Eden ministry

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Anthony Eden served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1955 until 1957.

Formation[edit]

In April 1955 Sir Anthony Eden succeeded Winston Churchill as Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and finally reached the post he had coveted for so long. He retained Rab Butler (with whom he did not get along) as Chancellor of the Exchequer until December 1955, when Eden demoted him to Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons. Eden was succeeded as Foreign Secretary by future Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, who, however, only held this post until December of the same year, when he replaced Butler as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Selwyn Lloyd gained his first cabinet post when he succeeded Macmillan as Minister of Defence in April 1955, and again replaced Macmillan as Foreign Secretary in December of that year. Another future Prime Minister, the Earl of Home, entered the cabinet as Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations in 1955. Gwilym Lloyd George, younger son of former Liberal leader David Lloyd George, remained as Home Secretary.

Fate[edit]

Eden's decision to take military action over the Suez Crisis of 1956 caused major embarrassment for Britain and their French allies. Eden, then already in declining health, resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party in January 1957. Harold Macmillan was chosen over Rab Butler to succeeded as party leader and Prime Minister.

The Cabinet[edit]

Changes[edit]

  • December 1955: Rab Butler succeeds Harry Crookshank as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons. Harold Macmillan succeeds Butler as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Selwyn Lloyd succeeds Macmillan as Foreign Secretary. Sir Walter Monckton succeeds Lloyd as Minister of Defence. Iain Macleod succeeds Monckton as Minister of Labour and National Service. Lord Selkirk succeeds Lord Woolton as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Minister of Public Works, Patrick Buchan-Hepburn, enters the Cabinet. The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance leaves the Cabinet upon Peake's retirement.
  • October 1956: Sir Walter Monckton becomes Paymaster-General. Antony Henry Head succeeds Monckton as Minister of Defence.

Eden's initial cabinet is remarkable for the fact that 10 out of the original 18 members were Old Etonians: Eden, Salisbury, Crookshank, Macmillan, Home, Stuart, Thorneycroft, Heathcoat Amory, Sandys and Peake were all educated at Eton.

List of Ministers[edit]

Members of the Cabinet are in bold face.

Office Name Dates Notes
Prime Minister
and First Lord of the Treasury
Sir Anthony Eden 6 April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Lord Chancellor The Viscount Kilmuir April 1955  
Lord President of the Council
and Leader of the House of Lords
The Marquess of Salisbury April 1955
Lord Privy Seal
and Leader of the House of Commons
Harry Crookshank April 1955  
R. A. Butler 20 December 1955  
Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. Butler April 1955  
Harold Macmillan 20 December 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Patrick Buchan-Hepburn April 1955  
Edward Heath 30 December 1955  
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Henry Brooke April 1955  
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Sir Edward Boyle 7 April 1955  
Derek Walker-Smith 11 November 1956  
Lords of the Treasury Edward Heath April 1955 - 20 December 1955  
Hendrie Oakshott April 1955 - 13 June 1955  
Martin Redmayne April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Richard Thompson April 1955 - 8 April 1956  
Gerard Wills April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Hon. Peter Legh 13 June 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Edward Wakefield 24 January 1956 - 9 January 1957  
Harwood Harrison 8 April 1956 - 9 January 1957  
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Harold Macmillan 7 April 1955  
Selwyn Lloyd 20 December 1955  
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Marquess of Reading April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Anthony Nutting  
Allan Noble 9 November 1956 - 9 January 1957  
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Robin Turton April 1955 - 20 December 1955  
Douglas Dodds-Parker 20 December 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Lord John Hope April 1955 - 9 November 1956  
Hon. David Ormsby-Gore 9 November 1956 - 9 January 1957  
Secretary of State for the Home Department
and Welsh Affairs
Hon. Gwilym Lloyd-George April 1955  
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth April 1955 - 20 December 1955  
The Lord Mancroft April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
First Lord of the Admiralty James Thomas April 1955 Viscount Cilcennin
The Viscount Hailsham 2 September 1956  
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty Allan Noble April 1955  
Hon. George Ward 20 December 1955  
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Simon Wingfield Digby April 1955  
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Derick Heathcoat-Amory April 1955 Combined with Minister of Food
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Richard Nugent April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
The Earl St Aldwyn April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Harmar Nicholls 7 April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
William Deedes 20 December 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Secretary of State for Air The Lord de L'Isle and Dudley April 1955  
Nigel Birch 20 December 1955  
Under-Secretary of State for Air Hon. George Ward April 1955  
Christopher Soames 20 December 1955  
Secretary of State for the Colonies Alan Lennox-Boyd April 1955  
Minister of State for the Colonies Henry Hopkinson April 1955  
John Hare 20 December 1955  
John Maclay 18 October 1956  
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies The Lord Lloyd April 1955  
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations The Earl of Home 7 April 1955  
Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations Douglas Dodds-Parker April 1955  
Allan Noble 20 December 1955  
Lord John Hope 9 November 1956  
Minister of Defence Selwyn Lloyd 7 April 1955  
Sir Walter Monckton 20 December 1955  
Anthony Head 18 October 1956  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence The Lord Carrington April 1955  
The Earl of Gosford 26 May 1956  
Minister of Education Sir David Eccles April 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education Dennis Vosper April 1955  
Minister of Food Derick Heathcoat-Amory April 1955 Combined with Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Food Charles Hill April 1955  
Minister of Fuel and Power Geoffrey Lloyd April 1955  
Aubrey Jones 20 December 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fuel and Power Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks April 1955  
David Lockhart-Mure Renton 20 December 1955  
Minister of Health Iain Macleod April 1955  
Robin Turton 20 December 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health Patricia Hornsby-Smith April 1955  
Minister of Housing and Local Government Duncan Sandys April 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Local Government William Deedes April 1955  
Enoch Powell 20 December 1955  
Minister of Labour and National Service Sir Walter Monckton April 1955  
Iain Macleod 20 December 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour Harold Watkinson April 1955  
Robert Carr 20 December 1955  
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Lord Woolton April 1955 Office in Cabinet
The Earl of Selkirk 20 December 1955  
Minister without Portfolio The Earl of Munster April 1955 - 8 January 1957
Paymaster General Earl of Selkirk April 1955
Vacant 20 December 1955  
Sir Walter Monckton 18 October 1956  
Minister of Pensions Osbert Peake April 1955
John Boyd-Carpenter 20 December 1955 Office not in Cabinet
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Pensions John George Smyth April 1955 - 20 December 1955  
Ernest Marples April 1955 - 20 December 1955  
Edith Pitt 20 December 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Hon. Richard Wood 20 December 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Postmaster-General Charles Hill 7 April 1955  
Assistant Postmaster-General David Gammans April 1955  
Cuthbert Alport 20 December 1955  
Secretary of State for Scotland Hon. James Stuart April 1955  
Minister of State for Scotland Tom Galbraith 7 April 1955 Lord Strathclyde
Under-Secretary of State for Scotland William McNair Snadden April 1955 - 3 June 1955  
James Henderson Stewart April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Jack Nixon Browne 7 April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Niall Macpherson 13 June 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Minister of Supply Reginald Maudling 7 April 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Supply Frederick Erroll 7 April 1955  
Ian Harvey 11 November 1956  
President of the Board of Trade Peter Thorneycroft April 1955  
Minister of State for Trade Derick Heathcoat-Amory April 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade Donald Kaberry 7 April 1955  
Derek Walker-Smith 19 October 1955  
Frederick Erroll 11 November 1956  
Minister of Transport John Boyd-Carpenter April 1955  
Harold Watkinson 20 December 1955  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport John Profumo April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
High Molson April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
Secretary of State for War Anthony Head April 1955  
Hon. John Hare  
Under-Secretary of State and Financial Secretary for War Fitzroy Maclean April 1955  
Minister of Works Nigel Birch April 1955  
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn 20 December 1955 Office in Cabinet
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Works Reginald Bevins April 1955  
Attorney General Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller April 1955  
Solicitor General Sir Harry Hylton-Foster April 1955  
Lord Advocate William Rankine Milligan April 1955  
Solicitor General for Scotland William Grant April 1955  
Treasurer of the Household Cedric Drewe April 1955 Knighted
Tam Galbraith 13 June 1955  
Comptroller of the Household Tam Galbraith April 1955  
Hendrie Oakshott 13 June 1955  
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Henry Studholme April 1955  
Richard Thompson 8 April 1956  
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Earl Fortescue April 1955  
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Earl of Onslow April 1955  
Lords in Waiting The Lord Hawke April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
The Lord Fairfax of Cameron April 1955 - 9 January 1957  
The Lord Chesham April 1955 - 9 January 1957  

References[edit]

  • D. Butler and G. Butler (ed.). Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900-2000. 
Preceded by
Third Churchill ministry
List of British ministries
1955–1957
Succeeded by
Macmillan ministry