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The Right Honourable
 The Viscount Horne of Slamannan 
GBE PC KC

In office
1921 – 1922
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Austen Chamberlain
Succeeded by Stanley Baldwin

In office
1920 – 1921
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Sir Auckland Geddes
Succeeded by Stanley Baldwin

In office
1919 – 1920
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by John Hodge
Succeeded by Thomas McNamara

Born 28 February 1871(1871-02-28)
Slamannan, Stirlingshire
Died 3 September 1940 (aged 69)
Political party Unionist
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Advocate
Religion Church of Scotland
Half Measures
Sir Robert Horne, President of the Board of Trade, and Sir Eric Geddes, Minister of Transport (speaking together). "That's a rummy get-up. But perhaps he couldn't afford anything better."
Cartoon from Punch magazine, 7 July 1920, referring to a bill introduced by Horne (left) concerned with state control of mining, which was similar to an anticipated bill from Geddes (right) concerned with the railways

Robert Stevenson Horne, 1st Viscount Horne of Slamannan, GBE, PC, KC (28 February 1871–3 September 1940) was a businessman and Scottish Unionist politician and advocate.

Horne was born at Slamannan, Stirlingshire, the son of the village's Church of Scotland minister. He was educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh, and the University of Glasgow, where he studied Law and was President of the Students' Representative Council. He 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. He became a successful advocate, specialising in commercial and shipping cases, and took silk in 1910. He also served as Examiner in Philosophy (1896–1900) and Rector (1921–1924) at the University of Aberdeen.

Horne was a director of the Suez Canal Company, chairman of the Great Western Railway Company and director of several other companies and banks.

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.

Having unsuccessfully stood for Stirlingshire in both general elections of 1910, Horne was elected as Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead in 1918.


He served as Minister of Labour, President of the Board of Trade and Chancellor of the Exchequer under Lloyd George after the First World War. 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.

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. Although he remained a Member of Parliament until 1937, he never again held ministerial office.

Horne, a womanising bachelor, was famously referred to by Baldwin as a "Scots cad", a remark that has stuck.

He was knighted as 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. He was ennobled as Viscount Horne of Slamannan, of Slamannan in the County of Stirling, on 9 June 1937.

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead
1918–1937
Succeeded by
James Reid
Political offices
Preceded by
John Hodge
Minister of Labour
1919–1920
Succeeded by
Thomas McNamara
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
Viscount Cowdray
Rector of the University of Aberdeen
1921–1924
Succeeded by
Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Horne of Slamannan
1937–1940
Extinct

References

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