Philip Cunliffe-Lister, 1st Earl of Swinton
The Earl of Swinton
|President of the Board of Trade|
24 October 1922 – 22 January 1924
|Prime Minister||Bonar Law |
|Preceded by||Stanley Baldwin|
|Succeeded by||Sidney Webb|
6 November 1924 – 4 June 1929
|Prime Minister||Stanley Baldwin|
|Preceded by||Sidney Webb|
|Succeeded by||William Graham|
25 August – 5 November 1931
|Prime Minister||Ramsay MacDonald|
|Preceded by||William Graham|
|Succeeded by||Walter Runciman|
|Secretary of State for the Colonies|
5 November 1931 – 7 June 1935
|Prime Minister||Ramsay MacDonald|
|Preceded by||James Henry Thomas|
|Succeeded by||Malcolm MacDonald|
|Secretary of State for Air|
7 June 1935 – 16 May 1938
|Monarch||George V |
|Prime Minister||Stanley Baldwin|
|Preceded by||The Marquess of Londonderry|
|Succeeded by||Kingsley Wood|
|Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster|
31 October 1951 – 24 November 1952
|Monarch||George VI |
|Prime Minister||Winston Churchill|
|Preceded by||The Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Woolton|
|Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations|
24 November 1952 – 7 April 1955
|Prime Minister||Winston Churchill|
|Preceded by||The Marquess of Salisbury|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Home|
|Born||1 May 1884|
East Ayton, Yorkshire, England
|Died||27 July 1972 (aged 88)|
Swinton, Yorkshire, England
|Resting place||Masham, Yorkshire, England|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Boynton (died 1974)|
|Alma mater||Winchester School|
Philip Cunliffe-Lister, 1st Earl of Swinton, GBE, CH, MC, PC (1 May 1884 – 27 July 1972), known as Philip Lloyd-Greame until 1924 and as The Viscount Swinton between 1935 and 1955, was a prominent British Conservative politician from the 1920s until the 1950s.
Background and early life
Beginning life as Philip Lloyd-Greame, he was the younger son of Lieutenant-Colonel Yarburgh George Lloyd-Greame (1840–1928) of Sewerby House, Bridlington, Yorkshire, by his wife Dora Letitia O'Brien, a daughter of the Right Reverend James Thomas O'Brien, Bishop of Ossory. His paternal grandfather was Yarburgh Gamaliel Lloyd, later Lloyd-Greame (1813–1890), who inherited Sewerby House by the will of his maternal uncle Yarburgh Greame, later Yarburgh (1782–1856).
He was educated at Winchester College, an all-boys public school in Winchester. He studied law at University College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1905. Then became an Honorary Fellow of his college and was admitted to the Inner Temple.
He joined the British Army in 1914, following the start of the First World War. He was mentioned in despatches and promoted major. In 1916, he was awarded the Military Cross (MC) while serving on the western front as brigade major to the 124th Brigade of the 41st Division. During the war, Cunliffe-Lister spent time with Churchill at his advanced HQ Lawrence Farm. They later worked together in the Baldwin ministries of the 1920s, when Cunliffe-Lister served as a minister of state. In 1917 he was appointed joint secretary to the Minister of National Service. He was noticed by Lloyd George, who recruited the young man to be chairman of the Labour sub-committee of the war cabinet in Downing Street. At the end of the war, he stood as a Conservative candidate in the Coupon election of 1918.
He agreed to join the Coalition slate and was elected for Hendon. He would hold this seat until his elevation to the House of Lords in 1935. His strong intellect was immediately recognizable as a member of the National Expenditure select committee scrutinizing the controversial McKenna Duties and Homes Fit For Heroes, after which in 1920 he was knighted.
He achieved his first ministerial post as Additional Under-Secretary Foreign Affairs in 1920 and took charge of the Overseas Trade Department in 1921 as Additional Parliamentary Secretary. In 1922 he became a Privy Counsellor and was appointed President of the Board of Trade, an office he would hold with two breaks until 1931. This fast elevation to the Cabinet came about because of the collapse of the Lloyd George Coalition Government, which forced the new Prime Minister Bonar Law to promote many inexperienced MPs.
In 1923, Law was forced to resign due to failing health and there was discussion as to whether he would be succeeded by Stanley Baldwin or Lord Curzon. As the last survivor of Law's Cabinet, Lloyd-Greame would later assert that it was Cabinet hostility to Curzon that prevented his appointment as Prime Minister, when he returned from the Imperial Economic Council. On 27 November 1924 Lloyd-Greame changed his surname to Cunliffe-Lister so as to be able to inherit property from his wife's family. Raised to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1929.
In 1931 Cunliffe-Lister was one of the Conservatives chosen to negotiate with the Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald as the latter's government collapsed and was replaced by the multi-party National Government. As a sign of his prominence within the party, Cunliffe-Lister was one of just four Conservatives in the emergency Cabinet of 10, serving for the third and final time as President of the Board of Trade.
The National Government won a massive election victory in the 1931 general election but was internally divided on the question of protective tariffs. So as to balance the Cabinet Cunliffe-Lister was replaced at the Board of Trade by the supposed Free Trader Walter Runciman, and instead became Secretary of State for the Colonies, which he would hold until June 1935. When MacDonald retired as Prime Minister and was succeed by Stanley Baldwin a Cabinet reshuffle took place in which Cunliffe-Lister became Secretary of State for Air. At the 1935 general election he did not contest his seat and was instead ennobled as Viscount Swinton, retaining his ministerial office for the next three years into the premiership of Neville Chamberlain he took the strategic post of Secretary of State for Air responsible for Britain air defences in the lead up to war.
As Swinton was now in the House of Lords his hands were free to be Chairman of the UK Commercial Corporation responsible for boosting enterprise and output. So Chamberlain appointed the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Lord Winterton (an Irish peer who sat in the House of Commons) to speak for the Air Ministry in the Commons. This arrangement did not prove successful and in May 1938 there was a disastrous debate on air and it became clear to Chamberlain that the Secretary of State must sit in the House of Commons. Swinton was dismissed, his political career seemingly over.
After serving as Minister Resident in West Africa and being made a Companion of Honour in 1943, during the Second World War Swinton's career revived when he was appointed as the first Minister of Civil Aviation, a post he held until the end of the war. During 1944 he served on the Executive Committee and on the Steering Committee at the Convention on International Civil Aviation done in Chicago, formally representing the United Kingdom.
When Winston Churchill formed his peacetime government in 1951 he appointed Swinton as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for War Materials a year later. As Deputy Leader of the House of Lords Lord Swinton was also Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations for three years. When in 1955 Churchill retired, Swinton insisted on retiring too, and he was further ennobled as the Earl of Swinton. Towards the end of his life, Swinton was an Honorary Fellow of University College, Oxford.
Lord Swinton married Mary Constance "Molly" Boynton (died 1974) on 5 September 1912. She was the granddaughter of industrialist Samuel Cunliffe-Lister, 1st Baron Masham who had bought the castle in 1882. In 1924, Philip and Molly Lloyd-Greame took the name of Cunliffe-Lister and moved to Swinton Park (sold in 1980 by the 2nd Earl and bought back 2000 by his nephew, Lord Masham and the latter's family).
- John Yarburgh Cunliffe-Lister (1913– †14 April 1943)
- S/Ldr The Hon Philip Ingram Cunliffe-Lister DSO RAF (1918– )
Their elder son, John, was killed in the Second World War, leaving two sons of his own, of whom the elder grandson succeeded his grandfather as the 2nd Earl of Swinton, and was succeeded 2006 by his younger brother as the 3rd Earl of Swinton. The third Earl has two sons, both of whom are now married.
Titles and styles
- Philip Lloyd-Greame, Esq (1884–1916)
- Philip Lloyd-Greame, Esq, MC (1916–1918)
- Philip Lloyd-Greame, Esq, MC MP (1918–1920)
- Sir Philip Lloyd-Greame, KBE MC MP (1920–1922)
- The Right Honourable Sir Philip Lloyd-Greame, KBE MC MP (1922–1924)
- The Right Honourable Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, KBE MC MP (1924–1929)
- The Right Honourable Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, GBE MC MP (1929–1935)
- The Right Honourable The Viscount Swinton, GBE MC PC (1935–1943)
- The Right Honourable The Viscount Swinton, GBE CH MC PC (1943–1955)
- The Right Honourable The Earl of Swinton, GBE CH MC PC (1955–1972)
- "No. 29886". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1916. p. 37.
- Churchill to Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, 30 Dec 1924, Companion to Winston S. Churchill, vol.V, pt 1, p.326
- "No. 31840". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 March 1920. p. 3759.
- "No. 32759". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 October 1922. p. 7527.
- "No. 33512". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1929. p. 4355.
- "No. 34226". The London Gazette. 3 December 1935. p. 7659.
- "No. 36133". The London Gazette. 13 August 1943. p. 3645.
- "Chicago Conference – Committees of the Conference". International Civil Aviation Organization. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- "No. 40470". The London Gazette. 6 May 1955. p. 2619.
- Honorary Fellows. University College Record, Volume III, Number 5, page 292, October 1960.
- Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, vol.III, 107th ed., (London 2003), p.3838
- Robbins, Keith (May 2008). "Lister, Philip Cunliffe-, first earl of Swinton (1884–1972)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30990. Retrieved 14 March 2010. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- "Swinton, 1st Earl of". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. December 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Swinton
- Newspaper clippings about Philip Cunliffe-Lister, 1st Earl of Swinton in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)