Julian Amery

The Right Honourable
The Lord Amery of Lustleigh
Minister of State
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
In office
5 November 1972  4 March 1974
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by Joseph Godber
Succeeded by David Ennals and Roy Hattersley
Minister for Housing and Construction
In office
15 October 1970  5 November 1972
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by New Office
Succeeded by Paul Channon
Minister of Public Buildings and Works
In office
23 June 1970  14 October 1970
Preceded by John Silkin
Succeeded by Office Abolished
Member of Parliament
for Preston North
In office
23 February 1950  31 March 1966
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Ronald Atkins
Member of Parliament
for Brighton Pavilion
In office
27 March 1969  9 April 1992
Preceded by Sir William Teeling
Succeeded by Derek Spencer
Personal details
Born (1919-03-27)27 March 1919
Died 3 September 1996(1996-09-03) (aged 77)
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank Captain
Battles/wars Second World War

Harold Julian Amery, Baron Amery of Lustleigh, PC (27 March 1919 – 3 September 1996) was a British politician of the Conservative Party, who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 39 of the 42 years between 1950 and 1992. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1960. He was created a life peer upon his retirement from the House of Commons in 1992. For three decades, he was a leading figure in the Conservative Monday Club. He was also the son-in-law of Conservative prime minister Harold Macmillan.

Early and family life

Amery's father was Leo Amery, a British statesman and Conservative politician. His brother, John Amery, was hanged for treason having pleaded guilty to making recruitment efforts and propaganda broadcasts for Nazi Germany.

Amery was educated at Summer Fields School in Oxford, Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford. While an undergraduate, he had a brief romance with the novelist Barbara Pym, who was some years his senior.[1]

On 26 January 1950, he married Catherine Macmillan, daughter of Harold Macmillan. Julian and Catherine had one son Leo Amery, a stained glass artist living in France and three daughters: Caroline Louise Michelle Amery (born 1951), Theresa Catherine Roxane Amery (born 1954) who married John Harvey Boteler (born 1954), and Alexandra Elizabeth "Lizzie" Charmian Amery (born 1956). Catherine, his wife, died in 1991.

Military service

Before the Second World War started, Amery was a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War and later an attaché for the British Foreign Office in Belgrade. After the war began, he joined the RAF as a sergeant in 1940 then was commissioned and transferred to the British Army on the General List in 1941, reaching the rank of Captain. He spent 1941-1942 in the eastern Mediterranean (the Middle East, Malta, Yugoslavia) and served as Liaison Officer to the Albanian Resistance Movement in 1943-44 ("The Musketeers": Captain Julian Amery, Major David Smiley and Lieutenant-Colonel Neil McLean). The following year, Amery went to China to work with General Carton de Wiart, then Prime Minister's Personal Representative to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

Amery became a close friend of King Zog of Albania and described him as "the cleverest man I have ever met".[2]

Political career

Amery won a Parliamentary seat in the first general election held after he returned to civilian life, in 1950. He was elected as Conservative MP for Preston North.

While sitting for Preston North, Amery held a number of government offices, all in governments led by his father-in-law, now the Prime Minister. He began with two Under-Secretaryships of State: for War (1957–1958) and for the Colonies (1958–1960). He was then promoted to Secretary of State for Air (1960–1962), followed by a promotion to the post of Minister of Aviation (1962–1964). In this role, Amery played a major role in developing the supersonic passenger service known as Concorde.

Amery lost his seat in 1966, but was elected again in 1969 for Brighton Pavilion, a seat he would hold until 1992 when he retired, and on 8 July 1992 was created a life peer as Baron Amery of Lustleigh, of Preston in the County of Lancashire and of Brighton in the County of East Sussex.[3] He is buried in the churchyard in the Devon village of Lustleigh from which he took his title.

Under the Heath administration, Amery held three ministerial posts: Minister for Public Works (1970), Minister for Housing and Construction (1970–1972) and Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1972–1974).

Monday Club

For 30 years, Julian Amery was an active member and later a Patron of the Conservative Monday Club, where he became friendly with General Sir Walter Walker, subsequently writing the foreword for Walker's anti-Soviet book, The Next Domino. He was Guest of Honour at the Club's Annual Dinner at the Cutlers' Hall in 1963. In 1965, he wrote the foreword for Club activist Geoffrey Stewart-Smith's book, No Vision Here. On May Day 1970, he was one of the Club's principal speakers at their 'Law and Liberty' rally in Trafalgar Square, held in answer to the 'Stop the Seventy Tour' campaign, designed to stop the South African cricket tour.

Julian Amery was the Monday Club's Guest-of-Honour at their Annual Dinner held at the Savoy Hotel, London, in January 1974 and again at the dinner at the end of the Club's two-day Conference in Birmingham in March 1975.

Political views

Amery was in favour of entry to the European Common Market and also of the nuclear deterrent. Both caused some discord between himself and his old friend Enoch Powell. He was, however, regarded by most as an imperialist.

In 1963, Amery took charge of Quintin Hogg's campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party.[4]

In early 1975, he took part in a House of Commons debate on the Trades Unions Congress's invitation to Alexander Shelepin, the former Soviet KGB Chief, to visit Britain. He stated that "more and more people are beginning to look upon the TUC as a Communist-penetrated show and this invitation must strengthen that view."

According to Margaret Thatcher, in her 1995 memoirs The Path to Power, when Harold Wilson's Labour government proposed devolution for Scotland in 1976, "Julian Amery and Maurice Macmillan proved effective leaders of the anti-devolution Tory camp."

Although he was Harold Macmillan's son-in-law, he failed to defend him when Count Nikolai Tolstoy published The Minister and the Massacres in 1986, focusing the ultimate burden of blame sharply on Macmillan for the repatriation of anti-communists and old Russian émigrés to Stalin and certain death. Amery stated that the repatriations were "one of the few blots on Harold that I can think of".


"The prosperity of our people rests really on the oil in the Persian Gulf, the rubber and tin of Malaya, and the gold, copper and precious metals of South- and Central Africa. As long as we have access to these; as long as we can realize the investments we have there; as long as we trade with this part of the world, we shall be prosperous. If the communists [or anyone else] were to take them over, we would lose the lot. Governments like Colonel Nasser's in Egypt are just as dangerous."[5]


  1. Faber, David - Speaking for England - see Bibliography
  2. Amery, Julian, Approach March: a Venture in Autobiography. Hutchinson, 1973
  3. The London Gazette: no. 52988. p. 11759. 13 July 1992.
  4. cf.Heffer, 189; 324
  5. The 1001 Club
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Preston North
Succeeded by
Ronald Atkins
Preceded by
Sir William Teeling
Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion
Succeeded by
Sir Derek Spencer
Political offices
Preceded by
John Profumo
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
Succeeded by
Hugh Fraser
Preceded by
George Reginald Ward
Secretary of State for Air
Succeeded by
Hugh Fraser
Preceded by
Peter Thorneycroft
Minister of Aviation
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins
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