Alec Douglas-Home

Alec Douglas-Home

SIR ALEC DOUGLAS-HOME d1995. British Conservative politician who served as Prime-Minister from October 1963 to October 1964. He is notable for being the last Prime Minister to hold office while being a member of the House of Lords, prior to renouncing his peerage and taking up a seat in the House of Commons for the remainder of his premiership. His reputation, however, rests more on his two spells as the UK's foreign minister than on his brief premiership. Under the premierships of  Winston Churchill / Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan, he was appointed to a series of increasingly senior posts including ; Leader of The House of Lords and Foreign Secretary. In the latter post (which he held between 1960-1963), he supported United States resolve in the Cuban missile crisis and was the United Kingdom's signatory of the Partial Nuclear Ban Treaty in August 1963. In October 1963, Harold Macmillan was taken ill and resigned as Prime Minister and Home was chosen to succeed him. The manner of his appointment was controversial and two of Macmillan's cabinet ministers refused to take office under him. He was criticised by the Labour Party as an aristocrat, being out of touch with the problems of ordinary families and he came over stiffly in television interviews in contrast with the then Labour leader Harold Wilson. The Conservative Party (in office since 1951) had lost standing as a result of a sex scandal involving a defence minister in 1963 and at the time of Home's appointment as Prime Minister seemed headed for heavy electoral defeat. Home's premiership therefore became the second briefest of the twentieth century, lasting two days short of a year. Among the legislation passed under his government was the abolition of resale price maintenance, bringing costs down for the consumer against the interests of producers of food and other commodities. After a later narrow defeat in the general election of 1964, Douglas-Home resigned the leadership of his party, having instituted a new and less secretive method of electing the party leader. From 1970-1974 he served in the cabinet of Edward Heath as Secretary of State  at The Foreign Office. After the defeat of the Heath government in 1974 he returned to the House of Lords as a life-peer and retired from front-line politics. He died aged 92 in 1995.

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Alec Douglas-Home

Reference Number. 14200K


An original vintage 1980 index card, clearly signed and dated in ink by Alec Douglas-Home

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