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The Minister of Labour,' Sir Robert Stevenson ■ Home, is spoken of as "a Sir Eric Geddes man," and lie looks it. There are the same firm, cleanshaven upper lip and the same determination in the clench of his fist when he emphasises his words; but he has in addition a winning persuasiveness in his voice and a smile in his eyes that will carry him a long way in softening the acrimony of a dispute, or convincing' an adversary, states the "Daily Mail." He has been put on his mettle before getting comfortably in his chair at Montagu House, but he intends to tackle his job with the buoyant confidence which carried him through his career at Glasgow University (in the football field as,well as in classes), at the Scottish Bar, where he became a K.C. at the age of 39, and in every public department where he has worked for his country since the outbreak of war.

He gave up a large and lucrative practice tp devote himself to recruiting work at Edinburgh, and, impelled by a sense of duty, he came to London and undertook the deputy-directorship of the agricultural section of the National Service Department. Then he went to the War Office to assist Sir Eric Geddes in organising transport services abroad. He came back from France with his chief to go to the. Admiralty, where, after dealing with the distribution of material, he took over the Labour Department. It was here that he first displayed ability in adjusting industrial differences; he exercised jurisdiction over 2500 rirms, employing more than half a million men. He represented the Ad- • miralty on Mr Justice McOardie's Committee of Inquiry on the Labour troubles at Coventry and elsewhere last summer, when he gained a clear insight into the cause of unrest and saw how disagreements between employers and men were allowed to drift into serious disputes. He strongly supported the Whitley recommendation that more should be done to encourage confidence and co-operation on both sides. Sir Robert was born in 1871 at a mining village about midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow, where his father was parish minister. At Glasgow he won several scholarships, and graduated as a Bachelor of Law. For a time he edited the university magazine, and he gained his "blue" in the university Rugby team. You see he is an athtete when he stands erect. Though not tall or bulky, his shoulders suggest both size and strength. His brown hair is parted almost ■•in the centre and carefully brushed. He has typical Scottish eyebrows, inclined to sliagginess, but no other hair on his round face. He would still be a nasty opponent to encounter in a "tackle." But he has no intention of Abutting in" impetuously just now, although he is being appealed to from all parts of the counu'y to settle strikes and prevent others that are threatened..

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Bibliographic details

MINISTER FOR LABOUR., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9583, 10 April 1919

Word Count

MINISTER FOR LABOUR. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9583, 10 April 1919

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