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Julian Amery

Member of Parliament
for Preston North
In office
1950 – 1966
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Ronald Atkins

Member of Parliament
for Brighton Pavilion
In office
1969 – 1992
Preceded by Sir William Teeling
Succeeded by Derek Spencer

Born 27 March 1919(1919-03-27)
Died 3 September 1996 (aged 77)
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II

Harold Julian Amery, Baron Amery of Lustleigh, PC (27 March 1919 – 3 September 1996) was a British politician of the Conservative Party, who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 39 of the 42 years between 1950 and 1992. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1960. He was created a life peer upon his retirement from the House of Commons in 1992. For three decades, he was a leading figure in the Conservative Monday Club.


Family and education

Amery's father was Leo Amery, the British statesman and Conservative politician.

Julian's brother, John, was a dedicated Fascist, and was hanged for treason by the British government at the end of World War II for having gone to Germany, joined the Nazis, and organized the British Free Corps to fight alongside the Germans against the Soviet Union.

Julian Amery was educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford. On 26 January 1950, he married Catherine Macmillan, a daughter of Harold Macmillan, though politically Amery was at odds with the elder Macmillan. Julian and Catherine had one son and three daughters. Amery's wife died in 1991.

Military service

Before World War II 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, reaching the rank of Captain. He spent 1941-1942 in the eastern Mediterranean (the Middle East, Malta, Yugoslavia), and served as Liaison Officer to the Albanian Resistance Movement in 1943-44 (The Muskeeters : 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.

Political career

Amery won a Parliamentary seat in the first general election held after he returned to civilian life, in 1950. He was elected as the Conservative MP for Preston North.

While sitting for Preston North, Amery held a number of government offices, all in governments led by his father-in-law, now the Prime Minister. He began with two Under-Secretaryships of State: for War (1957-1958) and for the Colonies (1958-1960). He was then promoted to Secretary of State for Air (1960-1962), followed by a promotion to the post of Minister of Aviation (1962-1964).

Amery lost his seat in 1966, but was elected again in 1969 for Brighton Pavilion, a seat he would hold until 1992, when he retired and was created a life peer as Baron Amery of Lustleigh, of Preston in the County of Lancashire and of Brighton in the County of East Sussex.

Under the Heath ministry, Amery held three sub-Cabinet posts: Minister for Public Works (1970), Minister for Housing and Construction (1970-1972), and Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1972-1974).

Monday Club

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 had been 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.

Political views

He was, for a time, in favour of entry to the European Common Market, and also of the nuclear deterrent, both causes of some discord between himself and his old friend Enoch Powell. He was, however, regarded by most as an Imperialist, and his father Leo noted at the time of the Suez crisis that "only Julian and Enoch Powell felt sufficiently strongly about the issue to go to the point of risking the government's existence".

In 1963, Amery took charge of Quintin Hogg's (Lord Hailsham) campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party. [cf.Heffer, 189; 324].

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 Margaret Thatcher (in her 1995 memoirs The Path to Power), when Harold Wilson's Labour government proposed devolution for Scotland in 1976, "Julian Amery and Maurice Macmillan proved effective leaders of the anti-devolution Tory camp."

Although he was Macmillan's son-in-law, he 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 repatriation of anti-communists and old Russian émigrés to Stalin and certain death. Amery stated that the repatriations were "one of the few blots on Harold that I can think of".


"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."[1]


  • Before Amery married, he had dated novelist Barbara Pym.
  • Amery became a close friend of King Zog I of Albania and described him as "the cleverest man I have ever met".
  • He is buried in the churchyard in the Devonshire village of Lustleigh


  1. ^ The 1001 Club
  • Monday Club publications list.
  • Copping, Robert, The Story of The Monday Club - The First Decade, April 1972 (P/B); and The Monday Club - Crisis and After (Foreword by John Biggs-Davison, M.P.), May 1975, (P/B), pps:12 & 24, published by the Current Affairs Information Service.
  • Amery, Julian, M.P., et al., Rhodesia and the Threat to the West Monday Club, London, 1976 (P/B).
  • Gash, Norman, with Donald Southgate, David Dilks, and John Ramsden; introduction by Lord Butler, K.G.,P.C., The Conservatives - A History of their Origins to 1965 London, 1977, pps:268-9. ISBN 0-04-942157-3
  • Amery, Julian, PC, MP, The Next Four Years, in the Primrose League Gazette, vol.87, no.4, October 1983, London.
  • Amery, Julian, MP, The Rt. Hon., Facing up to Soviet Imperialism, in the Monday Club's October 1985 Conservative Party Conference issue of their newspaper, Right Ahead.
  • Horne, Alistair, Macmillan, 1894-1956, (volume 1 of the official biography), London, 1988/9, ISBN 0-333-27691-4 , pps: 81, 253, 275, 326, 388, 441.
  • Messina, Anthony M, Race and Party Competition in Britain, Oxford, 1989, p. 138, ISBN 0-19-827534-X
  • Dod's Parliamentary Companion 1991, 172 edition, East Sussex, p. 394, ISBN 0-905702-17-4
  • Clark, Alan, The Tories - Conservatives and The Nation State, London, 1998, pps: 324-5, ISBN 0-297-81849-X
  • Heffer, Simon, Like The Roman - The Life of Enoch Powell, London, 1998, ISBN 0-297-84286-2
  • Weale, Adrian, Patriot Traitors - Roger Casement & John Amery, London, 2001, ISBN 0-670-88498-7
  • Faber, David, Speaking for England, London, 2005, ISBN 0-7432-5688-3
  • Stephen Dorril MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service - The Free Press - New York - 2000 (ISBN 0-7432-0379-8).
  • Colonel David Smiley Albanian Assignment Chatto & Windus, London, 1984. Foreword by Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor. SOE in Albania (1943-44).
  • Colonel David Smiley Arabian Assignment Cooper, London, 1975. MI6 - Oman and Yemen.
  • Colonel David Smiley Irregular regular Michael Russell, Norwich, 1994 (ISBN 0 85955 202 0). Translated in french, Au coeur de l'action clandestine. Des Commandos au MI6, L'Esprit du Livre Editions, 2008. The Memoirs of a SOE officer (Albania, Asia) and MI6 agent (Poland, Malta, Oman, Yémen), brother in arms of Julian Amery.
  • ALBANIA IN WW II by Julian Amery, from Oxford Companion to the Second World War (1995), pp. 24–26
  • The London Gazette

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Preston North
Succeeded by
Ronald Atkins
Preceded by
Sir William Teeling
Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion
1969 – 1992
Succeeded by
Sir Derek Spencer
Political offices
Preceded by
John Profumo
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
1958 – 1960
Succeeded by
Hugh Fraser
Preceded by
George Reginald Ward
Secretary of State for Air
1960 – 1962
Succeeded by
Hugh Fraser
Preceded by
Peter Thorneycroft
Minister of Aviation
1962 – 1964
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins


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