Historical records matching Rt Hon Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG
About Rt Hon Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC (27 March 1912 – 26 March 2005), was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980. Commonly known as Jim Callaghan (and nicknamed Sunny Jim, Gentleman Jim, Lucky Jim or Big Jim), Callaghan is the only person to have served in all four of the Great Offices of State: Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary.
Callaghan was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1964 to 1967 during a turbulent period in the British economy in which he had to wrestle with a balance of payments deficit and speculative attacks on the pound sterling. In November 1967, the Government was forced to devalue the pound sterling despite having already denied this would be done, both publicly and to the House of Commons. Callaghan offered to resign, but was persuaded to swap his ministerial post with Roy Jenkins, becoming Home Secretary from 1967 to 1970. In that capacity, Callaghan took the decision to use the Army to support the police in Northern Ireland, after a request from the Northern Ireland Government.
The Labour Party lost the General Election in 1970, but Callaghan returned to office as Foreign Secretary in March 1974, taking responsibility for renegotiating the terms of Britain's membership of the European Economic Community (EEC or "Common Market"), and supporting a 'Yes' vote in the 1975 referendum for the UK to remain in the EEC. When Harold Wilson resigned in 1976, Callaghan was elected the new Labour leader.
Labour had already lost its majority in the House of Commons when he became Prime Minister and lost further seats at by-elections and through defections, forcing Callaghan to deal with minor parties such as the Liberal Party especially in the Lib-Lab pact from 1977 to 1978, the Ulster Unionists, Scottish National Party and even Independents. Industrial disputes and widespread strikes in the "Winter of Discontent" of 1978–79, made Callaghan's government unpopular and the defeat of the referendum on devolution for Scotland led to the passage of a motion of no confidence on 28 March 1979. This was followed by a defeat by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party in the ensuing general election.
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff
- Born on 27 March 1912.
- Son of James Callaghan and Charlotte Gertrude Cundy.
- Married Audrey Elizabeth Moulton, daughter of Frank Moulton, in 1938.
- Died on 26 March 2005 at age 92.
- Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff usually went by his middle name of James.
- Educated at Furzeham School, Brixham, Devon, England.
- Educated at Portsmouth Northern Secondary School, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.
- Civil Service as a Tax Officer in 1929.
- Assistant Secretary of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation between 1936 and 1947.
- Fought in the Second World War, in the Royal Navy.
- Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Labour) for South Cardiff between 1945 and 1950.
- Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport between 1947 and 1950.
- Delegate to the Council of Europe at Strasbourg between 1948 and 1950.
- Parliamentary and Finance Secretary of the Admiralty between 1950 and 1951.
- Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Labour) for South East Cardiff between 1950 and 1983.
- Visiting Fellow between 1959 and 1967 at Nuffield College, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.
- Invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) in 1964.
- Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1964 and 1967.
- Home Secretary between 1967 and 1970.
- Treasurer of the Labour Party between 1967 and 1976.
- Wrote the book A House Divided: the dilemma of Northern Ireland, published 1973.
- Foreign Secretary between 1974 and 1976.
- Minister of Overseas Development between 1975 and 1976.
- Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law (LL.D.) by University of Wales, Wales, in 1976.
- Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury between 1976 and 1979.
- Leader of the Labour Party between 1976 and 1980.
- Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law (LL.D.) by Sardar Patel University, India, in 1978.
- Decorated with the award of the Grand Cross, Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1st class) in 1979.
- Leader of the Opposition between 1979 and 1980.
- Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law (LL.D.) by Birmingham University, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, in 1981.
- Father of the House of Commons between 1983 and 1987.
- Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Labour) for Cardiff South and Penarth between 1983 and 1987.
- Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law (LL.D.) by Meisei University, Japan, in 1984.
- President of the University of Wales, Swansea between 1986 and 1995.
- Invested as a Knight, Order of the Garter (K.G.) in 1987.
- Wrote the book Time and Chance, published 1987.
- Created Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, of the City of Cardiff in the Royal County of South Glamorganshire [U.K. Life Peer] on 5 November 1987.
- Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law (LL.D.) by Sussex University, Brighton, Sussex, England, in 1989.
- Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law (LL.D.) by Westminster University, England, in 1993.
- Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law (D.LL.) by Liverpool University, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, in 1996.
Children of Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff and Audrey Elizabeth Moulton
- Margaret Ann Callaghan, Baroness Jay of Paddington b. 18 Nov 1939
- Hon. Julia Elizabeth Callaghan b. 1942
- Hon. Michael James Callaghan b. 1945