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Jewish Lawyer Appointed Secretary of State for Scotland

Malcolm Rifkind, a 39-year-old lawyer, has been appointed Secretary of State for Scotland, making him the youngest person in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet and its fifth Jewish-born member.

Born and educated in Scotland, he was for the past three years a Minister of State at the Foreign Office in charge of European and East-West questions. He has shown a general interest in human rights and has quizzed the Soviet authorities on several occasions about the missing Swedish diplomat and humanitarian, Raoul Wallenberg.

Other Cabinet members of Jewish birth are Sir Keith Joseph, Education Secretary; Nigel Lawson, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Leon Brittan, Trade and Industry Secretary; and Lord Young, Employment Secretary.

At the Scottish Office, Rifkind replaces George Younger, who becomes Defense Secretary following the sudden resignation of Michael Heseltine over the future of Britain’s Westland Helicopter Company.

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