John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon

John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon GCSI, GCVO, OBE, PC ( born February 28, 1873 in Manchester, † January 11, 1954 in London) was a British lawyer and politician.


Simon was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh, and at Oxford University and in 1899 admitted to the Inner Temple as a Barrister.

In 1906 he was first elected as a Liberal in parliament. In 1910 he was appointed Solicitor - General in the government Asquith and 1913 promoted to Attorney General. In May 1915, he was appointed as successor of Reginald McKenna interior minister in the newly formed coalition government under Asquith, but resigned after a year in protest against the introduction of conscription. In order to dispel doubts about his patriotism, he then served on the staff of the Royal Flying Corps under Hugh Trenchard.

After the war, Simon initially worked as a barrister again, after he had lost his parliamentary seat. From 1927 to 1931 he headed the Staff Commission for British India, which was to develop recommendations for an Indian constitution. With the split in the Liberal Party in 1931 was Simon Chairman of the National Liberal and later Foreign Minister in the National Government of Ramsay MacDonald. Under MacDonald's successor, Stanley Baldwin, he was Minister of the Interior in 1935 and 1937 Chamberlain Chancellor of the Exchequer ( until 1940). This year, he was elevated as Viscount Simon the peer and appointed Lord Chancellor of the Churchill government. However, since he was with Samuel Hoare as the main responsible for the failed policy of appeasement, he was not a member of the Select War Cabinet. This also helped that he was extremely unpopular with the party friends and other politicians and was seen as opportunist who befriended everywhere.

After Labour's election victory in 1945 he retired from public life. On the return of Churchill to the government in 1951, he was offered a ministerial post.