Eustace Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Newcastle

Eustace Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Newcastle

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Eustace Sutherland Campbell Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Newcastle PC (21 March 1887 – 3 April 1958), styled Lord Eustace Percy between 1899 and 1953, was a British diplomat, Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 politician and public servant. He most notably served as President of the Board of Education
Secretary of State for Education and Skills
The Secretary of State for Education is the chief minister of the Department for Education in the United Kingdom government. The position was re-established on 12 May 2010, held by Michael Gove....

 under Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

 between 1924 and 1929.

Background and education


Percy was born into a superbly well-connected family: he was the seventh son of Henry Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland
Henry Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland
Henry George Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland KG, PC, FRS , styled Lord Lovaine between 1865 and 1867 and Earl Percy between 1867 and 1899, was a British Conservative politician...

, and Lady Edith, daughter of George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll
George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll
George John Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll KG, KT, PC, FRS, FRSE , styled Marquess of Lorne until 1847, was a Scottish peer, Liberal politician as well as a writer on science, religion, and the politics of the 19th century.-Background:Argyll was born at Ardencaple Castle, Dunbartonshire, the...

. Henry Percy, Earl Percy
Henry Percy, Earl Percy
Henry Algernon George Percy, Earl Percy , styled Lord Warkworth until 1899, was a British Conservative politician...

, and Alan Percy, 8th Duke of Northumberland
Alan Percy, 8th Duke of Northumberland
Alan Ian Percy, 8th Duke of Northumberland KG CBE MVO TD was the son of Henry Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland and Lady Edith Campbell....

, were his elder brothers. His uncle, the ninth Duke of Argyll
John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll
John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll KG, KT, GCMG, GCVO, VD, PC , usually better known by the courtesy title Marquess of Lorne, by which he was known between 1847 and 1900, was a British nobleman and was the fourth Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883...

, was married to HRH Princess Louise
Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll
The Princess Louise was a member of the British Royal Family, the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and her husband, Albert, Prince Consort.Louise's early life was spent moving between the various royal residences in the...

, daughter of Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

. A niece later married the sixth Duke of Sutherland
John Egerton, 6th Duke of Sutherland
thumb|right|200px|Portrait by [[Allan Warren]]John Sutherland Egerton, 6th Duke of Sutherland , styled Viscount Brackley until 1944 and known as The Earl of Ellesmere between 1944 and 1963, was a British peer.-Background and education:the son of John Egerton, 4th Earl of Ellesmere and Lady Violet...

. He was educated at Eton
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 and Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church or house of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England...

.

Political career


Percy served in the Diplomatic Service between 1911 and 1919. In 1921 he was elected Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Hastings
Hastings (UK Parliament constituency)
Hastings was a parliamentary constituency in Sussex. It returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until the 1885 general election, when its representation was reduced to one member....

, a seat he held until 1937. In March 1923 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education was a junior ministerial office in the United Kingdom Government. In 1899 the Board of Education Act abolished the Committee of the Privy Council which had been responsible for education matters and instituted a new Board from 1 April 1900. The...

 by Andrew Bonar Law. When Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

 became Prime Minister in May of the same year, Percy was moved to the post of Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health was a junior ministerial office in the United Kingdom Government.The Ministry of Health was created in 1919 as a reconstruction of the Local Government Board...

, which he remained until the fall of the government in January 1924. When the Conservatives returned to power in November 1924, he was appointed President of the Board of Education
Secretary of State for Education and Skills
The Secretary of State for Education is the chief minister of the Department for Education in the United Kingdom government. The position was re-established on 12 May 2010, held by Michael Gove....

 by Baldwin, with a seat in the cabinet, and sworn of the Privy Council. He continued as head of the Board of Education until the government fell in June 1929.

Percy did not serve in the National Government of Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay MacDonald
James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS was a British politician who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister, leading a minority government for two terms....

 between 1931 and 1935, but when Baldwin returned as Prime Minister in June 1935 he again became a member of the cabinet as Minister without Portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

, a post he held until 1936. Given charge of policy direction for the government in the latter role, he was often dubbed the "Minister for Thought" by the Press. In the 1930s he called for regional government for the North East of England, specifically wishing to be the minister for the region.

In his 1944 Riddell Lecture Percy made a call for the law to be changed radically to recognise companies as associations of productive employees, rather than as associations of shareholders. These were his words: "Here is the most important challenge to political invention ever offered to the jurist or the statesman. The human association which in fact produces and distributes wealth, the association of workmen, managers, technicians and directors is not an association recognised by law. The association which the law does recognise - the association of shareholders, creditors and directors - is incapable of producing and distributing and is not expected to perform these functions. We have to give law to the real association and withdraw meaningless privilege from the imaginary one."

In 1945, Percy chaired the committee on Higher Technological Education that resulted in the Percy report. He also chaired a Royal Commission that reviewed mental health legislation in the 1950s and was Warden and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Durham between 1937 and 1952. In 1953 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Percy of Newcastle, of Etchingham in the County of Sussex.

Family


Lord Percy of Newcastle married Stella Katherine, daughter of Major-General Laurence George Drummond, in 1918. They had two daughters. He died in April 1958, aged 71. As he had no sons the barony became extinct on his death.

External links