Catalogue description Treasury: Papers of Sir Frederick Leith-Ross

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Details of T 188
Reference: T 188
Title: Treasury: Papers of Sir Frederick Leith-Ross

The major part of this series (T 188/1-262) consists of official and semi-official papers accumulated by Sir Frederick Leith-Ross during the period 1921 to 1946. These mainly relate to international economic affairs, including the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA).

The latter part of this series (T 188/263-326) consists of Leith-Ross's official, semi-official and private correspondence, and diaries.

The correspondence includes papers from his time as Private Secretary to Asquith, from the period of the First World War, and concerning aspects of international economics between 1922 and 1945.

There is also a considerable amount of family, private and miscellaneous correspondence dated between 1911 and 1968. Leith-Ross had a world-wide circle of friends and acquaintances and among those represented in his correspondence are

  • Dean Acheson,
  • Lord Butler,
  • Hugh Dalton,
  • Lewis Douglas,
  • Lord Franks,
  • Sir Edmund Hall-Patch,
  • Lord Hankey,
  • Sir Ralph Hawtrey,
  • Sir Roy Harrod,
  • Lord Keynes,
  • Per Jacobsson,
  • Fiorello La Guardia,
  • Sir Ronald Lindsay,
  • Oliver Lyttelton (Lord Chandos),
  • Philip Noel Baker,
  • Lord Norman,
  • Margot, Countess of Oxford and Asquith,
  • John G Winant.

The diaries, which cover the periods 1913 to 1915 and 1923 to 1968, mainly record his engagements, though the early diaries occasionally contain more detailed entries.

Date: 1890-1968

This series is arranged chronologically within accessions. T 188/263-326 are arranged partly by subject and partly by country.

Related material:

For documents relating to the Ministry of Production's Supplies to Liberated Areas Secretariat and the Board of Trade's Liberated Areas Division, which were both involved with the UNRRA, see: -142 For documents relating to the Ministry of Economic Warfare see:

BT 25

FO 837

FO 935

T 230/141

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Sir Frederick William Leith- Ross, 1887-1968

Physical description: 340 volume(s)
Access conditions: Open
Immediate source of acquisition:

Treasury , in 1973 and by Frederick Leith-Ross's daughter in 1975

S M Hagger, 1975-1975 , in 1973 and by Frederick Leith-Ross's daughter in 1975

Accruals: No future accruals expected
Administrative / biographical background:

Sir Frederick William Leith-Ross was born in 1887 and appointed to the Treasury in 1909. Between 1911 and 1913 he was Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon H H Asquith. In 1923 he became Deputy Controller of Finance at the Treasury and in 1932 he was appointed Chief Economic Adviser to H. M. Government, a post he held until 1946. Between 1939 and 1942 he was also Director General of the Ministry of Economic Warfare.

Leith-Ross was especially concerned with international economic affairs. He served as the British representative on the Finance Board of the Reparations Commission from 1920 to 1925, as Chairman of the International Committee on Inter-Governmental Debts in 1931, as a British representative at the Hague Conference from 1929 to 1930, and as a British representative at the World Economic Conference, London, in 1933. He was a member of the Economic Committee of the League of Nations between 1932 and 1939 and its Chairman from 1936 to 1937, Chairman of the Inter-Allied Post-War Requirements Committee from 1941 to 1943, Deputy Director General of UNRRA from 1944 to 1945, and Chairman of the European Committee of the Council of UNRRA from 1945 to 1946.

He undertook several financial missions abroad, including the War Debts Mission to Washington in 1933, the negotiation of financial agreements with Germany in 1934 and Italy in 1935, and a financial mission to China during 1935 and 1936.

In 1946 Leith-Ross left government service. From 1946 to 1951 he was Governor of the National Bank of Egypt. Between 1951 and 1966 he held the positions of Deputy Chairman of the National Provincial Bank, Director of the Standard Bank and Director of the National Discount Company. He retired in 1966.

Leith-Ross was created CB in 1925, KCMG in 1930, KCB in 1933 and GCMG in 1937.

He died on 22 August 1968.

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