Robert Horne, 1st Viscount Horne of Slamannan

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The Right Honourable
The Viscount Horne of Slamannan
GBE PC KC
Robert Horne cropped.jpg
Lord Horne of Slamannan, October 1925.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
1 April 1921 – 19 October 1922
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Austen Chamberlain
Succeeded by Stanley Baldwin
President of the Board of Trade
In office
19 March 1920 – 1 April 1921
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Sir Auckland Geddes
Succeeded by Stanley Baldwin
Minister of Labour
In office
10 January 1919 – 19 March 1920
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by George Henry Roberts
Succeeded by Thomas James Macnamara
Personal details
Born (1871-02-28)28 February 1871
Slamannan, Stirlingshire
Died 3 September 1940(1940-09-03) (aged 69)
Political party Unionist
Spouse(s) Unmarried
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Advocate
Religion Church of Scotland

Robert Stevenson Horne, 1st Viscount Horne of Slamannan GBE, PC, KC (28 February 1871–3 September 1940) was a Scottish businessman, advocate and Unionist politician. He served under David Lloyd George as Minister of Labour between 1919 and 1920, as President of the Board of Trade between 1920 and 1921 and as Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1921 and 1922. In 1937 he was ennobled as Viscount Horne of Slamannan.

Background and education[edit]

Horne was born at Slamannan, Stirlingshire, the son of Reverend Robert Stevenson Horne, the village's Church of Scotland minister, and Mary, daughter of Thomas Lockhead. He was educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh, and the University of Glasgow, where he studied Law[1] and was President of the Students' Representative Council.[citation needed]

Career until 1918[edit]

Horne then spent a year teaching philosophy at the University College of North Wales, before being elected to the Faculty of Advocates (Scottish Bar) in 1896.[1] He became a successful advocate, specialising in commercial and shipping cases,[citation needed] and became a King's Counsel in 1910. He also served as Examiner in Philosophy (1896–1900)[1] and Rector (1921–1924) at the University of Aberdeen. He was also a director of the Suez Canal Company, chairman of the Great Western Railway Company and director of several other companies and banks.[citation needed]

During the First World War, Horne became Director of Railways on the Western Front with the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Engineers. In 1917 he joined the Admiralty as Assistant Inspector-General of Transportation, becoming Director of Materials and Priority in 1918, and Director of Labour and Third Civil Lord later the same year.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Having unsuccessfully stood for Stirlingshire in both general elections of 1910,[citation needed] Horne was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow Hillhead in 1918.[2] He served under David Lloyd George as Minister of Labour between 1919 and 1920, as President of the Board of Trade between 1920 and 1921 and as Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1921 and 1922.[1] It was in this capacity that he signed the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement, the first recognition by Britain of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.[citation needed]

When the Lloyd George Coalition Government fell in 1922, Horne refused to join the new government of Andrew Bonar Law. Two years later, Stanley Baldwin offered to make Horne Minister of Labour once more, but Horne declined, preferring to concentrate on work in the City.[citation needed] Although he remained a Member of Parliament until 1937,[2] he never again held ministerial office. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1918 for his war services, and raised to Knight Grand Cross (GBE) in the 1920 civilian war honours for his services as Minister of Labour.[1] In 1919 he was also sworn of the Privy Council.[3] He was ennobled as Viscount Horne of Slamannan, of Slamannan in the County of Stirling, on 9 June 1937.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Horne, a womanising bachelor, was famously referred to by Baldwin as a "Scots cad", a remark that has stuck.[citation needed] He died in September 1940, aged 69, when the viscountcy became extinct.

References[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead
19181937
Succeeded by
James Reid
Political offices
Preceded by
George Henry Roberts
Minister of Labour
1919–1920
Succeeded by
Thomas James Macnamara
Preceded by
Sir Auckland Geddes
President of the Board of Trade
1920–1921
Succeeded by
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by
Austen Chamberlain
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1921–1922
Succeeded by
Stanley Baldwin
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Cowdray
Rector of the University of Aberdeen
1921–1924
Succeeded by
The Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Horne of Slamannan
1937–1940
Extinct