Andrew Duncan (businessman)

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Sir Andrew Duncan
President of the Board of Trade
In office
5 January 1940 – 3 October 1940
Prime MinisterNeville Chamberlain
Winston Churchill
Preceded byOliver Stanley
Succeeded byOliver Lyttelton
In office
29 June 1941 – 4 February 1942
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byOliver Lyttelton
Succeeded byJohn Jestyn Llewellin
Personal details
Andrew Rae Duncan

3 June 1884
Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland
Died30 March 1952 (aged 67)
Westminster, London, England

Sir Andrew Rae Duncan, GBE (3 June 1884 – 30 March 1952) was a British businessman who was brought into government during World War II, serving twice as both President of the Board of Trade and Minister of Supply.[1]

Duncan was a Director of the Bank of England and of Imperial Chemical Industries. He was chairman of the Central Electricity Board from 1927 to 1935, and chairman of the British Iron and Steel Federation from 1935 until 1945. He was elected as a "National" Member of Parliament (MP) for the City of London in a 1940 by-election and was made a member of the Cabinet and a Privy Counsellor. He was re-elected at the 1945 election, and stepped down at the 1950 general election.[1]

During his time in the ministerial office, there was some concern that someone so closely involved with the iron, steel and chemical industries was in charge of their regulation. However, wartime pressures kept Duncan in the post and he was undamaged. He returned to the Iron and Steel Federation after the war, working to resist the Labour government's nationalisation plans with Aubrey Jones, his assistant, later a Conservative minister.[1]

He was knighted in 1921 and appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 1938. He was also awarded the Italian Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.[2]

In addition to his service in the United Kingdom, Duncan was appointed in 1926 by Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King in response to the Maritime Rights Movement to chair the Royal Commission on Maritime Claims, which was thus nicknamed the "Duncan Commission".

In 1916, he married Anne Jordan. They had two sons, one of whom was killed in action in 1940. He died in his sleep on 30 March 1952, aged 67.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Sir Andrew Duncan". The Times. 31 March 1952. p. 8.
  2. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard, ed. (1939). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (97th ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 2765.

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Honorary titles
Preceded by High Sheriff of the County of London
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for The City of London
With: George Broadbridge 1940–1945
Ralph Assheton 1945–1950
Constituency abolished
Political offices
Preceded by President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Supply
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Supply
Succeeded by