The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British cabinet-level position which existed from 1794 to 1801 and from 1854 to 1964. The Secretary of State for War headed the War Office and was assisted by a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for War, a Parliamentary Private Secretary who was also a Member of Parliament, and a Military Secretary, who was a general.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are usually called Cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a Cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.
The War Office was a Department of the British Government responsible for the administration of the British Army between 1857 and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence. It was equivalent to the Admiralty, responsible for the Royal Navy, and the Air Ministry, which oversaw the Royal Air Force. The name "War Office" is also given to the former home of the department, the War Office building, located at the junction of Horse Guards Avenue and Whitehall in central London.
The position of Secretary of State for War was first held by Henry Dundas who was appointed in 1794. In 1801 the post became that of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The position of Secretary of State for War was re-instated in 1854. In 1946, the three posts of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Secretary of State for Air became formally subordinated to that of Minister of Defence, which had itself been created in 1940 for the co-ordination of defence and security issues.
The Secretary of State for War and the Colonies was a British cabinet-level position responsible for the army and the British colonies. The Department was created in 1801. In 1854 it was split into the separate offices of Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Secretary was supported by an Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.
The First Lord of the Admiralty, or formally the Office of the First Lord of the Admiralty, was the political head of the Royal Navy who was the government's senior adviser on all naval affairs and responsible for the direction and control of Admiralty as well as general administration of the Naval Service of the United Kingdom, that encompassed the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and other services. It was one of the earliest known permanent government posts. Apart from being the political head of the Royal Navy the post holder simultaneously held the title of the President of the Board of Commissioners for Exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral. The office of First Lord of the Admiralty existed from 1628 until it was abolished when the Admiralty, Air Ministry, Ministry of Defence and War Office were all merged to form the new Ministry of Defence in 1964.
The Secretary of State for Air was a cabinet-level British position. The person holding this position was in charge of the Air Ministry. It was created on 10 January 1919 to manage the Royal Air Force. In 1946, the three posts of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Secretary of State for Air became formally subordinated to that of Minister of Defence, which had itself been created in 1940 for the co-ordination of defence and security issues. On 1 April 1964, the Air Ministry was incorporated into the newly-created united Ministry of Defence, and the position of Secretary of State for Air was abolished.
On 1 April 1964, with the creation of a new united Ministry of Defence headed by the Secretary of State for Defence, the three service ministries as well as the post of Minister of Defence as created in 1940 were abolished.
The Ministry of Defence is the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty's Government and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Defence is a senior official within Her Majesty's Government and head of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Political party||Prime Minister|
| Henry Dundas |
(also President of the Board of Control)
|11 July 1794||17 March 1801||Tory||William Pitt the Younger|
For 1801–1854 see Secretary of State for War and the Colonies .
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Political party||Prime Minister|
|The Duke of Newcastle||12 June 1854||30 January 1855||Peelite|| Earl of Aberdeen |
|The Lord Panmure||8 February 1855||21 February 1858||Whig||Earl of Derby|
|Jonathan Peel||26 February 1858||11 June 1859||Conservative|
|Sidney Herbert||18 June 1859||22 July 1861||Liberal||Viscount Palmerston|
|Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bt||23 July 1861||13 April 1863||Liberal|
|The Earl de Grey and Ripon||28 April 1863||16 February 1866||Liberal|
|Marquess of Hartington||16 February 1866||26 June 1866||Liberal|
|Jonathan Peel||6 July 1866||8 March 1867||Conservative||14th Earl of Derby|
|Sir John Pakington, Bt||8 March 1867||1 December 1868||Conservative|
|Edward Cardwell||9 December 1868||17 February 1874||Liberal||William Ewart Gladstone|
|Gathorne Hardy||21 February 1874||2 April 1878||Conservative||Benjamin Disraeli|
|Frederick Stanley||2 April 1878||21 April 1880||Conservative|
|Hugh Childers||28 April 1880||16 December 1882||Liberal||William Ewart Gladstone|
|Marquess of Hartington||16 December 1882||9 June 1885||Liberal|
|W. H. Smith||24 June 1885||21 January 1886||Conservative||Marquess of Salisbury|
|The Viscount Cranbrook||21 January 1886||6 February 1886||Conservative|
|Henry Campbell-Bannerman||6 February 1886||20 July 1886||Liberal||William Ewart Gladstone|
|W. H. Smith||3 August 1886||14 January 1887||Conservative||Marquess of Salisbury|
|Edward Stanhope||14 January 1887||11 August 1892||Conservative|
|Henry Campbell-Bannerman||18 August 1892||21 June 1895||Liberal||William Ewart Gladstone|
|Earl of Rosebery|
|The Marquess of Lansdowne||4 July 1895||12 November 1900||Liberal Unionist|| Marquess of Salisbury |
|St John Brodrick||12 November 1900||6 October 1903||Irish Unionist|
| Arthur Balfour |
|H. O. Arnold-Forster||6 October 1903||4 December 1905||Liberal Unionist|
| Richard Haldane |
(Viscount Haldane from 1911)
|10 December 1905||12 June 1912||Liberal||Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman|
|H. H. Asquith|
|J. E. B. Seely||12 June 1912||30 March 1914||Liberal|
| H. H. Asquith |
(while Prime Minister)
|30 March 1914||5 August 1914||Liberal|
|The Earl Kitchener||5 August 1914||5 June 1916||none|
| H. H. Asquith |
|David Lloyd George||6 July 1916||5 December 1916||Liberal|
|The Earl of Derby||10 December 1916||18 April 1918||Conservative|| David Lloyd George |
|The Viscount Milner||18 April 1918||10 January 1919||Conservative|
|Winston Churchill||10 January 1919||13 February 1921||Liberal|
|Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bt||13 February 1921||19 October 1922||Conservative|
|The Earl of Derby||24 October 1922||22 January 1924||Conservative||Bonar Law|
|Stephen Walsh||22 January 1924||3 November 1924||Labour||Ramsay MacDonald|
|Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bt||6 November 1924||4 June 1929||Conservative||Stanley Baldwin|
|Thomas Shaw||7 June 1929||24 August 1931||Labour||Ramsay MacDonald|
|The Marquess of Crewe||25 August 1931||5 November 1931||Liberal|| Ramsay MacDonald |
(1st National Min.)
|The Viscount Hailsham||5 November 1931||7 June 1935||Conservative|| Ramsay MacDonald |
(2nd National Min.)
|The Viscount Halifax||7 June 1935||22 November 1935||Conservative|| Stanley Baldwin |
(3rd National Min.)
|Duff Cooper||22 November 1935||28 May 1937||Conservative|
|Leslie Hore-Belisha||28 May 1937||5 January 1940||National Liberal|| Neville Chamberlain |
(4th National Min.;
|Oliver Stanley||5 January 1940||11 May 1940||Conservative|
|Anthony Eden||11 May 1940||22 December 1940||Conservative||P.M.||Min.Defence|
| Winston Churchill |
|David Margesson||22 December 1940||22 February 1942||Conservative|
|Sir P. J. Grigg||22 February 1942||26 July 1945||National|
|Jack Lawson||3 August 1945||4 October 1946||Labour||Attlee||Attlee|
|Frederick Bellenger||4 October 1946||7 October 1947||Labour||A.V. Alexander|
|Emanuel Shinwell||7 October 1947||28 February 1950||Labour|
|John Strachey||28 February 1950||26 October 1951||Labour||Shinwell|
|Antony Head||31 October 1951||18 October 1956||Conservative||Churchill||Churchill|
|John Hare||18 October 1956||6 January 1958||Conservative||Head|
|Christopher Soames||6 January 1958||27 July 1960||Conservative|
|John Profumo||27 July 1960||5 June 1963||Conservative|
|Joseph Godber||27 June 1963||21 October 1963||Conservative|
|James Ramsden||21 October 1963||1 April 1964||Conservative||Douglas-Home|
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, normally referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior, high-ranking official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Foreign Secretary is a member of the Cabinet, and the post is considered one of the Great Offices of State. It is considered a position similar to that of Foreign Minister in other countries. The Foreign Secretary reports directly to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies.
Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister from 1801 to 1804. He is best known for obtaining the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, an unfavourable peace with Napoleonic France which marked the end of the Second Coalition during the French Revolutionary Wars. When that treaty broke down he resumed the war, but he was without allies and conducted relatively weak defensive hostilities, ahead of what would become the War of the Third Coalition. He was forced from office in favour of William Pitt the Younger, who had preceded Addington as Prime Minister. Addington is also known for his reactionary crackdown on advocates of democratic reforms during a ten-year spell as Home Secretary from 1812 to 1822. He is the longest continuously serving holder of that office since it was created in 1782.
William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, was a British Pittite Tory and politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1806 to 1807, though he was a supporter of the British Whig Party for the duration of the Napoleonic Wars.
The title Defense Minister, Minister for Defense, Minister of National Defense, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State for Defense or some similar variation, is assigned to the person in a cabinet position in charge of a Ministry of Defense, which regulates the armed forces in sovereign states. The role of a defence minister varies considerably from country to country; in some the minister is only in charge of general budget matters and procurement of equipment; while in others the minister is also, in addition, an integral part of the operational military chain of command.
Neville Chamberlain formed the Chamberlain war ministry in 1939 after declaring war on Germany. Chamberlain led the country for the first eight months of the Second World War, until the Norway Debate in Parliament led Chamberlain to resign and Winston Churchill to form a new ministry.
The position of Under-Secretary of State for War was a British government position, first applied to Evan Nepean. In 1801 the offices for War and the Colonies were merged and the post became that of Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The position was re-instated in 1854 and remained until 1947, when it was combined with that of Financial Secretary to the War Office. In 1964 the War Office, Admiralty and Air Ministry were merged to form the Ministry of Defence, and the post was abolished.
In the United Kingdom, a secretary of state (SofS) is a Cabinet minister in charge of a government department.
The Conservative government of the United Kingdom that began in 1957 and ended in 1964 consisted of three ministries: the first Macmillan ministry, second Macmillan ministry, and then the Douglas-Home ministry. They were led by Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who were appointed respectively by Queen Elizabeth II.
The post of Minister of Defence was responsible for co-ordination of defence and security from its creation in 1940 until its abolition in 1964. The post was a Cabinet-level post and generally ranked above the three service ministers, some of whom, however, continued to also serve in Cabinet.
The Colonial Office was a government department of the Kingdom of Great Britain and later of the United Kingdom, first created to deal with the colonial affairs of British North America but needed also to oversee the increasing number of colonies of the British Empire. Despite its name, the Colonial Office was never responsible for all Britain's Imperial territories; for example protectorates fell under the purview of the Foreign Office, British India was ruled by the East India Company until 1858, whilst the Dominions were later carved out as the Empire matured.
The Ministry of Defence was a department of the British Government responsible for defence and the British Armed Forces.
The title secretary of state or state secretary is commonly used for senior or mid-level posts in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple secretaries of state in the government.
The Ministry of Defence (MINISDEF) is the department of the Government of Spain responsible for planning, developing and carrying out the general guidelines of the Government about the defence policy and the managing of the military administration. It is the administrative and executive body of the Spanish Armed Forces.
The Navy Department was a former ministerial service department of the Ministry of Defence responsible for the control and direction of Her Majesty's Naval Service. It was established on 1 April 1964 when the Department of Admiralty was absorbed into a unified Ministry of Defence, where it became the Navy Department. Political oversight of the department originally lay with the Minister of State for the Royal Navy (1964-1967) it then passed to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Navy (1967-1981), then later to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (1981-1990) and finally the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (1991-1997).
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