David Ennals

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David Hedley Ennals, Baron Ennals PC (19 August 1922 – 17 June 1995) was a British Labour Party politician and campaigner for human rights. wiki

"David Ennals was the second of the astonishing and distinguished sons of Arthur Ford Ennals and his wife Jessie Edith Taylor. The eldest brother, John, who died in 1988, was the long-time Director of the UK Immigrants Advisory Service from 1970, Chairman of the Anti-Apartheid Movement 1968- 76, and a war hero with Tito's partisans. The youngest brother, Martin (who died in 1991), later Secretary-General of Amnesty International, for which he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, was the Information Officer of the National Committee for Commonwealth Immigrants.

"Martin Ennals resigned in 1968 in protest at the Labour Government's treatment of Kenyan Asians, at a time when David was Parliamentary Under- Secretary at the Home Office and James Callaghan was Home Secretary...

"After a brief time at college in Connecticut (which gave him a lifelong pro-American stance) Ennals had taken a job with the Council for Education in World Government, from 1947 to 1952. It was this milieu that drew him to Liberal politics. Having failed in two successive elections at Richmond in the Liberal interest, he got the job as Secretary of the United Nations Association. His contemporary Peter Shore, who was then Research Secretary of the Labour Party, told me that Ennals's Liberal flirtation was forgotten in Labour Party circles because he was admired as an enormously vibrant Secretary of the United Nations Association. It was this work that won him the position of the Overseas Secretary of the Labour Party in 1957- 64. It was in this capacity that he accompanied Harold Wilson on a number of journeys, particularly to Moscow, which created an enduring link with the future Prime Minister. Colleagues senior and junior knew that Ennals had a special empathy with and access to Wilson...

"Ennals's rise was meteoric. He went from being Under- Secretary for the Army via the Foreign Office to become, in 1968, Minister of State responsible for Health. When he first heard of Ennals's appointment to his department, Crossman exploded: "Ennals is Harold's creature. First of all, Harold asked Barbara Castle to take him on as her PPS; he then appointed him in Defence to keep an eye on Denis Healey; he then put him in the Home Office to spy on Jim Callaghan; and now he wants him to keep tabs on me!"...

"It was a great sadness that his adopted Vietnamese son, Phuoc Ky Ennals, should have been killed at the age of 21 in the forces in an accident. Ennals was remarkable in overcoming adversity and the Labour movement is the poorer for his passing.

"David Hedley Ennals, politician: born Walsall 19 August 1922; Secretary, Council for Education in World Citizenship 1947-52; Secretary, United Nations Association 1952-57, Vice-Chairman 1991-95; Overseas Secretary, Labour Party 1957-64; Chairman, Anti-Apartheid Movement 1960-64; MP (Labour) for Dover 1964-70, for Norwich North 1974-83; PPS to Minister of Overseas Development 1964; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Army 1966-67; Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office 1967-68; Minister of State, DHSS 1968-70; PC 1970; Campaign Director, National Association for Mental Health (Mind) 1970-73, Chairman 1984, President 1989-95; Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1974-76; Secretary of State for Social Services 1976-79; created 1983 Baron Ennals; Chairman, Gandhi Foundation 1984-95; married 1950 Eleanor Maud Caddick (three sons, one daughter; marriage dissolved 1977), 1977 Gene Tranoy; died London 17 June 1995." [1]

His son is Sir Paul Ennals.


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  1. OBITUARY:Lord Ennals, independent.co.uk, accessed July 3, 2010.