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Ramsay MacDonald

James Ramsay MacDonald (1866 - 1937) was Britain's first Labour Prime Minister 1924 and 1929 - 1931. Born in 1866, at Lossiemouth in Scotland, he was from very humble beginnings and had no secondary education, but was a rousing speaker. A member of the Independent Labour Party from 1893, he became Member of Parliament for Aberavon in 1906, and leader of the party in 1911. On January 24, 1924, after the failure of the Conservative government under Stanley Baldwin, he unexpectedly became Prime Minister of a minority Labour government, but it lasted only until November of the same year. MacDonald continued as leader of the Labour Party until 1931, taking office as prime minister once again in 1929, but being forced by the international financial crisis to give way in 1931 to a "national" government which consisted mostly of Conservatives and was opposed by most of his party who denounced MacDonald as a "rat" and a traitor to the Labour Party. He died in 1937.

Table of contents

Ramsay MacDonald's First Labour Government, January - November 1924

  • Ramsay MacDonald - Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary
  • Lord Haldane - Lord Chancellor
  • Lord Parmoor - Lord President
  • J.R. Clynes - Lord Privy Seal
  • Philip Snowden - Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Arthur Henderson - Home Secretary
  • J.H. Thomas - Colonial Secretary
  • Stephen Walsh - Secretary for War
  • Sir Sydney Olivier - Secretary for India
  • William Adamson - Secretary for Scotland
  • Christopher Birdwood Thomson - Secretary for Air
  • Lord Chelmsford - First Lord of the Admiralty
  • J.C. Wedgwood - Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  • S.J. Webb - President of the Board of Trade
  • N. Buxton - Minister of Agriculture
  • C.P. Trevelyan - President of the Board of Education
  • V. Hartshorn - Postmaster-General
  • F.W. Jowett - First Commissioner of Works
  • Thomas SHaw - Minister of Labour
  • J. Wheatley - Minister of Health

Ramsay MacDonald's Second Labour Government, June 1929 - August 1931

  • Ramsay MacDonald - Prime Minister
  • Lord Sankey - Lord Chancellor
  • Lord Parmoor - Lord President
  • J.H. Thomas - Lord Privy Seal
  • Philip Snowden - Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • J.R. Clynes - Home Secretary
  • Arthur Henderson - Foreign Secretary
  • Lord Passfield - Colonial and Dominions Secretary
  • Thomas Shaw - Secretary for War
  • W.W. Benn - Secretary for India
  • Lord Thomson - Secretary for Air
  • William Adamson - Secretary for Scotland
  • A.V. Alexander - First Lord of the Admiralty
  • William Graham - President of the Board of Trade
  • Sir C.P. Trevelyan - President of the Board of Education
  • N. Buxton - Minister of Agriculture
  • Margaret Bondfield - Minister of Labour
  • Arthur Greenwood - Minister of Health
  • George Lansbury - First Commissioner of Works

Changes

  • 1930 - J.H. Thomas succeeds Lord Passfield as Dominions Secretary. Passfield remains Colonial Secretary. Vernon Hartshorn succeeds Thomas as Lord Privy Seal. Lord Amulree succeeds Lord Thomson as Secretary for Air. Christopher Addison succeeds N. Buxton as Minister of Agriculture.
  • 1931 - H.B. Lees-Smith succeeds Sir C.P. Trevelyan at the Board of Education. H.S. Morrison enters the cabinet as Minister of Transport.

Ramsay MacDonald's First Coalition Government, August - November 1931

  • Ramsay MacDonald - Prime Minister
  • Lord Sankey - Lord Chancellor
  • Stanley Baldwin - Lord President
  • Philip Snowden - Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Sir Herbert Samuel - Home Secretary
  • Lord Reading - Foreign Secretary
  • Sir Samuel Hoare - Secretary for India
  • J.H. Thomas - Dominions Secretary
  • Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister - President of the Board of Trade
  • Neville Chamberlain - Minister of Health

Ramsay MacDonald's Second Coalition Government, November 1931 - May 1935

  • Ramsay MacDonald - Prime Minister
  • Lord Sankey - Lord Chancelor
  • Stanley Baldwin - Lord President
  • Lord Snowden - Lord Privy Seal
  • Neville Chamberlain - Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Sir Herbert Samuel - Home Secretary
  • Sir John Simon - Foreign Secretary
  • Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister - Colonial Secretary
  • J.H. Thomas - Dominions Secretary
  • Lord Hailsham - Secretary for War
  • Sir Samuel Hoare - Secretary for India
  • Lord Londonderry - Secretary for Air
  • Sir A. Sinclair - Secretary for Scotland
  • Sir B. Eyres-Monsell - First Lord of the Admiralty
  • Walter Runciman - President of the Board of Trade
  • Sir John Gilmour - Minister of Agriculture
  • Sir D. Maclean - President of the Board of Education
  • Sir H. Betterton - Minister of Labour
  • Sir E. Hilton-Young - Minister of Health
  • W. Ormsby-Gore - First Commissioner of Works

Changes

  • 1932 - Stanley Baldwin succeeds Lord Snowden as Lord Privy Seal. Sir John Gilmour succeeds Sir Herbert Samuel as Home Secretary. Sir G. Collins succeeds Sir A. Sinclair as Scottish Secretary. W. Elliott succeeds Sir John Gilmour as Minister of Agriculture. Lord Irwin succeeds Sir D. Maclean as President of the Board of Education.
  • 1933 - Stanley Baldwin ceases to be Lord Privy Seal, and his successor in that office is not in the cabinet. He continues as Lord President. Kingsley Wood enters the cabinet as Postmaster-General
  • 1934 - Oliver STanley succeeds Sir H. Betterton as Minister of Labour.



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