Douglas Jay, Baron Jay


Douglas Jay, Baron Jay
Douglas Jay, Baron Jay
President of the Board of Trade
In office
18 October 1964 – 29 August 1967
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Edward Heath (Secretary of State for Trade, Industry and Regional Development)
Succeeded by Anthony Crosland

Douglas Patrick Thomas Jay, Baron Jay, PC (23 March 1907 – 6 March 1996) was a British Labour Party politician.

Educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, Jay became a Fellow of All Souls between 1930 and 1937. His early career was as an economics journalist working for The Times 1929-33, The Economist 1933-37, and the Daily Herald 1937-41, then as a civil servant in the Ministry of Supply and Board of Trade, from 1943 as personal assistant to Hugh Dalton.

Jay was elected member of Parliament for Battersea North at a by-election in July 1946,[1] and held the seat until the constituency was abolished for the 1983 general election. Alongside Evan Durbin and Hugh Gaitskell, he brought the thinking of John Maynard Keynes to the Labour Party, especially in relation to price determination, although influenced by the successful operation of rationing during the war his views later somewhat mellowed. He served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 1947-1950, Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1950-1951 and President of the Board of Trade from 1964 until being sacked in 1967. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1951.

In The Socialist Case in 1937 he had written: ‘in the case of nutrition and health, just as in the case of education, the gentleman in Whitehall really does know better what is good for people than the people know themselves.’ This expression was mercilessly exploited by the Conservatives and won a long-lasting notoriety; it was often misquoted as ‘the man in Whitehall knows best’, which was, as Jay often protested, exactly the opposite of his general conclusion.

He was opposed to the UK's entry into the European Economic Community and campaigned for a 'no' vote in the 1975 referendum.

Jay was created a life peer as Baron Jay, of Battersea in Greater London, in 1987. His first wife was the councillor Peggy Jay and their son is the economist Peter Jay. His second wife had been one of his assistant private secretaries at the Board of Trade.

References

  1. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 3. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Francis Douglas
Member of Parliament for Battersea North
1946 – 1983
constituency abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
(newly created position)
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
1947–1950
Succeeded by
Lewis John Edwards
Preceded by
Glenvil Hall
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
1950–1951
Succeeded by
John Boyd-Carpenter
Preceded by
Edward Heath
President of the Board of Trade
1964–1967
Succeeded by
Anthony Crosland

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