Robert Munro

Posted in Scottish Political Figures

Robert Munro / Political Figures

'Secretary of State for Scotland for six years, yet few have heard of him'.

Munro was born at Alness near Dingwall in 1868, the son of a minister. He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School then Edinburgh University, being called to the Scottish Bar in 1893; by 1910 he was a KC. That same year he entered politics as a Liberal, representing Wick burghs (1910-18), then Roxburgh & Selkirk (1918-22).

In 1913 he was appointed Lord Advocate, then Scottish Secretary in 1916; he held this Cabinet post for six years. Perhaps his best piece of legislature was the Education (Scotland) Act of 1918. This replaced 1000 parish school boards with 33 county and five city education authorities. It also protected the status of denominational (i.e. Roman Catholic) schools and raised the leaving age to 15, conditions which compared favourable with those extant in England at the time.

Munro left politics, to become Lord President from 1922-33; he became Lord Alness in 1934.

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