The Full Wiki

More info on Frank Soskice, Baron Stow Hill

Frank Soskice, Baron Stow Hill: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Right Honourable
 The Lord Stow Hill 

In office
18 October 1964 – 23 December 1965
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Henry Brooke
Succeeded by Roy Jenkins

Born 23 July 1902 (1902-07-23)
Died 1 January 1979 (1979-02)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

Frank Soskice, Baron Stow Hill PC (23 July 1902 – 1 January 1979) was a British lawyer and Labour Party politician.


Background and education

Soskice's father was the exiled Russian revolutionary journalist David Soskice; his mother was the granddaughter of artist Ford Madox Brown, niece of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and sister of Ford Madox Ford. Soskice was educated at St Paul's School, London, and Balliol College, Oxford. He studied law and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1926. He served in the British Army with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during World War II.[1]

Political career

Following the war, he was elected to parliament as a Labour Member of Parliament (MP} for Birkenhead East in the 1945 general election, and became Solicitor General in the government of Clement Attlee, serving in that office throughout Attlee's government. He was also, briefly, UK delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. As Solicitor General, Soskice was viewed as an important advocate for the government in the House of Commons. His constituency was abolished in the 1950 election, but he was soon returned to the House of Commons at a by-election in the Sheffield Neepsend, where the sitting MP Harry Morris stood down to make way for Soskice. In April 1951, he became Attorney General.

In 1952, Soskice joined the shadow cabinet, and his fortunes rose in 1955 with the election of his close ally Hugh Gaitskell as party leader, although he continued his legal practice as well. His Sheffield Neepsend constituency was abolished for the 1955 general election, but in 1956 he won a by-election in the Newport seat in Monmouthshire that he would hold until he retired.

When Labour returned to government in 1964 under Harold Wilson, Soskice became Home Secretary. In this office he did not impress Wilson - he was in poor health, and he botched the response to an electoral boundary change dispute in Northamptonshire and accepted weakening amendments to the Race Relations Act of 1965.

In December 1965, Soskice was relieved of his Home Office responsibilities and made Lord Privy Seal. He had, though, ensured Government support for Sidney Silverman's Private Members Bill, passed on 28 October 1965, which suspended the death penalty in the United Kingdom for five years (except for treason). This reform is sometimes erroneously included with the Jenkins reforms which followed. In fact when the death penalty for murder was finally abolished in 1969,[2] James Callaghan was Home Secretary.

In 1966, Soskice retired, and was created a life peer as Baron Stow Hill, of Newport in the County of Monmouth.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Graham White
Member of Parliament for Birkenhead East
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Harry Morris
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Neepsend
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Peter Freeman
Member of Parliament for Newport
Succeeded by
Roy Hughes
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Walter Monckton
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Sir Lynn Ungoed-Thomas
Preceded by
Sir Hartley Shawcross
Attorney General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Sir Lionel Heald
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Brooke
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins
Preceded by
The Earl of Longford
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
The Earl of Longford


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address