Stanley Baldwin

Knowledge Identifier: +Stanley_Baldwin

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Stanley Baldwin

British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars add

Category: Politics

Born in 1867.

Countries: United Kingdom (66%), (7%), Europe (5%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Bonar Law, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill

Linked to: Conservative Party, Liberal Party, Labour Party, List of Chancellors of the University of Cambridge

 

Timeline


 

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Stanley Baldwin was born in 1867 add something


1888

Richard Thomas and Baldwins - In 1888, he brought his 21-year-old son Stanley Baldwin, afterwards Prime Minister of the United Kingdom into the business


1892

Alfred Baldwin (politician) - At the 1892 general election, Baldwin was elected as MP for Bewdley in Worcestershire, holding the seat until his death, when he was succeeded by his only child, Stanley Baldwin, who later became prime minister of the United Kingdom


1897

As a young man he served briefly as a Second Lieutenant in the Artillery Volunteers at Malvern and in 1897 became a JP for the county of Worcestershire add something


1906

In the 1906 general election he contested Kidderminster but lost amidst the Conservative landslide defeat after the party split on the issue of free trade add something

 

Cabinet of the United Kingdom - This centralisation inevitably enhanced the power of the Prime Minister, who moved from being the "primus inter pares" of the Asquith Cabinets of 1906 onwards, with a glittering set of huge individual talents leading powerful departments, to the dominating figures of David Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill


1908

Baldwin first entered the House of Commons in 1908 as the Member of Parliament for Bewdley, and held government office in the coalition ministry of David Lloyd George add something

 

He inherited £200,000 and a directorship of the Great Western Railway on the death of his father in 1908 add something

 

In 1908 he was elected Member of Parliament for Bewdley in which role he succeeded his father add something


1911

This was the first rise in MPs wages since their introduction in 1911 and it particularly benefited Labour MPs add something


1913

Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon - From 1913 on, Freeman-Thomas held gubernatorial and viceregal offices throughout the British Empire, starting with the governorship of Bombay and the governorship of Madras, before he was in 1926 appointed as Canadian governor general by the King, on the recommendation of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Stanley Baldwin, to replace the Viscount Byng of Vimy as viceroy, and he occupied the post until succeeded by the Earl of Bessborough in 1931


1916

He served jointly with Sir Hardman Lever, who had been appointed in 1916, but after 1919 Baldwin carried out the duties largely alone add something


1917

During the First World War he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the party leader Andrew Bonar Law and in 1917 he was appointed to the junior ministerial post of Financial Secretary to the Treasury where he sought to encourage voluntary donations by the rich to repay the United Kingdom's war debt, writing to "The Times" under the pseudonym 'FST', much of which were published add something

 

Hardman Lever - From 1917 he held the post jointly with Stanley Baldwin and after 1919 left most of the duties to the latter


1919

Simon Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat - Apart from his military career Lovat was Chairman of the Forestry Commission from 1919 to 1927 and served in the Conservative administration of Stanley Baldwin as Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs from 1927 to 1929


1920

He was appointed to the Privy Council in the 1920 Birthday Honours add something

 

James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury - He returned to the government in the 1920s and served under Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1922 to 1923, as Lord President of the Council from 1922 to 1924, as Lord Privy Seal from 1924 to 1929 and as Leader of the House of Lords from 1925 to 1929

 

Arthur Balfour - In the late 1920s he served as an elder statesman in the second government of Stanley Baldwin

 

Rudyard Kipling - Kipling's most famous relative was his first cousin, Stanley Baldwin, who was Conservative Prime Minister of the UK three times in the 1920s and 1930s


1921

In 1921 he was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade add something


1922

In 1922, Baldwin was one of the prime movers in the withdrawal of Conservative support from Lloyd George and became Chancellor of the Exchequer in Bonar Law's Conservative ministry add something

 

In late 1922 dissatisfaction was steadily growing within the Conservative Party over its coalition with the Liberal David Lloyd George add something

 

In the November 1922 general election the Conservatives were returned with a majority in their own right add something

 

Albert Buckley - He held office under Andrew Bonar Law as a Junior Lord of the Treasury from 1922 to 1923 and under Bonar Law and later Stanley Baldwin as Secretary for Overseas Trade from March to November 1923

 

Conservative Party (UK) - In 1922, Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin led the break-up of the coalition and the Conservatives governed until 1923, when a minority Labour government led by Ramsay MacDonald came to power

 

Ronald Munro Ferguson, 1st Viscount Novar - In 1922, he was appointed Secretary for Scotland in Andrew Bonar Law's Conservative government, holding the post until 1924, the last year under the premiership of Stanley Baldwin

 

Savile Crossley, 1st Baron Somerleyton - The coalition fell in 1922, but Somerleyton remained as a whip in the Conservative administrations of Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin


1923

Protection was divisive in the Conservative Party in 1923: "one must speak of the election being fought by a divided party add something

 

In May 1923 Bonar Law was diagnosed with terminal cancer and retired immediately add something

 

Upon Law's resignation due to health reasons in May 1923, Baldwin became Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader add something

 

With the country facing growing unemployment in the wake of free trade imports driving down prices and profits, Baldwin decided to call an early general election in December 1923 to seek a mandate to introduce protectionist tariffs which, he hoped, would drive down unemployment add something

 

David Lloyd George - Before the 1923 election, he resolved his dispute with Asquith, allowing the Liberals to run a united ticket against Stanley Baldwin's policy of protective tariffs

 

Philip Cunliffe-Lister, 1st Earl of Swinton - In 1923, Law was forced to resign due to failing health and there was discussion as to whether he would be succeeded by Stanley Baldwin or Lord Curzon

 

John Baird, 1st Viscount Stonehaven - He continued as First Commissioner of Works and Minister of Transport when Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister in May 1923 and held them until January 1924, when Ramsay MacDonald's Labour government took office

 

George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston - On Andrew Bonar Law's retirement as Prime Minister in May 1923, Curzon was passed over for the job in favour of Stanley Baldwin, despite having written Bonar Law a lengthy letter earlier in the year complaining of rumours that he was to retire in Baldwin's favour, and listing the reasons why he should have the top job


1924

After winning the 1924 General Election Baldwin formed his second government, which saw important tenures of office by Sir Austen Chamberlain , Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain add something

 

Baldwin remained Prime Minister until the opening session of the new Parliament in January 1924, at which time the government was defeated in a motion of confidence vote add something

 

On 13 March 1924, the Labour government was defeated for the first time in the Commons, although the Conservatives decided to vote with Labour later that day against the Liberals add something

 

The general election held in October 1924 brought a landslide majority of 223 for the Conservative party, primarily at the expense of an unpopular Liberal Party add something

 

Arthur Balfour - Balfour was again not initially included in Stanley Baldwin's second government in 1924, but in 1925 he once again returned to the Cabinet, serving in place of the late Lord Curzon as Lord President of the Council until the government ended in 1929

 

Eustace Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Newcastle - He most notably served as President of the Board of Education under Stanley Baldwin between 1924 and 1929

 

Eustace Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Newcastle - When Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister in May of the same year, Percy was moved to the post of Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, which he remained until the fall of the government in January 1924

 

Rab Butler - He was educated at Marlborough College and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was President of the Cambridge Union Society in the summer term of his third year; in March 1924, as newly elected President, he entertained the Leader of the Opposition, Stanley Baldwin, at a debate


1925

This was the Widows, Orphans and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act of 1925, which provided a pension of 10 shillings a week for widows with extra for children, and 10 shillings a week for insured workers and their wives at 65 add something

 

It published its report on 14 May 1925 and in it Weir recommended the setting up of a Central Electricity Board, a state monopoly half-financed by the Government and half by local undertakings add something

 

John Bernard Partridge - In 1925, he was knighted by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and gave his support to the government during the General Strike


1926

Baldwin accepted Weir's recommendations and they became law by the end of 1926 add something

 

That government saw the General Strike in 1926 and the 1927 Trades Disputes Act to curb the powers of trade unions, although Baldwin was supportive of Labour politicians at Westminster forming minority governments add something

 

This period included the General Strike of 1926, a crisis that the government managed to weather, despite the havoc it caused throughout the UK. Baldwin created the Organisation for the Maintenance of Supplies, a volunteer body of those opposed to the strike which was intended to complete essential work add something

 

Ethel Snowden - Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin appointed Ethel Snowden a Governor of the newly-established British Broadcasting Corporation in 1926, as a representative of women and of Labour; the appointment carried an annual salary of £750


1927

Muhammad Ali Jinnah - In 1927, the British Government, under Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, undertook a decennial review of Indian policy mandated by the Government of India Act 1919


1928

Claud Schuster, 1st Baron Schuster - His replacement was Lord Hailsham, who was appointed by Stanley Baldwin on 29 March 1928


1929

Baldwin lost the 1929 General Election and his continued leadership was subject to criticism by the press barons Rothermere and Beaverbrook add something

 

In 1929 Labour returned to office, the largest party in the House of Commons despite obtaining fewer votes than the Conservatives add something

 

James Thomas, 1st Viscount Cilcennin - Thomas was private secretary to Stanley Baldwin, the leader of the Conservative Party, between 1929 and 1931

 

Bramwell Booth - On 29 April 1929 the now former General Bramwell Booth received a letter from Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin stating that King George V had appointed him a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour


1930

In private, Baldwin defended his conduct in the 1930s: add something

 

It has been written that his son "evidently could not decide whether he was answering the charge of inanition and deceit which grew out of the war, or the radical "dissenters" of the early 1930s who thought the Conservatives were warmongers and denounced them for rearming at all" add something

 

Williamson admits that there was a clear postwar consensus that repudiated and denigrated all inter-war governments: Baldwin was targeted with the accusation that he had failed to rearm Britain in the 1930s despite Hitler's threat add something

 

Williamson asserted that Baldwin had helped create "a moral basis for rearmament in the mid 1930s" that contributed add something

 

Richard Cobden - Stanley Baldwin said in December 1930, during the Great Depression, that the Conservatives were "a national party of all those who believe that any improvement in the industrial and economic position of this country can only be achieved by cutting loose from the Cobdenism of the last generation and putting this country on what is and must be a protectionist basis"


1931

By 1931 Baldwin and the Conservatives entered into a coalition with Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald add something

 

In 1931, Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald formed a National Government, most of whose ministers were Conservatives and which won an enormous majority at the 1931 General Election add something


1932

Victor Montagu - He joined the Conservatives and was Private Secretary to the Lord President of the Council, Stanley Baldwin, from 1932 to 1934 and Treasurer of the Junior Imperial League from 1934 to 1935

 

Strategic bombing - These theorists were highly influential, both on the military justification for an independent air force and in influencing political thoughts on a future war as exemplified by Stanley Baldwin's 1932 comment that "the bomber will always get through"


1933

From 1933, I and my friends were all very worried about what was happening in Europe add something

 

In late 1933 and early 1934 he rejected an invitation from Hitler to meet him, believing that visits to foreign capitals were the job of Foreign Secretaries add something

 

That was the feeling of the country in 1933 add something

 

You will remember at that time there was probably a stronger pacifist feeling running through the country than at any time since the War. I am speaking of 1933 and 1934 add something

 

You will remember the election at Fulham in the autumn of 1933 add something

 

With the second part of the Disarmament Conference starting in January 1933, Baldwin attempted to see through his hope of air disarmament add something

 

In April 1933 the Cabinet agreed to follow through with the construction of the Singapore military base add something

 

However between mid-September 1933 and the beginning of 1934 Baldwin's mind changed from hoping for disarmament to favouring rearmament, including parity in aircraft add something

 

On 15 September 1933 the German delegate at the Disarmament Conference refused to return to the Conference and Germany left altogether in October add something

 

Clement Attlee said on 21 December 1933: "For our part, we are unalterably opposed to anything in the nature of rearmament" add something

 

Edward Burne-Jones - On 16 June 1933, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, a nephew of Burne-Jones, officially opened the centenary exhibition featuring Burne-Jones's drawings and paintings at the Tate Gallery in London


1934

On 8 March 1934 Attlee said, after Baldwin defended the Air Estimates, "we on our side are out for total disarmament" add something

 

On 8 March 1934 Baldwin defended the creation of four new squadrons for the Royal Air Force against Labour criticisms and said of international disarmament: add something

 

On 30 July 1934 Labour moved a motion of censure against the government because of its planned expansion of the RAF. Attlee spoke for it: "We deny the need for increased air arms add something

 

On 31 July 1934, the Cabinet approved a report that called for expansion of the Royal Air Force to the 1923 standard by creating 40 new squadrons over the following five years add something

 

On 28 November 1934 Churchill moved an amendment to the vote of thanks for the King's Speech, which read: " add something

 

Anthony Eden - In 1934 he was appointed Lord Privy Seal and Minister for the League of Nations in Stanley Baldwin's Government


1935

An index entry in the first volume of Churchill's "History of the Second World War" records Baldwin "admitting to putting party before country" for his alleged admission that he would not have won the 1935 election if he had pursued a more aggressive policy of rearmament add something

 

Baldwin responded by denying that the Luftwaffe was approaching equality and that it was "not 50 per cent" of the RAF. He added that by the end of 1935 the RAF would still have "a margin of nearly 50 per cent" in Europe add something

 

His government secured with great difficulty the passage of the landmark Government of India Act 1935, in the teeth of opposition from Winston Churchill, whose views enjoyed much support among rank-and-file Conservatives add something

 

His thorough presentation of the case for rearmament in 1935, the son argues, defeated pacifism and secured a victory that allowed rearmament to move ahead add something

 

In 1935, Baldwin replaced MacDonald as Prime Minister of the National Government, and won the 1935 General Election with another large majority add something

 

This decision led to MacDonald's expulsion from his own party, and Baldwin, as Lord President of the Council became "de facto" Prime Minister deputising for the increasingly senile MacDonald, until he once again officially became Prime Minister in 1935 add something

 

Young contends that Baldwin should have retired in 1935 add something

 

In April 1935 the Air Secretary reported that although Britain's strength in the air would be ahead of Germany for at least three years, air rearmament needed to be increased so the Cabinet agreed to the creation of an extra 39 squadrons for home defence by 1937 add something

 

On 21 May 1935, the Cabinet agreed to expanding the home defence force of the RAF to 1,512 aircraft add something

 

On 22 May 1935 Baldwin confessed in the Commons: "I was wrong in my estimate of the future add something

 

On 22 May 1935, the day after Hitler had made a speech claiming that German rearmament offered no threat to peace, Attlee asserted that Hitler's speech gave "a chance to call a halt in the armaments race" add something

 

With MacDonald's physical powers failing him, he and Baldwin changed places in June 1935; Baldwin was now Prime Minister, MacDonald Lord President of the Council add something

 

Edward Spears - In March 1935, Ramsay Macdonald resigned as Prime Minister of the National Government to be succeeded by the Conservative, Stanley Baldwin


1936

On 25 February 1936, the Cabinet approved a report calling for expansion of the Royal Navy and the re-equipment of the British Army , along with the creation of "shadow factories" built by public money and managed by industrial companies add something

 

During October through November 1936, Baldwin joined the royal family in trying to dissuade the King from that marriage, arguing that the idea of having a twice-divorced woman as the Queen would be rejected by the government and by the country, and that "the voice of the people must be heard add something

 

In the debate in the Commons on 12 November 1936, Churchill attacked the government on rearmament as being "decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent add something

 

John Crichton, 5th Earl Erne - Erne was active in the House of Lords and served as a Lord-in-Waiting from 1936 to 1939 in the National Government led firstly by Stanley Baldwin and later by Neville Chamberlain

 

Chaim Weizmann - In 1936 he addressed the Peel Commission, set up by Stanley Baldwin, whose job it was to consider the working of the British Mandate of Palestine

 

Roger Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes - Keyes was part of two parliamentary deputations which called on the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Neville Chamberlain, in the autumn of 1936 to remonstrate with them about the slow pace of British rearmament in the face of the growing threat from Nazi Germany

 

James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury - Salisbury was part of two parliamentary deputations which called on the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Neville Chamberlain, in the autumn of 1936 to remonstrate with them about the slow pace of British rearmament in the face of the growing threat from Nazi Germany

 

League of Nations - On 23 June 1936, in the wake of the collapse of League efforts to restrain Italy's war against Abyssinia, British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin told the House of Commons that collective security had

 

Joachim von Ribbentrop - During the abdication crisis of December 1936, Ribbentrop reported to Berlin that the reason the crisis had occurred was an anti-German Jewish-Masonic-reactionary conspiracy to depose Edward , and that civil war would soon break out in Britain between the King's supporters and those of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin's

 

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll - In December 1936, Louise wrote to the British prime minister, Stanley Baldwin, sympathising with him about the crisis


1937

Attlee denounced the Defence White Paper of 1937: "I do not believe the Government are going to get any safety through these armaments" add something

 

Baldwin retired in 1937 and was succeeded by Neville Chamberlain add something

 

Edward VIII was assigned the title of the Duke of Windsor by his brother, and he married Mrs. Simpson in France in 1937 add something

 

These factories came into operation in 1937 add something

 

Upon his retirement in 1937, he had received a great deal of praise; the onset of World War II would change his public image for the worse add something

 

In February 1937 the Chiefs of Staff reported that by May 1937 the Luftwaffe would have 800 bombers compared to the RAF's 48 add something

 

After the coronation of George VI, Baldwin announced on 27 May 1937 that he was going to resign the premiership the next day add something

 

Alec Douglas-Home - By the time of Dunglass's appointment Chamberlain was generally seen as the heir to the premiership, and in 1937 the incumbent, Stanley Baldwin, retired, and Chamberlain succeeded him

 

Neville Chamberlain - When Stanley Baldwin retired in May 1937, Chamberlain took his place as Prime Minister


1938

Baldwin supported the Munich Agreement and said to Chamberlain on 26 September 1938: "If you can secure peace, you may be cursed by a lot of hotheads but my word you will be blessed in Europe and by future generations" add something


1939

By 1939 electrical output was up fourfold and generating costs had fallen add something

 

Rightly or wrongly, Baldwin, Chamberlain and MacDonald were held responsible for the United Kingdom's military unpreparedness on the eve of war in 1939 add something

 

Peter Howard, writing in the "Sunday Express" , accused Baldwin of deceiving the country of the dangers that faced it in order not to re-arm and so win the 1935 general election add something


1940

After Chamberlain's death in 1940, Baldwin's perceived part in pre-war appeasement made him an unpopular figure during and after World War II add something

 

Williamson says the negative reputation was chiefly the product of partisan politics, the bandwagon of praise for Churchill, selective recollections, and the need for scapegoats to blame for Britain's very close call in 1940 add something

 

With a succession of British military failures in 1940, Baldwin started to receive critical letters: "insidious to begin with, increasingly violent and abusive; the newspapers; finally the polemicists who, with time and wit at their disposal, could debate at leisure how to wound the deepest add something

 

During the ill-fated Battle of France, in May 1940, Lloyd George in conversation with Winston Churchill and General Ironside railed against Baldwin and said "he ought to be hanged" add something

 

In July 1940, a bestseller "Guilty Men" appeared, which blamed Baldwin for failing to re-arm enough add something

 

After Lord Halifax made a speech on the strength of prayer as the instrument which could be invoked by the humblest to use in their country's service, Baldwin wrote to him on 23 July 1940: add something


1941

In 1941, A. L. Rowse criticised Baldwin for lulling the people into a false sense of security; as a practitioner in "the art of taking the people in": add something

 

In May 1941 Hamilton Fyfe wrote an article for "Nineteenth Century and After" which laid these charges against Baldwin add something

 

In September 1941, Baldwin's old enemy, Lord Beaverbrook, asked all local authorities to survey their area's iron and steel railings and gates that could be used for the war effort add something


1942

In December, the architect advised that they be exempt, but, in February 1942, the Ministry of Supply overruled this and said all his gates must go except the ones at the main entrance add something


1943

During the war, Winston Churchill consulted him only once, in February 1943, on the advisability of his speaking out strongly against the continued neutrality of Éamon de Valera's Ireland add something


1944

In December 1944, strongly advised by friends, Baldwin decided to respond to criticisms of him through a biographer add something


1945

In June 1945, Baldwin's wife Lucy died add something


1947

"I wish Stanley Baldwin no ill," Churchill said when declining to send him 80th birthday greetings in 1947, "but it would have been much better had he never lived add something


Stanley Baldwin died in 1947 add something

 

When he made his final public appearance in London in October 1947 at the unveiling of a statue of George V, a crowd of people recognised and cheered him, but by this time he was deaf and asked: "Are they booing me-" Having been made Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in 1930, he continued in this capacity until his death in his sleep at Astley Hall, near Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, on 14 December 1947 add something


1948

In 1948, Reginald Bassett published an essay disputing the claim that Baldwin "confessed" to putting party before country, and claimed that Baldwin was referring to 1933/34 when a general election on rearmament would have been lost add something

 

David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty - The Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, called in the House of Commons for a public memorial to Beatty to be erected, but no action was taken until after the Second World War, when busts of Beatty and Jellicoe were unveiled in Trafalgar Square on 21 October 1948


1952

In 1952, G. M. Young published a biography of Baldwin, which Baldwin had asked him to write add something


1953

In response to Young's biography, D. C. Somervell published "Stanley Baldwin: An examination of some features of Mr. G. M. Young's biography" in 1953 with a foreword by Ernest Brown add something


1955

Baldwin argues that his father Stanley Baldwin planned a rearmament programme as early as 1934, but had to do so quietly to avoid antagonizing the pacifistic public revealed by the Peace Ballot of 1934-35 and endorsed by both the Labour and the Liberal oppositions add something

 

Both Young and Somervell were criticised by C. L. Mowat in 1955, who claimed they both failed to rehabilitate Baldwin's reputation add something


1956

In 1956, Baldwin's son A. W. Baldwin published a biography entitled "My Father: The True Story" add something


1960

Only during the 1960s did political distance and the opening of government records lead to more balanced historical assessments; yet the myth had become so central to larger myths about the 1930s and 1940s that it persists as conventional wisdom about the period add something


1969

In 1969 the first major biography of Baldwin appeared, of over 1,000 pages, written by Keith Middlemas and John Barnes, both Conservatives who wished to defend Baldwin add something


1970

Conservative Party (UK) - One-nation conservatism was the party's dominant ideology in the 20th century until the rise of Thatcherism in the 1970s, and included in its ranks Conservative Prime Ministers such as Stanley Baldwin, Harold_Macmillan and Edward Heath


1999

In 1999, Philip Williamson published a collection of essays on Baldwin which attempted to explain his beliefs and defended his policies as Prime Minister add something


2004

By 2004 Ball could report that among historians, "The pendulum has swung almost completely towards a positive view add something

 

By 2004, however, historians generally painted a positive portrait of his governments add something


2010

Anthony Andrews - Andrews appeared as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in the 2010 film "The King's Speech", for which he won a SAG *award along with Helena Bonham Carter, Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, Geoffrey Rush and Timothy Spall