A Remembrance of Ross Douglas
[Reprinted from Land & Liberty ,
LORD DOUGLAS of Barloch, KCMG, died on March 31, at the age of 90.
Boss Douglas (as he was then known) was a solicitor and accountant
who entered the House of Commons in 1940, representing Battersea North
for Labour. At the time, he was a member of the United Committee for
the Taxation of Land Values: he resigned when he took his seat in
In 1946 he was appointed Governor of Malta, a position he held until
1949. He later became a member of the House of Lords and in 1962 was
appointed Deputy Speaker.
Before the second World War, Douglas wrote regularly for Land &
Liberty, of which he was assistant editor. He was author of many
pamphlets on the land question and other aspects of the Henry George
philosophy. His book Land Value Rating was published in two
editions. His paper, "Karl Marx's Theory of Surplus Value and
Land Rent", has been reprinted many times.
In the field of site-value rating he was the acknowledged expert. and
as chairman of the finance committee of the former London County
Council he did much to popularize this reform, pressing with vigour
for its adoption.
Among his other interests to which he devoted his energies in writing
and speaking were soil fertility and nutrition; he was also a strong
opponent of the fluoridation of water supplies.
Lord Douglas was a reticent man, always courteous and always precise.
While not a colourful speaker, he expressed himself with notable
clarity with his excellent diction, impeccable logic and mastery of
the English language.