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William Joseph Norton (2 November 1900 – 4 December 1963) was an Irish Labour Party politician who served as Tánaiste from 1948 to 1951 and from 1954 to 1957, Leader of the Labour Party from 1932 to 1960, Minister for Social Welfare from 1951 to 1948 and Minister for Industry and Commerce from 1954 to 1957. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1926 to 1927 and from 1932 to 1961.[1]

William Norton
William Norton circa 1927 to 1932.png
Norton, c. late 1920s
Tánaiste
In office
2 June 1954 – 20 March 1957
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded bySeán Lemass
Succeeded bySeán Lemass
In office
18 February 1948 – 13 June 1951
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded bySeán Lemass
Succeeded bySeán Lemass
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
19 July 1932 – 2 March 1960
Preceded byThomas J. O'Connell
Succeeded byBrendan Corish
Minister for Social Welfare
In office
18 February 1948 – 13 June 1951
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded bySeán Lemass
Succeeded bySeán Lemass
Minister for Industry and Commerce
In office
2 June 1954 – 20 March 1957
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded bySeán Lemass
Succeeded bySeán Lemass
Teachta Dála
In office
February 1932 – October 1961
ConstituencyKildare
Teachta Dála
In office
February 1926 – June 1927
ConstituencyDublin County
Personal details
Born
William Joseph Norton

(1900-11-02)2 November 1900
Abbotstown, Dublin, Ireland
Died4 December 1963(1963-12-04) (aged 63)
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Resting placeGlasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyLabour Party
Spouse(s)Helen Norton
(m. 1922; d. 1963)
Children6, including Patrick
Alma materTrinity College Dublin

Norton was born in Dublin in 1900. He joined the postal service in 1916. By 1920, he was a prominent member of the Irish Postal Union and the wider trade union movement in Ireland. From 1924 to 1957, he served as Secretary of the Post Office Workers' Union.[2]

He was elected as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin County at a by-election in 1926, but was defeated at the June 1927 general election. In Professor Tom Garvin's review of the 1950s 'News from a New Republic', he comes in for praise as a moderniser. Garvin places him with a cross party group including Gerard Sweetman and Daniel Morrissey of Fine Gael as well as Seán Lemass of Fianna Fáil who were pushing a modernising agenda. He represented Kildare from 1932 until his death in 1963.[3]

In 1932, he became leader of the Labour Party. In the First Inter-Party Government from 1948 to 1951, Norton became Tánaiste and Minister for Social Welfare. In the Second Inter-Party Government from 1954 to 1957, Norton served as Tánaiste and Minister for Industry and Commerce.

William Norton died in Dublin in 1963. His son Patrick Norton served as a TD for Kildare from 1965 to 1969.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "William Norton". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  2. ^ Smethurst, John B.; Carter, Peter (June 2009). Historical Directory of Trade Unions. 6. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing. p. 374. ISBN 9780754666837. LCCN 80-151653.
  3. ^ "William Norton". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
Political offices
Preceded by
James Ryan
Minister for Social Welfare
1948–1951
Succeeded by
James Ryan
Preceded by
Seán Lemass
Tánaiste
1948–1951
Succeeded by
Seán Lemass
Minister for Industry and Commerce
1954–1957
Preceded by
Seán Lemass
Tánaiste
1954–1957
Succeeded by
Seán Lemass
Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas J. O'Connell
Leader of the Labour Party
1932–1960
Succeeded by
Brendan Corish
Trade union offices
Preceded by
New position
General Secretary of the Post Office Workers' Union
1924–1957
Succeeded by
William Bell
Preceded by
Charles Geddes
President of the Postal, Telegraph and Telephone International
1957–1960
Succeeded by
Carl Stenger