John Lyng
John Lyng by Schrøder (1932).JPG
Lyng in 1932
24th Prime Minister of Norway
In office
28 August 1963 – 25 September 1963
MonarchOlav V
Preceded byEinar Gerhardsen
Succeeded byEinar Gerhardsen
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 October 1965 – 22 May 1970
(4 years, 222 days)
Prime MinisterPer Borten
Preceded byHalvard Lange
Succeeded bySvenn Stray
County Governor of Oslo and Akershus
In office
1 October 1964 – 1 October 1965
Preceded byTrygve Lie
Succeeded byPetter Mørch Koren
Conservative Parliamentary Leader
In office
1 October 1958 – 30 September 1965
Preceded byC. J. Hambro
Succeeded bySvenn Stray
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 January 1958 – 30 September 1965
In office
4 December 1945 – 31 December 1953
Preceded byHarald Torp
ConstituencyTrondheim and Levanger
Personal details
John Johan Daniel Fürstenberg Lyng

(1905-08-22)22 August 1905
Trondheim, Norway
Died18 January 1978(1978-01-18) (aged 72)
Bærum, Akershus, Norway
Political partyConservative (1938–78)
Free-minded Liberal Party (1934–38)
Alma materUniversity of Oslo

John Daniel Lyng  (22 August 1905 – 18 January 1978) was a Norwegian politician from the Conservative Party. He was the 24th prime minister of Norway from 28 August to 25 September 1963 in a coalition government consisting of the Conservative, Centre, Christian Democratic, and Liberal parties. It was the first government in 28 years that was not headed by the Labour Party.

Early life

Lyng was born in Trondheim to merchant Markus Hartman Lyng (1872-1938) and Martha Maria Helberg (1885-1959), and graduated with the cand.jur. degree in 1927.[1][2] He studied in Copenhagen and Heidelberg in 1931.[1] During his student years Lyng was active in the leftist Mot Dag student grouping, and his time in Germany in the early 1930s gave him a strong dislike of totalitarian movements.[2] Before and after World War II he worked as a lawyer and a judge.[1]

He joined the Norwegian resistance movement during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany. He raised the mountain cabin Skardøla in Sylene, about 50 metres from the Norway-Sweden border, which was used as an outpost by resistance fighters such as Odd Sørli, Johnny Pevik and Nils Uhlin Hansen.[3] Lyng later fled the country, and worked in the Norwegian legation in Stockholm's law office from 1943 to 1944, and in the Norwegian government administration-in-exile in London until 1945.[1]

Political career

Lyng was originally a member of the Free-minded Liberal Party, heading the local party chapter from 1934 to 1935. He was a member of the executive committee of Trondheim city council from 1934 to 1940 and in 1945, but had changed to the Conservative Party in 1938, heading the party chapter in Trondheim until 1947.[1][2] Lyng was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from the Market towns of Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag counties in 1945, and was re-elected in 1949. He was then out of parliament for one term, before being elected again in 1957 and in 1961, this time from Akershus, and was elected leader of the Conservative Party's parliamentary group.[1][2] From 1955 to 1959 he was a member of Skien city council.[1]

His brief stint as Prime Minister came in August 1963 after the two representatives from the Socialist People's Party (SF) joined a slim 76-74 no confidence vote against the cabinet Gerhardsen following the Kings Bay Affair, a series of mining accidents at Ny-Ålesund. Lyng quickly realised that between them, the non-socialist parties were only one seat short of a majority in the Storting, and that if they banded together, they would be able to form a government as long as the SF abstained. He quickly pulled together a coalition which took office on 28 August. The socialist vote of no confidence was merely a protest and demonstration, and the Labour cabinet was restored a month later after the SF threw its support back to Labor.[2] While Lyng was Prime Minister Ebba Haslund took his seat in parliament.[1]

Although the cabinet Lyng only lasted a month, it proved that the non-socialist parties were capable of forming a government. Following the 1965 elections the non-socialist parties won a majority with Per Borten as Prime Minister, and John Lyng as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was replaced by Svenn Stray in 1970.[2]

Lyng held the post of County Governor of Oslo and Akershus from 1964 to 1965.[1] He is also remembered for pursuing Norwegian membership in the EEC.[2]

Personal life

He married physician Gisela Gerda Margarete Lutz (1907-1941) in 1932. They were divorced in 1940. In 1944 he married lawyer Liv Godager (1918-1989).[2]

Lyng spent his later years writing his memoirs. He died in 1978, after being diagnosed with cancer the preceding year.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "John Lyng" (in Norwegian). Storting.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "John Lyng: Prime Minister 1963". 13 March 2012.
  3. ^ Lyng, John (1972). Brytningsår (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. pp. 60–61. ISBN 82-02-02579-6.
Political offices Preceded byEinar Gerhardsen Prime Minister of Norway August 1963–September 1963 Succeeded byEinar Gerhardsen Preceded byHalvard Manthey Lange Minister of Foreign Affairs 1965–1970 Succeeded bySvenn Stray Preceded byTrygve Lie County Governor of Oslo and Akershus 1964–1965 Succeeded byPetter Mørch Koren