshal Sir John Dill, and Ironside became Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces.)[20]

By Monday, 13 May, most of the senior government posts were filled. That day was Whit Monday, normally a bank holiday but cancelled by the incoming government. A specially convened sitting of the House of Commons was held and Churchill spoke for the first time as Prime Minister:[21]

I beg to move, that this House welcomes the formation of a Government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion.

He explained that a War Cabinet of five members had been formed to represent the unity of the nation with all three main party leaders agreeing to serve either in the War Cabinet or in high executive office. Churchill was hoping to complete all ministerial appointments by the end of the 14th. He announced an adjournment of Commons business until the 21st and apologised for making only a short address for the present. Even so, his speech has become one of his most famous because he concluded with his statement of intent:[22]

I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat". We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength".

In reply, Hastings Lees-Smith as acting Leader of the Opposition announced that Labour would vote for the motion to assure the country of a unified political front.[23] After several other members had spoken, including David Lloyd George and Stafford Cripps, the House divided on the question: "That this House welcomes the formation of a Government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion". 381 members voted "aye" in favour of the motion and, apart from the two tellers for the "noes", the wartime coalition was endorsed unanimously.[24]

Leader of the OppositionEdit

There was no de facto Leader of the Opposition from 11 May 1940 until Attlee resumed the role on 23 May 1945. The Labour Party appointed an acting Leader of the Opposition whose job, although he was in effect a member of the national government, was to ensure the continued functionality of the House of Commons. Due process in the Commons requires someone, even a member of the government, to fill the role even if there is no actual opposition.[25] The first acting leader was Hastings Lees-Smith, the MP for Keighley, who died in office on 18 December 1941. He was briefly succeeded by Frederick Pethick-Lawrence and then, from 22 February 1942, by Arthur Greenwood who had left the War Cabinet, until 23 May 1945.[26]

14 May 1940 to 23 May 1945Edit

End of the ministry, 23 May 1945Edit

In October 1944, Churchill had proposed to the Commons that the current Parliament, which had begun in 1935, should be extended by a further year. He correctly anticipated the defeat of Germany in the spring of 1945 but he did not expect the end of the Far East war until 1946. He therefore recommended that the end of the European war should be "a pointer (to) fix the date of the (next) General Election".[27]

Attlee, along with Eden and others, attended the San Francisco Conference and had returned to London by 18 May 1945 (ten days after V-E Day) when he met Churchill to discuss the future of the coalition. Attlee, in agreement with Churchill, wanted it to continue until after the Japanese surrender but he discovered that others in the Labour Party, especially Morrison and Bevin, wanted an election in October after Parliament ended. On 20 May, Attlee attended his party conference and found that opinion was against him so he informed Churchill that Labour must leave the coalition.[28]

On 23 May, Labour left the coalition to begin their general election campaign. Churchill resigned as prime minister but the King asked him to form a new government, known as the Churchill caretaker ministry, until the election was held in July. Churchill agreed and his new ministry, essentially a Conservative one, held office for the next two months until it was replaced by Attlee's Labour government after their election victory.[citation needed]

War Cabinet membersEdit

Ministers who held War Cabinet membership, 1940–1945[29]
Portfolio Minister Party Joined war cabinet Left war cabinet Notes and citations
Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury Winston Churchill Conservative 10 May 1940 23 May 1945 Churchill also held the offices of Minister of Defence and Leader of the House of Commons.
Deputy Prime Minister Clement Attlee Labour 19 February 1942 23 May 1945 New office created for Attlee to have general responsibility for domestic affairs.
Minister of Defence Winston Churchill Conservative 10 May 1940 23 May 1945 Minister of Defence was a new role created by Churchill for himself to hold full responsibility for prosecution of the war.
Leader of the House of Commons Winston Churchill Conservative 10 May 1940 19 February 1942 Churchill relinquished this role on 19 February 1942. Succeeded by Cripps.
Sir Stafford Cripps Labour 19 February 1942 22 November 1942 Previously British Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Simultaneously Lord Privy Seal. Became Minister of Aircraft Production (outside the war cabinet) and was succeeded by Eden as Leader of the House. His successor as Lord Privy Seal (Cranborne) was not in the war cabinet.
Anthony Eden Conservative 22 November 1942 23 May 1945 Eden succeeded Cripps as Leader of the House and was simultaneously Foreign Secretary.
Lord President of the Council Neville Chamberlain Conservative 10 May 1940 29 September 1940 Resigned for health reasons (cancer of the colon) and died on 9 November 1940.
Sir John Anderson National 3 October 1940 24 September 1943 Succeeded Chamberlain. Previously Home Secretary (from 12 May 1940), but was outside the war cabinet. Became Chancellor and was succeeded by Attlee.
Clement Attlee Labour 24 September 1943 23 May 1945 Succeeded Anderson who became Chancellor on death of Kingsley Wood.
Lord Privy Seal Clement Attlee Labour 11 May 1940 15 February 1942 Change of role in February 1942. Succeeded by Cripps.
Sir Stafford Cripps Labour 19 February 1942 22 November 1942 Previously British Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Simultaneously Leader of the House. Became Minister of Aircraft Production (outside the war cabinet) and was succeeded by Eden as Leader of the House. His successor as Lord Privy Seal (Cranborne) was not in the war cabinet.
Foreign Secretary Viscount Halifax Conservative 10 May 1940 22 December 1940 Was replaced by Eden and sent to Washington DC as British Ambassador to the United States.
Anthony Eden Conservative 22 December 1940 23 May 1945 Succeeded Halifax. Previously Secretary of State for War (from 11 May 1940), but was outside the war cabinet. From November 1942, Eden was also Leader of the House.
Home Secretary Herbert Morrison Labour 22 November 1942 23 May 1945 Appointed Home Secretary on 2 October 1940 but was outside the war cabinet until 22 November 1942.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Kingsley Wood Conservative 3 October 1940 22 February 1942 Appointed Chancellor on 12 May 1940 but was outside the war cabinet until 3 October. Left the war cabinet in February 1942 but remained Chancellor until his death on 21 September 1943.
Sir John Anderson National 24 September 1943 23 May 1945 Appointed on death of Kingsley Wood. Previously Lord President.
Minister without portfolio Arthur Greenwood Labour 11 May 1940 22 February 1942 Left the war cabinet and was acting Leader of the Opposition until 23 May 1945.
Minister of Labour and National Service Ernest Bevin Labour 3 October 1940 23 May 1945 Appointed Minister of Labour and National Service on 13 May 1940 but was outside the war cabinet until 3 October 1940.
Minister of Aircraft Production Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 2 August 1940 30 April 1941 New office created for Beaverbrook who was new to politics. Successor (Moore-Brabazon) was not in the war cabinet.
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Clement Attlee Labour 15 February 1942 24 September 1943 Succeeded Cranborne. Successor (Cranborne again) was not in the war cabinet.
Minister of State Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 1 May 1941 29 June 1941 Nominal role only. Beaverbrook had no specific portfolio.
Minister of Supply Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 29 June 1941 4 February 1942 Succeeded Duncan. Successor (Duncan again) was not in the war cabinet.
Minister of War Production Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 4 February 1942 19 February 1942 New office created for Beaverbrook. Succeeded by Lyttelton as Minister of Production.
Minister of Production Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 12 March 1942 23 May 1945 Succeeded Beaverbrook. The office was initially called Minister of War Production when created on 4 February 1942.
Minister of Reconstruction Lord Woolton National 11 November 1943 23 May 1945 New role created to lead post-war planning. Woolton was previously Minister of Food (from 3 April 1940), but was outside the war cabinet.
Minister-Resident for the Middle East Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 29 June 1941 12 March 1942 New role created to relieve military commanders of civil responsibility. Lyttelton was previously President of the Board of Trade (from 3 October 1940), but was outside the war cabinet. Became Minister of Production and was succeeded by Casey.
Richard Casey National 12 March 1942 14 January 1944 Previously Australian Ambassador to the United States. Became Governor of Bengal and was succeeded by Moyne.
Lord Moyne Conservative 14 January 1944 6 November 1944 Succeeded Casey. Previously the Deputy Minister-Resident. Was assassinated by Jewish militants on 6 November 1944. Moyne was succeeded by Sir Edward Grigg, but he was outside the war cabinet.

Ministers outside the War CabinetEdit

Government ministers who held offices without War Cabinet membership, 1940–1945[29]
Portfolio Minister Party Took office Left office Notes and citations
Assistant Postmaster-General Charles Waterhouse Conservative 17 May 1940 1 March 1941 Waterhouse was appointed by Chamberlain in 1939 and confirmed by Churchill in May 1940. In March 1941, he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade.
Allan Chapman Conservative 1 March 1941 4 March 1942 Chapman became Under-Secretary of State for Scotland.
Robert Grimston Conservative 4 March 1942 23 May 1945 Grimston was Treasurer of the Household, 1939–1942.
Attorney General Sir Donald Somervell Conservative 15 May 1940 23 May 1945 Somervell had held the office from 18 March 1936 and was re-confirmed by Churchill in May 1940.[30]
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms Lord Snell Labour 31 May 1940 21 April 1944 Snell died in office on 21 April 1944 and the position remained unfilled until Fortescue's appointment in March 1945.
Earl Fortescue Conservative 22 March 1945 23 May 1945
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard Lord Templemore Conservative 31 May 1940 23 May 1945  
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Lord Hankey Independent 14 May 1940 20 July 1941  
Duff Cooper Conservative 20 July 1941 11 November 1943  
Ernest Brown Liberal National 11 November 1943 23 May 1945  
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Sir Austin Hudson, Bt Conservative 15 May 1940   [31]
Richard Pilkington Conservative 4 March 1942    
Comptroller of the Household William Whiteley Labour 17 May 1940    
William John Labour 12 March 1942    
George Mathers Labour 2 October 1944    
Deputy Minister of State Lord Moyne Conservative 27 August 1942 28 January 1944  
Financial Secretary to the Admiralty George Hall Labour 4 February 1942   [32]
James Thomas Conservative 25 September 1943   [32]
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Harry Crookshank Conservative 15 May 1940    
Ralph Assheton Conservative 7 February 1943    
Osbert Peake Conservative 29 October 1944    
Financial Secretary to the War Office Richard Law Conservative 17 May 1940    
Duncan Sandys Conservative 20 July 1941    
Arthur Henderson Labour 7 February 1943    
First Commissioner of Works Lord Tryon Conservative 18 May 1940 3 October 1940 Renamed Ministry of Works and Planning from 11 February 1942, and Ministry of Works from February 1943.
Sir John Reith National 3 October 1940 22 February 1942
Lord Portal Conservative 22 February 1942 21 November 1944
Duncan Sandys Conservative 21 November 1944 23 May 1945
First Lord of the Admiralty A. V. Alexander Labour 11 May 1940   [33]
Lord Advocate Thomas Cooper Conservative 15 May 1940    
James Reid Conservative 5 June 1941    
Lord Chancellor Viscount Simon Liberal National 12 May 1940   Chancellor of the Exchequer under Chamberlain. Made Viscount on 13 May 1940.
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (junior) William Whytehead Boulton Conservative 12 May 1940 13 March 1942  
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn Conservative 12 May 1940 26 June 1940 [34]
Stephen Furness Liberal National 12 May 1940 18 May 1940 [34]
Patrick Munro Conservative 12 May 1940 13 March 1942 [34]
James Stuart Conservative 12 May 1940 14 January 1941  
Wilfred Paling Labour 18 May 1940 8 February 1941  
James Thomas Conservative 26 June 1940 25 September 1943  
Thomas Dugdale Conservative 8 February 1941 23 February 1942 Dugdale was a Deputy Chief Whip.[35]
William Murdoch Adamson Labour 1 March 1941 2 October 1944 [34]
Arthur Young Conservative 23 February 1942 3 July 1944  
John McEwen Conservative 13 March 1942 6 December 1944 [34]
Leslie Pym Conservative 13 March 1942 23 May 1945  
Alec Beechman Liberal National 25 September 1943 23 May 1945  
Cedric Drewe Conservative 3 July 1944 23 May 1945  
William John Labour 2 October 1944 23 May 1945 [35]
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn Conservative 6 December 1944 23 May 1945 [34]
Lord in Waiting Lord Alness Liberal National 31 May 1940 23 May 1945  
Viscount Clifden Liberal 31 May 1940 23 May 1945  
Earl Fortescue Conservative 31 May 1940 22 March 1945  
Marquess of Normanby Conservative 22 March 1945 23 May 1945  
Lord Privy Seal Viscount Cranborne Conservative 22 November 1942   also Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 24 September 1943    
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Robert Hudson Conservative 14 May 1940    
Minister of Aircraft Production John Moore-Brabazon Conservative 1 May 1941 22 February 1942  
John Llewellin Conservative 22 February 1942 22 November 1942  
Sir Stafford Cripps Labour 22 November 1942 23 May 1945  
Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton Labour 15 May 1940 22 February 1942  
Viscount Wolmer Conservative 22 February 1942 23 May 1945  
Minister of Food Lord Woolton Conservative 13 May 1940 11 November 1943 Woolton was first appointed 3 April 1940 by Chamberlain and retained by Churchill. On 11 November 1943, he joined the war cabinet as Minister of Reconstruction.
John Llewellin Conservative 11 November 1943 23 May 1945  
Minister of Fuel and Power Gwilym Lloyd George Liberal 3 June 1942 23 May 1945 New office.
Minister of Information Duff Cooper Conservative 12 May 1940   Attended War Cabinet from 28 May 1940
Brendan Bracken Conservative 20 July 1941    
Minister of Shipping Ronald Cross Conservative 14 May 1940   Merged into Minister of War Transport 1 May 1941
Minister of Social Insurance Sir William Jowitt Labour 8 October 1944   Renamed Minister of National Insurance 17 November 1944
Minister of Supply Herbert Morrison Labour 12 May 1940 2 October 1940  
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan Conservative 3 October 1940    
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan Conservative 4 February 1942    
Minister of Town and Country Planning William Morrison Conservative 30 December 1942   Minister designate until 7 February 1943
Minister of War Transport Lord Leathers Conservative 1 May 1941    
Minister-Resident for the Middle East Sir Edward Grigg Conservative 21 November 1944 23 May 1945 Grigg succeeded Lord Moyne who was assassinated on 6 November. The post was moved outside the war cabinet after Moyne's death.
Minister-Resident for North-west Africa Harold Macmillan Conservative 30 December 1942    
Minister-Resident for West Africa Viscount Swinton Conservative 8 June 1942    
Harold Balfour Conservative 21 November 1944    
Minister-Resident for Washington, DC John Llewellin Conservative 22 November 1942    
Ben Smith Labour 11 November 1943    
Minister without portfolio Sir William Jowitt Labour 30 December 1942 8 October 1944  
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty Sir Victor Warrender, Bt Conservative 17 May 1940    
Parliamentary Secretary for India and Burma Duke of Devonshire Conservative 17 May 1940    
Earl of Munster Conservative 1 January 1943    
Earl of Listowel Labour 31 October 1944    
Parliamentary Secretary for the Home Department William Mabane Liberal National 15 May 1940 3 June 1942  
Ellen Wilkinson Labour 8 October 1940 23 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education James Chuter Ede Labour 15 May 1940    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade Gwilym Lloyd George Liberal 15 May 1940   Also Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food from 22 October 1940
Charles Waterhouse Conservative 8 February 1941    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Lord Moyne Conservative 15 May 1940 8 February 1941  
Tom Williams Labour 15 May 1940 23 May 1945  
Duke of Norfolk Conservative 8 February 1941 23 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft Production John Llewellin Conservative 15 May 1940    
Frederick Montague Labour 1 May 1941    
Ben Smith Labour 4 March 1942    
Alan Lennox-Boyd Conservative 11 November 1943    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation Robert Perkins Conservative 22 March 1945    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare Dingle Foot Liberal 17 May 1940    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food Robert Boothby Conservative 15 May 1940    
Gwilym Lloyd George Liberal 22 October 1940    
William Mabane Liberal National 3 June 1942    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power Geoffrey Lloyd Conservative 3 June 1942 23 May 1945 Geoffrey Lloyd and Tom Smith held the position jointly.
Tom Smith Labour 3 June 1942 23 May 1945
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health Florence Horsbrugh Conservative 15 May 1940    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Information Harold Nicolson National Labour 17 May 1940    
Ernest Thurtle Labour 20 July 1941    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour Ralph Assheton Conservative 15 May 1940 4 February 1942  
George Tomlinson Labour 8 February 1941 23 May 1945  
Malcolm McCorquodale Conservative 4 February 1942 23 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Insurance Charles Peat Conservative 22 March 1945 23 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions Ellen Wilkinson Labour 17 May 1940 8 October 1940  
Lord Tryon Conservative 8 October 1940    
Wilfred Paling Labour 8 February 1941    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Production George Garro-Jones Labour 10 September 1942    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Shipping Sir Arthur Salter Independent 15 May 1940    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply Harold Macmillan Conservative 15 May 1940 4 February 1942  
Lord Portal Conservative 4 September 1940 22 February 1942  
Ralph Assheton Conservative 4 February 1942 7 February 1943  
Charles Peat Conservative 4 March 1942 22 March 1945  
Duncan Sandys Conservative 7 February 1943 21 November 1944  
John Wilmot Labour 21 November 1944 23 May 1945  
James de Rothschild Liberal 22 March 1945 23 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning Henry Strauss Conservative 30 December 1942    
Arthur Jenkins Labour 22 March 1945    
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport Frederick Montague Labour 18 May 1940 1 May 1941  
John Llewellin Conservative 1 May 1941 4 February 1942  
Sir Arthur Salter Independent 29 June 1941 4 February 1942  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works George Hicks Labour 19 November 1940 23 May 1945  
Henry Strauss Conservative 4 March 1942 30 December 1942  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Sir Charles Edwards Labour 17 May 1940 12 March 1942 Succeeded by Whiteley. This was a jointly held sinecure position for the Government Chief Whip. Edwards held it for Labour with first Margesson and then Stuart for Conservative.
David Margesson Conservative 17 May 1940 22 December 1940 Succeeded by Stuart. This was a jointly held sinecure position for the Government Chief Whip. Margesson held it for Conservative with Edwards for Labour. Margesson had been in the role since November 1931.
James Stuart Conservative 14 January 1941 23 May 1945 This was a jointly held sinecure position for the Government Chief Whip. Stuart succeeded Margesson and held it for Conservative with first Edwards and then Whiteley for Labour.
William Whiteley Labour 12 March 1942 23 May 1945 This was a jointly held sinecure position for the Government Chief Whip. Whiteley succeeded Edwards and held it for Labour with Stuart for Conservative.
Paymaster General Viscount Cranborne Conservative 15 May 1940   Office vacant 3 October 1940[36]
Lord Hankey Independent 20 July 1941    
Sir William Jowitt Labour 4 March 1942   [36]
Lord Cherwell Conservative 30 December 1942    
President of the Board of Education Herwald Ramsbotham Conservative 14 May 1940    
Rab Butler Conservative 20 July 1941   Renamed Minister of Education 3 August 1944
President of the Board of Trade Sir Andrew Rae Duncan Conservative 12 May 1940    
Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 3 October 1940    
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan Conservative 29 June 1941    
John Llewellin Conservative 4 February 1942    
Hugh Dalton Labour 22 February 1942    
Secretary for Mines David Grenfell Labour 15 May 1940    
Secretary for Petroleum Geoffrey Lloyd Conservative 15 May 1940 3 June 1942 Combined into Minister for Fuel and Power
Secretary for Overseas Trade Harcourt Johnstone Liberal 15 May 1940    
Secretary of State for Air Sir Archibald Sinclair, Bt Liberal 11 May 1940    
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Viscount Caldecote Conservative 14 May 1940   also Leader of the House of Lords
Viscount Cranborne Conservative 3 October 1940    
Viscount Cranborne Conservative 24 September 1943   also Leader of the House of Lords
Minister of Health Malcolm MacDonald National Labour 13 May 1940    
Ernest Brown Liberal National 8 February 1941    
Henry Willink Conservative 11 November 1943    
Secretary of State for India and Burma Leo Amery Conservative 13 May 1940    
Secretary of State for Scotland Ernest Brown Liberal National 14 May 1940    
Tom Johnston Labour 8 February 1941    
Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Lloyd Conservative 12 May 1940   also Leader of the House of Lords from 22 December 1940
Lord Moyne Conservative 8 February 1941 27 August 1942 also Leader of the House of Lords
Viscount Cranborne Conservative 22 February 1942   also Leader of the House of Lords
Oliver Stanley Conservative 22 November 1942    
Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Home Security Sir John Anderson National 12 May 1940 3 October 1940  
Herbert Morrison Labour 2 October 1940 22 November 1942 Joined war cabinet on 22 November 1942, still as Home Secretary
Minister of Civil Aviation Viscount Swinton Conservative 8 October 1944   New office
Minister of Transport Sir John Reith National 14 May 1940    
John Moore-Brabazon Conservative 3 October 1940   became Minister of War Transport 1 May 1941
Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden Conservative 11 May 1940 22 December 1940 Eden became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and joined the war cabinet. He was succeeded by Margesson at the War Department.
David Margesson Conservative 22 December 1940 22 February 1942 Succeeded Eden. Margesson was removed from office and replaced by his Permanent Under-Secretary, James Grigg.
Sir James Grigg National 22 February 1942 23 May 1945 Succeeded Margesson.
Minister for Pensions Sir Walter Womersley Conservative 15 May 1940    
Solicitor General Sir William Jowitt Labour 15 May 1940    
Sir David Maxwell Fyfe Conservative 4 March 1942    
Solicitor General for Scotland James Reid Conservative 15 May 1940    
David King Murray Conservative 5 June 1941    
Treasurer of the Household Robert Grimston Conservative 17 May 1940 4 March 1942 Grimston was appointed by Chamberlain in 1939 and confirmed by Churchill in May 1940. He became Assistant Postmaster-General in March 1942.
Sir James Edmondson Conservative 12 March 1942    
Under-Secretary of State for Air Harold Balfour Conservative 15 May 1940 21 November 1944  
Lord Sherwood Liberal 20 July 1941 23 May 1945  
Rupert Brabner Conservative 21 November 1944 27 March 1945  
Quintin Hogg Conservative 12 April 1945 23 May 1945  
Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Geoffrey Shakespeare Liberal National 15 May 1940    
Paul Emrys-Evans Conservative 4 March 1942    
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Rab Butler Conservative 15 May 1940    
Richard Law Conservative 20 July 1941    
George Hall Labour 25 September 1943    
Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Joseph Westwood Labour 17 May 1940 23 May 1945  
Henry Wedderburn Conservative 8 February 1941 4 March 1942  
Allan Chapman Conservative 4 March 1942 23 May 1945  
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies George Hall Labour 15 May 1940    
Harold Macmillan Conservative 4 February 1942    
Duke of Devonshire Conservative 1 January 1943    
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Osbert Peake Conservative 15 May 1940    
Earl of Munster Conservative 31 October 1944    
Under-Secretary of State for War Sir Edward Grigg Conservative 17 May 1940 4 March 1942  
Sir Henry Page Croft Conservative 17 May 1940 23 May 1945  
Arthur Henderson Labour 4 March 1942 7 February 1943  
Postmaster-General William Morrison Conservative 15 May 1940    
Harry Crookshank Conservative 7 February 1943    
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Sir James Edmondson Conservative 17 May 1940    
William Whytehead Boulton Conservative 12 March 1942    
Arthur Young Conservative 13 July 1944    

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jenkins 2001, pp. 551–552.
  2. ^ Jenkins 2001, pp. 576–582.
  3. ^ a b quoted in Gilbert, as from David Dilks, ed. (1971). The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan O.M 1938–45. London: Cassel. p. 280 (diary entry for 9 May 1940). ISBN 978-03-04937-37-0.
  4. ^ a b Churchill 1968, pp. 523–524.
  5. ^ Jenkins 2001, p. 583.
  6. ^ Shakespeare 2017, p. 362.
  7. ^ cited in Gilbert: "Letter of 9 May 1940, marked by Churchill 'secret, for dinner, in a box'; Churchill papers 2/392".
  8. ^ Schneer, Jonathan (16 March 2015). Ministers at War. Oneworld Publications. p. 28. ISBN 978-17-80746-14-2.
  9. ^ quoted in Thomas-Symonds, Nicklaus (1 March 2012). Attlee: A Life in Politics. I.B.Tauris. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-08-57730-74-9.
  10. ^ War Cabinet No. 119 of 1940, 4.30 p.m. (there were three War Cabinet meetings that day): Cabinet papers 65/7 cited in Gilbert.
  11. ^ Wheeler-Bennett 1958, pp. 433–434.
  12. ^ Churchill 1968, p. 525.
  13. ^ Gilbert 1983, pp. 299–314.
  14. ^ Jenkins 2001, pp. 714–715.
  15. ^ Jenkins 2001, p. 587.
  16. ^ Jenkins 2001, pp. 587–588.
  17. ^ Jenkins 2001, p. 588.
  18. ^ Hermiston 2016, p. 27.
  19. ^ Hermiston 2016, p. 26.
  20. ^ Hastings 2009, p. 25.
  21. ^ "His Majesty's Government – Churchill". Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 360, col. 1501. 13 May 1940. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  22. ^ "His Majesty's Government – Churchill". Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 360, col. 1502. 13 May 1940. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  23. ^ "His Majesty's Government – Lees-Smith". Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 360, cols 1504–1505. 13 May 1940. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  24. ^ "His Majesty's Government – Division". Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 360, col. 1525. 13 May 1940. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Ministers of the Crown Act 1937". Modern Law Review. Blackwell Publishing. 1 (2): 145–148. 1937. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2230.1937.tb00014.x. ISSN 0026-7961.
  26. ^ a b Jenkins 2001, p. 685.
  27. ^ Hermiston 2016, p. 356.
  28. ^ Jenkins 2001, p. 790.
  29. ^ a b Butler & Butler 1994, pp. 17–20.
  30. ^ "Mr Donald Somervell". Hansard. London: UK Parliament. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  31. ^ "Civil Lord of the Admiralty". Hansard. UK Parliament
  32. ^ a b "Financial Secretary to the Admiralty". Hansard. UK Parliament
  33. ^ "First Lord of the Admiralty". Hansard. UK Parliament
  34. ^ a b c d e f "Junior Lord of the Treasury". Hansard. UK Parliament
  35. ^ a b "Deputy Chief Whip" Hansard. UK Parliament
  36. ^ a b "Paymaster-General". Hansard. UK Parliament

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Chamberlain war ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1940–1945
Succeeded by
Churchill caretaker ministry