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Salisbury, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th marquis of

Salisbury, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th marquis of (1893–1972). Conservative politician. Cecil entered Parliament in 1929 and served as junior minister at the Foreign Office. He resigned in February 1938 in support of Eden's opposition to opening talks with Mussolini. Returning to government under Churchill, he was spoken of as a possible foreign secretary. His peerage—after elevation to the Lords in 1941—was felt to be a handicap for such an office. He continued to prosper after the war, particularly as a result of his close friendship with Eden, and he was one of the more prominent cabinet members during the Suez crisis of 1956. On domestic issues, however, he found himself at odds with the thrust of post-war Conservatism and soon lost sympathy with the premiership of Harold Macmillan. The occasion of his second resignation was the freeing of the Cypriot leader Makarios from imprisonment in 1957. In his later years he became a focal point for right-wing dissatisfaction, especially through his association with the Monday Club and his support for the white regime in Southern Rhodesia.

David Dutton

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