Edmond Warnock

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John Edmond Warnock PC(NI) KC (1887–19 December 1971[1]) was an Irish barrister and politician.

Born in Belfast, he was educated at Methodist College Belfast and Trinity College, Dublin. He was called to the English Bar in 1911, to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1921 and was appointed as King's Counsel in 1933.[2] He served with the Royal Artillery during the First World War.

In 1938, he was elected to the Northern Ireland House of Commons as a Unionist member for Belfast, St Anne's, which he represented until his retirement from Parliament in 1969.[2] He served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs from 1938–1940, when he resigned[3] in protest at the failure to extend conscription to Northern Ireland during the Second World War. In 1944, he rejoined the Government when he was appointed as Minister of Home Affairs, an office which he held until 1946.[2] From June–September 1946 he served as Deputy Attorney General and then from September 1946 until November 1949 as Minister of Home Affairs for a second time. He was then Attorney General for Northern Ireland from 1949–1956. He was appointed to the Privy Council for Northern Ireland in 1944, entitling him to be called The Right Honourable.[2]

While Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of HOme Affairs (1938–40), Warnock, despite being advised by defence experts in Great Britain to prepare for German aerial attacks, decided to cancel orders previously placed for fire-fighting equipment and to recommend not building air raid shelters to protect either the civilian population or workers in factories, even those in the vital Harbour Estate area containing the shipyards and aircraft factories. Warnock believed that Belfast was too remote for German bombers to reach, and, in any case, they would pass more attractive targets en route. Also, in the event of a raid, he claimed "people would not have time" to reach shelters anyway, as it would "probably all be over in a matter of minutes". (see Brian Barton 'The Belfast Blitz: The City in the War Years', Ulster Historical Foundation, 2015. pages 38–41).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian McAllister and Richard Rose, United Kingdom Facts, p.60
  2. ^ a b c d David Boothroyd. "Stormont Biographies". Politico’s Guide to the History of British Political Parties. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  3. ^ BBC Radio Ulster. "Your Place and Mine – The Belfast Blitz". The Belfast Blitz. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
James Hanna McCormick
Member of Parliament for Belfast, St Anne's
1938–1969
Succeeded by
Norman Laird
Political offices
Preceded by
John Clarke Davison
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs
1938–1940
Succeeded by
William Lowry
Preceded by
William Lowry
Minister of Home Affairs
1944–1946
Succeeded by
Brian Maginess
Preceded by
Brian Maginess
Minister of Home Affairs
1946–1949
Succeeded by
Brian Maginess
Preceded by
Lancelot Curran
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
1949–1956
Succeeded by
Brian Maginess