Frederick Leathers
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

Frederick James Leathers, 1st Viscount Leathers, (21 November 1883 – 19 March 1965), was a British industrialist and public servant. Leathers was born at 47, Bromley Street, Stepney ("London's poor East End district"), son of carpenter Robert Leathers, of Stowmarket,
Suffolk Suffolk () is a ceremonial county of England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country ...
, and Emily Jane, née Seaman. His father died when he was four months old.Current Biography yearbook vol. 2, ed. Anna Herthe Rothe et al, H. W. Wilson Co., 1941, p. 503 He left school in 1898 at the age of 15 to work with Steamship Owners Coal Association (later merged with William Cory & Son), becoming managing director in 1916. He was concerned also with other companies dealing with coal or shipping services. He served in the management of the Pacific and Orient Lines, where he came to the attention of
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and again from ...
, from 1931 a director of the firm. He served as an adviser to the Ministry of Shipping from 1914 to 1918 and 1940 to 1941, and as Minister of War Transport in 1941 for the duration of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposi ...
, on the appointment and strong recommendation of Churchill, who in so doing raised him to the peerage. In fact, Churchill said of him "At these meetings, (of a subsidiary company of the Peninsular and Oriental shipping lines where Churchill was a director in 1930), I gradually became aware of a very remarkable man. He presided over 30 or 40 companies...I soon perceived that Frederick Leathers was the central brain and controlling power of this combination. He knew everything and commanded absolute confidence. Year after year I watched him...I said to myself "If ever there is another war, here is a man who will play the same kind of part as the great business leaders who served under me at the Ministry of Munitions in 1917 and 1918". On 8 May 1941, I turned to him. To give him the necessary authority I created the office of Minister of War Transport". (The Grand Alliance, pub. Cassell, London, p132. 1966) He attended the
Casablanca Casablanca, also known in Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michae ...
, Washington,
Quebec Quebec ( ; )According to the Canadian government, ''Québec'' (with the acute accent) is the official name in Canadian French and ''Quebec'' (without the accent) is the province's official name in Canadian English is one of the thirte ...
, and
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, ) is the capital of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeas ...
conferences in 1943. He negotiated the lend-lease of American ships to Britain. He also accompanied the
prime minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister ...
,
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and again from ...
to the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences. He later served as Minister for Coordination of Transport, Fuel and Power from 1951 to 1953. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Leathers, of Purfleet in the County of Essex, in 1941, and appointed a Companion of Honour in 1943. He was further honoured when he was made Viscount Leathers, of Purfleet in the County of Essex, in 1954.


References


External links

* *
1883 births 1965 deaths British Secretaries of State British industrialists British people of World War II Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom Ministers in the Churchill caretaker government, 1945 Ministers in the Churchill wartime government, 1940–1945 Ministers in the third Churchill government, 1951–1955 Viscounts in the Peerage of the United Kingdom Barons created by George VI Viscounts created by Elizabeth II People from Stepney British businesspeople in shipping {{UK-viscount-stub