Secretary of State for Scotland
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland representing Scotland. They head a government department based in London and Edinburgh; the post was first created after the Acts of Union 1707 created the Kingdom of Great Britain from the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. It was abolished in 1746, following the Jacobite rising of 1745. Scottish affairs thereafter were managed by the Lord Advocate until 1827, when responsibility passed to the Home Office. In 1885 the post of Secretary for Scotland was re-created, with the incumbent a member of the Cabinet. In 1926 this post was upgraded to a full Secretary of State appointment. After the 1999 Scottish devolution, the powers of the Scottish Office were divided, with most transferred to the Scottish Government or to other British government departments, leaving only a limited role for the Scotland Office. From June 2003 and October 2008, the holder of the office of Secretary of State for Scotland from 13 June 2003 through to 3 October 2008 held another Cabinet post concurrently, leading to claims that the Scottish role was seen as a part-time ministry.
The current Secretary of State for Scotland is David Mundell. With the advent of legislative devolution for Scotland in 1999, the role of Secretary of State for Scotland has been diminished. Most of the functions vested in the office since administrative devolution in the 19th century were transferred to the newly established Scottish Ministers upon the opening of the Scottish Parliament or otherwise to other UK government ministers however the SOS for Scotland does represent Scotland in the Cabinet on matters that are not devolved to Holyrood, The Scottish Secretary holds Scotland Questions on the first Wednesday of every month between 1130am-12pm where any Member of Parliament can ask on any matter relating to Scotland however devolved issues are not raised by MP's; the Scottish Secretary is the group leader of the Scottish MP's from that political party is in government, Currently David Mundell is the group leader of the Scottish Conservative MPs. As a result of this, the office acts as a go-between for the UK and Scottish Governments and Parliaments.
However, due to the Secretary's role as a minister in the British government, the convention of Cabinet collective responsibility applies, as such the post is viewed as being a partisan one to promote the UK government's decision making in Scotland, as adherence to the convention precludes doing anything else. With the rise of the SNP in the Scottish and British parliaments and the resultant interest in Scottish Independence, the Secretary of State's role has subsequently increased in prominence; the Scotland Office itself has received a cumulative increase in budget of 20% from 2013 to 2017 with a 14.4% increase in 2015/16 alone. The UK government's website lists the Secretary of State for Scotland's responsibilities as being:"The main role of the Scottish Secretary is to promote and protect the devolution settlement. Other responsibilities include promoting partnership between the UK government and the Scottish government, relations between the 2 Parliaments." This seeming lack of responsibility has in recent years seen calls for the scrapping of the role and the wider department of the Scotland Office itself by opposition MPs.
John Erskine, Earl of Mar had served as Secretary of State of the independent Scotland from 1705. Following the Acts of Union 1707, he remained in office; the post of Secretary of State for Scotland existed after the Union of the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England in 1707 till the Jacobite rising of 1745. After the rising, responsibility for Scotland lay with the office of the Home Secretary exercised by the Lord Advocate. Office thereafter vacant; the Secretary for Scotland was chief minister in charge of the Scottish Office in the United Kingdom government. The Scotland Office was created in 1885 with the post of Secretary for Scotland. From 1892 the Secretary for Scotland sat in cabinet; the post was upgraded to full Secretary of State rank as the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1926. From 1885 to 1999, Secretaries for Scotland and Secretaries of State for Scotland ex officio held the post of Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland. From 1999, the position of Keeper of the Great Seal has been held by the First Minister of Scotland.
Notes First Minister of Scotland Secretary of State, a senior post in the pre-Union government of the Kingdom of Scotland Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, junior minister supporting the Secretary of State for Scotland Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Secretary of State for Wales Official website of the Scotland Office
Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor, as a sister institution to King's College, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school. Eton is one of the original nine public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868; the others are Harrow, Rugby, Westminster, Merchant Taylors' and St Paul's. Following the public school tradition, Eton is a full boarding school, which means pupils live at the school seven days a week, it is one of only five such remaining single-sex boys' public schools in the United Kingdom; the remainder have since become co-educational: Rugby, Charterhouse and Shrewsbury and Merchant Taylors', now a day school. Eton has educated 19 British prime ministers and generations of the aristocracy and has been referred to as "the chief nurse of England's statesmen".
Eton charges up to £12,910 per term, with three terms per academic year, in 2017/18. Eton was noted as being the sixth most expensive HMC boarding school in the UK in 2013/14, however the school admits some boys with modest parental income: in 2011 it was reported that around 250 boys received "significant" financial help from the school, with the figure rising to 263 pupils in 2014, receiving the equivalent of around 60% of school fee assistance, whilst a further 63 received their education free of charge. Eton has announced plans to increase the figure to around 320 pupils, with 70 educated free of charge, with the intention that the number of pupils receiving financial assistance from the school continues to increase. Eton College was founded by King Henry VI as a charity school to provide free education to 70 poor boys who would go on to King's College, founded by the same King in 1441. Henry took Winchester College as his model, visiting on many occasions, borrowing its statutes and removing its headmaster and some of the scholars to start his new school.
When Henry VI founded the school, he granted it a large number of endowments, including much valuable land. The group of feoffees appointed by the king to receive forfeited lands of the Alien Priories for the endowment of Eton were as follows: Archbishop Chichele Bishop Stafford Bishop Lowe Bishop Ayscough William de la Pole, 1st Marquess of Suffolk John Somerset, Chancellor of the Exchequer and the king's doctor Thomas Beckington, Archdeacon of Buckingham, the king's secretary and Keeper of the Privy Seal Richard Andrew, first Warden of All Souls College, Oxford the king's secretary Adam Moleyns, Clerk of the Council John Hampton of Kniver, Staffordshire, an Esquire of the Body James Fiennes, another member of the Royal Household William Tresham, another member of the Royal HouseholdIt was intended to have formidable buildings and several religious relics including a part of the True Cross and the Crown of Thorns, he persuaded the Pope, Eugene IV, to grant him a privilege unparalleled anywhere in England: the right to grant indulgences to penitents on the Feast of the Assumption.
The college came into possession of one of England's Apocalypse manuscripts. However, when Henry was deposed by King Edward IV in 1461, the new King annulled all grants to the school and removed most of its assets and treasures to St George's Chapel, Windsor, on the other side of the River Thames. Legend has it that Jane Shore, intervened on the school's behalf, she was able to save a good part of the school, although the royal bequest and the number of staff were much reduced. Construction of the chapel intended to be over twice as long, with 18, or 17, bays was stopped when Henry VI was deposed. Only the Quire of the intended building was completed. Eton's first Headmaster, William Waynflete, founder of Magdalen College and Head Master of Winchester College, built the ante-chapel that completed the chapel; the important wall paintings in the chapel and the brick north range of the present School Yard date from the 1480s. As the school suffered reduced income while still under construction, the completion and further development of the school has since depended to some extent on wealthy benefactors.
Building resumed when Roger Lupton was Provost, around 1517. His name is borne by the big gatehouse in the west range of the cloisters, fronting School Yard the most famous image of the school; this range includes the important interiors of the Parlour, Election Hall, Election Chamber, where most of the 18th century "leaving portraits" are kept. "After Lupton's time nothing important was built until about 1670, when Provost Allestree gave a range to close the west side of School Yard between Lower School and Chapel". This was remodelled and completed in 1694 by Matthew Bankes, Master Carpenter of the Royal Works; the last important addition to the central college buildings was the College Library, in the south range of the cloister, 1725–29, by Thomas Rowland. It has a important collection of books and manuscripts. In the 19th century, the architect John Shaw Jr became surveyor to Eton, he designed New Buildings, Provost Francis Hodgson's addition to provide better accommodation for collegers, who until had lived in Long Chamber, a long f
The British people, or the Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, the Crown dependencies. British nationality law governs modern British citizenship and nationality, which can be acquired, for instance, by descent from British nationals; when used in a historical context, "British" or "Britons" can refer to the Celtic Britons, the indigenous inhabitants of Great Britain and Brittany, whose surviving members are the modern Welsh people, Cornish people, Bretons. It may refer to citizens of the former British Empire. Though early assertions of being British date from the Late Middle Ages, the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 triggered a sense of British national identity; the notion of Britishness was forged during the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and the First French Empire, developed further during the Victorian era. The complex history of the formation of the United Kingdom created a "particular sense of nationhood and belonging" in Great Britain and Ireland.
Because of longstanding ethno-sectarian divisions, British identity in Northern Ireland is controversial, but it is held with strong conviction by Unionists. Modern Britons are descended from the varied ethnic groups that settled in the British Isles in and before the 11th century: Prehistoric, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Normans; the progressive political unification of the British Isles facilitated migration and linguistic exchange, intermarriage between the peoples of England and Wales during the late Middle Ages, early modern period and beyond. Since 1922 and earlier, there has been immigration to the United Kingdom by people from what is now the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth, mainland Europe and elsewhere; the British are a diverse, multinational and multilingual society, with "strong regional accents and identities". The social structure of the United Kingdom has changed radically since the 19th century, with a decline in religious observance, enlargement of the middle class, increased ethnic diversity since the 1950s.
The population of the UK stands at around 66 million, with a British diaspora of around 140 million concentrated in Australia and New Zealand, with smaller concentrations in the United States, Republic of Ireland, South Africa and parts of the Caribbean. The earliest known reference to the inhabitants of Great Britain may have come from 4th century BC records of the voyage of Pytheas, a Greek geographer who made a voyage of exploration around the British Isles. Although none of his own writings remain, writers during the time of the Roman Empire made much reference to them. Pytheas called the islands collectively αἱ Βρεττανίαι, translated as the Brittanic Isles, the peoples of what are today England, Wales and the Isle of Man of Prettanike were called the Πρεττανοί, Pritani or Pretani; the group included Ireland, referred to as Ierne "inhabited by the different race of Hiberni", Britain as insula Albionum, "island of the Albions". The term Pritani may have reached Pytheas from the Gauls, who used it as their term for the inhabitants of the islands.
Greek and Roman writers, in the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD, name the inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland as the Priteni, the origin of the Latin word Britanni. It has been suggested that this name derives from a Gaulish description translated as "people of the forms", referring to the custom of tattooing or painting their bodies with blue woad made from Isatis tinctoria. Parthenius, a 1st-century Ancient Greek grammarian, the Etymologicum Genuinum, a 9th-century lexical encyclopaedia, mention a mythical character Bretannus as the father of Celtine, mother of Celtus, the eponymous ancestor of the Celts. By 50 BC Greek geographers were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a collective name for the British Isles. However, with the Roman conquest of Britain the Latin term Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, Roman-occupied Britain south of Caledonia, although the people of Caledonia and the north were the self same Britons during the Roman period, the Gaels arriving four centuries later.
Following the end of Roman rule in Britain, the island of Great Britain was left open to invasion by pagan, seafaring warriors such as Germanic-speaking Anglo-Saxons and Jutes from Continental Europe, who gained control in areas around the south east, to Middle Irish-speaking people migrating from what is today Northern Ireland to the north of Great Britain, founding Gaelic kingdoms such as Dál Riata and Alba, which would subsume the native Brittonic and Pictish kingdoms and become Scotland. In this sub-Roman Britain, as Anglo-Saxon culture spread across southern and eastern Britain and Gaelic through much of the north, the demonym "Briton" became restricted to the Brittonic-speaking inhabitants of what would be called Wales, North West England, parts of Scotland such as Strathearn, Morayshire and Strathclyde. In addition the term was applied to Brittany in what is today France and Britonia in north west Spain, both regions having been colonised by Britons in the 5th century fleeing the Anglo-Saxon invasions.
Order of the Thistle
The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The current version of the Order was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland who asserted that he was reviving an earlier Order; the Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen Knights and Ladies, as well as certain "extra" knights. The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; the Order's primary emblem is the national flower of Scotland. The motto is Nemo me impune lacessit; the same motto appears on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom for use in Scotland and some pound coins, is the motto of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Scots Guards, The Black Watch of Canada and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The patron saint of the Order is St Andrew. Most British orders of chivalry cover the whole United Kingdom, but the three most exalted ones each pertain to one constituent country only; the Order of the Thistle, which pertains to Scotland, is the second-most senior in precedence. Its equivalent in England, The Most Noble Order of the Garter, is the oldest documented order of chivalry in the United Kingdom, dating to the middle fourteenth century.
In 1783 an Irish equivalent, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, was founded, but has now fallen dormant. The claim that James VII was reviving an earlier Order is not supported by the evidence; the 1687 warrant states that during the 786 battle of Athelstaneford with Æthelstan of East Anglia, the cross of St Andrew appeared in the sky to Achaius, King of Scots. This seems unlikely. An alternative version is that the Order was founded in 809 to commemorate an alliance between Achaius and Emperor Charlemagne, yet another is Robert the Bruce instituted the order after his victory at Bannockburn in 1314. Most historians consider the earliest credible claim to be the founding of the Order by James III, during the fifteenth century, he adopted the thistle as the royal badge, issued coins depicting thistles and conferred membership of the "Order of the Burr or Thissil" on Francis I of France. However, there is no conclusive evidence for this. Writing around 1578, John Lesley refers to the three foreign orders of chivalry carved on the gate of Linlithgow Palace, with James V's ornaments of St Andrew, proper to this nation.
Some Scottish order of chivalry may have existed during the sixteenth century founded by James V and called the Order of St. Andrew, but lapsed by the end of that century. James VII issued letters patent "reviving and restoring the Order of the Thistle to its full glory and magnificency" on 29 May 1687, his intention was to reward Scottish Catholics for their loyalty but the initiative came from John, 1st Earl and 1st Jacobite Duke of Melfort Secretary of State for Scotland. Only eight members out of a possible twelve were appointed. After James was deposed by the 1688 Glorious Revolution and no further appointments were made until his younger daughter Anne did so in 1703, it remains in existence and is used to recognise Scots'who have held public office or contributed to national life.' James, Earl of Perth. When James VII revived the Order, the statutes stated that the Order would continue the ancient number of Knights, described in the preceding warrant as "the Sovereign and twelve Knights-Brethren in allusion to the Blessed Saviour and his Twelve Apostles".
In 1827, George IV augmented the Order to sixteen members. Women were excluded from the Order. From time to time, individuals may be admitted to the Order by special statutes; such members do not count towards the sixteen-member limit. Members of the British Royal Family are admitted through this procedure. King Olav V of Norway, the first foreigner to be admitted to the Order, was admitted
Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery
Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery was the daughter of Baron Mayer de Rothschild and his wife Juliana. After inheriting her father's fortune in 1874, she became the richest woman in Britain. In 1878, Hannah de Rothschild married Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, was thereafter known as the Countess of Rosebery. During the final quarter of the 19th century her husband, the Earl of Rosebery, was one of the most celebrated figures in Britain, an influential millionaire and politician, whose charm, wit and public popularity gave him such standing that he "almost eclipsed royalty." Yet his Jewish wife, during her lifetime regarded as dull and lacking in beauty, remains an enigmatic figure ignored by historians and regarded as notable only for financing her husband's three ambitions: to marry an heiress, win The Derby, become Prime Minister. In truth, she was motivation, her marriage into the aristocracy, while controversial at the time, gave her the social cachet in an antisemitic society that her vast fortune could not.
She subsequently became a political hostess and philanthropist. Her charitable work was principally in the sphere of public health and causes associated with the welfare of working-class Jewish women living in the poorer districts of London. Having assisted and supported her husband on his path to political greatness, she died in 1890, aged 39, leaving him and bereft of her support, to achieve the political destiny which she had plotted, his premiership of the United Kingdom was shambolic, lasted a year. For over thirty years following her death, he wandered in a political wilderness and exceedingly eccentric, until his own death in 1929. Hannah de Rothschild was born in 1851 into a world of great luxury, she was the granddaughter of Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild, who had founded N M Rothschild & Sons, the English branch of the Rothschilds' banking empire. Niall Ferguson states in his History of the House of Rothschild that by the mid-19th century the Rothschilds regarded themselves as the nearest thing the Jews of Europe had to a royal family, the equals of royalty.
Whether or not this was true, the many Rothschild homes and their art collections, in England, Austria and Germany rivaled those of the crowned heads of Europe, Mentmore in particular being one of the most outstanding art collections of its kind anywhere in the world. Hannah de Rothschild's father Baron Meyer Amschel de Rothschild married his cousin Juliana Cohen in 1850; the marriage provided the impetus for Meyer to create what he described as "an enduring monument," a country house of monumental proportions. His daughter Hannah, aged just six months, laid the foundation stone on 31 December 1851. Within a few years of the mansion's completion, attracted by the good hunting and proximity to London, Hannah's relatives began to build estates nearby, all within a carriage drive of each other. Pevsner has described this enclave of Rothschild properties as "the most conspicuous and significant aspect of Victorian architecture in Buckinghamshire." In addition to Mentmore and Baroness Meyer de Rothschild had a large house in London, 107 Piccadilly, The Zenaide, a luxurious yacht, upon which Hanna's mother died in 1877, the year before her marriage.
As an only child growing up in what were, in all but name, her childhood appears to have been lonely. She was a companion to her hypochondriac mother and, in life, a hostess with her father during her mother's long periods of indisposition, she was indulged by both parents and her formal education was neglected in favour of music and singing lessons, subjects in which she was accomplished. Her parents were protective of her, attempting to ensure that she was never exposed to the risk of sickness or the sight of poverty; as a result, she was never allowed to enter the cottages on the Rothschilds' estates. A cousin, Lady Battersea, who never liked her, claimed that Hannah was so sheltered that the phrase "the poor" was just a meaningless euphemism to her; this is to be an exaggeration, as from her teens onwards she used much of her fortune to improve the lot of the poor, in housing and education. Whatever the faults of her education, she possessed great confidence, impressing her Rothschild relations, who noted her poise and competence when she hosted a large house party at Mentmore for the Prince of Wales while only 17 years of age.
A year in 1869, Hannah made her formal entrance into society as a debutante, when she was presented to Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace by her mother. Mayer Amschel de Rothschild died in 1874, leaving his daughter not only Mentmore, his London mansion, innumerable investments, but the sum of two million pounds sterling in cash. Thus, Hannah de Rothschild became the wealthiest woman in England. Hannah de Rothschild was first introduced to her future husband, the 28-year-old Earl of Rosebery, by Lady Beaconsfield, the wife of Benjamin Disraeli, at Newmarket Racecourse; the Disraelis were close neighbours of the Rothschilds in Buckinghamshire. Archibald, 5th Earl of Rosebery, born in 1847, had inherited his title from his grandfather in 1868, when aged 21, together with an income of £30,000 a year, he owned 40,000 acres in Scotland, land in Norfolk and Kent. His father had died when he was eight and he had been brought up by his moth
National Liberal Party (UK, 1931)
The National Liberal Party, known until 1948 as the Liberal National Party, was a liberal political party in the United Kingdom from 1931 to 1968. It broke away from the Liberal Party, co-operated and merged with the Conservative Party; the Liberal Nationals evolved as a distinctive group within the Liberal Party when the main body of Liberals maintained in office the second Labour government of Ramsay MacDonald, who lacked a majority in Parliament. A growing number of Liberal MPs led by Sir John Simon declared their total opposition to this policy and began to co-operate more with the Conservative Party advocating a policy of replacing free trade with tariffs, anathema to many traditional Liberals. By June 1931 three Liberal MPs — Simon, Ernest Brown and Robert Hutchison — resigned their party's whip and sat as independents; when the Labour Government was replaced by a makeshift, emergency National Government in August 1931, dissident Liberals were temporarily reconciled with the rest of their party within it.
However, he was undermined by the willingness of those Liberals such as Simon – who in extremis would support protectionism – to continue to support the National Government and to take the vacant offices to ensure it retained a broad party base. Samuel was welcomed back into the new National Government subject to an agreed concession to fight the general election on a separate Liberal Party manifesto, but staunch supporters of the National Government were prepared to repudiate free trade. Witnessing the rise of cheap foreign goods, the party split over how they would negotiate over ardent Conservative protectionism: supporters formed the Liberal National Party in the run-up to the 1931 general election in October. A third group under the official leader, David Lloyd George emerged, the Independent Liberals, who opposed the National Government but this had few adherents amongst prominent Liberals beyond Lloyd George's relatives. For the next election in 1935 they reunited with the mainstream Liberals, colloquially dubbed "Samuelites".
Following the election, Liberals following John Simon formally repudiated the official Liberal Party in Parliament and operated to all extents and purposes as a separate party group, known as "Simonites", though they were not fully recognised as such. In 1932 the "Samuelite" Liberals resigned from the government over the result of the Ottawa Conference – the introduction of a series of tariff agreements – though they continued to support the National Government from the back benches. By 1933 they had abandoned it and crossed the floor of the House of Commons, leaving the Liberal Nationals supporting the government; the two groups were now separate, though some Liberal MPs like Robert Bernays remained on the Government benches before joining the Liberal Nationals, other MPs maintained links across the floor. Within the wider party the split was not so clear. Liberal Associations which supported Liberal National candidates remained affiliated to the National Liberal Federation, the mainstream body for the official party, until that body was dissolved in 1936.
Its replacement, the Liberal National Council, the main organ of the local party, was founded in 1936. However, there were increasing divisions when some Liberal associations endorsed Liberal Nationals at by-elections: Independent Liberals came forward to oppose such a candidate endorsed by the local association that called itself'Liberal' but was Liberal National. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s there were a number of proposals to reunite the two Liberal parties, but these foundered on the question of continued support for the National Government. During World War II the Liberal Nationals suffered a stream of defectors who joined either the independent Liberals or the Conservatives, or else became non-party supporters of the government. In 1940 the National Government was replaced by an all-party coalition led by Winston Churchill; the party's new leader, Ernest Brown, was only accorded the status of a party leader within the coalition and otherwise faced questions over the future of the party.
Proposals emerged again for the party to reunite with the independent Liberals, but these foundered on Brown's insistence on supporting a revival of the National Government once the Coalition broke up, which the independent Liberals rejected. After both parties' drubbing and the Labour Party's victory in the 1945 general election, the two factions made renewed attempts at reuniting. At Westminster the core, independent Liberals were in a shattered state, their tiny numbers representing all shades of opinion. Only in London were the two reunited at regional organisational level, although in some individual boroughs and constituencies such as Huddersfield rival Liberal associations began co-operating and merging as avowed Liberal as
Tom Johnston (British politician)
Thomas Johnston was a prominent Scottish socialist journalist who became a politician of the early 20th century, a member of the Labour Party, a member of parliament and government minister – with Cabinet responsibility for Scottish affairs. He was a notable figure in the Friendly society movement in Scotland. Johnston was the son of David Johnston, a grocer, his wife, Mary Blackwood, he was born in Kirkintilloch in 1881 and educated at Kirkintilloch Board School at Lenzie Academy. Studying Moral Philosophy and Political Economy at the University of Glasgow, he failed to graduate, but helped launch the left-wing journal, Forward, in 1906, in the same city became associated with the'Red Clydesiders', a socialist grouping that included James Maxton and Manny Shinwell. In 1909 he published a book, Our Scots Noble Families, which aimed to discredit the landed aristocracy. First elected as a Member of Parliament for the constituency of Stirling and Clackmannan West in November 1922 general election, Johnston lost his seat at the October 1924 general election.
He returned to Parliament, winning the Dundee by-election in December. He was re-elected for Stirling and Clackmannan Western at the 1929 general election, when he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Scotland by Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald; this troubled administration was short-lived. Long a member of the Independent Labour Party, he opposed its disaffiliation from the Labour Party, he lost his seat at the 1931 general election, failed to be returned at a by-election in Dunbartonshire in 1932, but he joined the new Scottish Socialist Party, which affiliated to Labour, he returned to the House of Commons at the 1935 general election and remained an MP until retiring in the 1945 general election. Johnston was the key government figure involved in the evacuation of St Kilda, Scotland in 1930. Documents relating to this event, which attracted considerable press attention, are available to view in the National Archives of Scotland. On 17 October 1912, Tom Johnston was welcomed to the board of the City of Glasgow Friendly Society.
John Stewart had established the society as a breakaway movement from the Royal Liver Friendly Society some 50 years with the intention of providing a "safe and sound means of investment for the working classes." Johnston was appointed vice-president of the society in 1919. On his appointment as Member of Parliament in 1922, he was warmly congratulated by the society's board; when many coal miners were unable to pay their premiums during the General Strike, the society remained supportive, in line with its founding principles. We did try to live up to the word'Friendly'. So when the miners couldn’t pay their premiums, we helped them instead of lapsing them. We were the only office not to lapse a miner during those strikes."On 10 October 1932 20 years after joining the board, Johnston was appointed deputy and successor to James Stewart, the son of the society's original founder. A brochure printed to mark the society's 70th birthday indicated the high regard with which Johnston was held: "The task that faced the Board in making this appointment was no light one.
To preserve the continuity of success and management it was essential to secure a man, not only intellectually capable, but, imbued with the ideals of the Society. The long association of Mr. Johnston with the Society as a Delegate and a Member of the Board, his outstanding qualities which have made him so prominent a figure in the public life of this country, singles him out as the one person to assist the general manager and to fill as adequately as it is possible the office of general manager; this choice was the unanimous one of the Board."Though an active politician and MP, Johnston devoted considerable time to the society, proposed novel ideas about life assurance. In December 1933, he addressed the Glasgow and West of Scotland Faculty of Insurance, where he introduced the idea of an all-in social insurance scheme, covering unemployment and pensions. In effect, the society played a role in shaping the life assurance movement and what is now known as the Welfare State; the following year, in 1934, James Stewart retired as general manager of the society and Johnston took over.
With the society facing ever-rising administration costs as many of their members relocated to England in search of work, Johnston worked out proposals for co-operation between the collecting societies, proposing a sub-committee be formed. Despite opposition, in October 1934, Johnston was elected to the executive of the Association of Collecting Friendly Societies, he went on pressing for his sub-committee until 1938 when, in view of the reluctance of some of the larger societies to participate, he decided that no useful purpose would be served by proceeding with it. One of the big changes that occurred during Johnston's management was the improvement of Society staff conditions, it was the first of its group to give the staff alternative Saturdays off, it introduced a special bonus system. On several occasions the board proposed salary increases for the general manager, but on each occasion Johnston refused. In March 1938, for example, the board proposed to increase his salary by £500 a year.
As Johnston knew there would have to be economies among the lower tiers of staff, he refused the increase. In 1941, Tom Johnson was appointed wartime Secre