Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Gladwyn Jebb

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Preceded by  Position established
Religion  Anglican
Party  Liberal Party
Political party  Liberal
Spouse  Cynthia Jebb (m. 1929)
Nationality  British
Role  British Politician
Succeeded by  Trygve Lie
Name  Gladwyn Jebb

Gladwyn Jebb httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Full Name  Hubert Miles Gladwyn Jebb
Born  25 April 1900 United Kingdom (1900-04-25)
Died  October 24, 1996, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Books  The memoirs of Lord Gladwyn
Education  Magdalen College, Oxford, Eton College
Similar People  Trygve Lie, Javier Perez de Cuellar, Kurt Waldheim, Boutros Boutros‑Ghali, Dag Hammarskjold

Sir gladwyn jebb in un 1953

Hubert Miles Gladwyn Jebb, 1st Baron Gladwyn known as Gladwyn Jebb (25 April 1900 – 24 October 1996), was a prominent British civil servant, diplomat and politician as well as the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations for a little over three months.


Character sketches gladwyn jebb

Early life and family life

The son of Sydney Jebb, of Firbeck Hall, Yorkshire, Jebb was educated at Eton College, then Magdalen College, Oxford, gaining a First in History. In 1929 he married Cynthia Noble, daughter of Sir Saxton Noble, 3rd Baronet, and granddaughter of Sir Andrew Noble, 1st Baronet, with whom he had one son and two daughters: Miles, Vanessa, married to the historian Hugh Thomas, and Stella, married to the scientist Joel de Rosnay. His granddaughter is the international best selling author Tatiana de Rosnay.

Diplomatic career

Jebb entered the British Diplomatic Service in 1924, served in Tehran, where he became known to Harold Nicolson and to Vita Sackville-West. He later served in Rome, as well as at the Foreign Office in London where, amongst other positions, he served as the Private Secretary to the Head of the Diplomatic Service.

World War II

In August 1940, Jebb was appointed to the Ministry of Economic Warfare with temporary rank of Assistant Under-Secretary, as Chief Executive Officer of the Special Operations Executive. In February 1942, with a change of Minister of Economic Warfare, Jebb was relieved of his appointment and returned to the Foreign Office. He was appointed Head of the Reconstruction Department and in 1943 was made a Counsellor. In this capacity he attended numerous international conferences, including those at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam.

Acting UN Secretary-General

After World War II, Jebb served as Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations in August 1945, being appointed Acting United Nations Secretary-General from October 1945 to February 1946, until the appointment of the first Secretary-General Trygve Lie. Jebb remains the only UN Secretary-General or Acting Secretary-General to come from a permanent member state of the United Nations Security Council.


Returning to London, Jebb served as Deputy to the Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin at the Conference of Foreign Ministers before serving as the Foreign Office's United Nations Adviser (1946–47). He represented the United Kingdom at the Brussels Treaty Permanent Commission with personal rank of ambassador.

Jebb became the United Kingdom's Ambassador to the United Nations from 1950 to 1954 and to Paris from 1954–1960. In the latter role he was angered that secret negotiations between the British, French and Israelis in advance of the Suez invasion in 1956 took place at Sèvres without his knowledge, and, in certain respects, he was sidelined by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan at the Paris "big power" summit in 1960. Jebb's rather "grand" manner caused Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd to coin the epigram, "You're a deb, Sir Gladwyn Jebb".

Political career

Jebb was knighted in 1949. On 12 April 1960 Jebb was created a hereditary peer and as Baron Gladwyn, of Bramfield in the County of Suffolk. Becoming involved in politics as a member of the Liberal Party. He was Deputy Leader of the Liberals in the House of Lords 1965–1988 and spokesman on foreign affairs and defence. An ardent European, he served as a Member of the European Parliament from 1973 to 1976, where he was also the Vice-President of the Parliament's Political Committee. Jebb unsuccessfully contested the Suffolk seat in the European Parliament in 1979.

When asked why he had joined the Liberal Party in the early 1960s, he replied that the Liberals were a party without a general and that he was a general without a party. Like many Liberals, he passionately believed that education was the key to social reform.

Other activities

Jebb became a good cook and for a long time was chairman of the British government's wine committee. A good shot, he never ceased to be interested by rural pursuits. He was a friend of Cyril Connolly and of Nancy Mitford.


Jebb died on 24 October 1996 at the age of 96, and is buried at St. Andrew's, Bramfield, in the county of Suffolk.

Lady Gladwyn

Jebb's wife Cynthia, Lady Gladwyn (1898–1990) was the daughter of Sir Saxton Noble and the great-grand daughter of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. She was a noted diarist of their times in Paris and a hostess of Liberal and London politics.


  • GCMG, 1954 (preceded by a KCMG in 1949 and a CMG in 1942)
  • GCVO, 1957
  • Companion of the Bath, 1947
  • Grand Croix de la Légion d'Honneur, 1957
  • Publications and papers

    Publications by Jebb include:

  • Is Tension Necessary?, 1959
  • Peaceful Coexistence, 1962
  • The European Idea, 1966
  • Half-way to 1984, 1967
  • De Gaulle's Europe, or, Why the General says No, 1969
  • Europe after de Gaulle, 1970
  • The Memoirs of Lord Gladwyn, 1972
  • The papers of 1st Lord Gladwyn were deposited at Churchill Archives Centre at the University of Cambridge by his son, 2nd Lord Gladwyn, between 1998 and 2000.


    Gladwyn Jebb Wikipedia