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Edward Heath 1970

A triumphant Heath after gaining a huge majority in the Commons vote for Britain to join the EEC.
A triumphant Heath after gaining a huge majority in the Commons vote for Britain to join the EEC.
©TopFoto

Conservative Government
19 June 1970 - 4 March 1974

The Conservatives only gained a slim majority in the June 1970 election with 330 sears to Labour's 288 and the Liberals' six. Despite early attempts to liberalise the economy, strikes and rising unemployment caused a return to inflationary policies. The combination of yet more strikes, rising inflation and the oil crisis hindered Heath's government, which began to enforce a three day working week in early 1974 due to a coal miner's strike.

Cabinet members
Position Name Dates
Prime Minister E. Heath 19 Jun 70 - 4 Mar 74
Lord President W. Whitelaw 20 Jun 70 - 7 Apr 72
  R. Carr 7 Apr 72 - 5 Nov 72 
  J. Prior 5 Nov 72 - 4 Mar 74 
Lord Chancellor Q. Hogg 20 Jun 70 - 4 Mar 74
Lord Privy Seal Earl of Jellicoe 20 Jun 70 - 5 Jun 73
  Lord Windlesham 5 Jun 73 - 4 Mar 74 
Chancellor of the Exchequer I. MacLeod 20 Jun 70 - 25 Jul 70
  A. Barber 25 Jul 70 - 4 Mar 74 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sir A. Douglas-Home 20 Jun 70 - 4 Mar 74
Secretary of State for Home Affairs R. Maudling 20 Jun 70 - 18 Jul 72
  R. Carr 18 Jul 72 - 4 Mar 74 
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries J.Prior 20 Jun 70 - 5 Nov 72
  J. Godber 5 Nov 72 - 4 Mar 74 
Minister for Defence Lord Carrington 20 Jun 70 - 8 Jan 74 
  I. Gilmour 8 Jan 74 - 4 Mar 74 
Secretarty of State for Education and Science M. Thatcher 20 Jun 70 - 4 Mar 74 
Minister for Employment and Productivity R. Carr 20 Jun 70 - 7 Apr 72
  M. Macmillan 7 Apr 72 - 2 Dec 73 
  W. Whitelaw 2 Dec 73 - 4 Mar 74 
Secretary of State for Energy Lord Carrington 8 Jan 74 - 4 Mar 74
Minister for the Environment P. Walker 15 Oct 70 - 5 Nov 72 
  G. Rippon 5 Nov 72 - 4 Mar 74 
Secretary of State for Social Security Sir K. Joseph 20 Jun 70 - 4 Mar 74
Minister for Housing and Local Government P. Walker 20 Jun 70 - 15 Oct 70
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster A. Barber 2 Jun 70 - 28 Jul 70
  G. Rippon 28 Jul 70 - 5 Nov 72 
  J. Davies 5 Nov 72 - 4 Mar 74 
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland W. Whitelaw 24 Mar 72 - 2 Dec 73
  F. Pym 2 Dec 73 - 4 Mar 74 
Paymaster-General M. Macmillan 2 Dec 73 - 4 Mar 74
Secretary of State for Scotland G. Campbell 20 Jun 70 - 4 Mar 74
Minister for Technology G. Rippon 20 Jun 74 - 28 Jul 70
  J. Davies 28 Jul 70 - 15 Oct 70 
President of the Board of Trade M. Noble 20 Jun 70 - 15 Oct 70
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade J. Davies 15 Oct 70 - 5 Nov 72
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade P. Walker 5 Nov 72 - 4 Mar 74 
Minister for Trade and Consumer Affairs Sir G. Howe 5 Nov 72 - 4 Mar 74
Secretary of State for Wales P. Thomas 20 Jun 70 - 4 Mar 74 
  R. Gunter 6 Apr 68 - 1 Jul 68 
  R. Mason 1 Jul 68 - 19 Jun 70 
  A. Benn 4 Jul 66 - 19 Jun 70 
  A. Crosland 29 Aug 67 - 6 Oct 69 
  R. Mason 6 Oct 69 - 19 Jun 70 
Minister for Transport T. Fraser 18 Oct 64 - 23 Dec 65
  B. Castle 23 Dec 65 - 6 Apr 68 
  R. Marsh 6 Apr 68 - 19 Jun 70 
Secretary of State for Wales J. Griffiths 18 Oct 64 - 6 Apr 66
  C. Hughes 6 Apr 66 - 6 Apr 68 
  G. Thomas 6 Apr 68 - 19 Jun 70