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Christopher Soames, Baron Soames: Wikis

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The Right Honourable
 The Lord Soames 
GCMG GCVO CH CBE PC

In office
6 January 1958 – 27 July 1960
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Preceded by Hon. John Hare
Succeeded by John Profumo

In office
27 July 1960 – 16 October 1964
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Preceded by Hon. John Hare
Succeeded by Fred Peart

In office
1968 – 1972
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Sir Patrick Reilly
Succeeded by Sir Edward Tomkins

Born 12 October 1920 (2010-10-12T19:20)
Died 16 September 1987 (1987-09-17)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Mary Churchill (b. 1922)

Arthur Christopher John Soames, Baron Soames, GCMG, GCVO, CH, CBE, PC (12 October, 1920 – 16 September, 1987) was a British Conservative politician and the son-in-law of Winston Churchill. A European Commissioner and the last Governor of Southern Rhodesia, he had previously been the longtime Member of Parliament for Bedford from 1950 to 1966. He held several government posts and attained Cabinet rank.

Contents

Background

Soames was the son of Captain Arthur Granville Soames, a descendant of a brewing family which became part of the landed gentry, by his wife Hope Mary Woodbine Parish. His parents divorced early on, and his mother remarried the 8th Baron Dynevor (descendant of the 1st and last Earl Talbot) as her second husband, by whom she had issue including Richard Rhys, 9th Baron Dynevor.

Political career

After military service in the Second World War, Soames served as the Assistant Military Attaché in Paris. He was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Bedford from 1950 to 1966 and served under Sir Anthony Eden as Under-Secretary of State for Air from 1955 to 1957 and under Harold Macmillan as Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty from 1957 to 1958. He served in the Cabinet under Macmillan as Secretary of State for War from 1958 to 1960 and under Macmillan and his successor Sir Alec Douglas-Home as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1960 to 1964. In 1958 he was admitted to the Privy Council

Between 1965 and 1966 Soames was Shadow Foreign Secretary under Edward Heath. In 1968 Harold Wilson appointed him Ambassador to France, where he served until 1972. He was then a Vice-President of the European Commission from 1973 to 1976. He was created a life peer in 1978 as Baron Soames, of Fletching in the County of East Sussex, and served as the interim Governor of Southern Rhodesia from 1979 to 1980 between the Lancaster House Agreement and that country gaining independence as Zimbabwe. From 1979 to 1981 he was Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords under Margaret Thatcher concurrent with his duties in Rhodesia.

Family

Lord Soames married Mary Churchill, the youngest child of Winston Churchill and Clementine Hozier, on 11 February, 1947. They had five children, of whom the best known is his eldest son the Hon. Nicholas Soames, the former Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Defence. Lord Soames died from pancreatitis aged 66 and is buried within the Churchill plot at St Martin's Church, Bladon, near Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

References

  • Stevan Pavlowitch, Apologising for the Empire, Oxford University Press, England, 1996

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Skeffington-Lodge
Member of Parliament for Bedford
19501966
Succeeded by
Brian Parkyn
Political offices
Preceded by
Hon. George Ward
Under-Secretary of State for Air
1955–1957
Succeeded by
Ian Orr-Ewing
Preceded by
Hon. George Ward
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty
1957–1958
Succeeded by
Robert Allan
Preceded by
Hon. John Hare
Secretary of State for War
1958–1960
Succeeded by
John Profumo
Preceded by
Hon. John Hare
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
1960–1964
Succeeded by
Fred Peart
Preceded by
Reginald Maudling
Shadow Foreign Secretary
1965–1966
Succeeded by
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Preceded by
Michael Foot
Lord President of the Council
1979–1981
Succeeded by
Francis Pym
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Patrick Reilly
British Ambassador to France
1968–1972
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Tomkins
Government offices
Preceded by
None
Governor of Southern Rhodesia
1979–1980
Succeeded by
Office abolished
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