Joseph Westwood

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Joseph Westwood

Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
3 August 1945 – 7 October 1947
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byEarl of Rosebery
Succeeded byArthur Woodburn
Member of Parliament for Stirling and Falkirk
In office
14 November 1935 – 17 July 1948
Preceded byJames Reid
Succeeded byMalcolm MacPherson
Member of Parliament for Peebles and Southern Midlothian
In office
15 November 1922 – 27 October 1931
Preceded bySir Donald Maclean
Succeeded byArchibald Maule Ramsay
Personal details
Born11 February 1884 (1884-02-11)
Died17 July 1948 (1948-07-18) (aged 64)
Political partyLabour

Joseph Westwood (11 February 1884 – 17 July 1948) was a Scottish Labour politician.

Educated at Buckhaven Higher Grade School, he worked as a draper's apprentice, messenger boy and miner. Westwood was an Industrial Organiser for Fife miners from 1916–18 and a political organiser for Scottish Miners from 1918 to 1929.

Biography[edit]

Westwood was elected as the Member of Parliament for Peebles and Southern Midlothian at the 1922 general election, and represented the constituency until he lost the seat in 1931. He was a candidate for East Fife at a by-election in February 1933 and was elected at Stirling and Falkirk in 1935, for which he represented until his death thirteen years later.

Westwood was Parliamentary Private Secretary to William Adamson as Secretary of State for Scotland from June 1929, and served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland from March to August 1931 and again from May 1940 until May 1945. He served as Secretary of State for Scotland from July 1945 until October 1947. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1943.

His tenure as Secretary of State for Scotland has been considered as lacklustre. In the view of William George Pottinger (a former civil servant who wrote a history of the Secretaries of State for Scotland from 1926 to 1976), Westwood was a chronically indecisive politician and concludes that "it is best to regard Westwood's time as an intermission."[1] In addition to his personal indecision, Westwood was disadvantaged by the fact that the Attlee ministry of which he was a Cabinet member was highly centralised in pursuing its objectives, and appeals that were specifically Scottish (or Welsh, or of a particular English region) were distrusted and generally disregarded by the Government. Consequently, Westwood struggled to secure Cabinet backing for specifically Scottish measures in a way that his recent predecessors, most notably Tom Johnston, did not.[2]

Westwood died in a car accident in 1948, and is buried in Dysart Cemetery, by Kirkcaldy in Fife, together with his wife.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pottinger, p. 105.
  2. ^ Pottinger, p. 102.
  • Pottinger, George, The Secretaries of State for Scotland, 1926-1976 (Scottish Academic Press, 1979), ISBN 7073 0230 7 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.
  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)
  • Iain Dale, ed. (2003). The Times House of Commons 1929, 1931, 1935. Politico's (reprint). ISBN 1-84275-033-X.
  • The Times House of Commons 1945. 1945.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Donald Maclean
Member of Parliament for Peebles and Southern Midlothian
19221931
Succeeded by
Archibald Maule Ramsay
Preceded by
James Reid
Member of Parliament for Stirling and Falkirk
1935–1948
Succeeded by
Malcolm MacPherson
Political offices
Preceded by
Earl of Rosebery
Secretary of State for Scotland
1945–1947
Succeeded by
Arthur Woodburn