Second National ministry

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MacDonald (circa 1920s)

The First National ministry existed from 24 August 1931 until the reconstruction of the government, following the general election in October 1931.

From 5 November 1931 until the resignation of the Prime Minister on 7 June 1935 the Second National ministry was in office. This ministry was a "national government" coalition of National Labour, the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, and the Liberal National Party. Stanley Baldwin formed the Third National Ministry in 1935. The Conservatives controlled the national government.

During the course of the Ministry the ministers from the Liberal Party, led by Sir Herbert Samuel, resigned over the adoption of a protectionist policy caused by the government negotiating the Ottawa Accords in 1932. The other Liberal faction in the Ministry, the Liberal National Party, had accepted the Conservative policy of protectionism before the National government had been formed so its ministers continued in office.

Cabinet[edit]

November 1931 – May 1935[edit]

Changes[edit]

  • June 1932 –      Lord Irwin succeeds Donald Maclean (deceased) as President of the Board of Education
  • September 1932 – Stanley Baldwin succeeds Philip Snowden as Lord Privy Seal, remaining also Lord President. John Gilmour succeeds Herbert Samuel as Home Secretary.      Sir Godfrey Collins succeeds Sir Archibald Sinclair as Scottish Secretary.      Walter Elliot succeeds Gilmour as Minister of Agriculture.
  • December 1933 – Stanley Baldwin ceases to be Lord Privy Seal, and his successor in that office is not in the cabinet. He continues as Lord President.      Kingsley Wood enters the cabinet as Postmaster-General
  • June 1934 –      Oliver Stanley succeeds Henry Betterton as Minister of Labour

Key[edit]

List of Ministers[edit]

Members of the Cabinet are in bold face.

Office Name Party Dates Notes
Prime Minister,
First Lord of the Treasury
and Leader of the House of Commons
Ramsay MacDonald National Labour 5 November 1931 – 7 June 1935
Lord Chancellor John Sankey, 1st Baron Sankey National Labour November 1931 created Viscount Sankey 30 January 1932
Lord President of the Council Stanley Baldwin Conservative November 1931
Lord Privy Seal Philip Snowden National Labour 5 November 1931 created Viscount Snowden 24 November 1931
Stanley Baldwin Conservative 29 September 1932
Anthony Eden Conservative 31 December 1933
Chancellor of the Exchequer Neville Chamberlain Conservative 5 November 1931
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury David Margesson Conservative 10 November 1931
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Walter Elliot Conservative November 1931
Leslie Hore-Belisha Liberal National 29 September 1932
Duff Cooper Conservative 29 June 1934
Lords of the Treasury Walter Womersley Conservative 12 November 1931 – 7 June 1935 knighted 1934
Victor Warrender Conservative 12 November 1931 – 30 September 1932
Geoffrey Shakespeare Liberal National 12 November 1931 – 30 September 1932
Austin Hudson Conservative 12 November 1931 – 12 April 1935
Lambert Ward Conservative 12 November 1931 – 1 May 1935
George Davies Conservative 11 October 1932 – 7 June 1935
James Blindell Liberal National 30 September 1932 – 7 June 1935
James Stuart Conservative 1 May 1935 – 7 June 1935
Archibald Southby Conservative 23 April 1935 – 7 June 1935
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Rufus Isaacs Liberal 24 August 1931 – 5 November 1931
John Simon Liberal National 5 November 1931
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Anthony Eden Conservative November 1931
James Stanhope Conservative 18 January 1934
Secretary of State for the Home Department Herbert Samuel Liberal November 1931
John Gilmour Conservative 28 September 1932
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Oliver Stanley Conservative November 1931
Douglas Hacking Conservative 22 February 1933
Harry Crookshank Conservative 29 June 1934
First Lord of the Admiralty Bolton Eyres-Monsell Conservative 5 November 1931
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty Edward Stanley Conservative 10 November 1931
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Euan Wallace Conservative 10 November 1931
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries John Gilmour Conservative November 1931
Walter Elliot Conservative 28 September 1932
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Herbrand Sackville, 9th Earl De La Warr National Labour 10 November 1931
Secretary of State for Air Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry Conservative 5 November 1931
Under-Secretary of State for Air Philip Sassoon Conservative November 1931
Secretary of State for the Colonies Philip Cunliffe-Lister Conservative 5 November 1931
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies Robert William Hamilton Liberal November 1931
Ivor Windsor-Clive, 2nd Earl of Plymouth Conservative 29 September 1932
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Jimmy Thomas National Labour November 1931
Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Malcolm MacDonald National Labour November 1931
President of the Board of Education Donald Maclean Liberal November 1931
Edward Wood, 1st Baron Irwin Conservative 15 June 1932 succeeded as 3rd Viscount Halifax 19 January 1934
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education Herwald Ramsbotham Conservative 10 November 1931
Minister of Health Hilton Young Conservative 5 November 1931
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health Ernest Brown Liberal National 10 November 1931
Geoffrey Shakespeare Liberal National 30 September 1932
Secretary of State for India Samuel Hoare Conservative November 1931
Under-Secretary of State for India Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian Liberal 10 November 1931
Rab Butler Conservative 29 September 1932  
Minister of Labour Henry Betterton Conservative November 1931
Oliver Stanley Conservative 29 June 1934
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour Robert Hudson Conservative 10 November 1931
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster J. C. C. Davidson Conservative 10 November 1931
Paymaster General Ernest Lamb, 1st Baron Rochester National Labour 23 November 1931
Minister for Pensions George Tryon Conservative November 1931
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Pensions Cuthbert Headlam Conservative 10 November 1931 Office vacant from 29 September 1932
Postmaster-General Kingsley Wood Conservative 10 November 1931 Office in Cabinet from 20 December 1933
Assistant Postmaster-General Graham White Liberal November 1931
Ernest Nathaniel Bennett National Labour 21 October 1932
Secretary of State for Scotland Archie Sinclair Liberal November 1931
Godfrey Collins Liberal National 28 September 1932
Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Noel Skelton Conservative November 1931
President of the Board of Trade Walter Runciman Liberal National 5 November 1931
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade Leslie Hore-Belisha Liberal National 10 November 1931
Leslie Burgin Liberal National 29 September 1932
Secretary for Overseas Trade John Colville Conservative 10 November 1931
Secretary for Mines Isaac Foot Liberal November 1931
Ernest Brown Liberal National 30 September 1932
Minister of Transport James Pybus Liberal National November 1931
Oliver Stanley Conservative 22 February 1933
Leslie Hore-Belisha Liberal National 29 June 1934
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Ivor Windsor-Clive, 2nd Earl of Plymouth Conservative 25 November 1931
Cuthbert Headlam Conservative 29 September 1932 Office vacant 5 July 1934
Secretary of State for War
and Leader of the House of Lords
Douglas Hogg, 1st Viscount Hailsham Conservative 5 November 1931
Under-Secretary of State for War James Stanhope, 7th Earl Stanhope Conservative 10 November 1931
Donald Howard, 3rd Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal Conservative 24 January 1934
Financial Secretary to the War Office Duff Cooper Conservative November 1931
Douglas Hacking Conservative 29 June 1934
First Commissioner of Works William Ormsby-Gore Conservative 5 November 1931
Attorney General William Jowitt National Labour November 1931
Thomas Inskip Conservative 26 January 1932
Solicitor General Thomas Inskip Conservative November 1931
Boyd Merriman Conservative 26 January 1932
Donald Somervell Conservative 29 September 1933
Lord Advocate Craigie Aitchison National Labour November 1931
Wilfrid Normand Conservative 2 October 1933
Douglas Jamieson Conservative 28 March 1935
Solicitor General for Scotland Wilfrid Normand Conservative 10 November 1931
Douglas Jamieson Conservative 2 October 1933
Thomas Cooper Conservative 15 May 1935
Treasurer of the Household Frederick Thomson Conservative 12 November 1931
George Penny Conservative 1 May 1935
Comptroller of the Household Walter Rea Liberal 12 November 1931
George Penny Conservative 30 September 1932
Victor Warrender Conservative 1 May 1935
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household George Penny Conservative 12 November 1931
Victor Warrender Conservative 30 September 1932
Lambert Ward Conservative 1 May 1935
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms George Bingham, 5th Earl of Lucan Conservative 12 November 1931
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard Donald Howard, 3rd Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal Conservative 12 November 1931
Lords in Waiting Arthur Chichester, 4th Baron Templemore Conservative 12 November 1931 – 24 January 1934
Henry Gage, 6th Viscount Gage Conservative 12 November 1931 – 7 June 1935
Wentworth Beaumont, 2nd Viscount Allendale Liberal 12 November 1931 – 28 September 1932
Geoffrey FitzClarence, 5th Earl of Munster Conservative 24 January 1934 – 7 June 1935
Charles Duncombe, 3rd Earl of Feversham Conservative 24 January 1934 – 7 June 1935

References[edit]

  • Bassett, Reginald. 1931 Political Crisis (2nd ed., Aldershot: Macmillan 1986) ISBN 0-566-05138-9
  • Butler, David, and G. Butler, Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900–2000
  • Hattersley, Roy. Borrowed Time: The Story of Britain Between the Wars (2008) pp 143–72.
  • Howell, David. MacDonald's Party: Labour Identities and Crisis, 1922–1931 (Oxford U.P. 2002). ISBN 0-19-820304-7
  • Hyde, H. Montgomery. Baldwin: The Unexpected Prime Minister (1973)
  • Jenkins, Roy. Baldwin (1987) excerpt and text search
  • Marquand, David. Ramsay MacDonald (1977)
  • Mowat, Charles Loch. Britain between the Wars: 1918–1945 (1955) PP 413–79
  • Raymond, John, ed. The Baldwin Age (1960), essays by scholars 252 pages; online
  • Skidelsky, Robert. Politicians and the Slump: the Labour Government of 1929–1931. (1967.)
  • Smart, Nick. The National Government. 1931–40 (Macmillan 1999) ISBN 0-333-69131-8
  • Taylor, A.J.P. English History 1914–1945 (1965) pp 321–88
  • Thorpe, Andrew. The British general election of 1931 (Oxford UP, 1991).
  • Thorpe, Andrew. Britain in the 1930s. The Deceptive Decade, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992). ISBN 0-631-17411-7
  • Williamson, Philip. National Crisis and National Government. British Politics, the Economy and the Empire, 1926–1932, (Cambridge UP, 1992). ISBN 0-521-36137-0


Preceded by
First National ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1931–1935
Succeeded by
Third National ministry