This file was used in the briefing book for the meeting between JFK and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan when they met at Nassau in the Bahamas on December 18-21, 1962. That meeting was most famous for the Skybolt controversy.
Date: December 19, 1962
Title: ORMSBY-GORE, Sir David: Ambassador to the United States
Archival Source: "Kennedy-MacMillan Nassau Meeting December 19-20, 1962 Briefing Book" folder, Box 9, Vice Presidential Security File, Pre-Presidential Papers, Lyndon B. Johnson Library
This biography sheet was for official use among several biographical profiles of key figures in the British delegation. It was included in the briefing book for the Nassau conference.
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ORMSBY GORE, Sir David UNITED K!NGDOM
Ambassador to the United States
Sir David Ormsby Gore, British Ambassador to the United States, presented his credentials to President Kennedy, whom he has known since 1938, on 26 October 1961. While a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1950 to May 1961, he held various government posts all concerned with international affairs. He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Selwyn Lloyd (then Minister of States for Foreign Affairs) during 1951-54, and November 1956 became Joint Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. When Prime Minister Macmillan formed his first government in January 1957, Ormsby Gore was named Minister of State and remained in this post until he received his present appointment. In his previous position Sir David became known as Britain's chief representative in negotiations on disarmament and the suspension of nuclear tests. His patience and skill at the conference table, mastery of technical subject matter, and capacity for hard work made him one of the most effective spokesmen for the Western nations. While he is not a dynamic speaker, he commanded respect in the House of Commons with his lucid and matter-of-fact presentation of government policies. Courteous and at times diffident in manner, Ormsby Gore is also independently-minded, and can be stubborn in defense of his case.
In carrying out his official responsibilities, Sir David has acquired considerable conference experience. He attended the 1951-52 and 1954 sessions of the UN General Assembly, and, in the absence of the Foreign Secretary, led the UK delegation to the 1958, 1959, and 1960 sessions (including the resumed session in March 1961). He also headed his country's delegation to the 1957 Council of Europe meeting at Strasbourg, and to the 1958 and 1959 sessions of ECOSOC in Geneva. His association with disarmament negotiations began in the summer of 1957 when he participated in meetings of the UN Sub-Committee on Disarmament in London. Later he was leader of the British delegation during the protracted negotiations at Geneva on the banning of nuclear tests (1958-61), and also at the 10-Nation Conference on Disarmament (March-June 1960). In addition to his visits to the United States for United Nations meetings, Sir David came to this country on a Smith-Mundt grant in 1955 and lectured to international affairs groups at several universities including Harvard, New Mexico, the Southern Methodist University in Texas, and Pomona, California.
The son and heir of the fourth Baron Harlech, David Ormsby Gore is a member of an old family, long prominent in Conservative circles. His father held several ministerial appointments, including Secretary of State for the Colonies. His mother, a Gascoigne-Cecil, is a sister of the Marquess of Salisbury, a leading figure in the Conservative Party for many years. His sister is married to Maurice Macmillan, the son of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and an M.P. Born on 20 May 1918, Ormsby Gore attended Eton and New College, Oxford, where he majored in history and took an active part in undergraduate political activities. In World War II he served with the Berkshire Yeomanry, as an air observation pilot, and finally as a major on the War Office general staff. After the war he took an intensive business course at Pitman's College and also studied estate management and agriculture. Several years later Lord Harlech made over the ownership of his lands to his son, and Sir David became managing director of the Brogyntyn Estate Company, and farmed two dairy farms in Shropshire. A Governor of the Royal Agricultural Society, he has won prizes for his livestock.
In 1940 Ormsby Gore married Sylvia Thomas, daughter of the late Hugh Lloyd Thomas, a diplomat. They have five children: Julian (21), Jan (19), Victoria (15), Alice (10), and Francis (8). Sir David, who has been a Privy Councillor since 1957, was created a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (K.C.M.G.) in 1961, shortly before he left the United Kingdom to take up his appointment in Washington. On the death of his father, he will become the fifth Baron Harlech, and will enter the House of Lords.