Lloyd, Selwyn

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Lloyd, Selwyn (1904–78). Despite high office, Lloyd never fully emerged as a public figure of the first rank. A successful lawyer, he entered Parliament as a Conservative in 1945. Appointed to junior office in 1951, he rose steadily and was a surprise choice as foreign secretary in December 1955. Many, however, viewed his elevation as indicative of Anthony Eden's intention to take personal control of foreign policy—an impression not dispelled by Lloyd's role in the Suez crisis of 1956. He came near to achieving a negotiated settlement with Egypt in October. Though consistently loyal to Eden, Lloyd never seemed at ease about collusion with France and Israel. After Macmillan replaced Eden in January 1957, Lloyd retained the Foreign Office—a gesture of defiance on Macmillan's part over Suez. He moved to the Exchequer in 1960 where his tenure marked the high-water mark of Conservative economic planning in the post-war era. A victim of Macmillan's ‘Night of the Long Knives’ (1962), Lloyd's career enjoyed a renaissance as leader of the Commons (1963–4) and Speaker (1971–6).

David Dutton