The Full Wiki

Roy Mason: 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.


(Redirected to Roy Mason, Baron Mason article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roy Mason, Baron Mason of Barnsley, PC (born 18 April 1924) is an British Labour politician and former Cabinet minister.

He was born in Royston, and grew up in Carlton, Barnsley in South Yorkshire. The small, pipe-smoking, former coal miner first went down the mines at the age of fourteen and remained in the coal industry until he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Barnsley constituency at a by-election in 1953.



He was Labour Party spokesman on Home Affairs, Defence and Post Office, 1960-1964. Minister of State at the Board of Trade, 1964-1967. Minister of Defence (Equipment), 1967-1968. Minister of Power, 1968-1969. President of the Board of Trade, 1969-1970. Secretary of State for Defence, 1974-1976. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, 1976-1979

Northern Ireland

A high-profile politician, his appointment to Northern Ireland was unexpected and seemed to indicate a tougher response from the British Government than that pursued by his predecessor, Merlyn Rees. In the autumn of 1976, he told the Labour party conference that "Ulster had had enough of initiatives, White Papers and legislation for the time being, and now needed to be governed firmly and fairly".

He rejected both military and political solutions in favour of "justice for all; with equality before the law; and, crucially, with republican terrorism treated as a security problem, and nothing else".[1]

While Secretary of State for Defence he had been responsible for the introduction of SAS units into the 'bandit country' of South Armagh. At Stormont Mason was responsible for the tougher role taken by the security forces and authorised an increase in British Army covert tactics with the SAS allowed to operate throughout Northern Ireland.

Mason's time in Northern Ireland was characterised by a reduction in violence; "in 1976 there were 297 deaths in Northern Ireland; in the next three years the figures were 112, 81, 113 and it was an IRA man who acknowledged that 'we were almost beaten by Mason'".[2]

In 1977, he stood up to militant loyalism's attempt to repeat their successful Ulster Workers Council strike tactic of 1974. In the same year he twice attempted to get some movement towards a political settlement from the local political parties but both attempts failed.

After Labour's election defeat in 1979 he came under increasing pressure from leftwingers in his constituency party under the influence of Arthur Scargill but did not countenance joining the Social Democratic Party. To this day, Roy Mason receives full police protection, over 30 years after leaving office.

Life Peer

After his retirement from the House of Commons at the 1987 general election, he was created a life peer on 20 October 1987 as Baron Mason of Barnsley, of Barnsley in South Yorkshire.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sidney Schofield
Member of Parliament for Barnsley
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Barnsley Central
Succeeded by
Eric Illsley
Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Short
Postmaster General
Succeeded by
John Stonehouse
Preceded by
Anthony Crosland
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Michael Noble
Preceded by
Ian Gilmour
Secretary of State for Defence
Succeeded by
Frederick Mulley
Preceded by
Merlyn Rees
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Humphrey Atkins


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