Minister of Supply

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The Minister of Supply was the minister in the British Government responsible for the Ministry of Supply, which existed to co-ordinate the supply of equipment to the national armed forces. The position was campaigned for by many sceptics of the foreign policy of the National Government in the 1930s before finally being created in 1939.

The wartime Ministry of Aircraft Production was amalgamated into the Ministry of Supply in July 1945.

In the post-war governments, the Ministry became increasingly unpopular with economy-minded Conservatives, who objected to it as a redundant middle-man. This point of view was shared by Reginald Maudling, who served as the Minister under Anthony Eden and refused to continue in office under Harold Macmillan, who had served in a junior role in the Ministry and believed in it. Nevertheless, he agreed to wind it up in 1959.

Minister of Supply 1939–1959[edit]

Portrait Name Term of office Political party Government
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Leslie Burgin
MP for Luton
14 July
1939
12 May
1940
Liberal National 4th National
(Cons.Lab.Nat.Lib.Nat.)
Chamberlain War
(Cons.Lab.Nat.Lib.Nat.)
Herbert Morrison 1947.jpg The Right Honourable
Herbert Morrison
MP for Hackney South
12 May
1940
3 October
1940
Labour Churchill War
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan
MP for City of London
3 October
1940
29 June
1941
National
Lord Beaverbrook 1947b.jpg The Right Honourable
The Lord Beaverbrook
PC
29 June
1941
4 February
1942
Conservative
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan
MP for City of London
4 February
1942
26 July
1945
National
Churchill Caretaker
No image.svg The Right Honourable
John Wilmot
MP for Deptford
3 August
1945
7 October
1947
Labour Attlee
(I & II)
No image.svg The Right Honourable
George Strauss
MP for Lambeth North before 1950
MP for Vauxhall after 1950
7 October
1947
26 October
1951
Labour
Duncan Sandys 1975.png The Right Honourable
Duncan Sandys
MP for Streatham
31 October
1951
18 October
1954
Conservative Churchill III
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Selwyn Lloyd
CBE QC
MP for The Wirral
18 October
1954
7 April
1955
Conservative
Reginald Maudling.jpg The Right Honourable
Reginald Maudling
MP for Barnet
7 April
1955
16 January
1957
Conservative Eden
(I & II)
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Aubrey Jones
MP for Birmingham Hall Green
16 January
1957
22 October
1959
Conservative Macmillan I