William Morrison, 1st Viscount Dunrossil
Overview
 
William Shepherd Morrison, 1st Viscount Dunrossil, GCMG
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

, MC
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

, KStJ, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

, QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

 (10 August 1893 – 3 February 1961), the 14th Governor-General of Australia
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

, was born in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 and educated at George Watson's College
George Watson's College
George Watson's College, known informally as Watson's, is a co-educational independent day school in Scotland, situated on Colinton Road, in the Merchiston area of Edinburgh. It was first established as a hospital school in 1741, became a day school in 1871 and was merged with its sister school...

 and the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

. He joined the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 in the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and served with an artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 regiment in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, where he won the Military Cross
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

. In 1919 he left the Army with the rank of Captain. He was elected to the House of Commons as Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Cirencester and Tewkesbury
Cirencester and Tewkesbury (UK Parliament constituency)
Cirencester and Tewkesbury was a parliamentary constituency in Gloucestershire which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom...

 in 1929.
Encyclopedia
William Shepherd Morrison, 1st Viscount Dunrossil, GCMG
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

, MC
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

, KStJ, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

, QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

 (10 August 1893 – 3 February 1961), the 14th Governor-General of Australia
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

, was born in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 and educated at George Watson's College
George Watson's College
George Watson's College, known informally as Watson's, is a co-educational independent day school in Scotland, situated on Colinton Road, in the Merchiston area of Edinburgh. It was first established as a hospital school in 1741, became a day school in 1871 and was merged with its sister school...

 and the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

. He joined the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 in the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and served with an artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 regiment in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, where he won the Military Cross
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

. In 1919 he left the Army with the rank of Captain. He was elected to the House of Commons as Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Cirencester and Tewkesbury
Cirencester and Tewkesbury (UK Parliament constituency)
Cirencester and Tewkesbury was a parliamentary constituency in Gloucestershire which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom...

 in 1929. In Parliament he acquired the nickname "Shakes", from his habit of quoting from the works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

.

Ministerial career

Morrison had a long ministerial career under four Prime Ministers (Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay MacDonald
James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS was a British politician who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister, leading a minority government for two terms....

, Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

, Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the...

 and Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

).
He was:
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General 1931-35,
  • Financial Secretary to the Treasury
    Financial Secretary to the Treasury
    Financial Secretary to the Treasury is a junior Ministerial post in the British Treasury. It is the 4th most significant Ministerial role within the Treasury after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and the Paymaster General...

     1935-36,
  • Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
    Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The post was originally named President of the Board of Agriculture and was created in 1889...

     1936-39,
  • Minister of Food
    Minister of Food
    The Minister of Food Control and the Minister of Food were British government ministerial posts separated from that of the Minister of Agriculture. A major task of the latter office was to oversee rationing in the United Kingdom arising out of World War II...

     1939-40,
  • Postmaster-General 1940-43
  • Minister for Town and Country Planning 1943-45.

Political life

Campaigning during the general election of 1945
United Kingdom general election, 1945
The United Kingdom general election of 1945 was a general election held on 5 July 1945, with polls in some constituencies delayed until 12 July and in Nelson and Colne until 19 July, due to local wakes weeks. The results were counted and declared on 26 July, due in part to the time it took to...

, Morrison attacked Socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and contended that Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 began as Socialists. He further claimed that although Labour objected to the Conservatives calling themselves 'National', the Conservatives had no objection in their opponents labelling themselves National-Socialists. In 1947 he attacked identity cards which had been introduced during the war because he believed they were a nuisance to law-abiding people and also because the cards were ineffective. http://www.statewatch.org/news/2003/jul/26ukid.htm

In 1951, when the Conservatives returned to power, Morrison was elected Speaker of the House of Commons
Speaker of the British House of Commons
The Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons, the United Kingdom's lower chamber of Parliament. The current Speaker is John Bercow, who was elected on 22 June 2009, following the resignation of Michael Martin...

. He was opposed by Labour MP Major James Milner
James Milner, 1st Baron Milner of Leeds
Major James Milner, 1st Baron Milner of Leeds, MC, PC was a British Labour Party politician.Milner was educated at the University of Leeds and became a solicitor. He was a major in World War I and was wounded, awarded the Military Cross and bar for his service...

, who said it was his party's turn to have a Speaker of the House. It was the first contested election for the post in the twentieth century. Morrison was elected in a vote on party lines.

Governor-General of Australia

Morrison held the post of Speaker until 1959, when he announced that he would not be contesting the forthcoming general election
United Kingdom general election, 1959
This United Kingdom general election was held on 8 October 1959. It marked a third successive victory for the ruling Conservative Party, led by Harold Macmillan...

 but retiring for reasons of health. As was customary for former Speakers, he was made a Viscount, taking the title Viscount Dunrossil
Viscount Dunrossil
Viscount Dunrossil, of Vallaquie and of the Isle of North Uist in the County of Inverness, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1959 for the Conservative politician William Morrison upon his retirement as Speaker of the House of Commons. His son, the second Viscount,...

, of Vallaquie in the Isle of North Uist and County of Inverness. Given his health, it surprised many when it was announced shortly thereafter that he had been chosen to succeed Sir William Slim
William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim
Field Marshal William Joseph "Bill"'Slim, 1st Viscount Slim, KG, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC, KStJ was a British military commander and the 13th Governor-General of Australia....

 as Governor-General of Australia
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

. He was also appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) that year. By this time support for the idea of British governors-general was declining in Australia, but the Liberal
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

 Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Australia
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

, Robert Menzies
Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, , Australian politician, was the 12th and longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia....

, was determined to maintain the British link (and, in particular, the Scottish link).

End of life

Dunrossil took office on 2 February 1960. However he died suddenly in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

 only a year later (almost to the very day), on 3 February 1961. He was buried in Canberra at historic St John the Baptist Church, Reid
St John the Baptist Church, Reid
St John the Baptist Church is the oldest church in Canberra, Australia, and also the oldest building within Canberra's city precinct. It is sited at the corner of ANZAC Parade and Constitution Avenue in the suburb of Reid.-Construction:...

 and remains the only Australian governor-general to die in office. His Official Secretary
Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia
The Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia and his staff provide governors-general with the necessary support to enable them to carry out their constitutional, statutory, ceremonial and public duties. The position of Official Secretary was established in 1901, although only...

 throughout his term was Murray Tyrrell
Murray Tyrrell
Sir Murray Louis Tyrrell KCVO CBE was the Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia for a record term of 26 years, 1947–73, in which time he served six governors-general....

.

The 1st Viscount was succeeded by his son, John Morrison, 2nd Viscount Dunrossil
John Morrison, 2nd Viscount Dunrossil
Flight Lieutenant John William Morrison, 2nd Viscount Dunrossil CMG JP was a diplomat and British peer. He was present in the South African courtroom when Nelson Mandela was sentenced to 27 years' imprisonment and obtained study materials for Mandela to achieve a law degree from the University of...

, who was a career officer in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, holding several senior diplomatic appointments, including serving as Governor of Bermuda
Governor of Bermuda
The Governor of Bermuda is the representative of the British monarch in the British overseas territory of Bermuda. The Governor is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the British government...

. He was proud to wear his father's vice-regal hat on formal occasions on the island colony.

Offices held

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