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Laurence Helsby, Baron Helsby

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Laurence Norman Helsby, Baron Helsby GCB KBE (27 April 1908 – 5 December 1978) was a British civil servant.


Laurence Norman Helsby was born on 27 April 1908 and educated at Sedbergh School in Cumbria, before studying at Keble College, Oxford. He lectured in economics at the University College of the South West of England (a predecessor institution of the University of Exeter) between 1930 and 1931 and at the University of Durham between 1931 and 1945. In 1946, he joined the Civil Service, initially as an Assistant Secretary in the Treasury, before becoming Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, between 1947 and 1950.

After a period working in the Ministry of Food, he was appointed First Civil Service Commissioner in 1954, transferring in 1959 to become Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour. In 1963, he was made joint Permanent Secretary to the Treasury and Head of the Home Civil Service. Following his retirement, he was created a life peer on 21 May 1968 with the title Baron Helsby,of Logmore in the County of Surrey.[1][2]

Helsby was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1950,[3] and was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in 1963;[4] he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1955.[5] He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Keble College in 1959, and received honorary degrees from the universities of Exeter and Durham. He died on 5 December 1978.[2]


  1. ^ "No. 44592". The London Gazette. 23 May 1968. p. 5843.
  2. ^ a b "Helsby". Who Was Who. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
  3. ^ "No. 38797". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 January 1950. p. 4.
  4. ^ "No. 42870". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1963. p. 3.
  5. ^ "No. 40366". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1955. p. 11.