WORLD-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLD-OBITS > 2006-10 > 1161529117
From: "Peter McCrae" <>
Subject: [W-OBITS] GOODHEW: Victor Henry Goodhew 11/10/2006
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 15:58:37 +0100
Sir Victor Goodhew
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 21/10/2006
Sir Victor Goodhew, who died on October 11 aged 86, was MP for St Albans
from 1959 until 1983; although he was fiercely Right-wing on Rhodesia, voted
to bring back hanging, and supported Enoch Powell on immigration, this did
not prevent him from accepting a job as a whip in Ted Heath's
Goodhew was one of two Conservative MPs (the other was Jerry Wiggin) who
flew to Salisbury at the height of the Rhodesian crisis in 1976 on a
"fact-finding" visit. They found the prime minister Ian Smith in a
remarkably relaxed mood when they arrived at his official residence,
Independence House, and were astonished that Smith himself answered their
ring at the door, dressed in casual clothes, and insisted on showing them
the house and its garden.
In 1970 Goodhew had successfully piloted through the Commons a private
member's measure, the Licensing of Marriages on Unlicensed Premises Bill,
designed to remove an anomaly whereby non-Anglicans could not get special
licences to enable them to marry in places other than a registered building.
The main aim of the measure was to permit so-called "deathbed marriages",
often in hospitals, when one of the partners is dying and cannot be moved to
a place licensed for marriages.
Victor Henry Goodhew was born on November 30 1919 and educated at King's
College school. He served as a squadron leader in the RAF during the Second
World War, commanding an airborne radar unit.
>From 1953 until 1959 he was a member of Westminster City Council, became
chairman of its housing committee, and represented the Cities of London and
Westminster on London County Council from 1958 until 1961, by which time he
had entered Parliament. His successful candidature at St Albans followed his
failure to win Paddington North in 1955.
In 1965, while winding up for the opposition in a debate on the RAF
estimates, Goodhew, with a wave of his hand, refused to give way to Robert
Maxwell, then a Labour MP, saying: "You make a lot of noise here." The wave
caught a glass of water at his side, which crashed to the floor in pieces.
In 1966 he became chairman of the Conservative defence sub-committee for
policy study on weapons, armaments, ships and aircraft. He was parliamentary
private secretary to Ian Orr-Ewing when he was civil lord of the admiralty,
and later to Thomas Galbraith, a junior transport minister who had survived
implication in the Vassall spy debacle of 1962.
In June 1970, in his last batch of ministerial appointments on taking
office, Edward Heath appointed Goodhew an assistant government whip,
promoting him to full whip status four months later on Goodhew's appointment
as a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury.
By early 1973 Goodhew was feeling the pressure of a busy parliamentary
session during which he had been in charge of the committee stage on a
contentious Immigration Bill; in the previous session he had been
responsibile for whipping during the committee stage of a housing bill, a
marathon that established a number of unenviable parliamentary records.
In October of that year, Goodhew, then 53, suffered a mild heart attack, and
resigned as a government whip on medical advice.
He was knighted in 1982, and retired from Parliament at the 1983 general
election after undergoing major heart surgery. Despite his health problems,
Goodhew was an active man, and enjoyed swimming and tennis.
Goodhew's first marriage, to Sylvia Johnson, ended in divorce. In 1951 he
married Suzanne Gordon-Burge; this marriage was dissolved in 1972, the year
in which he married Eva Rittinghausen, a Canadian of German extraction and a
former escort of the Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau during his 1969
visit to London. This marriage, too, ended in divorce, in 1981.
Sir Victor Goodhew is survived by his son; he also had a daughter, who
|[W-OBITS] GOODHEW: Victor Henry Goodhew 11/10/2006 by "Peter McCrae" <>|