Person NameScott; Sir; Robert Heatlie (1905-1982); diplomat and civil servant
ForenamesRobert Heatlie
Epithetdiplomat and civil servant
ActivitySir Robert Heatlie Scott (1905-1982), diplomat and civil servant, was born at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, on 20 September 1905. He was the eldest child of Thomas Henderson Scott, civil engineer, and Mary Agnes Dixon, teacher. He was educated at Inverness and, after the family moved to Trinidad, at the Queen's Royal College, Trinidad. At the age of 15 he won a scholarship to attend New College, Oxford. In 1927 he was called to the bar at Gray's Inn but subsequently joined the Consular Service in the Far East. He served in Japan, Manchuria, Peking, Canton, Chungking, Shanghai and Hong Kong. In China he met and married Rosamond Dewar Durie, daughter of Robert Nugent Dewar Durie, banker, of the Imperial Bank of Persia. In 1941 he moved to Singapore to open a branch of the Ministry of Information. During the second world war, he was held as a prisoner of war in Singapore by the Japanese, 1942-1945. Following the war, he returned to Britain. From 1950-1953 he was under-secretary of state, Foreign Office, with responsibility for Far Eastern Affairs. From 1953-1955 he was minister at the British Embassy, Washington. From 1955-1959 he was Commissioner-General for the United Kingdom in South East Asia and in 1960 became the first civilian commandant of the Imperial Defence College. From 1961-1963 he was permanent secretary, Ministry of Defence. He retired in 1963 and moved to Peebles. From 1968-1982 he was Lord Lieutenant of Peebleshire. In 1972 he received an honourary degree from the University of Dundee. He was awarded CBE, 1946, CMG, 1950, KCMG, 1954, GCMG, 1959. He died in Peebles on 26 February 1982.
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