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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project