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The Papers of Horace Finlayson

Reference Code: GBR/0014/FLYN

Scope and Contents

Comprising diaries and correspondence


  • Creation: 1921 - 1949


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Horace Courtenay Forbes Finlayson was born in Aberdeen, 20 January 1885, the son of James Finlayson. He was educated at Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen; Aberdeen University; the Universities of Marburg and Berlin, 1905-6; the University of Paris, 1906-7; and the London School of Economics and Political Science, 1907-9.

He was Head of the Political and Economic School at the Imperial University of Peking [Beijing], 1910-15; Lecturer in Trade and Statistics at the Customs College, 1911-15; and personal adviser on finance and administration to Yuan Shikai [President of the Republic of China], 1912-15.

He resigned his posts in China to join the British Army and served on the Western Front during the First World War, where he was attached to the Chinese Labour Corps, 1915-18.

Following demobilisation, he was appointed Financial Secretary to the Commission Internationale de Ravitaillement [CIR] in London, 1918-19. He became Private Secretary to Lord Bradbury in his role as Principal British Delegate to the Inter-Allied Reparations Commission in Paris, 1919-21; and then Head of the Finance Section of the British Delegation of the Committee of Guarantees in Berlin, from 1921. He was Financial Adviser to the British Embassy in Berlin, 1923-8. During this period, he was seconded to act as technical secretary to Sir Robert Kindersley and Sir Josiah Stamp, the British representatives on the Dawes Committee, November 1923-April 1924. He then took up a post as Technical Adviser to the Bank of Greece on behalf of the League of Nations, 1928-37. Finally, he worked in the Financial Intelligence Branch of the Ministry of Economic Warfare, 1939-45.

He was awarded the Fourth Class of the Order of the Excellent Crop [China], 1916; and a CMG, 1927.

He died in 1969.


1 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of the collection level description and catalogue are available at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London, and on the Janus website.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were transferred to Churchill Archives Centre by Colin Mackay, 2013.


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, November 2013. Biographical information was obtained from the website of the Bundesarchiv and an account of Horace Finlayson's career, 30 March 1927, and a presscutting among the papers (reference: FLYN 2/1).


Finlayson, Horace Courtenay Forbes (1885-1969), financial expert

2013-11-12 09:06:42+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
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