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Michael Stewart

From Academic Kids

Michael Stewart is also the name of a playwright and librettist, an NBA basketball player and an association football player.


Captain Robert Maitland Michael Stewart, Baron Stewart of Fulham, PC (November 6, 1906, Bromley - March 13, 1990) was a British Labour politician who served twice as Foreign Secretary in the first cabinet of Harold Wilson.

The son of Robert Wallace Stewart, author and lecturer, and Eva Stewart née Blaxley, Stewart was educated at Brownhill Road Elementary School, Catford, Christ's Hospital and St. John's College, Oxford, graduating with a first class BA in philosophy in 1929.

While at university, Stewart was President of the Oxford Union, and of St John's Labour Club (1929). He worked for a short period with the Secretariat of the League of Nations, before becoming an schoolmaster, first at Merchant Taylors' School in London, then Coopers' Company's School, Mile End, then at Frome, Somerset. During World War II, Stewart served in the Middle East, joining the Intelligence Corps in 1942, then transferring to the Army Educational Corps, 1943; he was promoted to Captain in 1944.

On 26 July 1941 he married Mary Birkinshaw, later Baroness Stewart of Alvechurch; they had no children.

Stewart had contested West Lewisham in 1931 and 1935, and East Fulham in 1936; after the war he became MP for Fulham East 1945-55, then for Fulham 1955-74, and Hammersmith, Fulham 1974-79. Soon after his initial election, he was made a junior whip, then a minster, as Under-Secretary of State for War 1947-51 and as Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Supply, May-October 1951. Following Labour's defeat in the 1951 election, Stewart rose along the shadow front bench, as Shadow Minister of Education 1955-59 then Shadow Minister of Housing and Local Government 1959-64.

When Harold Wilson became Prime Minister in 1964, Stewart became Secretary of State for Education and Science. He was promoted to Foreign Secretary in January 1965, then Secretary of State for Economic Affairs in 1966. From 1966 to 1968, he was First Secretary of State. He returned to the Foreign Office from 1968-70.

A committed pro-European, Stewart was Leader of the Labour Delegation to the Council of Europe in June 1970, and joint president of the Labour Committee for Europe with George Brown and Roy Jenkins. He served as a member of the European Parliament 1975-76.

Stewart was made a member of the Privy Council in 1964, serving until his death. In July 1979, he entered the House of Lords as a life peer.

Bibliography

  • The Forty Hour Week (Fabian Society), (1936)
  • Bias and Education for Democracy (1937)
  • The British Approach to Politics (1938)
  • Modern Forms of Government (1959)
  • Life and Labour (1980) - his autobiography
  • European Security: the case against unilateral nuclear disarmament (1981)


Preceded by:
Quintin Hogg
Secretary of State for Education and Skills
1964–1965
Followed by:
Anthony Crosland
Preceded by:
Patrick Gordon Walker
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
1965–1966
Followed by:
George Brown
Preceded by:
George Brown
Secretary of State for Economic Affairs
1966–1967
Followed by:
Peter Shore
Preceded by:
George Brown
First Secretary of State
1966-1968
Followed by:
Barbara Castle
Preceded by:
George Brown
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
1968
Followed by:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Preceded by:
New Office
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
1968–1970
Followed by:
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
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