Churchill caretaker ministry

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Winston Churchill

The Caretaker Ministry of 1945 was a United Kingdom Ministry, which held office from 23 May 1945 until 26 July 1945, during the latter stages of the Second World War. The head of the government was the Prime Minister since 1940, Winston Churchill of the Conservative Party.

Formation of the caretaker government[edit]

After the defeat of Germany, in the Second World War, Winston Churchill (leader of the Conservative Party) proposed to Clement Attlee (leader of the Labour Party) and Sir Archibald Sinclair (leader of the Liberal Party) that the war-time coalition should continue until victory over Japan.

At first it seemed agreement would be reached, but at the Labour Party Conference in 1945 opinion was hostile to a continuation of the coalition. Attlee wrote to Churchill to confirm that his party wanted an election in October, and would leave the coalition then.

Churchill (under pressure from his party to hold a quick election to exploit his standing as the man who had won the war) then resigned as Prime Minister whilst the Labour conference was still in session. This brought the war-time coalition government to an end on 23 May 1945. King George VI the same day invited Churchill to form a caretaker government pending the general election.

The caretaker government was formed from members of the Conservative Party and the groups and politicians who had been associated with them in the National government, in office up to 1940.

The Liberal Party were determined to fight the general election as an independent party so they did not join the caretaker government. However one Liberal Member of Parliament, Gwilym Lloyd-George, accepted an invitation to join the ministry.

General election and resignation of Churchill[edit]

Parliament was dissolved on 15 June 1945. Polling day was on 5 July 1945 and the results were declared on 26 July 1945. Mr Churchill, having been defeated in the election, resigned on 26 July and was replaced as Prime Minister by Clement Attlee.

Cabinet[edit]

List of Ministers[edit]

Members of the Cabinet are in bold face.

Office Name Party Dates Notes
Prime Minister,
First Lord of the Treasury
and Minister of Defence
Winston Churchill Conservative 23 May 1945  
Lord Chancellor The Viscount Simon Liberal National 25 May 1945  
Lord President of the Council The Lord Woolton National 25 May 1945  
Lord Privy Seal The Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 25 May 1945  
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir John Anderson National 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury James Stuart Conservative 26 May 1945  
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Osbert Peake Conservative 26 May 1945  
Lords of the Treasury Alexander Beechman Liberal National 28 May 1945  
Cedric Drewe Conservative 25 May 1945  
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn Conservative 25 May 1945  
Robert Cary Conservative 28 May 1945  
Charles Mott-Radclyffe Conservative 28 May 1945  
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
and Leader of the House of Commons
Anthony Eden Conservative 25 May 1945  
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs William Mabane Liberal National 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Dunglass Conservative 26 May 1945-26 July 1945  
The Lord Lovat Conservative 26 May 1945-13 July 1945  
Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir Donald Somervell Conservative 25 May 1945  
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department The Earl of Munster Conservative 26 May 1945  
First Lord of the Admiralty Brendan Bracken Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty Sir Victor Warrender, Bt Conservative 26 May 1945 Lord Bruntisfield
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Richard Pilkington Conservative 26 May 1945  
Financial Secretary to the Admiralty James Thomas Conservative 1945  
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Robert Hudson Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Donald Scott Conservative 26 May 1945  
The Duke of Norfolk Conservative 26 May 1945  
Secretary of State for Air Harold Macmillan Conservative 25 May 1945  
Under-Secretary of State for Air Quintin Hogg Conservative 26 May 1945  
The Earl Beatty Conservative 26 May1945  
Minister of Aircraft Production Ernest Brown Liberal National 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aircraft Production Alan Lennox-Boyd Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Civil Aviation The Viscount Swinton Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Civil Aviation Robert Perkins Conservative 26 May 1945  
Secretary of State for the Colonies Oliver Stanley Conservative 25 May 1945  
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies The Duke of Devonshire Conservative 26 May 1945  
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
and Leader of the House of Lords
Viscount Cranborne Conservative 25 May 1945  
Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Paul Emrys-Evans Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Education Richard Law Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education Thelma Cazalet-Keir Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Food John Llewellin Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Food Florence Horsbrugh Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Fuel and Power Gwilym Lloyd-George Liberal 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fuel and Power Sir Austin Hudson, Bt Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Health Henry Willink Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health Hamilton Kerr Conservative 26 May 1945  
Secretary of State for India and Burma Leo Amery Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary for India and Burma The Earl of Scarbrough Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Information Geoffrey Lloyd Conservative 25 May 1945  
Minister of Labour and National Service R. A. Butler Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour Malcolm McCorquodale Conservative 26 May 1945  
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Sir Arthur Salter Independent 25 May 1945  
Minister Resident Middle East Sir Edward Grigg National 25 May 1945  
Minister Resident West Africa Harold Balfour Conservative 25 May 1945  
Minister of National Insurance Leslie Hore-Belisha National 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Insurance Charles Peat Conservative 26 May 1945  
Paymaster General The Lord Cherwell Conservative 25 May 1945  
Minister for Pensions Sir Walter Womersley Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Pensions William Sidney Conservative 26 May 1945 Lord De L'Isle
Postmaster-General Harry Crookshank Conservative 25 May 1945  
Assistant Postmaster-General William Anstruther-Gray Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Production Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 25 May 1945 Also President of the Board of Trade
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Production John Maclay Liberal National 28 May 1945  
Secretary of State for Scotland The Earl of Rosebery Liberal National 25 May 1945  
Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Allan Chapman Conservative 26 May 1945  
Thomas Galbraith Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Supply Sir Andrew Rae Duncan National 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Supply Robert Grimston Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of Town and Country Planning William Morrison Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Town and Country Planning Ronald Tree Conservative 26 May 1945  
President of the Board of Trade Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 25 May 1945 Also Minister of Production
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade Charles Waterhouse Conservative 26 May 1945  
Secretary for Overseas Trade Spencer Summers Conservative 26 May 1945  
Secretary of State for War Sir P. J. Grigg Conservative 25 May 1945  
Under-Secretary of State for War Sir Henry Page Croft Conservative 26 May 1945 Lord Croft
Financial Secretary to the War Office Maurice Petherick Conservative 26 May 1945  
Minister of War Transport The Lord Leathers Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of War Transport Peter Thorneycroft Conservative 26 May 1945  
First Commissioner of Works Duncan Sandys Conservative 25 May 1945  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Works Reginald Manningham-Buller Conservative 26 May 1945  
Attorney General Sir David Maxwell Fyfe Conservative 25 May 1945  
Solicitor General Sir Walter Monckton Conservative 25 May 1945  
Lord Advocate James Reid Conservative 25 May 1945  
Solicitor General for Scotland Sir David King Murray Conservative 25 May 1945  
Treasurer of the Household Sir James Edmondson Conservative 28 May 1945  
Comptroller of the Household Leslie Pym Conservative 28 May 1945  
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Arthur Young Conservative 28 May 1945  
Assistant Whip[1] Peter Agnew Conservative 28 May 1945
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Earl Fortescue Conservative 28 May 1945  
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Lord Templemore Conservative 28 May 1945  
Lords in Waiting The Duke of Northumberland Conservative 28 May 1945  
The Lord Alness Liberal National 28 May 1945  
The Marquess of Normanby Conservative 28 May 1945  

References[edit]

  • History of the Liberal Party 1895-1970, by Roy Douglas (Sidgwick & Jackson 1971)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume III 1919-1945, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (The Harvester Press 1979)
  • Attlee, by Kenneth Harris (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1982)
  • Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900-2000, D. Butler and G. Butler (Macmillan Press 2000)
  1. ^ J C Sainty 'Assistant Whips 1922-1964' in Parliamentary History Vol 4 (1985) pp 201-04
Preceded by
Churchill War Ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1945
Succeeded by
Attlee Ministry