Following the death of the sitting Labour MP D. Emlyn Thomas, Probert was elected MP for the Aberdare constituency in a by-election in October 1954 and held the seat until his retirement in February 1974. In the 1954 by-election he was opposed by Michael Roberts for the Conservatives and Gwynfor Evans, president of Plaid Cymru since 1945. He was secretary to the Welsh PLP, 1956-59, an opposition whip, November 1959-December 1960, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, 1964-66, and a PPS, 1965-66, to Rt. Hon. Frank Cousins, Minister of Technology. He was also a member of the Speaker's Panel of Chairmen, 1966-74, and was elected to the chair of the Welsh Grand Committee in 1970. He was generally opposed to Hugh Gaitskell's defence policy and he once resigned in protest against the nuclear policy of the Labour Party. He was generally commended for his work as a good constituency MP who held regular surgeries in the division. Conscious of the area's falling population and lack of opportunities for young people, he (together with S. O. Davies, MP for Merthyr Tydfil) pressed successive governments to bring new sources of employment into the constituency. He had married in 1938 Muriel, the daughter of William Taylor of Abercwmboi, Aberdare, and they had two daughters. They lived at Allt Fedw, Abernant, Aberdare. Probert died suddenly at his home on 14 February 1975 and cremated at Llwydcoed Crematorium. He was succeeded by Ioan Evans as the Labour MP for Aberdare.
Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth
Published date: 2008