Jeremy Bray was born 29 June 1930, the son of the Reverend Arthur Henry Bray and Mrs Edith Muriel Bray. He was educated at Aberystwyth Grammar School and Kingswood School, then Jesus College, Cambridge (PhD 1956). In 1953 he married Elizabeth (née Trowell); they had four daughters.
Initially Bray pursued an academic career, researching pure mathematics at Cambridge between 1953 and 1955, then spending a year at Harvard University [United States] as Choate Fellow (1955-1956). However, on returning from Harvard he became Technical Officer at the Wilton Works of ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries Limited), until 1962. During this time Bray also moved into politics: he contested the seat of Thirsk and Malton [Yorkshire] in 1959, then became Labour MP for Middlesbrough West (1962-1970), Motherwell and Wishaw [Lanarkshire, Scotland], (October 1974-1983), and finally for Motherwell South, from 1983 until his retirement in 1997.
In 1966 Bray received his first ministerial post, becoming Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Power, (1966-1967), before transferring to the Ministry of Technology as Joint Parliamentary Secretary, (1967-1969). He then resigned in order to publish "Decision in Government", and in the next year lost his seat. He re-entered Parliament in 1974, later becoming Opposition spokesman on science and technology, a post which he held from 1983 to 1992.
Bray served as a member of various Parliamentary committees, including: the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries (1962-1964); the Estimates Committee (1964-1966); the Expenditure Committee, (1978-1979); the Select Committee on Treasury and Civil Service, (1979-1983), acting as Chairman of the Sub-committee between 1981 and 1982; the Select Committee on Science and Technology, (1992); the Board of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (1993). Bray also served as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of various groups, including: the Labour, Science and Technology Group, (1964-1966); Economic Affairs Estimates Sub-Committee, (1964-1966); Parliamentary Mental Health Group; Vice President, Parliament and Science Committee; British-Chinese Parliamentary Group. He was also Chairman of the Fabian Society (1971-1972), and Deputy Chairman of Christian Aid (1972-1984).
Bray's publications include: Decision in Government (1970); Production Purpose and Structure (1982); Fabian pamphlets and articles.
Jeremy Bray died in June 2002.
The papers of Jeremy Bray consist of a wide range of political, scientific and economic material. There are a large number of political subject files, often resulting from Bray's work in various Parliamentary committees, and these cover areas including: economic policy; scientific and technical policy; the steel industry (particularly relating to the Ravenscraig steelworks in Bray's own Lanarkshire constituency); Scottish affairs in general; education; Hong Kong and China; Africa; mental health.
Other papers include: a large number of constituency files for Bray's Scottish seat; papers relating to Bray's work for Christian Aid and the Fabian Society; some personal papers; articles and speeches; papers from the Programme for Research into Economic Methods; Bray's research papers on mathematics, economics and engineering; Bray's engagements; correspondence, mainly on science and economics subjects; Parliamentary diaries.
The papers were deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by Jeremy Bray in several accessions between 1984 and 1997.
The papers were arranged and listed by subject and date prior to their deposit. This listing has been retained, and the papers have been kept in their running order, rather than being split into sections.
The papers are on long-term loan.