William Mitchell-Thomson, 1st Baron Selsdon

William Mitchell-Thomson, 1st Baron Selsdon

William Lowson Mitchell-Thomson, 1st Baron Selsdon KBE PC (15 April 1877–24 December 1938), known as Sir William Mitchell-Thomson, 2nd Baronet, from 1918 to 1932, was a British politician.

Mitchell-Thomson was the son of Sir Mitchell Mitchell Thomson, Lord Provost of Edinburgh. He was elected as a Unionist Member of Parliament for North West Lanarkshire in 1906, serving until 1910. He was an Irish Unionist Party MP for North Down from April 1910 until 1918. He was then MP for Glasgow Maryhill between 1918 and 1922, then Conservative MP for Croydon South, South London from 1923 to 1932.

In 1922, Mitchell-Thomson was Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade and from 1924 until 1929, he served as Postmaster General. During the General Strike of 1926, he served as Chief Civil Commissioner. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1924.

In 1932, Mitchell-Thomson resigned from the House of Commons and was raised to the peerage as Baron Selsdon, of Croydon in the County of Surrey.

In May 1934 the British government appointed a committee, under the guidance of Lord Selsdon, to begin enquiries into the viability of setting up a public television service, with recommendations as to the conditions under which such a service could be offered. The results of the Selsdon Report were issued as a single Government White Paper in January of the following year. The BBC was to be entrusted with the development of television. Lord Selsdon was one of those to appear on the first day of BBC television broadcasts, 2 November 1936, now in his new capacity as Chairman of the Television Advisory Committee.

Lord Selsdon died in December 1938, aged 61, and was succeeded in his titles by his son Patrick, who became a well-known racing driver.

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