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Ted Rowlands


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Ted Rowlands
Edward "Ted" Rowlands, Baron Rowlands, CBE (born 23 January 1940) is a Welsh politician, who served as a Labour Party Member of Parliament for over thirty years and as a junior minister in the 1960s and 1970s.

He attended Rhondda Grammar School and Wirral Grammar School, and then King's College London where he obtained a BA in History in 1962.

Political career
Rowlands was first elected to the Commons at the 1966 general election as Member of Parliament for Cardiff North, but lost his seat at the 1970 election. He was elected to represent Merthyr Tydfil at the 1972 by-election called after the death of the long standing MP SO Davies. Rowlands served as Member of Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil until the constituency boundaries were redrawn and renamed for the 1983 general election, when he was returned for the new Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency. He was returned at three further elections before he stepped down at the 2001 general election.

He had served as a junior minister under in Harold Wilson's governments, as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Welsh Office from 1969 to 1970, and again from 1974 to 1975, when he was appointed to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. From 1976, under James Callaghan's premiership, he was Minister of State at the Foreign Office until Labour was defeated at the 1979 general election.

In a debate on the Falklands War on 3 April 1982, Rowlands revealed that the British were reading Argentine diplomatic traffic. Rowlands was criticised for revealing this intelligence source, as the likely result of his disclosure was that the Argentinians would secure their systems and the intelligence would dry up.

Argentine embassies used the same, top of the line, Swiss Crypto AG machine systems as their armed forces, so this was the precise equivalent of publicly anouncing, during World War II, that the Allies had broken the Enigma system used by the Nazis. It is unlikely we shall ever know how much damage this betrayal of trust did to national security, but if anyone else than an MP had given the information to the Argentines they would have been prosecuted.

He was appointed a CBE in 2002, and in June 2004 he was given a life peerage, as Baron Rowlands, of Merthyr Tydfil and of Rhymney in the County of Mid-Glamorgan. In the House of Lords, he is a member of the Constitution Committee.

Lord Rowlands sat on the Richard Commission which reported on 31 March 2004 on whether the National Assembly for Wales should have additional legislative powers.


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