- Harold Lever, Baron Lever of Manchester
The Right Honourable
The Lord Lever of Manchester
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster In office
5 March 1974 – 4 May 1979
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by John Davies Succeeded by Norman St John-Stevas Member of Parliament
for Manchester Central
28 February 1974 – 3 July 1979
Preceded by Constituency Created Succeeded by Bob Litherland Member of Parliament
for Manchester Cheetham
23 February 1950 – 28 February 1974
Preceded by Constituency Created Succeeded by Constituency Abolished Member of Parliament
for Manchester Exchange
5 July 1945 – 23 February 1950
Preceded by Thomas Hewlett Succeeded by William Griffiths Personal details Born 15 January 1914
Manchester, United Kingdom
Died 6 August 1995(aged 81) Political party Labour Alma mater University of Manchester
Born in Manchester, he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University. He was called to the Bar of the Middle Temple in 1935. During World War II he served in the Royal Air Force.
Lever was elected Member of Parliament for Manchester Exchange at the 1945 general election, then Manchester, Cheetham from 1950-74. His brother, Leslie Lever, was elected MP for the neighbouring Manchester Ardwick seat. He promoted the Private Member's Bill that became the Defamation Act 1952.
He was Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs in 1967; Financial Secretary to the Treasury, September 1967-69; Paymaster General, 1969–70, a Member of the Shadow Cabinet from 1970–74 and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, 1970-73. His seat changed again, becoming Manchester Central from 1974-79. On Labour's return to power after the February 1974 general election, he was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1974-79.
Lever held a number of business appointments in the banking and journalism sectors. He was Governor of the London School of Economics from 1971, and of the English Speaking Union 1973-86. He was a Trustee of the Royal Opera House from 1974–82, and a Member of the Court of Manchester University from 1975-87. He was an Honorary Fellow, and Chairman of the Trustees of the Royal Academy from 1981-87. He held Honorary doctorates in Law, Science, Literature and Technology and was awarded the Grand Cross, Order of Merit, Germany, 1979.
He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1969 and created a life peer as Baron Lever of Manchester, of Cheetham in the City of Manchester in 1979. As a Peer and elder statesman he successfully arbitrated the 1980 Steel Strike, one of the UK's longest industrial disputes. In 1983 he served on the Franks Committee, a committee of inquiry by six Privy Counsellors into the Falklands War. In 1984 he was Chairman of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' commission into the Developing World Debt Crisis. The following year, 1985 he co-wrote "Debt and Danger" which advocated excusing the Developing World a debt burden which was crippling their fragile economies.
He died in August 1995, aged 81.
His policy was adopted by the G7 in 2005, a decade after his death.
- The Times House of Commons 1945. 1945.
- The Times House of Commons 1950. 1950.
- The Times House of Commons 1955. 1955.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Harold Lever
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Manchester Exchange
New constituency Member of Parliament for Manchester Cheetham
Constituency abolished Member of Parliament for Manchester Central
Political offices Preceded by
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Norman St John-Stevas
Joel Barnett · Tony Benn · Albert Booth · James Callaghan · Anthony Crosland · Edmund Dell · Lord Elwyn-Jones · David Ennals · Michael Foot · Roy Hattersley · Denis Healey · Roy Jenkins · Harold Lever · Roy Mason · Bruce Millan · John Morris · Fred Mulley · Stanley Orme · David Owen · Lord Peart · Reg Prentice · Merlyn Rees · Bill Rodgers · Lord Shepherd · Peter Shore · John Silkin · John Smith · Eric Varley · Shirley Williams
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