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Robert (Robin) Hugh Turton, Baron Tranmire KBE, MC, PC, JP, DL (8 August 1903 – 17 January 1994) was a British Conservative Party politician.

The son of Major R. B. Turton, Kildale Hall, Kildale, Yorkshire, he was educated at Eton College and at Balliol College, Oxford.

He was called to the Bar, Inner Temple in 1926. He joined the 4th Battalion of the Green Howards at the outbreak of World War II and served as served as Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General 50th (N) Division, AAG GHQ MEF. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1942.

At the 1929 general election, he was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Thirsk and Malton, holding the seat until his retirement at the February 1974 general election. This was a very long time in the House of Commons, and near the end he was Father of the House. He attributed his election as an MP at the unusually young age of 25 to the death of his predecessor only three weeks before polling day and the local Conservative association not wanting to waste its "Vote For Turton" posters.[1]

He held ministerial office as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Insurance from 1951 to 1953 and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance from 1953 to 1954, as Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from October 1954 to December 1955 and finally entered the Cabinet as Minister of Health from December 1955 to January 1957. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1955. In Parliament he was Chairman of the Select Committee on Procedure from 1970-74. He was opposed to British membership of the EEC.[2]

He was appointed a KBE in 1971 and in 1974, he was created a Life Peer as Baron Tranmire, of Upsall in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

He was appointed as Justice of the Peace in 1936 and a Deputy Lieutenant for the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1962.


  1. ^ Guinness Book of Records
  2. ^ David Butler and Uwe Kitzinger, The 1975 Referendum (London: Macmillan, 1976), p. 11, p. 100.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Edmund Turton, Bt.
Member of Parliament for Thirsk & Malton
1929Feb. 1974
Succeeded by
John Spence
Preceded by
Rab Butler
Father of the House
1965 – 1974
Succeeded by
George Strauss
Political offices
Preceded by
Iain Macleod
Minister of Health
1955 – 1957
Succeeded by
Dennis Vosper


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