Wartime Government Fact File

The following is a list of ministers and other officials who constituted the government of the U.K. following the creation of the Lord President's Committee under Churchill's War Cabinet in May 1940:

Where relevant, links have been provided to the collections of each office that are available to view in War, State and Society:

  • Cabinet memoranda: documents submitted to the Lord President's Committee.
  • Ministerial collections: other file series created by the department.
  • Advertisements: public information campaigns commissioned by the department.

A list of abbreviated political parties is provided at the end of this page.

Heads of the Cabinet
Office Holder Date Appointed Links
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (Con) 28 May 1937 Cabinet memoranda
Winston Churchill (Con); 10 May 1940
Minister of Defence and First Lord of the Treasury Winston Churchill (Con) 10 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Lord Chancellor Viscount Simon (Lib Nat) 12 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Lord President of the Council Neville Chamberlain (Con) 11 May 1940

Cabinet memoranda

 

Sir John Anderson (Con) 3 October 1940
Clement Attlee (Lab) 24 September 1943
Lord Privy Seal
Clement Attlee (Lab) 11 May 1940  Cabinet memoranda
Sir Stafford Cripps (Lab) 19 February 1942
Viscount Cranborne (Con) 22 November 1942
The Lord Beaverbrook (Con) 24 September 1943

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Treasury and Exchequer
Office Holder Date Appointed Links
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Kingsley Wood (Con) 12 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Sir John Anderson (Nat) 24 September 1943
Lords of the Treasury Stephen Furness (Lib Nat) 12 May 1940 – 18 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
James Stuart (Con) 12 May 1940 – 14 January 1941
Patrick Munro (Con) 12 May 1940 – 13 March 1942
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn (Con) 12 May 1940 – 26 June 1940
William Whytehead Boulton (Con) 12 May 1940 – 13 March 1942
Wilfred Paling (Lab) 18 May 1940 – 8 February 1941
James Thomas (Con) 26 June 1940 – 25 September 1943
Thomas Dugdale (Con) 8 February 1941 – 23 February 1942
William Murdoch Adamson (Lab) 1 March 1941 – 2 October 1944
Arthur Young (Con) 23 February 1942 – 3 July 1944
John McEwen (Con) 13 March 1942 – 6 December 1944
Leslie Pym (Con) 13 March 1942 – 23 May 1945
Alec Beechman (Lib Nat) 25 September 1943 – 23 May 1945
Cedric Drewe (Con) 3 July 1944 – 23 May 1945
William John (Lab) 2 October 1944 – 23 May 1945
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn (Con) 6 December 1944 – 23 May 1945
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury David Margesson (Con) 17 May 1940 – 22 December 1940  
Sir Charles Edwards (Lab) 17 May 1940 – 12 March 1942
James Stuart (Con) 14 January 1941 – 23 May 1945
William Whiteley (Lab) 12 March 1942 – 23 May 1945
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Harry Crookshank (Con) 15 May 1940  
Ralph Assheton (Con) 7 February 1943
Osbert Peake (Con) 29 October 1944

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Ministers for Domestic Affairs
Office Holder Date Appointed Links
Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Home Security
Sir John Anderson (Nat) 12 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections; Advertisements
Herbert Morrison (Lab) 2 October 1940
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Osbert Peake (Con) 15 May 1940  
The Earl of Munster (Con) 31 October 1940
Parliamentary Secretary for the Home Department William Mabane (Lib Nat) 15 May 1940 – 3 June 1942  
Ellen Wilkinson (Lab) 8 October 1940 – 23 May 1945
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Robert Hudson (Con) 18 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections; Advertisements
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries The Lord Moyne (Con) 15 May 1940 – 8 February 1941  
Tom Williams (Lab) 15 May 1940 – 23 May 1945
The Duke of Norfolk (Con) 8 February 1941 – 23 May 1945
Minister of Aircraft Production The Lord Beaverbrook (Con) 14 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
John Moore-Brabazon (Con) 1 May 1941
John Llewellin (Con) 22 February 1942
Sir Stafford Cripps (Lab) 22 November 1942
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aircraft Production John Llewellin (Con) 15 May 1940  
Frederick Montague (Lab) 1 May 1941
Ben Smith (Lab) 4 March 1942
Alan Lennox-Boyd 11 November 1943
Minister of Civil Aviation The Viscount Swinton (Con) 8 October 1944 Cabinet memoranda
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Civil Aviation Robert Perkins (Con) 22 March 1945  
President of the Board of Education (Renamed Minister of Education 3 August 1945) Herwald Ramsbotham (Con) 14 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections
R.A. Butler (Con) 20 July 1941
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education James Chuter Ede (Lab) 15 May 1940  
Minister of Food
The Lord Woolton (Con) 13 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections; Advertisements
John Llewellin (Con) 11 November 1943
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Food Robert Boothby (Con) 15 May 1940  
Gwilym Lloyd-George (Lib) 22 October 1940
William Mabane (Lib Nat) 3 June 1942
Minister of Fuel and Power Gwilym Lloyd-George (Lib) 3 June 1942 Cabinet memoranda

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fuel and Power Geoffrey Lloyd (Con) 3 June 1942 – 23 May 1945  
Tom Smith (Lab)  3 June 1942 – 23 May 1945
Minister of Health
Malcolm MacDonald (Nat Lib) 13 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections; Advertisements
Ernest Brown (Lib Nat) 8 February 1941
Henry Willink (Con) 11 November 1943
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health Florence Horsburgh (Con) 15 May 1940  
Minister of Information Duff Cooper (Con) 12 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections; Advertisements
Brendan Bracken (Con) 20 July 1941
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Information Harold Nicholson (Nat Lib) 17 May 1940  
Ernest Thurtle (Lab) 20 July 1941
Minister of Labour and National Service Ernest Bevin (Lab) 13 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections; Advertisements
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour Ralph Assheton (Con) 15 May 1940 – 4 February 1942  
George Tomlinson (Lab)  8 February 1941 – 23 May 1945
Malcolm McCorquodale (Con) 4 February 1942 – 23 May 1945
Minister for Pensions Sir Walter Womersley (Con) 15 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Pensions Ellen Wilkinson (Lab) 17 May 1940  
The Lord Tryon (Con) 8 October 1940
Wilfried Paling (Lab) 8 February 1941
Minister of Reconstruction
The Lord Woolton (Con) 11 November 1943
Secretary of State for Scotland Ernest Brown (Lib Nat) 14 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Tom Johnston (Lab) 8 February 1941
Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Joseph Westwood (Lab) 17 May 1940 – 23 May 1945
Henry Wedderburn (Con) 8 February 1941 – 4 March 1942
Allan Chapman (Con) 4 March 1942 – 23 May 1945
Minister of Shipping (renamed Minister of War Transport on 1 May 1941) Ronald Cross (Con) 14 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Shipping Sir Arthur Salter (Ind) 15 May 1940  
Minister of Social Insurance (renamed Minister of National Insurance 17 Nov. 1944) Sir William Jowitt (Lab) 8 October 1944 Cabinet memoranda
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Insurance Charles Peat (Con) 22 March 1945  
Minister of Supply Herbert Morrison (Lab) 12 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan (Con) 3 October 1940
The Lord Beaverbrook (Con) 29 June 1941
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan (Con) 4 February 1942
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Supply Harold Macmillan (Con) 15 May 1940 – 4 February 1942  
Wyndham Raymond Portal (Con) 4 September 1940 – 22 February 1942
Ralph Assheton (Con) 4 February 1942 – 7 February 1943
Charles Peat (Con) 4 March 1942 – 22 March 1945
Duncan Sandys (Con) 7 February 1943 – 21 November 1944
John Wilmot (Lab) 21 November 1944 – 23 May 1945
James de Rothschild (Lib) 22 March 1945 – 23 May 1945
Minister of Town and Country Planning William Morrison (Con) 30 December 1942 Cabinet memoranda
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Town and Country Planning Henry Strauss (Con) 30 December 1942  
Arthur Jenkins (Lab) 22 March 1945
President of the Board of Trade Sir Andrew Rae Duncan (Con) 12 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Oliver Lyttleton (Con) 3 October 1940
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan (Con) 29 June 1941
John Llewellin (Con) 4 February 1942
Hugh Dalton (Lab) 22 February 1942
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade Gwilym Lloyd-George (Lib) 15 May 1940  
Charles Waterhouse (Con) 8 February 1941
Secretary of State for Mines David Grenfell (Lab) 15 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Secretary for Petroleum (later combined into Ministry of Fuel and Power) Geoffrey Lloyd (Con) 15 May 1940 – 3 June 1942 Cabinet memoranda
Minister of Transport (became Minister of War Transport 1 May 1941) Sir John Reith (Nat) 14 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
John Moore-Brabazon (Con) 3 October 1940
The Lord Leathers (Con) 1 May 1941
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of War Transport Frederick Montague (Lab) 18 May 1940 – 1 May 1941  
John Llewllin (Con) 1 May 1941 – 4 February 1942
Sir Arthur Salter (Ind) 29 June 1941 – 4 February 1942
Minister of War Production (became Minister of Production 12 March 1942) The Lord Beaverbrook (Con) 4 February 1942 – 18 February 1942 Cabinet memoranda
Oliver Lyttelton (Con) 12 March 1942
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Production George Garro-Jones (Lab) 10 September 1942  
Minister of Works and Buildings (renamed Minister of Works and Planning 11 Feb. 1942, and Minister of Works Feb. 1943) The Lord Tryon (Con) 18 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections; Advertisements
Sir John Reith (Nat) 3 October 1940
The Lord Portal (Con) 22 February 1942
Duncan Sandys (Con) 21 November 1944
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Works George Hicks (Lab) 19 November 1940 – 23 May 1945  
Henry Strauss (Con) 4 March 1942 – 30 December 1942
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Ministers for Foreign Affairs
Office Holder Date Appointed Links
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Viscount Halifax (Con) 11 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Ministerial collections
Anthony Eden (Con) 22 December 1940
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs R.A. Butler (Con) 15 May 1940  
Richard Law (Con) 20 July 1941
George Henry Hall (Lab) 25 September 1943
Secretary of State for the Colonies The Lord Lloyd (Con) 12 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
The Lord Moyne (Con) 8 February 1941
Viscount Cranborne (Con) 22 February 1942
Oliver Stanley (Con) 22 November 1942
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies George Hall (Lab) 15 May 1940
Harold Macmillan (Con) 4 February 1942
The Duke of Devonshire (Con) 1 January 1943
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs The Viscount Caldecote (Con) 14 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Viscount Cranborne (Con) 3 October 1940
Clement Attlee (Lab) 19 February 1942
Viscount Cranborne (Con) 24 September 1943
Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Geoffrey Shakespeare (Lib Nat) 15 May 1940  
Paul Emrys-Evans (Con) 4 March 1942
Secretary of State for India and Burma Leo Amery (Con) 13 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Parliamentary Secretary for India and Burma The Duke of Devonshire (Con) 17 May 1940  
The Earl of Munster (Con) 1 January 1943
The Earl of Listowel (Lab) 31 October 1944
Secretary for Overseas Trade Harcourt Johnstone (Lib) 15 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
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Ministers for Military Affairs
Office Holder Date Appointed Links
Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden (Con) 11 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda; Advertisements
David Margesson (Con) 22 December 1940
Sir P.J. Grigg (Nat) 22 February 1942
Under-Secretary of State for War Sir Henry Page Croft (Con) 17 May 1940 – 23 May 1945  
Sir Edward Grigg (Con)  17 May 1940 – 4 March 1942 
Arthur Henderson (Lab) 4 March 1942 – 7 February 1943
Financial Secretary to the War Office Richard Law (Con) 17 May 1940  
Duncan Sandys (Con) 20 July 1941
Arthur Henderson (Lab) 7 February 1943
First Lord of the Admiralty A.V. Alexander (Lab) 11 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Sir Austin Hudson, Bt (Con) 15 May 1940
Richard Pilkington (Con) 4 March 1942
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty Sir Victor Warrender, Bt (Con) 17 May 1940  
Financial Secretary to the Admiralty George Hall (Lab) 4 February 1942  
James Thomas (Con) 25 September 1943
Secretary of State for Air Sir Archibald Sinclair, Bt (Lib) 11 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda

Under-Secretary of State for Air Harold Balfour (Con) 15 May 1940 – 21 November 1944  
The Lord Sherwood (Lib) 20 July 1941 – 23 May 1945
Rupert Brabner (Con) 21 November 1944 – 27 March 1945
Quintin Hogg (Con) 12 April 1945 – 23 May 1945
Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton (Lab) 15 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Viscount Wolmer (Con)  22 February 1942 
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Warfare  Dingle Foot (Lib)  17 May 1940   
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Other Cabinet Offices
Office Holder Date Appointed Links
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Lord Hankey (Ind) 14 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Duff Cooper (Con) 20 July 1941
Ernest Brown (Lib Nat) 11 November 1943
Paymaster General Viscount Cranborne (Con) 15 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda 
The Lord Hankey (Ind) 20 July 1941
Sir William Jowitt (Lab) 4 March 1942
The Lord Cherwell (Con) 30 December 1942
Postmaster-General William Morrison (Con) 15 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Harry Crookshank (Con) 7 February 1943
Assistant Postmaster-General Charles Waterhouse (Con) 17 May 1940  
Allan Chapman (Con) 1 March 1941
Robert Grimston (Con) 4 March 1942
Minister of State The Lord Beaverbrook (Con) 1 May 1941  
Oliver Lyttelton (Con) 29 June 1941
Deputy Minister of State The Lord Moyne (Con) 27 August 1942 – 28 January 1944  
Minister without Portfolio Arthur Greenwood (Lab) 11 May 1940 – 22 February 1942 Cabinet memoranda
Sir William Jowitt (Lab) 30 December 1942 – 8 October 1944
Attorney General Sir Donald Somervell (Con) 15 May 1940 Cabinet memoranda
Solicitor General Sir William Jowitt (Lab) 15 May 1940  
Sir David Maxwell Fyfe (Con) 4 March 1942
Lord Advocate Thomas Cooper (Con) 15 May 1940  
James Reid (Con) 5 June 1941
Solicitor General for Scotland James Reid (Con) 15 May 1940  
David King Murray (Con) 5 June 1941
Treasurer of the Household Robert Grimston (Con) 17 May 1940  
Sir James Edmondson (Con) 12 March 1942
Comptroller of the Household William Whiteley (Lab) 17 May 1940  
William John (Lab) 12 March 1942
George Mathers (Lab) 2 October 1944
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Sir James Edmondson (Con) 17 May 1940  
William Whytehead Boulton (Con) 12 March 1942
Arthur Young (Con) 13 July 1944
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Lord Snell (Lab) 31 May 1940 – 21 April 1944
The Earl Fortescue (Con) 22 March 1945
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Lord Templemore (Con) 31 May 1940  
Lords in Waiting The Earl Fortescue (Con) 31 May 1940 – 22 March 1945  
The Viscount Clifden (Lib) 31 May 1940 – 23 May 1945
The Lord Alness (Lib Nat) 31 May 1940 – 23 May 1945
The Marquess of Normanby (Con) 22 March 1945 – 23 May 1945
Minister Resident, North-West Africa Harold Macmillan (Con) 30 December 1942  
Minister Resident, Middle East Oliver Lyttelton (Con) 19 February 1942  
Richard Casey (Ind) 19 March 1942
The Lord Moyne (Con) 28 January 1944
Sir Edward Grigg (Con) 21 November 1944
Minister Resident, Washington John Llewellin (Con) 22 November 1942  
Ben Smith (Lab) 11 November 1943
Minister Resident, West Africa The Viscount Swinton (Con) 8 June 1942  
Harold Balfour (Con) 21 November 1944
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Abbreviated political parties

The following party political affiliations have been listed by the names of each Minister and Cabinet Officer:

(Con) – Conservative
(Ind) – Independent
(Lib) – Liberal
(Lib Nat) – Liberal National
(Lab) – Labour
(Nat) – National
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