The Lord Marsh
|Minister of Transport|
6 April 1968 – 6 October 1969
|Prime Minister||Harold Wilson|
|Preceded by||Barbara Castle|
|Succeeded by||Fred Mulley|
|Member of Parliament |
8 October 1959 – 7 July 1971
|Preceded by||Joseph Reeves|
|Succeeded by||Guy Barnett|
Richard William Marsh
14 March 1928
|Died||29 July 2011(aged 83)|
|Labour (before 1978)|
|Alma mater||Ruskin College|
Background and early life
The son of William Marsh, a foundry worker from Belvedere in southeast London. His father subsequently worked for the Great Western Railway, and the family moved to Swindon. He was educated at Jennings Street Secondary School, Swindon, Woolwich Polytechnic and Ruskin College, Oxford. He initially worked as an official for the National Union of Public Employees from 1951 to 1959, during which time he sat on the Clerical and Administrative Whitley Council for the National Health Service.
Parliamentary and ministerial career
As a backbencher he submitted a private members bill in 1960 which despite Government opposition became the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act, a white-collar equivalent of the Factories Act and the forerunner of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Minister of Power
He served in the second Wilson Government as the Minister of Power (1966–68). On 22nd April 1966 as Minister of Power he officially opened the new Hinkley Point A nuclear power station. He piloted the legislation for the nationalisation of the steel industry.
Minister of Transport
Subsequently, he served in the Cabinet as Minister of Transport (1968–69). When appointed to the transport ministry he let it be known that (unlike Barbara Castle, his predecessor in the post) he was a motorist, though he insisted that the family car, a Ford Cortina, was run by his wife while he relied on ministerial cars for his transport needs. He was also reported as having taught his father to drive, but having given up trying to perform the same favour for his wife, applying what forty years later appears as imprudent candour in characterising the attempt as "traumatic".
Chairman of British Rail
He left the House of Commons in 1971 to become Chairman of the British Railways Board, a position he held until 1976. On leaving British Rail he was knighted, and became chairman of the Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NPA). The first chairman of the NPA to come from outside of the industry, he served until 1990. He also held the chairmanships of the British Iron and Steel Consumers’ Council from 1977–82 and of Allied Investments Ltd from 1977–81. He was also a member of a number of quangoes and held directorships in several private companies and was chairman of TV-am in 1983-84.
In 1978 he announced that he had become a supporter of Margaret Thatcher, who had been his shadow counterpart when he was Minister of Transport, and intended to vote Conservative at the forthcoming general election, held in 1979.
Thatcher won the election, and in 1981 she created him a life peer as Baron Marsh, of Mannington in the County of Wiltshire, in 1981. He then sat in the House of Lords as a Crossbench peer.
- Deceased Lords, Parliament website
- "Historical list of MPs: constituencies beginning with "G", part 2". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Lord Marsh". The Times. 2 August 2011. p. 48.
- "Marsh, Baron". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Lord Marsh". The Independent. 13 August 2011. p. 40.
- Richard Marsh (1978). Off the Rails; An Autobiography. Weidenfeld & Nicolson,London. ISBN 0-297-77387-9.
- "The Electrical Review". Electrical Review. 178 (9–17): 638. 1966.
- "Nuclear Technology Society in the German Atomic Forum". Handelsblatt Gmbh. 11: 50, 225. 1966.
- "News and views: Richard marsh - Minister of Transport". Autocar. 128 (nbr 3766): 30. 18 April 1968.
- Debrett's Peerage. 2000.
- Richard Marsh. "Off the Rails: An Autobiography". Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1978. ISBN 0-297-77387-9.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Richard Marsh
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Greenwich
| Minister of Power
| Minister of Transport