Tam Galbraith

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The Honourable
Sir Thomas Galbraith
KBE
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Hillhead
In office
25 November 1948 – 2 January 1982
Preceded by James Reid
Succeeded by Roy Jenkins
Personal details
Born Thomas Galloway Dunlop Galbraith
10 March 1917
Died 2 January 1982(1982-01-02) (aged 64)
Mauchline, Ayrshire
Scotland
Citizenship United Kingdom
Nationality Scottish
Political party Unionist
Spouse(s) Simone du Roy de Blicquy
Children Ghislaine Kennerley, Thomas Galbraith, Charles Galbraith
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
University of Glasgow
Military service
Nickname(s) Tam Galbraith
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy Reserve
Years of service 1939-1946
Rank Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War II

The Hon. Sir Thomas Galloway Dunlop Galbraith KBE (usually known as Tam Galbraith) (10 March 1917 – 2 January 1982) was a Scottish Unionist politician.

The eldest son and heir of Thomas Dunlop Galbraith, 1st Baron Strathclyde, he was educated at Aytoun House, Glasgow; Wellington College; Christ Church, Oxford (MA) and at the University of Glasgow (LL.B).

He served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve 1939-1946. He unsuccessfully contested Paisley in July 1945, and Edinburgh East in October 1945 before being elected for Glasgow Hillhead in 1948.

He was Assistant Conservative Whip, 1950; a Government Whip from 1951–57; Civil Lord of the Admiralty, 1957–59; Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, 1959–62; and Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, 1963-64.

During Galbraith's time at the Admiralty, questions were raised about his connection to the Soviet spy John Vassall, a former Admiralty employee, after letters from Galbraith were found in Vassall's possession. It was thought odd that a minister would communicate by post with an official of his own department, and there was considerable speculation of impropriety in the press. Given Vassall's known homosexuality, rumours began to circulate that Vassall and Galbraith were involved with each other, and that Galbraith might have shielded Vassall from discovery. The committee of civil servants originally established to probe the Vassall affair investigated the correspondence and declared it innocent, but this verdict was not universally accepted. Eventually, the Prime Minister was compelled to open a wider inquiry, conducted by three jurists. Eventually, the inquiry determined that Vassall had not been helped or favoured by any of his seniors.

Galbraith was President of the Scottish Georgian Society from 1970–1980 and was a Member of the Royal Company of Archers. He was knighted (KBE) in 1982.

His death in 1982 triggered the Hillhead by-election that saw the election of Roy Jenkins, leader of the new Social Democratic Party. His son Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde, was subsequently a Conservative junior Minister, Chief Whip in the Lords and Leader of the House of Lords.

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References[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Reid
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead
19481982
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins
Political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Herbison
Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
1951–1955
Succeeded by
William McNair Snadden
Preceded by
Roger Conant
Comptroller of the Household
1954–1955
Succeeded by
Hendrie Oakshott
Preceded by
Cedric Drewe
Treasurer of the Household
1955–1957
Preceded by
John Hughes-Hallett
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport
1963–1964
Succeeded by
The Lord Lindgren