Frank Beswick, Baron Beswick

The Right Honourable
The Lord Beswick
Personal details
Born Frank Beswick
Nottingham, England
Died 17 August 1987(1987-08-17)
Nationality British
Political party Labour Co-operative
Occupation Politician

Frank Beswick, Baron Beswick (1911 – 17 August 1987) was a British Labour Co-operative politician.

Born in 1911 in Nottingham,[1] Beswick's father was a coal miner. He was educated in Nottingham and then at the Working Men's College in London.[1] He became a journalist and was elected to the London County Council.[1] He was in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.[1]

Already a qualified pilot, he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War and served with Transport Command. A Sergeant Pilot, he was commissioned Pilot Officer in April 1942, and promoted Flying Officer in October 1942 and Flight Lieutenant in March 1944. He remained in the RAFVR after the war, resigning his commission in 1952.

Beswick was elected to Parliament for Uxbridge in 1945 and served until 1959. He was one of the British observers at the 1946 Bikini atomic tests.[1] Following Labour's loss at the 1951 election, he became civil aviation correspondent for the Reynolds News, having been Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Civil Aviation.[1] When he lost his seat in 1959, he was appointed political secretary of the London Co-operative Society.[1]

He was created Baron Beswick, of Hucknall in the County of Nottinghamshire, on 18 December 1964.[2] He served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Commonwealth Office from 1965 then became Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords in 1967. Continuing in the whip role into Opposition in 1970, in 1974 he was appointed Minister of State for Industry and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, serving until 1975, and later became the first Chairman of British Aerospace.[1] In 1975 he was UK signatory of the convention establishing the European Space Agency.

In 1985 he opened the first ever televised debate in the Lords.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 'Strong Co-op voices', The Co-operative News, p.18, 13 May 2008.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 43519. p. 10823. 18 December 1964. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Jestyn Llewellin
Member of Parliament for Uxbridge
Succeeded by
Charles Curran
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Taylor
Eirene White
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
With: The Lord Taylor
Succeeded by
as Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs
Preceded by
The Lord Taylor
Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
Preceded by
2nd Baron Shepherd
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms
Succeeded by
The Earl St Aldwyn
New institution Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs
Succeeded by
William Whitlock

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