Richard Law, 1st Baron Coleraine
|The Right Honourable|
The Lord Coleraine
|Minister of Education|
24 May 1945 – 26 July 1945
|Preceded by||Rab Butler|
|Succeeded by||Ellen Wilkinson|
|Member of Parliament|
24 February 1950 – 12 February 1954
|Preceded by||New constituency|
|Succeeded by||Patrick Wall|
|Member of Parliament|
for Kingston upon Hull South West
28 October 1931 – 26 July 1945
|Preceded by||John Arnott|
|Succeeded by||Sydney Smith|
Richard Kidston Law|
27 February 1901
|Died||15 November 1980(aged 79)|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Virginia Nellis|
|Alma mater||St John's College, Oxford|
Background and early life
Law was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Hull South West in the general election of 1931 and held the seat until 1945. In 1940 he was appointed Financial Secretary to the War Office. He was then transferred to the post of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs until 1943. While in the latter post he took part in the Bermuda Conference on the fate of European Jewry and was sworn of the Privy Council in the 1943 New Year Honours.
He was then Minister of State, also at the Foreign Office, until 1945, when he served briefly as Minister of Education in Churchill's caretaker government. In a by-election in November 1945 he became MP for Kensington South, which he held until February 1950.
Law was again elected as an MP in the election of 1951, this time for Haltemprice, but he resigned this seat in February 1954 and was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Coleraine of Haltemprice in the East Riding of the County of York.
Lord Coleraine (when still Richard Law) had married Mary Virginia, daughter of Abraham Fox Nellis, of Rochester, New York, in 1929. He died on 15 November 1980, age 79, and was succeeded in the barony by his son James Martin Bonar Law.
Styles of address
- 1901–1931: Mr Richard Law
- 1931–1943: Mr Richard Law MP
- 1943–1945: The Rt Hon. Richard Law MP
- 1945: The Rt Hon. Richard Law
- 1945–1950: The Rt Hon. Richard Law MP
- 1950–1951: The Rt Hon. Richard Law
- 1951–1954: The Rt Hon. Richard Law MP
- 1954–1980: The Rt Hon. The Lord Coleraine PC
Return from Utopia
In 1950 Law published Return from Utopia, a book in which he stated his belief that trying to use the power of the state to create any sort of Utopia is not just unattainable but positively evil, because one of the first principles to be sacrificed is the principle of freedom and individual choice. Law argued:
To turn our backs on Utopia, to see it for the sham and the delusion that it is, is the beginning of hope. It is to hold out once again the prospect of a society in which man is free to be good because he is free to choose. Freedom is the first condition of human virtue and Utopia is incompatible with freedom. Come back from Utopia and hope is born again.
For Conservatives Only
In 1970 Lord Coleraine published another book, For Conservatives Only, in which he criticised the Conservative leadership of the time for, in his view, sacrificing Tory principles for electoral expediency and the pursuit of the "middle ground". At this time he was Patron of the Selsdon Group of Conservative MPs.
- "Richard Kidston Law, 1st Baron Coleraine". The Peerage. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- David Blair, "The Bermuda Conference that Failed to Save the Jews," The Daily Telegraph (London), Saturday 31 January 2015.
- "No. 35841". The London Gazette. 29 December 1942. p. 1.
- "No. 40103". The London Gazette. 16 February 1954. p. 1008.
- Richard Law, Return from Utopia (London: Faber & Faber, 1950), p. 9.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Davison
- Newspaper clippings about Richard Law, 1st Baron Coleraine in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Hull South West
Sydney Herbert Smith
Sir William Davison
| Member of Parliament for Kensington South
Sir Patrick Spens
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for Haltemprice
Sir Patrick Wall
| Financial Secretary to the War Office
| Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
George Henry Hall
| Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
| Minister of Education
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Baron Coleraine
James Martin Bonar Law