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Churchill War Ministry

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The War Cabinet

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Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party



Changes
  • August 1940: Lord Beaverbrook
    Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook
    William Maxwell "Max" Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, Bt, PC, was a Canadian-British business tycoon, politician, and writer.-Early career in Canada:...

     (a Canadian-British citizen), Minister of Aircraft Production
    Minister of Aircraft Production
    The Minister of Aircraft Production was the British government position in charge of the Ministry of Aircraft Production, one of the specialised supply ministries set up by the British Government during World War II...

    , joins the War Cabinet
  • October 1940: Sir John Anderson
    John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley
    John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, PC, PC was a British civil servant then politician who served as a minister under Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill as Home Secretary, Lord President of the Council and Chancellor of the Exchequer...

     succeeds Neville Chamberlain as Lord President. Sir Kingsley Wood
    Kingsley Wood
    Sir Howard Kingsley Wood was an English Conservative politician. The son of a Wesleyan Methodist minister, he qualified as a solicitor, and successfully specialised in industrial insurance...

    , the Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Chancellor of the Exchequer
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

    , and Ernest Bevin
    Ernest Bevin
    Ernest Bevin was a British trade union leader and Labour politician. He served as general secretary of the powerful Transport and General Workers' Union from 1922 to 1945, as Minister of Labour in the war-time coalition government, and as Foreign Secretary in the post-war Labour Government.-Early...

    , the Minister of Labour
    Secretary of State for Employment
    The Secretary of State for Employment was a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1995 it was merged with Secretary of State for Education to make the Secretary of State for Education and Employment...

    , enter the War Cabinet. Lord Halifax assumes the additional job of Leader of the House of Lords
    Leader of the House of Lords
    The Leader of the House of Lords is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Lords. The role is always held in combination with a formal Cabinet position, usually one of the sinecure offices of Lord President of the Council,...

    .
  • December 1940: Anthony Eden
    Anthony Eden
    Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957...

     succeeds Lord Halifax as Foreign Secretary. Halifax remains nominally in the Cabinet as Ambassador to the United States. His successor as Leader of the House of Lords is not in the War Cabinet.
  • May 1941: Lord Beaverbrook ceased to be Minister of Aircraft Production, but remains in the Cabinet as Minister of State
    Minister of State
    Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "minister of state" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister...

    . His successor was not in the War Cabinet.
  • June 1941: Lord Beaverbrook becomes Minister of Supply
    Minister of Supply
    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...

    , remaining in the War Cabinet.
  • 1941: Oliver Lyttelton
    Oliver Lyttelton, 1st Viscount Chandos
    Oliver Lyttelton, 1st Viscount Chandos KG, PC, DSO, MC was a British businessman who was brought into government during the Second World War, holding a number of ministerial posts.-Background, education and military career:...

     enters the Cabinet as Minister Resident in the Middle East.
  • 4 February 1942: Lord Beaverbrook becomes Minister of War Production
    Minister of Production
    The Minister of Production was a British government position that existed during the Second World War, heading the Ministry of Production.Initially the post was called "Minister of War Production" when it was created in February 1942, but the first Minister, Lord Beaverbrook, resigned after only...

    ; his successor as Minister of Supply is not in the War Cabinet.
  • 19 February 1942: Beaverbrook resigns and no replacement Minister of War Production is appointed for the moment. Clement Attlee becomes Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
    Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
    The position of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs was a British cabinet level position created in 1925 responsible for British relations with the Dominions — Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland, and the Irish Free State, as well as the self-governing colony of...

     and Deputy Prime Minister
    Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    The Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a senior member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. The office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not a permanent position, existing only at the discretion of the Prime Minister, who may appoint to other offices...

    . Sir Stafford Cripps
    Stafford Cripps
    Sir Richard Stafford Cripps was a British Labour politician of the first half of the 20th century. During World War II he served in a number of positions in the wartime coalition, including Ambassador to the Soviet Union and Minister of Aircraft Production...

     succeeds Attlee as Lord Privy Seal
    Lord Privy Seal
    The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

     and takes over the position of Leader of the House of Commons
    Leader of the House of Commons
    The Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons...

     from Churchill. Sir Kingsley Wood leaves the War Cabinet, though remaining Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • 22 February 1942: Arthur Greenwood resigns from the War Cabinet.
  • March 1942: Oliver Lyttelton fills the vacant position of Minister of Production
    Minister of Production
    The Minister of Production was a British government position that existed during the Second World War, heading the Ministry of Production.Initially the post was called "Minister of War Production" when it was created in February 1942, but the first Minister, Lord Beaverbrook, resigned after only...

     ("War" was dropped from the title). Richard Gardiner Casey
    Richard Casey, Baron Casey
    Richard Gardiner Casey, Baron Casey KG GCMG CH DSO MC KStJ PC was an Australian politician, diplomat and the 16th Governor-General of Australia.-Early life:...

     (a member of the Australian Parliament) succeeds Oliver Lyttelton as Minister Resident in the Middle East.
  • October 1942: Sir Stafford Cripps retires as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons and leaves the War Cabinet. His successor as Lord Privy Seal is not in the Cabinet, Anthony Eden takes the additional position of Leader of the House of Commons. The Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, enters the Cabinet.
  • September 1943: Sir John Anderson
    John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley
    John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, PC, PC was a British civil servant then politician who served as a minister under Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill as Home Secretary, Lord President of the Council and Chancellor of the Exchequer...

     succeeds Sir Kingsley Wood (deceased) as Chancellor of the Exchequer, remaining in the War Cabinet. Clement Attlee succeeds Anderson as Lord President, remaining also Deputy Prime Minister. Attlee's successor as Dominions Secretary is not in the Cabinet.
  • November 1943: Lord Woolton enters the Cabinet as Minister of Reconstruction
    Minister of Reconstruction
    The Minister of Reconstruction was a British government post that briefly existed during the latter stages of the Second World War, charged with planning for the post-war period...

    .
  • January to November 1944: Lord Moyne replaces Richard Gardiner Casey
    Richard Casey, Baron Casey
    Richard Gardiner Casey, Baron Casey KG GCMG CH DSO MC KStJ PC was an Australian politician, diplomat and the 16th Governor-General of Australia.-Early life:...

     as Minister Resident in the Middle East.

See also

  • Coalition Government 1940-1945
    Coalition Government 1940-1945
    Members of the War Cabinet are in bold face.-Source:* D. Butler and G. Butler, Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900–2000....

    , for a complete list of officeholders in the government.
  • War cabinet in United Kingdom during the Second World War