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Neville Chamberlain 1937

Chamberlain returns to Downing Street as Prime Minister after accepting George VI's invitation to form a government.
Chamberlain returns to Downing Street as Prime Minister after accepting George VI's invitation to form a government.
©TopFoto

National Government
28 May 1937 - 10 May 1940

Foreign policy and appeasement dominated the Cabinet. As the prospect of war grew, Neville Chamberlain's Conservative government was heavily criticised. The Phoney War and the humiliating defeat in Norway ended the Conservative-dominated National Government in favour of a coalition under Churchill. There was no election due to the Second World War.

Cabinet members
Position Name Dates
Prime Minister N. Chamberlain* 28 May 37 - 10 May 40
Lord President of the Council Viscount Halifax 28 May 37 - 9 Mar 38
  Viscount Hailsham 9 Mar 38 - 31 Oct 38
  Viscount Runciman 31 Oct 38 - 10 May 40
Lord Chancellor Viscount Hailsham 28 May 37 - 9 Mar 38
  Viscount Caldecote  3 Sep 39 - 10 May 40 
Lord Privy Seal Earl De La Warr 28 May 37 - 31 Oct 38
  Sir J. Anderson 31 Oct 38 - 3 Sep 39
  Sir S. Hoare* 3 Sep 39 - 3 Apr 40
  Sir K. Wood 3 Apr 40 - 10 May 40 
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir J. Simon* 28 May 37 - 10 May 40
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs A. Eden 21 Dec 35 - 21 Feb 38
  Viscount Halifax* 21 Feb 38 - 10 May 40 
Secretary of State for Home Affairs Sir S. Hoare 28 May 37 - 3 Sep 39
  Sir J. Anderson 3 Sep 39 - 10 May 40 
First Lord of the Admiralty A. Duff Cooper 28 May 37 - 27 Oct 38
  Earl Stanhope 27 Oct 38 - 3 Sep 39 
  W. Churchill* 3 Sep 39 - 10 May 40 
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries W. Morrison 28 May 37 - 29 Jan 39
  Sir R. Doman-Smith 29 Jan 39 - 10 May 40
  W. Elliott 28 Sep 32 - 7 Jun 35 
Secretary of State for Air Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister 28 May 37 - 16 May 38
  Sir K. Wood* 16 May 38 - 3 Apr 40
  Sir S. Hoare 3 Apr 40 - 10 May 40 
Secretary of State for the Colonies J. Thomas 25 Aug 31 - 5 Nov 31
  W. Ormsby-Gore 28 May 37 - 28 May 38
  M. MacDonald 28 May 38 - 10 May 40
Ministry for the Co-ordination of Defence J. Thomas 25 Aug 31 - 5 Nov 31
Dominions M. MacDonald 28 May 37 - 16 May 38
  Lord Stanley 16 May 38 - 31 Oct 38
  M. MacDonald 31 Oct 38 - 29 Jan 39 
  Sir T. Inskip 29 Jan 39 - 3 Sep 39 
  A. Eden 3 Sep 39 - 10 May 40 
President of the Board of Education Earl Stanhope 28 May 37 - 27 Oct 38
  Earl De La Warr 27 Oct 38 - 3 Apr 40
  H. Ramsbotham 3 Apr 40 - 10 May 40 
Minister for Food Lord Woolton 3 Apr 40 - 10 May 40 
Minister of Health Sir K. Wood 28 May 37 - 16 May 38
  W. Elliott 16 May 38 - 10 May 40
Secretary of State for India Marquis of Zetland 28 May 37 - 10 May 40
Minister of Information Lord MacMillan 4 Sep 39 - 5 Jan 40 
  Sir J. Reith 5 Jan 40 - 10 May 40 
Minister for Labour E. Brown 28 May 37 - 10 May 40
Duchy of Lancaster Earl Winterton 11 Mar 38 - 29 Jan 39
  W.Morrison 29 Jan 39 - 4 Sep 39
Minister without Portfolio L. Burgin 21 Apr 39 - 14 Jul 39
  Lord Hankey* 3 Sep 39 - 10 May 40 
Secretary for Scotland W. Elliott 28 May 37 - 16 May 38
  J. Colville 16 May 38 - 10 May 40
Minister for Shipping Sir J. Gilmour 13 Oct 39 - 3 Apr 40
  R. Hudson 3 Apr 40 - 10 May 40
Minister for Supply L. Burgin 14 Jul 39 - 10 May 40
President of the Board of Trade O. Stanley 28 May 37 - 5 Jan 40
  Sir A. Duncan 5 Jan 40 - 10 May 40 
Minister for Transport L. Burgin 28 May 37 - 21 Apr 39
  E. Wallace 21 Apr 39 - 20 May 40 
Secretary of State for War L. Hore-Belisha* 28 May 37 - 5 Jan 40
  O. Stanley 5 Jan 40 - 10 May 40 

Notes: 

In this period new Cabinet posts were created to cope with the demands of the Second World War. Individuals marked * were made part of the War Cabinet on 3 September 1939.