Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth

Eric Drummond, 16th Earl Of Perth

Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth

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James Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth, GCMG, CB (17 August 1876 – 15 December 1951) was a Scottish representative peer, a British diplomat and the first Secretary General of the League of Nations. Because of the history of the Earldom of Perth (attainder 1715, reversed 1853), he is sometimes considered the 7th Earl of Perth.

Half brother of the William Drummond, 15th Earl of Perth, Drummond was born in North Yorkshire, England. He was educated at Eton and began his Foreign Office career in 1900. In 1906, he became private secretary to Lord Edmund Petty-FitzMaurice, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In 1908 and again from 1910 to 1911, he was précis writer for Sir Edward Grey, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

He served as the League of Nations Secretary General from the organization's foundation in 1919 until 1933 when he became Britain's ambassador to Italy. As Secretary General, he helped to establish high standards for loyalty to the international civil service that have influenced his successors in both the League and the post-World War II United Nations.

He succeeded to the Earldom in 1937 upon his half brother's death and entered the House of Lords. In 1939, Drummond returned to Britain and served during the Second World War as chief advisor on foreign publicity in the Ministry of Information. From 1946 until his death, he served as deputy leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords.

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