Sir Robert Laurie Morant

"SIR ROBERT LAURIE MORANT (1863-1920), English civil servant, was born at Hampstead April 7 1863. He was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, and on leaving the university was for a few years a schoolmaster. Later he went to Siam as educational adviser, and was entrusted by King Chulalongkorn with the drawing up of a scheme of education for the whole country. In a few years he returned to England, and after some experience of social work in the East End of London was appointed in 1895 to assist in the direction of the Office of Special Inquiries and Reports in the Board of Education. His first noteworthy piece of work was a report on the condition of the French primary schools. He became private secretary to successive ministers, and on him devolved a great deal of the preparation of Mr. Balfour's Education Act of 1902. In 1903 he was appointed permanent secretary of the Board of Education. In this capacity he proved himself a most efficient administrator, and in 1907 he was created K.C.B. In 1912, on the introduction of the National Insurance bill, Morant was appointed chairman of the Insurance Commission, a position which led naturally to his appointment as secretary to the Ministry of Health on its formation in 1919. He died in London after a few days' illness March 13 1920.

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