Ian Bancroft, Baron Bancroft

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Ian Powell Bancroft, Baron Bancroft (23 December 1922 – 19 November 1996) was a British senior civil servant.

He was born at Barrow-in-Furness, the son of a teacher. He was educated at Sir William Turner's Grammar School, Coatham and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read English. He served with the Rifle Brigade in France from 1942 to 1943, reaching the rank of Captain.

After leaving the Army he joined the Civil Service, serving as Private Secretary to the Second Secretary to the Treasury Sir Henry Wilson Smith from 1948 to 1950, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rab Butler from 1953 to 1955 and also to Butler as Lord Privy Seal from 1955 to 1957. He was Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Reginald Maudling in 1964, continuing under James Callaghan until 1966, when he became an Under-Secretary to the Treasury. In 1968 he moved to the same position in the new Civil Service Department, then to the Department of the Environment as Deputy Secretary and Director General of Organisation and Establishments from 1970 to 1972. From 1972 to 1973 he was a Commissioner of HM Customs and Excise, then Second Permanent Secretary at the Civil Service Department until 1975. He returned to the Department of the Environment as Permanent Secretary from 1975 to 1977 before becoming Permanent Secretary to the Civil Service Department and Head of the Home Civil Service in 1978. In 1981 Margaret Thatcher abolished the Civil Service Department, effectively ending his career.

He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1971, a Knight Commander in 1975, and a Knight Grand Cross in 1979. In 1982 he was given a life peerage and took his seat in the House of Lords.

He was married in 1950 to Jean Swaine, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. He died in London.


Tam Dalyell, Obituary: Lord Bancroft, The Independent, 22 November 1996