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Joseph Westwood - Politician

Joseph Westwood (1884-1948) was Secretary of State for Scotland from 1945 to 1947. From humble origins, Westwood started as a draper's assistant then followed his father into the coalmines, entering politics through the trade union movement.

His interest throughout his career lay with the welfare of the working man and he was a proponent of council housing long before the idea was taken seriously. Locally he served at different times in Dysart Town Council, Fife County Council and Kirkcaldy Town Council, being made a magistrate in Kirkcaldy in 1933.

From 1922 he was a Member of Parliament, representing constituencies, and was Under-Secretary of State for Scotland in 1931 and from 1940-45, and was made a Privy Councillor in 1943.

He reached the pinnacle of his career from 1945-47 as Secretary of State for Scotland. Kirkcaldy awarded him the freedom of the burgh in 1946, but his career was cut short two years later when he was killed in a road accident.

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