Harold Lever

Scope and Content

Correspondence between Wilkinson and Harold Lever regarding such matters as a donation of £20,000 made by Lever to assist Wilkinson's work of which he is quite clear should not be publicly announced and certainly not with his name attached; Lever using his influence on the appropriate authorities within the Ministries of Food and Health regarding the quality, production and supply of 'pharmaceutical livers'; and a meeting to discuss the arrangement of the Fund so work on leukaemia can be pushed forward without delay.

Administrative / Biographical History

(Norman) Harold Lever, Baron Lever of Manchester (1914-1995) was born in Manchester on 15 January 1914. He studied at Manchester University before being called to the Bar of the Middle Temple in 1935. During the War, he served in the RAF.

In 1945 he began his political career when he was elected as a Labour MP for Manchester Exchange. He subsequently served as MP for Manchester Cheetham (1950-1974) and Manchester Central (1974-1979). Lever held a number of public offices during his career including Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (1967), Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1967-1969), Paymaster General (1969-1970), member of the Shadow Cabinet (1970-1974), Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (1970-1973), and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1974-1979). On 3 July 1979 he was created a life peer as Baron Lever of Manchester.

Lever was married three times in total. The first ended in divorce, his second wife died of leukaemia shortly after the birth of their daughter, and he lived with his third wife with whom he had three daughters until his death on 6 August 1995.