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Text and Research: Brendan Lynn ... Edited and Compiled: Martin Melaugh
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Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

| Van Straubenzee | Viggers |

Van Straubenzee, William (b. 27 January 1924)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Minister of Sate at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) 1972-74

William Van Straubenzee was first elected as the Conservative MP for Wokingham and represented the constituency until his retirement from active politics at the 1987 general election. For much of his political career he remained on the backbenches but in late 1972 he was appointed as Minister of State at the new Northern Ireland Office (NIO) (1972-74), which had been established in the wake of the suspension of the Stormont parliament in March 1972. Van Straubenzee was given responsibility for the Department of Health and Social Services and was in charge of, for a short period, the Department of Education. In addition he was also given the task of overseeing a committee set up to tackle the problem of religious and political discrimination in employment matters. The work done by this committee was later to result in the establishment of the Fair Employment Agency (FEA). With the formation of the power-sharing executive in January 1974 Van Straubenzee returned to the backbenches.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 20 December 2002]


Viggers, Peter (b. 13 March 1938)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) 1986-89

Peter Viggers was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, before beginning a career as a solicitor. Later he entered business and went onto hold several directorships and acted as chair in a number commercial companies. In February 1974 Viggers was elected as the Conservative MP for Gosport (1974-present) and went onto hold a number of junior ministerial posts after his party returned to government in 1979. Then in 1986 he was appointed as Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) with responsibility for the Department of Economic Development (1986-89). His term in this post was often difficult given the nature and depth of the problems facing the Northern Ireland economy. As a result he struggled to make any significant breakthrough in attracting new jobs and investment. In common with other NIO ministers Viggers faced a hostile response from Unionist politicians who remained bitter and resentful in the wake of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). After leaving his post at the NIO he went returned to the backbenches and has since served on a number of important House of Commons Select Committees.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/vote2001/candidates/candidates/2/27705.stm
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=277
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 20 December 2002]


Notes:
The information has been compiled from numerous primary and secondary sources.
The best general sources for additional information are:
  • Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory, 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
  • McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
  • Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    For related and background information see also:
  • The list of acronyms associated with 'the Troubles'
  • The glossary of terms related to the conflict
  • The abstracts on prominent organisations
  • The chronology of the conflict

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    Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


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