Reginald Maudling

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Reginald Maudling
Reginald Maudling.jpg
Home Secretary
In office
20 June 1970 18 July 1972
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by James Callaghan
Succeeded by Robert Carr
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
13 July 1962 16 October 1964
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Alec Douglas-Home
Chief Secretary John Boyd-Carpenter
Preceded by Selwyn Lloyd
Succeeded by James Callaghan
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
9 October 1961 13 July 1962
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Preceded by Iain Macleod
Succeeded by Duncan Sandys
President of the Board of Trade
In office
14 October 1959 9 October 1961
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Preceded by David Eccles
Succeeded by Frederick Erroll
Paymaster General
In office
14 January 1957 14 October 1959
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Preceded by Walter Monckton
Succeeded by The Lord Mills
Minister of Supply
In office
7 April 1955 14 January 1957
Prime Minister Anthony Eden
Preceded by Selwyn Lloyd
Succeeded by Aubrey Jones
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
In office
1952 7 April 1955
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Preceded by John Edwards
Succeeded by Edward Boyle
Member of Parliament
for Chipping Barnet
Barnet (1950–1974)
In office
23 February 1950 14 February 1979
Preceded by Stephen Taylor
Succeeded by Sydney Chapman
Shadow Cabinet positions
Shadow Foreign Secretary
In office
11 February 1975 11 April 1976
Leader Margaret Thatcher
Shadowing James Callaghan
Anthony Crosland
Preceded by Geoffrey Rippon
Succeeded by John Davies
In office
27 July 1965 11 November 1965
Leader Alec Douglas-Home
Edward Heath
Shadowing Michael Stewart
Preceded by Rab Butler
Succeeded by Christopher Soames
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
21 April 1968 28 February 1969
Leader Edward Heath
Shadowing Denis Healey
Preceded by Enoch Powell
Succeeded by Geoffrey Rippon
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
16 October 1964 27 July 1965
Leader Alec Douglas-Home
Shadowing James Callaghan
Preceded by James Callaghan
Succeeded by Edward Heath
Personal details
Born(1917-03-07)7 March 1917
North Finchley, Middlesex, England
Died14 February 1979(1979-02-14) (aged 61)
Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s)Beryl Laverick (1939–79)
Alma mater Merton College, Oxford

Reginald Maudling (7 March 1917 – 14 February 1979) [1] was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. From 1955 until the late 1960s, he was spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader, and he was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965. He also held directorships in several British financial firms.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Senior official in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom responsible for economic and financial matters

The Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of Her Majesty's Exchequer, commonly known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or simply the Chancellor, is a senior official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of Her Majesty's Treasury. The office is a British Cabinet-level position.

Conservative Party (UK) Political party in the United Kingdom

The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. Presently led by Theresa May, it has been the governing party since 2010. It presently has 314 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, 249 members of the House of Lords, and 18 members of the European Parliament. It also has 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 9,008 local councillors. One of the major parties of UK politics, it has formed the government on 45 occasions, more than any other party.

Edward Heath Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1970–1974)

Sir Edward Richard George Heath, often known as Ted Heath, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1974 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1975. He was a strong supporter of the European Communities (EC), and after winning the decisive vote in the House of Commons by 336 to 244, he led the negotiations that culminated in Britain's entry into the EC on 1 January 1973. It was, says biographer John Campbell, "Heath's finest hour". Although he planned to be an innovator as Prime Minister, his government foundered on economic difficulties, including high inflation and major strikes. He became an embittered critic of Margaret Thatcher, who supplanted him as Tory leader.


As Home Secretary, he was responsible for the UK Government's Northern Ireland policy during the period that included Bloody Sunday in 1972. Soon afterwards, he left office due to an unrelated scandal in one of the companies of which he was director.

Northern Ireland Part of the United Kingdom lying in the north-east of the island of Ireland, created 1921

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".

Bloody Sunday (1972) shooting in Northern Ireland in 1972

Bloody Sunday, sometimes called the Bogside Massacre, was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, when British soldiers shot 28 unarmed civilians during a protest march against internment. Fourteen people died: thirteen were killed outright, while the death of another man four months later was attributed to his injuries. Many of the victims were shot while fleeing from the soldiers and some were shot while trying to help the wounded. Other protesters were injured by rubber bullets or batons, and two were run down by army vehicles. The march had been organised by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA). The soldiers involved were members of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, also known as "1 Para".

Early life

Reginald Maudling was born in Woodside Park, North Finchley, and was named after his father, Reginald George Maudling, an actuary at R. Watson & Sons and Public Valuer [2] , who contracted to do actuarial and financial calculations as the Commercial Calculating Company Ltd. The family moved to Bexhill to escape German air raids; Maudling won scholarships to the Merchant Taylors' School and Merton College, Oxford. [3]

North Finchley suburb of London in the London Borough of Barnet

North Finchley is a suburb of London in the London Borough of Barnet, situated 7 miles (11.3 km) north-west of Charing Cross.

Actuary Business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty

An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty. The name of the corresponding field is actuarial science. These risks can affect both sides of the balance sheet and require asset management, liability management, and valuation skills. Actuaries provide assessments of financial security systems, with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their mechanisms.

Bexhill-on-Sea seaside town situated in the county of East Sussex in South East England

Bexhill-on-Sea is a seaside town situated in the county of East Sussex in South East England. An ancient town and part of the local-government district of Rother, Bexhill is home to a number of archaeological sites, a Manor House in the Old Town, an abundance of Edwardian and Victorian architecture, and the famous De La Warr Pavilion: today a centre for contemporary art – which has featured the work of Andy Warhol, Cerith Wyn Evans and Richard Wilson amongst others – and an auditorium, where Bob Marley had his first UK appearance and has since seen performances by Elvis Costello, Goldfrapp, Ray Davies, Years & Years, Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson.

He stayed out of undergraduate politics at Oxford, and studied the works of Hegel; he was to formulate his conclusions later as to the inseparability of economic and political freedom: "the purpose of State control and the guiding principle of its application is the achievement of true freedom". He obtained a degree in Classics with first class honours. [4]

University of Oxford Collegiate research university in Oxford, England

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly referred to as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel German philosopher who influenced German idealism

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher and an important figure of German idealism. He achieved wide recognition in his day and—while primarily influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become increasingly influential in the analytic tradition as well. Although Hegel remains a divisive figure, his canonical stature within Western philosophy is universally recognized.

Classics Study of the culture of (mainly) Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome

Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity. It encompasses the study of the Greco-Roman world, particularly of its languages and literature but also of Greco-Roman philosophy, history, and archaeology. Traditionally in the West, the study of the Greek and Roman classics was considered one of the cornerstones of the humanities and a fundamental element of a rounded education. The study of classics has therefore traditionally been a cornerstone of a typical elite education.

Political career

Shortly after graduating, Maudling set up a meeting with Harold Nicolson to discuss whether it would be better, as a moderate conservative, to join the Conservative Party or National Labour; Nicolson advised him to wait. Maudling was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1940. However, he did not practise as a barrister, having volunteered for service in the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Second World War.

Harold Nicolson British diplomat, author, diarist and politician

Sir Harold George Nicolson,, was a British diplomat, author, diarist and politician. He was the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West.

The National Labour Organisation, also known as the National Labour Committee or simply as National Labour, was a British political group formed after the 1931 creation of the National Government to co-ordinate the efforts of the supporters of the government who had come from the Labour Party. The most prominent Labour Party member involved in the government was the Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald. National Labour sponsored Parliamentary candidates, but did not consider itself a full political party as it had no policy distinctive from that of the government which it supported. After MacDonald's death, the group continued in existence until winding up on the eve of the 1945 general election and its newsletter ceased publication two years later.

The call to the bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party and are then said to have been "called to the bar" or to have received a "call to the bar". "The bar" is now used as a collective noun for barristers, but literally referred to the wooden barrier in old courtrooms, which separated the often crowded public area at the rear from the space near the judges reserved for those having business with the Court. Barristers would sit or stand immediately behind it, facing the judge, and could use it as a table for their briefs.

Owing to poor eyesight he took desk jobs in the RAF intelligence branch, where he rose—as a "Wingless Wonder", as officers who were not qualified to wear pilot's wings were nicknamed—to the rank of Flight Lieutenant; he was then appointed Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Archibald Sinclair. [5]

A private secretary (PS) is a civil servant in a governmental department or ministry, responsible to a secretary of state or minister.

Secretary of State for Air cabinet level British position

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Parliamentary candidate

Maudling wrote an essay on Conservative policy in November 1943, recommending that the Conservatives neither imitate the Labour Party nor reflexively oppose all controls; in the general election of July 1945, he was selected as parliamentary candidate for Heston and Isleworth, a newly created constituency in Middlesex, although there were four applicants and he had no ties to that constituency. In the subsequent Labour landslide Maudling was defeated like many others, although Heston and Isleworth had been expected to be a safe Conservative seat. After its defeat in the 1945 general election, the Conservative Party engaged in an extensive rethink of its policy. Maudling argued that the Party had depended excessively on outdated economic slogans and the popularity of Winston Churchill.

In November 1945, Maudling became the first staff member of the Conservative Parliamentary Secretariat, later the Conservative Research Department, where he was head of the Economic Section. He persuaded the party to accept much of the Labour government's nationalisation programme and social services while cutting government spending. In March 1946, Maudling was chosen as the prospective candidate for Barnet, close to his birthplace in Finchley, and began giving speeches there. Labour had unexpectedly won the seat in 1945, but it was considered to be marginal. In 1950, Maudling was elected as Member of Parliament with an absolute majority. [6]

Member of Parliament and Cabinet

Following the 1951 election, Churchill made Maudling a junior Minister at the Ministry of Civil Aviation. However, his experience of preparing economic policy led to his speaking on behalf of the Treasury on the 1952 budget and thus to an appointment, later that year, as Economic Secretary to the Treasury. With his mentor Rab Butler as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Maudling worked to reduce taxes and controls in order to move from post-war austerity to affluence. When Anthony Eden took over as Prime Minister in 1955, Maudling was promoted to head a department as Minister of Supply. He supported the invasion of Suez.

The Ministry was responsible for aircraft production and supplying the armed forces, and Maudling came to agree with critics who argued that it was an unnecessary intermediary; he therefore recommended its abolition. Although supportive of Harold Macmillan's appointment as Prime Minister over the rival claims of Butler in 1957, Maudling found himself in difficulties over his position in the new government. He refused to continue at the Ministry of Supply and also rejected an offer of the Ministry of Health because Iain Macleod, with whom he had a rivalry, had held the post five years earlier and Maudling did not want to be seen as five years behind him.

Macmillan appointed Maudling to the post of Paymaster General and spokesman in the House of Commons for the Ministry of Fuel and Power, which was technically a demotion. Nine months later, Maudling had proved his usefulness; Macmillan brought him into the Cabinet on 17 September 1957, where he acted more as a Minister without Portfolio: he had specific responsibility for persuading the six members of the embryonic European Economic Community, who had recently signed the Treaty of Rome, to abandon their proposal for a customs union in favour of a wider free-trade area where each country would preserve their own external tariffs. However, Maudling's lack of international experience led him to underestimate the importance of the nascent Community and what was constructive in it. Faced with widespread rejection of the proposals, Maudling aroused hostility in Bonn and Paris by seeking to play off the Germans against the French.

On 14 November 1958, six months after the election of General de Gaulle as premier, Jacques Soustelle, the French Minister of Information, confirmed to the Press that France would reject the Maudling plan. Two days later, the British delegation to the Community formally called an end to accession negotiations. Maudling later revised his proposals, which were to form the basis of the European Free Trade Association. [7]

Meanwhile, Maudling became an underwriting member of Lloyd's of London in December 1957, although his assets were somewhat below average for other 'names'. [8]

President of the Board of Trade

Maudling entered the front line of politics after the 1959 election when appointed President of the Board of Trade. He was responsible for introducing the government's proposals to help areas of high unemployment. This was achieved by paying grants to companies to create new plants in these deprived areas, and also by the government taking over unused land for development. Maudling also succeeded in negotiating a free trade agreement between the countries outside the Common Market; this became the European Free Trade Association and was some compensation for his failure to negotiate a free trade area with the Common Market. Maudling was opposed to any proposal to join the Common Market on the basis that it would end Britain's right to make commercial agreements with New Zealand and Australia. He was later to remark that "I can think of no more retrograde step economically or politically". This comment was to be quoted against him when, less than two years later, he was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time of the reopening of negotiations for Common Market membership. [9]

Colonial Secretary

Reginald Maudling was for a short time, as Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1961, responsible for the process of decolonisation. In this position he chaired constitutional conferences for Jamaica, Northern Rhodesia and Trinidad and Tobago which prepared them for independence; his plan for Northern Rhodesia was controversial and he had to threaten resignation before it was approved. However, Maudling was keen to return to economic policy, and seized his opportunity when Macmillan made it clear in private that he supported a voluntary incomes policy. Maudling promptly made his case in public, and three weeks later was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in Macmillan's "Night of the Long Knives" attempt to rejuvenate his Cabinet. [10]

Chancellor of the Exchequer

As Chancellor, Maudling soon cut purchase tax and bank interest rates. [11] His 1963 budget [12] aimed at "expansion without inflation". Following a period of economic difficulty, with a growth target of 4%, Maudling was able to remove income tax from owner-occupiers' residential premises. He also abolished the rate of duty on home-brewed beer which in effect legalised it. This was the period in which Maudling was at his most popular within the Conservative Party and in the country.

However, later commentators have been less kind to Maudling: Harold Wilson and his Chancellor James Callaghan (who nevertheless sounded out Maudling for the governorship of the Bank of England in 1966) [13] blamed the "dash for growth" that followed the 1963 budget for increasing sterling's chronic instability between 1964 and 1967 and by greatly increasing domestic demand the budget certainly exacerbated the existing balance of payments problem. Maudling largely recognised this himself by the time of the 1964 budget and, although he increased taxes, he did little to subdue demand in an election year.

First unsuccessful leadership bid

By 1963, during the Profumo affair, there was talk, encouraged by Martin Redmayne (Chief Whip) and Lord Poole (Party Chairman), of Maudling succeeding Macmillan as Prime Minister. Maudling visited Butler (Deputy Prime Minister) and obtained a mutual promise that they would, if necessary, agree to serve under one another – Maudling believed that he had gained an advantage in obtaining the agreement of Butler, his senior, to serve under him if necessary. However, William Rees-Mogg claimed in The Times on 28 July that Butler led Maudling by 2:1 in the Cabinet, although Maudling had more support amongst backbench MPs. [14]

However, Macmillan's sudden illness and announcement of his resignation in October 1963 came at a time when Maudling's support had fallen. He was also poorly received at the Conservative Party conference, which had become a hustings for the leadership, despite coaching from Iain Macleod in how to deliver his speech. Back in London the following week, a process of "consultation" by Lord Chancellor Dilhorne and by Redmayne declared Foreign Secretary Lord Home, rather than Maudling or Butler, to be the compromise candidate. Enoch Powell, Macleod, Hailsham and Maudling (known as "the Quad" in some accounts of the following days) sought to persuade Butler to refuse to serve, so that Butler rather than Home would have to become Prime Minister. Macleod and Maudling demanded that Dilhorne lay the results of his consultations before the Cabinet, but he refused to do so. [15] Maudling attended the meeting at Powell's house late in the evening of 17 October, "well-refreshed" after attending a formal dinner, and seems to have "gone along with it" rather than being a ringleader, although he and Hailsham agreed to serve under Butler. [16] However, on the morning of Saturday 19 October Butler then Maudling agreed to serve under Home, enabling him to accept office as Prime Minister. [15]

Maudling retained his post as Chancellor under the new Prime Minister, and, in the 1964 election, Maudling had a prominent role at the helm of the party's daily press conferences while Douglas-Home toured the country. On the BBC's election results programme, the journalist Anthony Howard said that he believed that if Maudling had been leader, the narrow Conservative defeat would have been a narrow Conservative victory. [17] Upon being forced out of the post by the election defeat, Maudling left a note to his successor, James Callaghan, simply stating "Good luck, old cock.... Sorry to leave it in such a mess."

Second unsuccessful leadership bid

Out of office, Maudling accepted the offer of a seat on the board of Kleinwort Benson in November 1964, one of the factors which led to his being shifted to spokesman on Foreign Affairs in early 1965. Unlike other potential leadership contenders, Maudling publicly maintained his loyalty to Douglas-Home as criticisms of his leadership mounted. When Douglas-Home resigned, after putting in place a system in which the leadership was directly elected, Maudling fought against Edward Heath for the position of candidate to the party centre-right. Unfortunately for Maudling, Enoch Powell also stood as a candidate supporting monetarist and proto-Thatcherite economics.

Maudling's business directorships with Kleinwort Benson and others were mentioned by his opponents as evidence of his lack of commitment for the role, and he was criticised as too close to the Macmillan/Douglas-Home style of politics. He won 133 votes against Heath's 150; Powell's 15 votes were seen as more likely to have gone to Maudling had Powell not stood, but they would have made no difference since Heath obtained 150, a narrow majority.

Deputy Leader and Home Secretary

Maudling served as Deputy Leader under Heath, and was also a prominent member of the Shadow Cabinet. However, he was neither personally nor politically close to Heath, and as a consequence his influence declined; his support for an incomes policy now went against party policy. He also tended to make gaffes, as for example when he said Harold Wilson had been following the same policy as the Conservatives on Rhodesia and "I can't think of anything he has done wrongly". After Enoch Powell had been sacked from the Shadow Cabinet in 1968 for his controversial Rivers of Blood speech, Maudling was moved from the position of Shadow Commonwealth Secretary to become Shadow Defence Secretary until 1969 when he was replaced by Geoffrey Rippon. When the Conservatives returned to power in 1970, Maudling was appointed Home Secretary; the most pressing problem at the Home Office was tackling the Troubles in Northern Ireland. After boarding the aircraft at the end of his first visit to the province, he remarked "For God's sake bring me a large Scotch. What a bloody awful country." [18]

Maudling's attitude of reassuring calmness in interviews, normally helpful to him, was damaging when he referred to reducing IRA violence to "an acceptable level", a remark widely regarded as a gaffe. He also tended to trust the Unionist-controlled Government of Northern Ireland and gloss over differences between their approach and that of the United Kingdom government. This backfired when the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, James Chichester-Clark, resigned when denied the full number of troops he requested in March 1971. That August, Maudling authorised the Northern Ireland government to introduce internment without trial for terror suspects, which caused widespread upheaval and anger among the nationalist population due to its exclusive use on that community, [19] and was followed by an already planned massive escalation in the level of violence.

Regarding criminal justice, Maudling made no attempt, despite his personal support, to reintroduce capital punishment after its abolition in 1969. He introduced Community Service, a new alternative to prison, and in 1971 modestly tightened the immigration rules. [20] He was criticised for ordering the deportation of Rudi Dutschke, later one of the founders of the German Green Party. Dutschke, who was in Britain to recuperate from an assassination attempt, was considered a student anarchist. [ citation needed ]

Maudling was often the target of satirical cartoons in major newspapers, and was lampooned in the magazine Private Eye and the television comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus . [21]

Bloody Sunday

Maudling's statement in the House of Commons after Bloody Sunday agreed with the British army's statement that the Parachute Regiment had fired only in self-defence, [22] although this turned out to be untrue. [23] Bernadette Devlin, a Northern Ireland nationalist MP, had been present in Derry at the protest, yet she was denied recognition to speak on the massacre by the Speaker of the House Selwyn Lloyd. Devlin walked across the floor of the Commons and slapped Maudling. She later said to journalists that Maudling's statement had been untrue and perfunctory, and that it had expressed no regrets for the 13 people shot and killed by British soldiers. [24] [25] Eventually, Edward Heath decided to bring in direct rule of Northern Ireland under a separate Secretary of State. In 1974, Shane Paul O'Doherty, a PIRA member, sent Maudling a letter bomb, which slightly injured him. [26]


In 1972, Maudling's business activities were causing considerable disquiet and speculation in the press. In 1966, he had obtained a directorship in the company of John Poulson, an architect Maudling helped obtain lucrative contracts. Poulson routinely did business through bribery and in 1972 was made bankrupt. The bankruptcy hearings disclosed his bribe payments, and Maudling's connection became public knowledge. Maudling came to the decision that his responsibility for the Metropolitan Police, which was beginning fraud investigations into Poulson, made his position as Home Secretary untenable. He resigned on 18 July, to general sympathy from the press.[ citation needed ]

Shortly after receiving Maudling's resignation, Edward Heath's government performed a 'U-turn' on economic policy and subsequently adopted an approach strikingly similar to Maudling's. Heath advised Maudling not to drop out of the public eye and he continued to make many media appearances. In the year after the Conservative Party's electoral defeat in 1974, Heath was replaced as leader by Margaret Thatcher. She appointed Maudling to the post of Shadow Foreign Secretary. However, Maudling clashed with Thatcher over economics, and after less than two years in the role he was dismissed on 19 November 1976. Departing, Maudling summed up his career as "hired by Winston Churchill, fired by Margaret Thatcher".[ citation needed ]

Last years

In 1969, he had been president of the Real Estate Fund of America, whose chief executive, Jerome Hoffman, had been imprisoned for fraud; Maudling had also been an adviser to the Peachey Property Corporation, whose chairman, Sir Eric Miller, had embezzled company money and later committed suicide. He was revealed to have lobbied for more aid to Malta after obtaining a commission for Poulson there, which had led to heavy losses for the Maltese government. These further revelations led to a Parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of Maudling and two other MPs linked to Poulson. This inquiry published its report on 14 July 1977; the report concluded that Maudling had indulged in "conduct inconsistent with the standards which the House is entitled to expect from its members".[ citation needed ]

When the report was considered by the House of Commons, the Conservative Party organised its MPs to attend the debate to "Save Reggie". An amendment was put down to "take note" of the report, instead of endorsing it, and carried by 230 votes (211 Conservatives, 17 Labour, 2 Liberals and 2 Ulster Unionists) to 207. No punishment was imposed. An attempt by backbench Labour MPs to expel Maudling from the House was defeated by 331 votes to 11, and a move to suspend him for six months was lost by 324 to 97.

As Lewis Baston's 2004 biography recounts, Maudling and his wife became heavy drinkers once his political career was effectively ended by the scandal. The drinking turned to alcoholism and Maudling's health rapidly deteriorated in the late 1970s. He collapsed in early 1979, and there were fears that his treatment would be hindered by the strikes in the "Winter of Discontent".[ citation needed ]


Maudling died at the Royal Free Hospital in London, from kidney failure and cirrhosis of the liver, on 14 February 1979; he was 61. His body was buried in the churchyard of Little Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. A stone seat from his garden was placed beside the grave.

Family life

Maudling married actress Beryl Laverick (1919–1988) in 1939. [3] They had three sons and a daughter, Caroline Maudling, who became a journalist in the 1960s as the "travelling teenager" of the Daily Mail and, among other things, appeared alongside John Lennon on BBC TV's Juke Box Jury in 1963. [27]

Maudling's mother had disowned him as a result of his marriage, and Maudling did not attend her funeral in 1956. [28] When Caroline aroused comment by having a child out of wedlock in the late 1960s, Maudling was staunch in her defence, publicly expressing paternal pride. [27] Beryl Maudling's body was buried next to her husband's at Little Berkhamsted.

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Edward Heath of the Conservative Party formed the Heath ministry and was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II on 19 June 1970, following the 18 June general election. Heath's ministry ended after the February 1974 general election, which produced a hung parliament, leading to the formation of a minority government by Harold Wilson of the Labour Party.

The National Government of August–October 1931 was formed by Ramsay MacDonald as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following his expulsion from the Labour Party. He had formed a coalition government with several parties and subsequently won the forthcoming 1931 general election.

John Reginald Bevins was a British Conservative politician who served as a Liverpool Member of Parliament (MP) for fourteen years. He served in the governments of the 1950s and 1960s, playing an important role in establishing independent television.

Churchill war ministry Government of the United Kingdom

The Churchill war ministry was a Conservative-led coalition government in the United Kingdom that lasted for most of the Second World War. It was led by Winston Churchill, who was appointed by King George VI as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Formed in 1940 in the aftermath of the Norway Debate and within a year of declaring war on Nazi Germany, it persisted until May 1945, when Churchill resigned and an election was called.

Eden ministry Government of the United Kingdom

Following the resignation of Winston Churchill in April 1955, Anthony Eden, then-Foreign Secretary, took over as Leader of the Conservative Party, and thus became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Upon assuming office, Eden asked Queen Elizabeth II to dissolve parliament and called a general election for May 1955. After winning the general election with a majority of 60 seats in the House of Commons, Eden governed until his resignation on 10 January 1957.

The National Government of 1931–1935 was formed by Ramsay MacDonald following his reappointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by King George V after the general election in October 1931.

Margaret Thatcher became the first female Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition after winning the 1975 leadership election, the first Conservative leadership election where the post was not vacant. A rule change to enable the election was largely prompted by dissatisfaction with the incumbent leader, Edward Heath, who had lost three of four general elections as leader, including two in 1974. After announcing her first Shadow Cabinet in February 1975, she reshuffled it twice: in January and November 1976. Minor subsequent changes were necessary to respond to various circumstances. Thatcher's Shadow Cabinet ceased to exist upon her becoming Prime Minister following the 1979 general election.


  1. The Papers of Reginald Maudling Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  3. 1 2 Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900–1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 267.
  4. Baston, Reggie Chapter 1, and pp. 40–42, 173–4; quotation, from Maudling's essay, "Conservatives and Control", on Baston, p. 41.
  5. Baston, Reggie, Chapter 2
  6. Baston, Reggie, Chapters 3–5; "professional politician" (as opposed to gentleman amateur, born to politics, p. 49. Maudling had 53% of the vote in a three-party contest; the Conservative lead was 10,534 out of 70,687.
  7. Beloff, Nora (1963). The General Says No. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 78–80.
  8. Baston, Reggie, Chapter 6–8
  9. Beloff, N., p. 87.
  10. Baston, Reggie, Chapters 9 and 10
  11. Edmund Dell, The Chancellors: A History of the Chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945-90 (HarperCollins, 1997) pp 283-303, covers his term as Chancellor.
  12. "April – The Chancellor, Reginald Maudling, announces the Budget" Illingworth Exhibition: Cartoons of the 1960s. Contemporary cartoon of the budget announcement. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  13. Baston, Chapter 16
  14. Howard 1987, p. 300-2
  15. 1 2 Howard 1987, p. 316-21
  16. Sandford 2005, pp. 705
  17. Baston, Reggie, chapters 11–13. Howard quoted from Maudling's autobiography.
  18. Sunday Times Insight Team, Ulster (Penguin, 1972), page 213; The politics of drinking in power BBC News Online, 6 January 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  19. Biographies of Prominent People – 'M', CAIN Web Service. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  20. 1971: UK restricts Commonwealth migrants BBC News Online. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  21. Larsen, Darl (2008). Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References. Scarecrow Press. p. 221. ISBN   1461669707 . Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  22. "The Bitter Road from Bloody Sunday", Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  23. Siddique, Haroon; French, Megan (15 June 2010). "Bloody Sunday inquiry: key findings". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  24. "Bernadette Devlin delivers a proletarian protest (31/01/1972)" . Retrieved 19 January 2019 via YouTube.
  25. Maiden speeches in short supply BBC News Online, 6 April 2001 Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  26. Horsnell, Michael (2 February 1974). "Mr Maudling slightly hurt by letter bomb". The Times. p. 1. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  27. 1 2 Baston, Chapter 13
  28. Baston, Chapter 2

Further reading

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Stephen Taylor
Member of Parliament
for Barnet

Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Chipping Barnet

Succeeded by
Sydney Chapman
Political offices
Preceded by
John Edwards
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Edward Boyle
Preceded by
Selwyn Lloyd
Minister of Supply
Succeeded by
Aubrey Jones
Preceded by
Walter Monckton
Paymaster General
Succeeded by
The Lord Mills
Preceded by
David Eccles
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Fred Erroll
Preceded by
Iain Macleod
Secretary of State for the Colonies
Succeeded by
Duncan Sandys
Preceded by
Selwyn Lloyd
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Jim Callaghan
Preceded by
Jim Callaghan
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Ted Heath
Preceded by
Rab Butler
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by
Christopher Soames
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins
Preceded by
Enoch Powell
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Rippon
Preceded by
Jim Callaghan
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Robert Carr
Preceded by
Geoffrey Rippon
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by
John Davies
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rab Butler
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party
Title next held by
Willie Whitelaw