Our President in 1950/51 was:

The Right Hon. Walter E. Elliot

He proposed the Toast to Sir Walter at our 43rd Annual Dinner on Friday 12th January 1951 in The North British Station Hotel, Edinburgh

Read the text of his address here

Walter Elliot Elliot, CH, MC, FRS, FRSE, FRCP (19 September 1888 – 8 January 1958) was a prominent Scottish Unionist Party politician in the interwar years. His most important role was as Secretary of State for Scotland.

He was born in Lanark the eldest son of William Elliot, a livestock auctioneer, and his wife, Ellen Elizabeth Shiels. His mother died during the birth of his youngest sibling. The children were thereafter raised by the mother's relatives in Glasgow. They appear to have had a company, Shiels, Elliot and Nelson, who made farming equipment including the Shiels patent milking machine.

Elliot was raised in Glasgow and educated at both Lanark High School and the Glasgow Academy and from 1905 at the University of Glasgow, where he studied science and medicine, graduating MB ChB in 1913. He was President of the Glasgow University Union, 1911–12. One of his friends from the Academy, through university and beyond, was the playwright Osborne Henry Mavor.

In 1913–14 he was briefly House Surgeon at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow.

At the onset of the First World War he enlisted as a medical officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps attached to the Scots Greys. He won a Military Cross for his actions at Wancourt during the Battle of Arras in April 1917. He won a second Military Cross in Cambrai in November 1917 adding a bar to the original medal. Walter received a leg wound in the final month of the war, but returned home safely. His younger brother Dan Elliot was killed at Gallipoli.

In 1924 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir Robert Blyth Greig, Frederick Orpen Bower, Arthur Crichton Mitchell, and William Archer Tait.

He was Rector of Aberdeen University 1933–36 and Rector of Glasgow University 1947–50. He was a governor of The Peckham Experiment in 1949. He was made a Companion of Honour (CH) in 1952. He was also Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Six universities awarded him honorary doctorates (LLD).

He appeared on the television program The Brains Trust.

He died at the family estate of Harwood (inherited from his father) in Bonchester Bridge on 8 January 1958 of a coronary thrombosis. He is buried in Hobkirk churchyard.

Elliot then entered politics and was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Lanark in the 1918 general election. He lost this seat in the 1923 general election but, a year later in a 1924 by-election, he was elected as MP for Glasgow Kelvingrove. He was seen by many as a rising star. In 1932 he entered the Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture and subsequently served as Secretary of State for Scotland and Minister of Health. Amongst his achievements were the Agricultural Marketing Act which sought to protect food producers from going bankrupt amidst massive surpluses and collapsing prices, the introduction of free milk for school children and formation of the National Housing Company which built prefabricated "Weir Houses" in Clydeside.

On 29 March 1939, Elliot passed the Cancer Act 1939 - "An Act to make further provision for the treatment of cancer, to authorise the Minister of Health to lend money to the National Radium Trust, to prohibit certain advertisements relating to cancer, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid". All provisions in the Act for improving the treatment of cancer nationally have since been stripped, leaving only the prohibition against advertisements relating to cancer treatments.

In 1938 Elliot's career reached a turning point when he came close to resigning over the Munich Agreement but decided against. Consequently, his political stock began to fall and when Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister in 1940, Elliot was dropped from the government. He later served as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He was returned for the Combined Scottish Universities seat in a by-election in November 1946. When the university seats were abolished, Elliot returned to Kelvingrove where he beat his Labour opponent from 1945, John Lloyd Williams, and SNP candidate Hugh MacDiarmid in the 1950 election.

Elliot also led the popular Elliot Commission on Higher Education in West Africa whose report informed the creation of the first university colleges in West African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana.

Text sourceWikipedia