James Chuter Ede

The Right Honourable
The Lord Chuter-Ede
Leader of the House of Commons
In office
16 March 1951  26 October 1951
Prime Minister Clement Attlee
Preceded by Herbert Morrison
Succeeded by Harry Crookshank
Home Secretary
In office
3 August 1945  26 October 1951
Prime Minister Clement Attlee
Preceded by Sir Donald Somervell
Succeeded by Sir David Maxwell Fyfe
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education
In office
15 May 1940  13 August 1944
President Herwald Ramsbotham
Rab Butler
Preceded by Kenneth Lindsay
Succeeded by Office Abolished
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education
In office
13 August 1944  23 May 1945
Minister Rab Butler
Preceded by Office Created
Succeeded by Thelma Cazalet-Keir
Member of Parliament
for South Shields
In office
14 November 1935  15 October 1964
Preceded by Harcourt Johnstone
Succeeded by Arthur Blenkinsop
In office
30 May 1929  27 October 1931
Preceded by Edward Harney
Succeeded by Harcourt Johnstone
Member of Parliament
for Mitcham
In office
3 March 1923  6 December 1923
Preceded by Thomas Worsfold
Succeeded by Richard James Meller
Personal details
Born 11 September 1882 (2016-12-09UTC03:05:06)
Epsom, Surrey
Died 11 November 1965 (2016-12-09UTC03:05:07) (aged 83)
Ewell, Surrey
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Lilian Williams (d. 1948)
Alma mater Christ's College, Cambridge
Religion Unitarian

James Chuter Ede, Baron Chuter-Ede CH PC JP DL (11 September 1882 – 11 November 1965) was a British teacher, trade unionist and Labour politician. He served as Home Secretary under Prime Minister Clement Attlee from 1945 to 1951, becoming the longest-serving Home Secretary of the 20th century.

Early life

Chuter Ede was born in Epsom, Surrey, the son of James Ede, a shopkeeper of Unitarian religious convictions, and his wife Agnes Mary (née Chuter). He was educated at Epsom National School, Dorking High School, Battersea P. T. Centre, Battersea, and Christ's College, Cambridge, and worked as a teacher (1905–1914). During the First World War he served in the East Surrey Regiment and Royal Engineers, reaching the rank of Acting Regimental Sergeant Major. After the war he was active within the National Union of Teachers.

Political career

He was a member between 1920 and 1927 of Epsom Urban District Council and Surrey County Council and was charter mayor of Epsom and Ewell in 1937.

After fighting Epsom in 1918, he was first elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Mitcham, at a by-election in March 1923. However, he lost the seat in December at the 1923 general election. He returned to Parliament at the 1929 general election, for the Tyneside seat of South Shields, but was defeated again at the 1931 election. He was re-elected at the 1935 general election, and held the seat until his retirement from the Commons at the 1964 general election.

In the wartime coalition he held junior ministerial office as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education. He was Home Secretary in the 1945 Labour government of Clement Attlee, concurrently, and Leader of the House of Commons in 1951. He was closely involved in the drafting of the Butler Education Act and the Criminal Justice Act 1948, and established the Lynskey tribunal under Sir George Lynskey in 1948 to investigate allegation of corruption among ministers and civil servants. In 1964 he left the Commons and was created a life peer as Baron Chuter-Ede, of Epsom in the County of Surrey.


Chuter Ede married Lilian Mary, daughter of Richard Williams, in 1917. She died in 1948. Lord Chuter-Ede survived her by 17 years and died at Ewell, Surrey, in November 1965, aged 83. Chuter Ede Education Centre in South Shields is named after him. It was formerly a comprehensive school.


    Parliament of the United Kingdom
    Preceded by
    Thomas Cato Worsfold
    Member of Parliament for Mitcham
    Succeeded by
    Sir Richard James Meller
    Preceded by
    Edward Augustine St Aubyn Harney
    Member of Parliament for South Shields
    Succeeded by
    Harcourt Johnstone
    Preceded by
    Harcourt Johnstone
    Member of Parliament for South Shields
    Succeeded by
    Arthur Blenkinsop
    Political offices
    Preceded by
    Sir Donald Somervell
    Home Secretary
    Succeeded by
    Sir David Maxwell Fyfe
    Preceded by
    Herbert Morrison
    Leader of the House of Commons
    Succeeded by
    Harry Crookshank
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