Richard Rapier Stokes, Lord Privy Seal, succeeding the late Ernest Bevin; 54; a burly (225 Ibs.), good-humored, unconventional go-getter who once, when his trousers got soaked in the rain, attended an official conference in his drawers. Son of a lawyer, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, graduated with an engineering degree; entered Woolwich Royal Military Academy, saw service in France during World War I, won the rank of major; after the war, became a boilermaker; eventually headed the great British engineering firm of Ransomes & Rapier, Ltd. As the Labor government's Minister of Works (1950-51), he got the nickname of "Slap...

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