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; unfortunately for Maudling, Macmillan had served in a junior role in the Ministry and believed in it. Nevertheless, he agreed to wind up the Ministry in 1959.

Minister of Supply 1939–1959[edit]

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
Leslie Burgin 14 July 1939 12 May 1940 Liberal National
Herbert Stanley Morrison 12 May 1940 3 October 1940 Labour
Sir Andrew Duncan 3 October 1940 29 June 1941 National
Lord Beaverbrook 29 June 1941 4 February 1942 Conservative
Sir Andrew Duncan 4 February 1942 26 July 1945 National
John Wilmot 3 August 1945 7 October 1947 Labour
George Strauss 7 October 1947 26 October 1951 Labour
Duncan Sandys 31 October 1951 18 October 1954 Conservative
Selwyn Lloyd 18 October 1954 7 April 1955 Conservative
Reginald Maudling 7 April 1955 16 January 1957 Conservative
Aubrey Jones 16 January 1957 22 October 1959 Conservative