At the time of my encounter with Gwynne the Royal Lobotomist in Feb 1984, Nicholas Eden, the 2nd Earl of Avon and son of former PM Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, was a junior Minister in Thatch’s Govt, in the Dept of Energy. The Secretary of State for Energy was Peter Walker, Gang member who went back with Gwynne and Dafydd before Profumo. Walker was one of the Gang’s men in the City, an old friend of Edward du Cann, a business colleague of Nigel Lawson’s mate Jim Slater and networked into all of those we know and love.
Walker was a crook and, a la du Cann, managed to not come to grief every time there was a scandal or bankruptcy. I am wondering if Mrs Brady’s letter from Theodore Goddard might have been Peter Walker’s key to the cell door; Walker’s first bit of Fatherly Advice as a Young Tory was to Make Money before standing as an MP. The Fatherly Advice came from the grade A shite Leo Amery, Liberal Unionist MP for Birmingham South, 1911-45. JOHN STRACHEY – Mosley –
Leo Amery was a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers, set up in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Bertrand Russell was a member of that dining club; members spanned the whole political spectrum and the club evolved into other clubs. Lord Gnome knew some of them. I blogged a lot about the Coefficients months ago but much of the text disappeared.
During the First World War, Amery’s knowledge of Hungarian led to his employment as an Intelligence Officer in the Balkans campaign. Later, as a junior Minister in Lloyd George’s National Govt Amery helped draft the Balfour Declaration, 1917.
|First Lord of the Admiralty|
31 October 1922-28 January 1924: The Washington Naval Conference of 1921 to 1922 resulted in the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, which reduced the strength of the Royal Navy and the naval estimates from over £83,000,000 to £58,000,000. Amery defended the financing of the Singapore Naval Base against both Liberal and Labour attacks.
|Preceded by||The Lord Lee of Fareham|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Chelmsford|
|Secretary of State for the Colonies|
6 November 1924 – 4 June 1929Amery expanded the role of the Commercial Adviser into the Economic and Financial Advisership under Sir George Schuster. He also created the post of Chief Medical Adviser, under Sir Thomas Stanton, and a range of advisers on education (Sir Hanns Visscher for Tropical Africa), agriculture (Sir Frank Stockdale), a Veterinary Adviser, and a Fisheries Adviser. He also set up the Empire Marketing Board. A favourite scheme was to develop one or more colonies into white-ruled dominions, with special attention to Southern Rhodesia, Kenya, and Palestine. The strong opposition by the overwhelming non-white populations in Africa, and by the Arabs in Palestine, destroyed Amery’s plans. In India, the strong resistance of the Congress movement defeated his hopes for greater integration into the Commonwealth.
|Prime Minister||Stanley Baldwin|
|Preceded by||J. H. Thomas|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Passfield|
|Secretary of State for India and Burma|
13 May 1940 – 26 July 1945Amery was Secretary of State for India despite the fact that Churchill and Amery had long disagreed on the fate of India. Amery was disappointed not to be made a member of the small War Cabinet, but he was determined to do all he could in the position he was offered. Amery opposed holding an inquiry for the 1943 Bengal famine, fearing that the political consequences could be “disastrous”. In 1944, the Famine Inquiry Commission was held against his advice.
|Prime Minister||Winston Churchill|
|Preceded by||The Lord Zetland|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Pethick-Lawrence|
Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett Amery
|Died||16 September 1955 (aged 81)
Amery was not invited to join the National Govt formed in 1931. He remained in Parliament but joined the boards of several prominent corporations. That was necessary because Amery had no independent means and had depleted his savings during the First World War and when he was a Cabinet minister during the 1920s. Among Amery’s Directorships were the boards of several German metal fabrication companies (representing British capital invested in the companies), the British Southern Railway, the Gloucester Wagon Company, Marks and Spencer, the shipbuilders Cammell Laird and the Trust and Loan of Canada. Amery was also Chairman of the Iraq Currency Board.
In the course of his duties as a Director of German metal fabrication companies, Amery gained a good understanding of German military potential. Adolf Hitler became alarmed at the situation and ordered a halt to non-German Directors. Amery had spent a lot of time in Germany during the 1930s in connection with his work. He was not allowed to send his Director’s fees out of the country so he took his family on holiday in the Bavarian Alps. He had a lengthy meeting with Hitler on at least one occasion, and he met at length with Czech leader Edvard Beneš, Austrian leaders Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt von Schuschnigg and Italian leader Benito Mussolini
In the debates on the need for an increased effort to rearm British forces, Amery tended to focus on army affairs, with Churchill speaking more about air defence and Roger Keyes talking about naval affairs. Austen Chamberlain was, until his death, a member of the group as well. While there was no question that Churchill was the most prominent and effective, Amery’s work was still significant. He was a driving force behind the creation of the Army League, a pressure group designed to keep the needs of the British Army before the public.
In the 1930s Amery, along with Churchill, was a bitter critic of the appeasement of Germany; they often openly attacked their own party. Being a former Colonial and Dominions Secretary, Amery was very aware of the views of the dominions and strongly opposed returning Germany’s colonies, a proposal seriously considered by Neville Chamberlain.
On the rearmament question, Amery was consistent. He advocated a higher level of expenditure, but also a reappraisal of priorities through the creation of a top-level Cabinet position to develop overall defence strategy so that the increased expenditures could be spent wisely. Amerythought that either he or Churchill should be given the post. When the post of Minister for Co-ordination of Defence was finally created and given to a ‘political lightweight’, Sir Thomas Inskip, Amery regarded it as a joke.
When war came Amery opposed cooperation with the Soviet Union against Germany. He was a lifelong anti-communist.
When Chamberlain announced his flight to Munich to the cheers of the House, Amery was one of only four members who remained seated (the others were Churchill, Anthony Eden, and Harold Nicolson).
Amery differed from Churchill in hoping throughout the 1930s to foster an alliance with fascist Italy to counter the rising strength of Nazi Germany. A united front of Britain, France, and Italy would, Amery felt, have prevented a German occupation of Austria, especially with Czechoslovakia’s support. Amery thus was for appeasing Italy by tacitly conceding its claims to Ethiopia. A start was made in the so-called Stresa Front of 1935, but Amery felt that Britain’s decision to impose economic sanctions on Italy, for invading Ethiopia in 1936, drove Italy into the arms of Germany.
Amery distrusted the administration of US President Franklin Roosevelt. He resented American pressure on Canada to oppose imperial free trade, another of his favourite schemes. While the pressure was unsuccessful as long as Canadian Conservative PM Richard Bedford Bennett was in power, after Bennett lost the 1935 election, his Liberal successor, William Lyon Mackenzie King, adopted a more pro-American stance.
Amery is famous for two moments of high drama in the House of Commons, early in the Second World War. On 2 September 1939, Neville Chamberlain spoke in a Commons debate and strongly implied that he was not declaring war on Germany immediately even if it had invaded Poland. Amery was greatly angered, and Chamberlain was felt by many present to be out of touch with the temper of the British people. As Labour Party leader Clement Attlee was absent, thus Arthur Greenwood stood up in his place and announced that he was speaking for Labour. Amery called out to him across the floor, “Speak for England!” That strongly implied that Chamberlain was not doing so.
The second incident occurred during the Norway Debate in 1940. After a string of military and naval disasters had been announced, Amery famously attacked Chamberlain’s Govt in a devastating speech, finishing by quoting Oliver Cromwell:
You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
Lloyd George afterwards told Amery that in 50 years, he had heard few speeches that matched his in sustained power and none with so dramatic a climax. The debate led to 42 Conservative MPs voting against Chamberlain and 36 abstaining, leading to the downfall of the Conservative Govt and the formation of a National Govt under Churchill’s premiership. Amery himself noted in his diary that he believed that his speech was one of his best received in the House and that he had made a difference to the outcome of the debate.
At the 1945 General Election, Amery lost his seat to Labour’s Percy Shurmer. Amery was offered but refused a peerage because it might, when he died, have cut short the political career of his son, Julian, by then in the Commons. However, Leo was made a Companion of Honour.
Throughout his political career, Amery was an exponent of Imperial unity, as he saw the British Empire as a force for justice and progress in the world. He strongly supported the evolution of the dominions into independent nations bound to Britain by ties of kinship, trade, defence and a common pride in the Empire. Amery also supported the gradual evolution of the colonies, particularly India, to the same status, unlike Churchill, a free trader, who was less interested in the Empire as such and more in Britain itself as a great power. Amery felt that Britain itself was too weak to maintain its great power position.
Amery was very active in Imperial affairs during the 1920s and 1930s. He was in charge of colonial affairs and relations with the dominions from 1924 to 1929. In the 1930s, he was a member of the Empire Industries Association and a chief organiser of the huge rally celebrating the empire at the Royal Albert Hall in 1936 marking the centenary of Joseph Chamberlain‘s birth. Amery maintained a very busy speaking schedule, with almost 200 engagements between 1936 and 1938, many of them devoted to imperial topics, especially Imperial Preference.
Amery wanted to keep the UK and the newly independent British Dominions united by trade behind a common tariff barrier and away from the United States. He viewed American intentions regarding the British Empire with increasingly grave suspicion. Amery hoped that the Labour Govt elected in 1945 would resist promises of trade liberalisation made by Churchill to the United States during the Second World War. Amery’s hopes were partially vindicated when the Attlee Govt, under intense American pressure, insisted upon the continuation of Imperial/Commonwealth Preference but conceded its more limited scope and promised against further expansion.
Amery was a noted sportsman, especially famous as a mountaineer. Amery continued to climb well into his 60s, especially in the Swiss Alps but also in Bavaria, Austria, Yugoslavia, Italy and the Canadian Rockies, where Mount Amery is named after him. Amery enjoyed skiing as well. He was a member of the Alpine Club (serving as its President, 1943–1945) and of the Athenaeum and Carlton Clubs.
Alpine Club – Charles Evans -Hailsham also a climber – Athenaeum – Top Docs – Savile – Basil Hume – 1984
Leo was a Senior Knight Vice President of the Knights of the Round Table. Leo Amery was also an enthusiastic Freemason.
On 16 November 1910, Amery married Florence Greenwood (1885–1975), daughter of the Canadian barrister John Hamar Greenwood. They had two sons.
Their elder son, John Amery (1912–1945) became a Nazi sympathizer. During the Second World War John made propaganda broadcasts from Germany and induced a few British prisoners of war to join the German-controlled British Free Corps. After the war, John Amery was tried for treason, pleaded guilty, and was hanged. His father amended his entry in Who’s Who to read “one s[on]”, with the editors’ permission. The playwright Ronald Harwood, who explores the relationship between Leo and John Amery in his play An English Tragedy (2008), considers it significant to John Amery’s story that Leo Amery had apparently concealed his partly-Jewish ancestry.
Leo Amery was Maurice Macmillan’s brother-in-law; he was married to Maurice’s sister Catherine.
Leo Amery is buried in the churchyard of St John the Baptist in his father’s home village of Lustleigh, Devon and an ornate plaque in commemoration of him is inside the church.
Amery’s younger son, Julian Amery (1919–1996), became a Conservative politician; he served in the Cabinets of Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home as Minister for Aviation (1962–1964) THEODORE and also held junior Ministerial office under Grocer Heath.
Harold Julian Amery, Baron Amery of Lustleigh, (27 March 1919-3 September 1996), served as an MP for 39 of the 42 years between 1950 and 1992. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1960. Julian was created a life peer upon his retirement from the House of Commons in 1992. For three decades, Julian was a leading figure in the Conservative Monday Club. He was the son-in-law of Tory Harold Macmillan
Julian Amery was educated at Eaton House, Summer Fields School, Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford. While an undergraduate, Julian had a brief romance with the novelist Barbara Pym, who was six years his senior.
HEATH – WOY – Healey balliol
On 26 January 1950, Julian married Catherine Macmillan (who died on DATE 1991). The couple had one son and three daughters.
Before the Second World War started, Amery was a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War and later an attaché for the British Foreign Office in Belgrade. After the war began, he joined the RAF as a sergeant in 1940 then was commissioned and transferred to the British Army on the General List in 1941. Julian spent 1941–42 in the eastern Mediterranean (the Middle East, Malta, Yugoslavia) and served as Liaison Officer to the Albanian Resistance Movement in 1943–44 (“The Musketeers”: Captain Julian Amery, Major David Smiley and Lieutenant-Colonel Neil McLean). The following year, Amery went to China to work with General Carton de Wiart, then Prime Minister’s Personal Representative to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Amery became a close friend of King Zog of Albania and described him as “the cleverest man I have ever met”.
In 1950, Julian Amery was elected as Tory MP for Preston North, going on to hold a number of Govt offices, all in Govts led by his father-in-law, now the PM. Julian began with two Under-Secretaryships of State: for War (1957–58) and for the Colonies (1958–60). He was promoted to Secretary of State for Air (1960–62), followed by a promotion to the post of Minister of Aviation (1962–64). In this role, Amery played a major role in developing the supersonic passenger service known as Concorde.
PROFUMO – Amery in the thick of it – concorde – benn
Amery lost his Preston North seat in 1966, but was elected again in 1969 for Brighton Pavilion, a seat he would hold until 1992 when he retired.
Under the Heath administration, Amery held three ministerial posts: Minister for Public Works (1970), Minister for Housing and Construction (1970–72) and Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1972–74).
On 8 July 1992, he was created a life peer as Baron Amery of Lustleigh.
For 30 years, Julian Amery was an active member and later a Patron of the Conservative Monday Club, where he became friendly with General Sir Walter Walker, subsequently writing the foreword for Walker’s anti-Soviet book, The Next Domino.
He was Guest of Honour at the Club’s Annual Dinner at the Cutlers’ Hall in 1963. In 1965, he wrote the foreword for Club activist Geoffrey Stewart-Smith‘s book, No Vision Here. On May Day 1970, he was one of the Club’s principal speakers at their ‘Law and Liberty’ rally in Trafalgar Square, held in answer to the ‘Stop the Seventy Tour’ campaign, designed to stop the South African cricket tour.
Julian Amery was the Monday Club’s Guest-of-Honour at their Annual Dinner held at the Savoy Hotel, London, in January 1974 and again at the dinner at the end of the Club’s two-day Conference in Birmingham in March 1975.
Amery was in favour of entry to the European Common Market and also of the nuclear deterrent. Both caused some discord between himself and his old friend Enoch Powell. He was, however, regarded by most as an imperialist.
In early 1975, he took part in a House of Commons debate on the Trades Unions Congress‘s invitation to Alexander Shelepin, the former Soviet KGB Chief, to visit Britain. He stated that “more and more people are beginning to look upon the TUC as a Communist-penetrated show and this invitation must strengthen that view.”
According to Thatch’s 1995 memoir, The Path to Power, when Harold Wilson’s Labour Govt proposed devolution for Scotland in 1976, “Julian Amery and Maurice Macmillan proved effective leaders of the anti-devolution Tory camp.”
Although he was Harold Macmillan’s son-in-law, Julian failed to defend him when Count Nikolai Tolstoy published The Minister and the Massacres in 1986, focusing the ultimate burden of blame sharply on Macmillan for the 1945 Bleiburg repatriations and the Cossack repatriations. Amery stated that the repatriations were “one of the few blots on Harold that I can think of”.
CROESOR SCRAP – Tolstoy and toby low Of Giggles
“The prosperity of our people rests really on the oil in the Persian Gulf, the rubber and tin of Malaya, and the gold, copper and precious metals of South- and Central Africa. As long as we have access to these; as long as we can realize the investments we have there; as long as we trade with this part of the world, we shall be prosperous. If the communists [or anyone else] were to take them over, we would lose the lot. Governments like Colonel Nasser‘s in Egypt are just as dangerous.
On DATE 1984, Nicholas Eden was moved from his role as a junior Minister under Walker to the post of junior Minister in the Dept of the Environment, under Secretary of State Patrick Jenkin.
Nicholas resigned as Jenkin’s Minister on DATE. Nicholas died from AIDS on 17 Aug 1985, virtually to the day that I had the big row with Tony Francis, confronted him over his bare-faced lies, he lied all over again by denying that he’d lied and snapped at me that I could even take the matter up with the Secretary of State (for Wales) if I wanted. Francis obviously knew that I would go to an MP and he knew that my MP at the time was the Tory Keith Best, fully on board with the Gang. By the time that I got to Best, Francis had I have been told already contacted the Welsh Office himself…
I have been told that there are great suspicions that Nicholas was killed by the Top Docs. Nicholas and so many of his circle had been a customer of Gwynne and Dafydd and panic was escalating.
|Publisher||Weidenfeld & Nicolson|
|Pages||204 (including index)
illustrated with B&W photographs
Mamaine Paget – died suddenly from an asthma attack in a London hospital in 1954 – GWYNNE CONNECTIONS