Herbert Morrison

The Lord Morrison of Lambeth

Herbert Morrison 1947.jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
26 July 1945 – 26 October 1951
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byClement Attlee
Succeeded byAnthony Eden
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
25 May 1945 – 2 February 1956
LeaderClement Attlee
Preceded byArthur Greenwood
Succeeded byJim Griffiths
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
9 March 1951 – 26 October 1951
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byErnest Bevin
Succeeded byAnthony Eden
Lord President of the Council
In office
26 July 1945 – 9 March 1951
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byLord Woolton
Succeeded byThe Viscount Addison
Leader of the House of Commons
In office
26 July 1945 – 16 March 1951
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byAnthony Eden
Succeeded byJames Chuter Ede
Home Secretary
In office
4 October 1940 – 23 May 1945
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded bySir John Anderson
Succeeded byDonald Somervell
Minister of Supply
In office
12 May 1940 – 4 October 1940
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byLeslie Burgin
Succeeded byAndrew Rae Duncan
Leader of the London County Council
In office
9 March 1934 – 27 May 1940
Preceded byWilliam Ray
Succeeded byCharles Latham
Minister of Transport
In office
7 June 1929 – 24 August 1931
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byWilfrid Ashley
Succeeded byJohn Pybus
Chairman of the Labour Party
In office
5 October 1928 – 4 October 1929
LeaderRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byGeorge Lansbury
Succeeded bySusan Lawrence
Member of Parliament
for Lewisham South
Lewisham East (1945–1950)
In office
5 July 1945 – 8 October 1959
Preceded bySir Assheton Pownall
Succeeded byCarol Johnson
Member of Parliament
for Hackney South
In office
14 November 1935 – 5 July 1945
Preceded byMarjorie Graves
Succeeded byHerbert William Butler
In office
30 May 1929 – 27 October 1931
Preceded byGeorge Garro-Jones
Succeeded byMarjorie Graves
In office
6 December 1923 – 29 October 1924
Preceded byClifford Erskine-Bolst
Succeeded byGeorge Garro-Jones
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
2 November 1959 – 6 March 1965
Life Peerage
Personal details
Herbert Stanley Morrison

(1888-01-03)3 January 1888
37, Mordaunt Street, Stockwell, London, England
Died(1965-03-06)6 March 1965 (aged 77)
Peckham, South London, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Margaret Kent (1919–1953)Edith Meadowcroft (1955-1965)
ChildrenMary Morrison (1921-2006)

Herbert Stanley Morrison, Baron Morrison of Lambeth, CH, PC (3 January 1888 – 6 March 1965) was a British Labour politician who held a variety of senior positions in the Cabinet.

During the inter-war period, he was Minister of Transport during the 1929-31 Labour Government, then, after losing his seat in Parliament in 1931, became Leader of the London County Council in the 1930s. Returning to the Commons in 1935, he was defeated by Clement Attlee in the Labour leadership election that year, but later acted as Home Secretary in the wartime coalition.

Morrison organised Labour's victorious 1945 election campaign, and was appointed Leader of the House of Commons and Deputy Prime Minister in Attlee's governments of 1945–51. Attlee, Morrison, Ernest Bevin, Stafford Cripps and (initially) Hugh Dalton formed the "Big Five" who dominated those governments. Morrison oversaw Labour's nationalisation programme, although he opposed Aneurin Bevan's proposals for a nationalised hospital service as part of the setting up of the National Health Service. Morrison developed his social views from his work in local politics and always emphasised the importance of public works to deal with unemployment. In the final year of Attlee's premiership, Morrison had an unhappy term as Foreign Secretary. He was hailed as "Lord Festival" for his successful leadership of the Festival of Britain, a critical and popular success in 1951 that attracted millions of visitors to fun-filled educational exhibits and events in London and across the country.

Morrison was widely expected to succeed Attlee as Labour leader, but Attlee, who disliked him, postponed stepping down until 1955. Morrison, who was by then considered too old, came a poor third in the ensuing Labour leadership election.[1]

Early life

Morrison was born in Stockwell Lambeth, London, to Priscilla (née Lyon; died 1907) and Henry Morrison (died 1917), one of six children who survived infancy. Henry Morrison was a police constable, whose Conservative political opinions his son would later come to disagree with strongly.[citation needed]

As a baby, he permanently lost the sight in his right eye due to infection. He attended Stockwell Road Primary School and, from the age of 11, St Andrew's Church of England School. He left school at 14 to become an errand boy. His early politics were radical, and he briefly flirted with the Social Democratic Federation over the Independent Labour Party (ILP). As a conscientious objector, he worked in a market garden in Letchworth in World War One.[2]