Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Oliver Frederick George Stanley (1896-1950) was a prominent British Conservative politician who held many ministerial posts before his early death when it was assumed he would soon assume higher office.
The younger son of the 17th Earl of Derby, Stanley was educated at Eton and then served in the army in the First World War. He then entered the legal profession, but in the 1924 general election he was elected as Member of Parliament for Westmorland.
He soon came to the attention of the Conservative leaders and held a number of posts in the National Government of the 1930s. As Minister of Transport he was responsible for the introduction of a 30 miles per hour speed limit and driving tests for new drivers. In May 1938 he achieved a rare distinction in British politics when his brother Edward became Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs - a rare example of two brothers sitting in the same Cabinet, more so as their father, a former Conservative minister, was still alive. However five months later Edward died.
In January 1940 Stanley was appointed Secretary of State for War after the previous incumbent, Leslie Hore-Belisha, had been sacked after falling out with the leading officers. Much was expected of Stanley's tenure in this office, as his father had held it during the First World War, but four months later the government fell and Stanley was not initially given a new post in the administration of Winston Churchill.
Two years later Stanley's fortunes revived when Churchill appointed him Secretary of State for the Colonies, a post which he held until the end of the war. After the Conservatives' massive defeat in the 1945 general election Stanley was prominent amongst those rebuilding the party and he came to be regarded as one of the most important Conservative MPs. Also during this period he succeeded his father as Chancellor of the University of Liverpool. By this time, however, his health was in decline and he died in December 1950. Many believe that had he lived longer he would have been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Conservatives formed a government the following year.
|Minister of Transport|
|Minister of Labour|
|President of the Board of Trade|
|President of the Board of Education|
|Secretary of State for War|
|Secretary of State for the Colonies|
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