Thomas McKinnon Wood


Thomas McKinnon Wood
The Right Honourable
Thomas McKinnon Wood
PC
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
23 October 1911 – 13 February 1912
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Charles Hobhouse
Succeeded by Charles Masterman
In office
9 July 1916 – 5 December 1916
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu
Succeeded by Sir Hardman Lever, Bt
Secretary for Scotland
In office
13 February 1912 – 9 July 1916
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by The Lord Pentland
Succeeded by Harold Tennant
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
9 July 1916 – 5 December 1916
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu
Succeeded by Sir Frederick Cawley, Bt
Personal details
Born 26 January 1855 (1855-01-26)
London
Died 26 March 1927 (1927-03-27)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Isabella Sandison
Alma mater University College, London

Thomas McKinnon Wood PC (26 January 1855 – 26 March 1927) was a British Liberal politician. He was a member of H. H. Asquith's cabinet as Secretary for Scotland between 1912 and 1916 and as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between July and December 1916. He was also involved in London politics and served as Chairman of the London County Council between 1898 and 1899.

Contents

Background and education

Born in London, Wood was the only son of Hugh Wood, a merchant and shipowner, by his second wife Jessie McKinnon, daughter of Reverend Thomas McKinnon. His father had been born in Orkney, where his father was a farmer, but had later settled in London. Wood was educated at Mill Hill School and University College, London. After his father lost his sight, he joined the family business.[citation needed]

Political career

Wood was a member of the London County Council for Central Hackney from 1892 to 1909. From 1898 to 1907 he was leader of the Progressive Party and also served as Chairman of the Council from 1898 to 1899. In 1907 he was appointed Alderman, a post he held until 1909. He was also Deputy Lieutenant for the County of London in 1899.[citation needed]

Wood stood unsuccessfully as a parliamentary candidate for East Islington in 1895, Glasgow St. Rollox in 1900 and Orkney and Shetland in 1902.[citation needed] However, in 1906 he was elected for Glasgow St Rollox as a Liberal, a seat he held until 1918.[1] In April 1908 Wood was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education in the administration of H. H. Asquith, a post he held until October of the same year, when he became Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

In 1911 he was made Financial Secretary to the Treasury and admitted to the Privy Council.[2] The following year he was promoted to Secretary for Scotland[3] with a seat in the cabinet. He continued in this post also when the war-time coalition was formed in May 1915. In July 1916 he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Financial Secretary to the Treasury. The latter post was considered very important in the war-time situation, and was not seen as a demotion.

However, when Lloyd George became Prime Minister in December 1916, Wood was not offered a post in the government. He remained in the House of Commons until 1918, when he lost his Glasgow St Rollox seat to Gideon Oliphant-Murray. He stood unsuccessfully for Hackney Central in 1924, but never returned to the House of Commons.[citation needed].

In the eyes of many McKinnon Wood conducted himself dishonourably in the treatment of the famous Glasgow Detective John Thompson Trench. Trench had misgivings over the Oscar Slater conviction (which was quashed in 1928 and is a permanent stain on Liberal politicians handling of justice.) The enquiry McKinnon Wood relutanctly agreed to in 1914 was a charade which William Roughead described as "Gilbertian" and others as a farce as witnesses were not even put on oath. Trench was eventually sacked, faced trumped up reset charges the following year which the Lord Justice Clerk threw out. McKinnon Wood, having sought the views of Trench did not protect him and indeed did not even reply to correspondence. It would appear the Glasgow voters (whose petition and letters to Lord Pentland, the Scottish Secretary at the time of the trial in 1909, saved Slater from the gallows) did not forget and he was not returned to Parliament at the subsequent elections.

Family

Wood married Isabella Sandison, daughter of Alexander Sandison, in 1883. They had eight children, six sons and two daughters. Two sons and one daughter predeceased him. Wood died in March 1927, aged 72.[citation needed]

References

  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Wilson
Member of Parliament for Glasgow St Rollox
1906–1918
Succeeded by
Hon. Gideon Oliphant-Murray
Political offices
Preceded by
William Job Collins
Chairman of the London County Council
1898 – 1899
Succeeded by
The Lord Welby
Preceded by
Thomas Lough
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education
1908
Succeeded by
Charles Trevelyan
Preceded by
Lord Edmond FitzMaurice
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
1908–1911
Succeeded by
Francis Dyke Acland
Preceded by
Charles Hobhouse
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
1911–1912
Succeeded by
Charles Masterman
Preceded by
The Lord Pentland
Secretary for Scotland
1912–1916
Succeeded by
Harold Tennant
Preceded by
Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
July-December 1916
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Cawley, Bt
Preceded by
Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
July-December 1916
Succeeded by
Sir Hardman Lever, Bt

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