Lord Fraser of Carmyllie

“Anthony Eden” by Robert Rhodes James
Weidenfeld: 1986 p607

On what was to be his own death-bed, Bracken wrote to Eden to seek his support for a scholarship for the twelve-year old son of a Minister of The Church Of Scotland for whom he had a particularly high regard, whose wife had died, and who was himself dying. Eden was a trustee for a special fund for Loretto School scholarships, and at once agreed. The boy was Peter Fraser, subsequently to be Conservative Member of Parliament for Angus South and Solicitor-General for Scotland. Until I showed him the correspondence in 1985 he had no idea that his benefactors had been Bracken and Eden, and the latter died before Fraser was elected to Parliament in 1979. It was absolutely characteristic of Bracken, so close to death himself, to go to such trouble over a boy who was about to become an orphan, with no means whatever for his education: it was also characteristic of Eden to ensure the boy, of whom he knew nothing beyond Bracken’s recommendation, should receive the money that was so vital to him. The distinction of Peter Fraser’s career as a lawyer, politician and minister would have gratified them both, but Bracken had an eerie capacity for spotting talent, which Eden had come to respect. This is a story that reflects credit to everyone involved, and with the happiest of endings.

“Glasgow Herald” January 31 1983
Murray Ritchie’s Profile

Peter Fraser, the diffident young Tory who inherited the office (of Solicitor General) when his friend, Fairbairn resigned last year is unlikely to provide the entertainment value of his predecessors. Everything about his manner suggests the careful, methodical, detailed approach one would expect from a legal luminary making his way successfully in politics. At 36 he is the youngest Solicitor General since the infamous Dundas.

That wilting under wounding criticism probably served to toughen him since Peter Fraser has the air of gentle politeness which is not the most effective weapon for politicians who should be seen to be aggressive go-getters if they wish to impress a Prime Minister like Mrs Thatcher. Even his critics admit that he is a “nice chap, perhaps too nice for his own good”.

“Humming Birds and Hyenas” by Edward Pearce
Faber & Faber 1985 p147

A real talent, but one that has not been best displayed among the middle men, is that of Peter Lovat Fraser. As Solicitor General for Scotland in the wake of the Grimaldi act of Nicholas Fairbairn he is liable to be written off merely as a reliable minister. This is a grave underestimate. Fairbairn’s anthropologically fascinating act is hard to follow. But is not actually necessary to be Jane Goodall material to administer Scots law. Fraser is cool and wry and, when he gets the chance, funny. He has a touch of humorous detachment, more apparent away from the dispatch box; and the less than fascinating statistics of prosecutions undertaken by the Procurator Fiscal for Ecclefechan do not show him at his best. I can’t prove that Fraser is good: all that is possible, perhaps at grave risk to his career, is to say, watch out for him.


“Chance Witness” by Matthew Parris
Penguin/Viking 2002 p391
“Blue Chip Portrait”

Standing in his shirtsleeves next to Michael is Peter Fraser, now Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, then – for those were the days when there used to be many Scottish Conservative MPs – the Member for South Angus. Peter was quiet, clever and nice. Mrs Thatcher made him Solicitor General for Scotland, then Lord Advocate. Major made him Minister For Energy. He was a background man. Rose Cecil’s positioning of us was shrewd – or lucky.