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Carrington, Peter, 6th Baron Carrington

Carrington, Peter, 6th Baron Carrington (b. 1919). Carrington is one of the few hereditary peers to hold high office through the modern Conservative Party. After junior ministerial appointments, Carrington served as high commissioner in Australia 1956–9. He rose to prominence as opposition leader in the Lords after 1964 and became defence secretary in 1970. One of Heath's closest advisers, he was also party chairman (1972–4) and energy secretary (1974), advising Heath to call an election during the miners' strike of that year. Surprisingly, his career flourished under Margaret Thatcher, who found him one of the more congenial Tory grandees. But his appointment as foreign secretary ended in 1982 when he resigned, having failed to foresee the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands. Public reincarnation came as secretary-general of NATO (1984–8) and subsequently as an unsuccessful mediator for the European Community in war-torn Yugoslavia. Endowed with geniality and good humour, Mrs Thatcher described Carrington as a ‘jolly Whig’.

David Dutton

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Carrington, Peter Carington, 6th Baron

Peter Carington Carrington, 6th Baron, 1919–, British politician. Educated at Eton and Sandhurst, he succeeded to the peerage in 1938. After serving in World War II, he took his seat in the House of Lords, where he held ministerial positions under the Conservative governments of Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, and Edward Heath. These included high commissioner to Australia (1956–59), first lord of the admiralty (1959–63), leader of the House of Lords (1963–64), and secretary of state for defense (1970–74). In the first government of Margaret Thatcher he was foreign secretary (1979–82), where he played a major role in negotiating an end to the civil war in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He resigned after the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands. He subsequently served as secretary-general of NATO (1984–88) and until 1992 was a European Community envoy working for peace in the Balkans.

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