Obituary: Lord Hatch of Lusby

John Charles Hatch, author, lecturer, broadcaster, born Stockport Lancashire 1 November 1917, Tutor National Council of Labour Colleges 1942-44, National Organiser Independent Labour Party 1944-48, Lecturer Glasgow University 1948-53, Secretary Commonwealth Department Labour Party 1954-61, Director Extra-Mural Department University of Sierra Leone 1961-62, Director African Studies Programme Houston Texas 1964-70, created 1978 Baron Hatch of Lusby, Director Institute of Human Relations Zambia University 1980-82, books include The Dilemma of South Africa 1953, A History of Post-war Africa 1964, The History of Britain in Africa 1966, Tanzania 1969, Nigeria 1971, died London 11 October 1992.

JOHN HATCH had many remarkable attributes, not least among them the all-too-rare ability to speak without notes in grammatically correct sentences and paragraphs.

What he said from his place at the back of the back benches in the House of Lords was often the more irritating to those on the government benches and sometimes even to those on his own front bench because of the challenge his firm delivery presented to any proposition he believed to be lacking in logic or merit. And that was a very large proportion of the nostrums which came up for consideration within the area of his wide expertise and knowledge.

What is more he was undeterred by the relatively mild dissent which is all the Lords permit themselves and sat down when he had finished what he wanted to say and not before.

The last speech in the House by Lord Hatch was a seven-minute onslaught on 16 July. The Government made no serious attempt to answer the series of questions he addressed to them on their policy on the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia.

Hatch was born in Stockport in 1917. A Lancastrian brought up in Yorkshire, he went to Keighley Boys' Grammar School. He was a keen sportsman and played and followed cricket and rugby all his life. He graduated from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and, rejecting military service, became a tutor with the National Council of Labour Colleges and later National Organiser of the Independent Labour Party and a lecturer at Glasgow University.

In 1954 he was appointed head of the Commonwealth Department of the Labour Party and in 1961 he became Director of the Extra-Mural Department of the University of Sierra Leone. From 1964 to 1970 he was the Founder- Director of the African Studies Programme at Houston, Texasand from 1980 until 1982 Director of the Department of Human Relations at Zambia University. He knew most of the present African leaders before they were leaders and he became policy adviser to men he had taught as students. including Julius Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda, with whom John and his wife Eva stayed on a recent visit to Africa. He was, of course, banned from South Africa for many years.

John Hatch was Commonwealth Correspondent of the New Statesman from 1950 to 1970 and wrote numerous books on Africa, from The Dilemma of South Africa (1953) to Two African Statesmen (1976).

For the last four years Hatch was honorary lecturer in the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia. In this latter time he found happiness with his devoted wife Eva. Not that the constant endeavour came to an end, for that was his life and he valued the Lords the more because the shape of his career had kept him out of the Commons and from ministerial office, which he would have filled with distinction.

John Hatch will be missed and remembered as a man of total integrity and of proud devotion to his socialist beliefs. He leaves two sons and four grandchildren from his first marriage.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...