Arthur Cockfield, Baron Cockfield

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Cockfield
PC
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
In office
7 January 1985 – 5 January 1989
President Jacques Delors
Preceded by Karl-Heinz Narjes
Succeeded by Martin Bangemann
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
11 June 1983 – 11 September 1984
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Cecil Parkinson
Succeeded by The Earl of Gowrie
Secretary of State for Trade
In office
6 April 1982 – 11 June 1983
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by John Biffen
Succeeded by Cecil Parkinson (Trade and Industry)
Personal details
Born (1916-09-28)28 September 1916
Horsham, United Kingdom
Died 8 January 2007(2007-01-08) (aged 90)
Political party Conservative
Alma mater London School of Economics

Francis Arthur Cockfield, Baron Cockfield, PC (surname pronounced "Co-feeld"; 28 September 1916 – 8 January 2007) was by turns a civil servant, a company director, a Conservative politician, and a European Commissioner. He served as Minister of State at the Treasury from 1979 to 1982, as Secretary of State for Trade from 1982 until 1983, as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1983 until 1984, and as a member of the European Commission from 1984 to 1988.

Early life[edit]

Cockfield was born in Horsham, a month after his father, Lieutenant C.F. Cockfield, died at the Battle of the Somme. He was educated at Dover Grammar School, then read for an LLB and a BSc (Econ) at the London School of Economics.

Career[edit]

Cockfield joined the Inland Revenue in 1938, and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1942. He progressed rapidly within the Inland Revenue, serving as Director of Statistics from 1945 to 1952 and as a Commissioner from 1951 to 1952, before joining Boots as its finance director. He was its managing director and chairman from 1961 to 1967. He was also a member of Selwyn Lloyd's National Economic Development Council from 1962 to 1964.[citation needed]

Cockfield was known by his first name, Frank, for most of his life but hated it. When he married his first wife, Ruth Simonis, his granddaughter, Emma, recalls how he told her he wished to use his middle name instead: "All my life I've been called Frank but I've hated it- you're to call me Arthur."[citation needed]

Cockfield left Boots to become an adviser to the Conservative politicians Iain Macleod on taxation and economic matters, and was president of the Royal Statistical Society from 1968 to 1969. Macleod died shortly after the Conservatives took power in 1970, but Cockfield went on to advise Anthony Barber, Macleod's successor as Chancellor of the Exchequer, until 1973. He then served as chairman of the Price Commission from 1973 to 1977, receiving a knighthood in 1973.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Cockfield was created Baron Cockfield, of Dover in the County of Kent, in April 1978. On the election of Margaret Thatcher to office in May 1979, he became a Minister of State at the Treasury, a post he held until April 1982. He became a member of the Privy Council in 1982, and was the last Secretary of State for Trade from 1982, before it was merged with the Department of Industry in 1983.[citation needed]

After the 1983 general election, Cockfield became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In this role he had no specific departmental responsibilities, so he effectively became an advisor and a sort of one-man think-tank to the Prime Minister. Lord Cockfield resigned from the cabinet in September 1984 to join the European Commission as commissioner for Internal Market, Tax Law and Customs under Jacques Delors, and a Vice-President of the first Delors Commission. He was expected to follow Margaret Thatcher's eurosceptic line, but became a driving force in laying the groundwork for the creation of the Single European Market in 1992. Only a few months after he arrived in Brussels, he produced a mammoth white paper listing 300 barriers to trade, with a timetable for them to be abolished. He was not selected[clarification needed] to serve a second term, and was replaced by Leon Brittan.[citation needed]

After leaving the Commission in 1988, Cockfield became a consultant for accountants Peat, Marwick, McLintock. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II of Belgium in 1990, and honorary doctorates and fellowships from a number of British and American universities.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

He married twice. He married his first wife, Ruth Helen Simonis, in 1943, but they divorced in the early 1960s. They had two children: a daughter, Hilary Ann Cockfield, born June 1944; and a son, Roger Edmund Cockfield, born 21 November 1947. He had five grandchildren by his 1st wife; daughter Hilary had daughter Juliet and sons Christopher (Known as Kit) and Patrick Williams; Roger had two girls Catherine Rosemary, born 31 December 1977, (named after his wife's mother Catherine May Vineall, née Lambert) and Emma Anne Alexandra Cockfield born 5 July 1981. He later married choreographer Monica Mudie, in 1970; she died in 1992. He was survived by his son Roger and daughter Hilary and five grandchildren from his first marriage.

Lord Cockfield is buried, along with his wife Monica, on the Isle of Man.

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Biffen
Secretary of State for Trade
1982–1983
Succeeded by
Cecil Parkinson
as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
Preceded by
Cecil Parkinson
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1983–1984
Succeeded by
The Earl of Gowrie
Preceded by
Christopher Tugendhat
European Commissioner from the United Kingdom
1985–1989
Served alongside: Stanley Clinton-Davis
Succeeded by
Leon Brittan
Preceded by
Ivor Richard
Succeeded by
Bruce Millan
Preceded by
Karl-Heinz Narjes
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
1985–1989
Succeeded by
Martin Bangemann