Tom Johnston was a historian, journalist and left-wing politician who served as Secretary of State for Scotland during the Second World War. Born in Kirkintilloch, he studied at the University of Glasgow where he helped launch the socialist journal, ‘Forward’, in 1906. He first entered the Commons in 1922 and served as an MP for various constituencies. He was appointed Scotland’s Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence in 1939 and Secretary of State for Scotland in Churchill’s coalition government of 1941. After retiring from politics in 1945, Johnston became chairman of several bodies, including the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board. This portrait shows Johnston aged about seventy-five, in a characteristic navy blue double-breasted suit and bow tie.