Secretary of State for Air

Secretary of State for Air
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Royal Arms as used by His Majesty's Government
The Air Ministry, 1939-1945. CH10270.jpg
Longest serving
The Viscount Thurso

11 May 1940 – 23 May 1945
Air Ministry
Status Abolished
Formerly, Secretary of state
Member of British Cabinet
Privy Council
Seat Westminster, London
Appointer The British Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term length No fixed term
Precursor President of the Air Council
Formation 10 January 1919
First holder Winston Churchill
Final holder Hugh Fraser
Abolished 1 April 1964
Succession Secretary of State for Defence
Air Council in session at the Air Ministry in July 1940.

The Secretary of State for Air was a secretary of state position in the British government, which existed from 1919 to 1964. The person holding this position was in charge of the Air Ministry. The Secretary of State for Air was supported by the Under-Secretary of State for Air.

History

The position was created on 10 January 1919 to manage the Royal Air Force. In 1946, the three posts of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Secretary of State for Air became formally subordinated to that of Minister of Defence, which had itself been created in 1940 for the co-ordination of defence and security issues. On 1 April 1964, the Air Ministry was incorporated into the newly-created united Ministry of Defence, and the position of Secretary of State for Air was abolished.

Principal political leaders of the English/British Armed Forces:
The Royal Navy The Army The RAF Co-ordination
1628 First Lord of the Admiralty (1628–1964)
1794 Secretary of State for War (1794–1801)
1801 Secretary of State for War and the Colonies (1801–1854)
1854 Secretary of State for War (1854–1964)
1919 Secretary of State for Air (1919–1964)
1936 Minister for Co-ordination of Defence (1936–1940)
1940 Minister of Defence (1940–1964)
1964 Secretary of State for Defence (1964–present)

Chairmen of the Joint War Air Committee, 1916

Portrait Name Term of office Political party
17th Earl of Derby.jpg The Right Honourable
Edward Stanley
17th Earl of Derby

KG CB GCVO TD PC
February
1916
February
1916[a]
Conservative

Presidents of the Air Board, 1916–1917

Portrait Name Term of office Time in office Political party
George Curzon2.jpg The Right Honourable
George Curzon
1st Earl Curzon of Kedleston

KG GCSI GCIE PC
15 May
1916
3 January
1917
7 months and 19 days Conservative
CowdrayViscount.jpg The Right Honourable
Weetman Pearson
1st Viscount Cowdray

PC
3 January
1917
26 November
1917
10 months and 23 days Liberal

Presidents of the Air Council, 1917–1919

Portrait Name Term of office Time in office Political party
Lord Rothermere.jpg The Right Honourable
Harold Harmsworth
1st Baron Rothermere

PC
26 November
1917
26 April
1918
5 months
Lord Weir LCCN2014707575 (cropped).jpg The Right Honourable
William Weir
1st Baron Weir

PC
26 April
1918
10 January
1919
8 months and 15 days
Jack Seely.jpg The Right Honourable
J. E. B. Seely
CB CMG DSO TD DL
MP for Ilkeston
January
1919
November
1919[a]
9 or 10 months

Secretaries of State for Air, 1919–1964

Portrait Name Term of office Time in office Political party
Churchill 1904 Q 42037.jpg The Right Honourable
Winston Churchill[b]
MP for Dundee
10 January
1919
1 April
1921
2 years, 2 months and 22 days Liberal
Frederick Edward Guest old photo-crop.jpg The Right Honourable
Frederick Edward Guest
DSO
MP for East Dorset
1 April
1921
19 October
1922
1 year, 6 months and 18 days Liberal
Sir Samuel Hoare GGBain.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Samuel Hoare
Bt CMG JP
MP for Chelsea
31 October
1922
22 January
1924
1 year, 2 months and 22 days Conservative
LordBirdwood.jpg The Right Honourable
Christopher Thomson
1st Baron Thomson

PC
22 January
1924
3 November
1924
9 months and 12 days Labour
Sir Samuel Hoare GGBain.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Samuel Hoare
Bt CMG JP
MP for Chelsea
6 November
1924
4 June
1929
4 years, 6 months and 29 days Conservative
LordBirdwood.jpg The Right Honourable
Christopher Thomson
1st Baron Thomson

PC
7 June
1929
5 October
1930
1 year, 3 months and 28 days Labour
The Right Honourable
William Mackenzie
1st Baron Amulree

GBE PC KC
14 October
1930
5 November
1931
1 year and 22 days Labour
Charles (Charlie) Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry.jpg The Most Honourable
Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart
7th Marquess of Londonderry

KG MVO PC
5 November
1931
7 June
1935
3 years, 7 months and 2 days Conservative
Lord Swinton.jpg The Right Honourable
Philip Cunliffe-Lister
1st Viscount Swinton

GBE MC PC
7 June
1935
16 May
1938
2 years, 11 months and 9 days Conservative
Kingsley Wood cropped.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Kingsley Wood
MP for Woolwich West
16 May
1938
3 April
1940
1 year, 10 months and 18 days Conservative
Sir Samuel Hoare GGBain.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Samuel Hoare
Bt GCSI GBE CMG JP
MP for Chelsea
3 April
1940
11 May
1940
1 month and 8 days Conservative
The Air Ministry, 1939-1945. CH10270.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Archibald Sinclair
Bt KT CMG
MP for Caithness and Sutherland
11 May
1940
23 May
1945
5 years and 12 days Liberal
Harold Macmillan in 1942.jpg The Right Honourable
Harold Macmillan
MP for Stockton-on-Tees
25 May
1945
26 July
1945
2 months and 1 day Conservative
William Wedgewood-Benn.jpg The Right Honourable
William Wedgwood Benn
1st Viscount Stansgate

DSO DFC PC
3 August
1945
4 October
1946
1 year, 2 months and 1 day Labour
Philip Noel-Baker 1942.jpg The Right Honourable
Philip Noel-Baker
MP for Derby
4 October
1946
7 October
1947
1 year and 3 days Labour
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Arthur Henderson
MP for Kingswinford before 1950
MP for Rowley Regis and Tipton after 1950
7 October
1947
26 October
1951
4 years and 19 days Labour
Lord De L'Isle.jpg The Right Honourable
William Sidney
6th Baron De L'Isle and Dudley

VC PC
31 October
1951
20 December
1955
4 years, 1 month and 20 days Conservative
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Nigel Birch
OBE
MP for West Flintshire
20 December
1955
16 January
1957
1 year and 27 days Conservative
No image.svg The Right Honourable
George Ward
MP for Worcester
16 January
1957
28 October
1960
3 years, 9 months and 12 days Conservative
Julian Amery 1965-11-10 (cropped).jpg The Right Honourable
Julian Amery
MP for Preston North
28 October
1960
16 July
1962
1 year, 8 months and 18 days Conservative
The Right Honourable
Hugh Fraser
MBE
MP for Stafford and Stone
16 July
1962
1 April
1964
1 year, 8 months and 16 days Conservative

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