William Charles Whitlock (June 20, 1918, Southampton – November 2, 2001, Leicester) was a British Labour Party leader, parliamentary, and functionary.

Early lifeEdit

William Whitlock was the son of a docker. William studied round his native Southampton, at the Itchen Grammar School and for two years at the University of Southampton, until his father passed away and he forcibly had to find a job for aiding his family.[1]

Then, he volunteered for the army, joining the Hampshires of the British Expeditionary Force (which had been his father's too[1]). Upon the outbreak of the World War II, in 1940 Whitlock was amongst the troops which evacuated Dunkirk, aboard a fishing trawler. Disregarding, by the end of that year he joined the British 1st Airborne Division; in 1944 Whitlock so landed in Netherlands off Nijmegen, for the massive and difficult Operation Market Garden, where he indeed managed surviving without capture. A German-English translator, Whitlock would remain in continental Europe for another year, and so by 1946 he was managing the regional Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers. Also, he later was the president of the Nottinghamshire Parachute Association.[1]

Political careerEdit

Back in England, William Whitlock moved to Leicester. There he became an union leader of the shopworkers, within the USDAW. He so started gaining political relevance, first as the president of the local Trades Council (1955-1956), then in 1957 as the president of the local Labour Party.

Remembered as a soft-left figure who supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)[1], in 1959 Whitlock managed to win a seat into the British Parliament as Nottingham North representative, by 24,005 votes to 18,952 of the Conservatives.

Whitlock was deemed as a loyal [1] and rigorous figure and so he was confided with ministries of parliamentary enforcing and of the treasury:[2]

  • Opposition/other party Whip (1962-1964), steadily ascending to be Deputy Chief Whip (1967-1967)
  • Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal Household (1964-1966)
  • Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (1966-1966 and 1967)
  • Comptroller of the Royal Household (1966-1967)

Whitlock then was appointed for attending the foreign affairs, as the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1967-1968); he so managed African affairs, particularly attending the crisis of Uganda, so its Asian exiles were admitted into Britain.

In 1968, the Foreign Office and Commonwealth Relations merged, and so Whitlock again became Under-Secretary of State this time for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1968-1969). When Anguilla seceded from Saint Kitts and Nevis, he traveled for consulting the High Commissioners of other Commonwealth nations of the region[3], and for directly negotiating with the rebel government bringing a British magistrate and proposing an amnesty of good will, but then he was rejected by gunshots during a dinner.[1] Beside generating much public attention on him, such event marked the end of his career of junior minister, being ousted reportedly[1][3] as the "scapegoat" of the whole international crisis, ever without the appropriate political support of London.

In 1983, all Nottingham North parliament seats were lost to the Tories marking the end of Whitlock's career.

Personal life and deathEdit

William Whitlock was married to Jessie Reardon (1943), begetting five sons and adopting two daughters.

Even during his active politic life, Whitlock had been hockey player at Leicester and also a cricket player for the team of the Lords and Commons.[3] Besides, he was engaged in social causes, like being pledged for the general work conditions of office environments.

William Whitlock passed away on November 2, 2001.


External linksEdit

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