Walter Cunliffe, 1st Baron Cunliffe

Walter Cunliffe, 1st Baron Cunliffe GBE (4 December 1855-6 January 1920) was Governor of the Bank of England from 1913 to 1918, during the critical World War I era. He was created 1st Baron Cunliffe in 1914.


Walter Cunliffe was born in London 4 December 1855, the eldest of four brothers and two sisters. His father, James Cunliffe, was highly involved with the development of the North Eastern Railway, and became a merchant banker in the 1860s.

Walter Cunliffe entered the banking industry in 1880, after being educated at Harrow School and Trinity College at Cambridge University. Together with his two brothers Arthur Robert and Leonard Daneham, he founded the merchant bank Cunliffe Brothers in 1890, on 1 January 1920 it was absorbed by the merchant bank Frühling and Goschen, it then became Goschen and Cunliffe (which failed in December 1939).

In government service, Cunliffe worked under Chancellors of the Exchequer Lloyd George and Andrew Bonar Law as Governor of the Bank of England. Cunliffe conflicted with Law in 1917, when he felt that the Treasury was taking too much of a role in maintaining the Pound sterling exchange rate.

At the Bank of England, Cunliffe personally wrote one of the first office dress codes for women, noting that he was "pained by some of the costumes he encountered" in the hallways. The policy was conservative, allowing that "During the summer, white blouses are allowed but they must be absolutely white without coloured pattern or design upon them."

Cunliffe Committee

As Governor of the Bank of England, Cunliffe chaired a committee, known as the Cunliffe Committee, for the purpose of reporting recommendations on the post-World War I transition of the British economy. The committee reported in 1918 that "it is imperative that after the war, the conditions necessary for the maintenance of an effective gold standard should be restored without delay." According to author Peter Bernstein, Cunliffe criticized one of the committee's dissenting members, a young John Maynard Keynes, by stating that "Mr. Keynes, in commercial circles, is not considered to have any knowledge or experience in practical exchange or business problems."


*Beamish, David. [ "United Kingdom peerage creations 1801 to 2005: a list compiled by David Beamish"] Accessed March 6 2006.
*cite book|first=Peter L.|last=Bernstein|title="The Power of Gold: History of an Obsession"|year=2000|publisher=Wiley|id=ISBN 0-471-00378-6
* [ "Interim Report of the Cunliffe Committee, 1918"] " [ World Gold Council] ", Accessed on March 6 2006.
* [ "Tyrrells Wood Golf Club - Club History - The People"] " [ Tyrrells Wood Golf Club website] ", Accessed March 8 2006.
* [ Cunliffe, Walter Cunliffe, 1st Baron.] (2006). "Encyclopædia Britannica". Accessed March 8 2006.
*Bodenstein, Julia. [ office / politics / women in the workplace 1860-2004] " [ London Metropolitan University website] ", Accessed March 8 2006.
*Peden, George. [ "The Treasury and the City, 1901-c.1960"] " [ Department of History] , University of Durham website", Accessed March 8 2006. [] Marcus Falkner Cunliffe (1922–1990)+ Sir Robert Alfred Cunliffe (1839–1905)

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