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    Mr Duncan Sandys has been Britain's Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations since July 1960.In?

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    Background: Mr Duncan Sandys has been Britain's Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations since July 1960.In a Government reshuffle in July 1962 he was also appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies.

    Born in 1908 Duncan Sandys was educated at Eton and Magdalen College Oxford where he took his degree in History.He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1930 and during a three year posting to Berlin saw the last days of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis to power.At the end of 1933 he resigned from the Diplomatic Service to enter politics -- at a by-election in February 1935 he was elected Conservative member for Norwood.

    During the war Duncan Sandys served with the Royal Artillery, took part in the Norway campaign and played an important part in the development of the rocket gun.He had reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel when in July 1941 an accident incapacitated him for further military service.

    On his return to Parliamentary duties he was appointed Financial Secretary to the War Office.He was the youngest member over of the Army Council by virtue of this post.December 1942 saw him Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply.In December 1944 came Cabinet rank, as Minister of Works.

    In 1945 Duncan Sandys lost his seat in the general election but was re-elected in 1950 as MP for Streatham (a London borough).He has held this seat since.

    While out of Parliament most of his time was spent in work for a united Europe.

    In December 1947 he became Executive Chairman of the international body later known as the European movement.From 1950 to 1951 he was Chairman of the European Inter-Parliamentary Group.

    When Sir Winston Churchill formed his government in 1951 Duncan Sandys was appointed Minister of Supply a post he held for 3 years.Then until 1957 he was Minister of Housing and Local Government.He became Minister of Defence in January 1957 when Mr Macmillan became Prime Minister.

    From October 1959 until going to the Commonwealth Relations office he was Minister of Aviation.His period of office as Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and for the Colonies has seen the emergence of several independent states within the Commonwealth -- (Cyprus, Sierra Leone, Tanganyika, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda).He has played a key role in negotiations for the establishment of Malaysia and for the setting up of internal self government in Kenya.

    Duncan Sandys married Diana, eldest daughter of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill in 1935 and has one son and two daughters.The marriage was dissolved in 1960.In April 1962 he married Marie-Claire, Viscountess Hudson.

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