Lord Chalfont's memoirs are the account of how a Welsh grammar schoolboy. whose ambition was to join the army, ended up, to his astonishment, in Harold Wilson's Labour government as a Peer and as Minister for Disarmament, and how he found himself working for the Sultan of Brunei.
As appropriate for a Welshman, Lord Chalfont takes his title from a Dylan Thomas poem, 'Fern Hill'. His memoirs are the account of how a Welsh grammar schoolboy, whose ambition was to join the army, ended up, to his astonishment, in Harold Wilson's Labour government as a Peer and as Minister for Disarmament, and how, in a further unlikely twist, he found himself working for the Sultan of Brunei. On the morning after Labour won the 1964 General Election in a landslide, and Harold Wilson became Prime Minister, the Defence Correspondent of The Times, Alun Gwynne-Jones, received a call to go forthwith to No 10 Downing Street. To his astonishment he was offered by Harold Wilson a Peerage, a seat on the Privy Councillor, and the position of 'Minister for Disarmament'. For Gwynne-Jones, who took the title Lord Chalfont, life would never be the same again. Three of his six years as a FO minister coincided with George Brown as Foreign Secretary. His boorishness, his love of drink, led t o some hair-raising stories, which Chalfont relates. The second side of his public life, as a businessmen, allows him the opportunity to write about the Gummer family - he was a director of Shandwick, Peter Gummer's PR company; and he adds revelations about the life of Lonrho's controversial Chairman, 'Tiny' Rowland, whose path he crossed.
Regular Army officer 1940-61; Defence Correspondent, The Times, 1961-64. Life peer 1964, Foreign Office minister 1964-70. Resumed journalistic career , company director (chairman Vickers 1990-96); also chairman of The Radio Authori
The Shadow of My Hand: A Memoir by Alun Chalfont
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