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Fred Mulley

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Frederick William Mulley, Baron Mulley PC (3 July 1918 – 15 March 1995) was a British Labour politician, barrister-at-law and economist.

Early life

Mulley attended Warwick School between 1929 and 1936. He served in the Worcestershire Regiment in the Second World War, reaching the rank of sergeant, but was captured in 1940 and spent five years as a prisoner of war in Germany. During this time he obtained a BSc in economics and became a chartered secretary.[1]

At the end of the war, he received an adult scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, and after a brief spell on an economics fellowship at the University of Cambridge (1948–50) he trained as a barrister, being called to the Bar in 1954.

Parliamentary career

Mulley had joined the Labour Party since 1936 and in 1945 he unsuccessfully contested the constituency of Sutton Coldfield. He became Member of Parliament for Sheffield Park in 1950, a position he held until retiring at the 1983 General Election.

During a long career in politics he held many ministerial positions including Minister of Aviation (1965-67), Minister for Disarmament (1967-69), and Minister of Transport (1969–70, 1974-75). While at the Transport Ministry he believed it would be inappropriate to be seen to be a car driver. Although he owned an Austin Maxi, his wife was the sole user of it during this period.[2]

In 1975 Harold Wilson brought him to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education and Science, and in 1976 became Secretary of State for Defence.

He is best remembered for falling asleep during the Queen's Jubilee Review of the Royal Air Force at RAF Finningley in 1977 when there was considerable noise around him. Having a small sleep during exercise was referred to by members of the RAF as having a "Fred Mulley". It was suggested in the satirical magazine Private Eye that Mulley was guilty of treason (then still a capital offence) for having slept with the Queen.

House of Lords

After retiring from the House of Commons in 1983, he was created a life peer as Baron Mulley, of Manor Park in the City of Sheffield on 30 January 1984,[3] and he held a variety of directorial positions.

Legacy

A main road in the Lower Don Valley in Sheffield is named after him.

References

  1. ^ Worcestershire Regiment (29th/36th of Foot) Web site
  2. ^ "Election special: Who's hand on the wheel?". Autocar. 141 (nbr 4067): Pages 39–40. 5 October 1974. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 49636. p. 1499. 2 February 1984.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Burden
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Park
19501983
Constituency abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
John Peyton
as Minister of State for Transport Industries
Minister of Transport
1974–1975
Succeeded by
John Gilbert
Preceded by
Reg Prentice
Secretary of State for Education and Science
1975–1976
Succeeded by
Shirley Williams
Preceded by
Roy Mason
Secretary of State for Defence
1976–1979
Succeeded by
Francis Pym

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