Businessman, publisher and author;
Born: August 30, 1920; Died: September 25, 2013.
James Gibb Stuart, who has died at the age of 93, was a businessman, author, publisher and philanthropist whose 1983 book The Money Bomb laid out his controversial views on economic and monetary reform.
Born in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, and educated at Camphill Secondary School, he joined the family ironmongery, painting and decorating business, W Gibb Stuart Ltd, which was founded by his grandfather William in 1880 in Kilmacolm and Bridge of Weir.
The business was successful, but the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 saw William's four sons enlist. One son paid the ultimate price, another was badly wounded but that son, also William Gibb Stuart, recovered and kept the business afloat through the difficult economic times of the 1920s and 1930s.
By 1939, the firm was thriving again, employing a staff of 30, although sadly three male members of staff were killed in action during Second World War.
When the war broke out, James Gibb Stuart, the son of William Gibb Stuart Jnr, was in the Territorial Army and served initially with the Highland Light Infantry before, in 1941, joining the Royal Air Force training as a navigator on Mosquito fighter-bomber aircraft.
A posting to India in 1942/43 followed and when the Mosquitoes were found to be unsuitable for the conditions there. He was then switched to Halifax bombers flying over China and the Bay of Bengal in the war with the Japanese.
He was demobbed in 1946 following the cessation of hostilities, returning to the family business to run it with his brother Hugh - the third generation of the family to do so. Trading was difficult in this austere post-war period - the retail world was changing, never to be the same again.
The business survived and improved, adapting with the changing times. In 1962 a contract was secured to paint the new electronics complex developing in Spango Valley, Greenock at IBM with facilities opened both in Greenock itself and at Port Glasgow.
By the early 1960s, Mr Gibb Stuart had begun to develop an interest in politics. He met Angus Graham, the 7th Duke of Montrose, Minister of Defence in Ian Smith's Rhodesia from 1965-66, and it was Lord Graham who interested Mr Gibb Stuart in monetary reform. His interest in Southern African politics saw him becoming involved in the Scottish-South African Society of the 1980s. He turned to writing in 1978, and in the 1980s bought William MacLellan Publishing Ltd, subsequently forming a new company Ossian Publishers Ltd. His first book The Mind Benders on Scottish independence was published in 1978.
The connection with the Duke of Montrose would surface again in later years when another imprint, Stuart Titles, published Castles in the Air, the autobiography of Lady Jean Fforde, sister of the Duke of Montrose.
The Money Bomb in 1983 included the author's views on economic and monetary reform. He identified the role which the banking and finance system played in perpetuating debt, poverty and economic instability and suggested stabilising the national debt by using government-created money to fund the annual interest, leading to reduced taxation and social welfare improvements.
It is fair to say that the book made quite an impact initially: a front-page story in the London Evening Standard on the day of Chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe's Budget. However, bookshops did not stock the book and it received precious little publicity despite the belief that it had sympathetic ears close to the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Quite why there was such a negative reaction and censorship to the book remains a mystery.
In 1997, Mr Gibb Stuart founded the Bromsgrove Conference, an annual economic event of which he was convenor until 2008. He was also chairman of the Scottish Pure Water Association and received the UK Islamic Mission's Community Champion award in recognition for the work undertaken to promote economic justice in the Islamic community and the rest of society. He was also presented with the American Monetary Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual conference in Chicago.
The James Gibb Stuart Trust - a registered charity - was incorporated in April 2008, its mission to educate lay people and legislators alike on the United Kingdom banking and financial systems.At the 15th Annual Bromsgrove Conference in October 2011, Mr Gibb Stuart - by then into his 92nd year - was honoured by the Birmingham-based Thomas Attwood Group for services to monetary reform.
His previous wife, Nancy, predeceased him; he is survived by his wife Dorothy, son William and daughter Marjorie.
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