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British Industrial History

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George Gall Sim

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George Gall Sim (1878-1930)

G. G. Sim deputy chairman of Vickers and Vickers-Armstrongs

Previously attached to the Indian Civil Service.

1930 Obituary[1]


The news of the death, on August 19, at the early age of 52, of Mr. George Gall Sim, C.S.I., C.I.E., will be received with regret by a wide circle of professional men both in this country and in India. Mr. Sim, who was deputy chairman of Messrs. Vickers Limited, and of Messrs. Vickers-Armstrongs Limited, passed away, after a very short illness, from pneumonia complicated with malaria, in a nursing home at Elgin, Scotland. He was born on January 12, 1878, at Strichen, near Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, and was educated at the University of Aberdeen and at Christ Church, Oxford. He entered the Indian Civil Service in 1901, arid for the next seven years served as assistant magistrate in the United Provinces. While still quite a young man, Mr. Sim became Under-Secretary to the Government of the United Provinces in 1908. Some four years later he was appointed Chairman of the Cawnpore Municipal Board and, during the ensuing five years, he did much to improve the housing and sanitation conditions in that city. In 1917, he was selected for the post of financial secretary to the Government of the United Provinces, and, after serving in this capacity for some three years, was transferred to the Government of India for special duty in the Finance Department.

Mr. Sim’s name will always he associated with two measures of outstanding importance in the financial history of India. As a member of the Board of Inland Revenue, he carried through to a successful conclusion the onerous task of consolidating and improving the Indian income-tax law. As Financial Commissioner to the Railway Department of the Government of India, which position he occupied from 1923 until his resignation from the Service in 1926, he rendered invaluable service. He played a prominent part in the separation of railway from general finance, a reform which has been characterised as the greatest achievement in Indian Government finances of recent years. As matters now stand, the railways contribute annually a definite sum to the general revenues, and have the use of surplus profits after the payment of the fixed charges. In recognition of his services, Mr. Sim was awarded Companionships of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1920, and of the Order of the Star of India in 1926. He joined Messrs. Vickers Limited on July 1, 1926, and was appointed secretary to the firm a fortnight later. Subsequently, he became a director of Messrs. Vickers Limited, of Messrs. Vickers-Armstrongs Limited, and of several of the associated companies. On March 11, 1929, he was appointed deputy-chairman of Messrs. Vickers-Armstrongs Limited, and as recently as November 6, 1929, deputy-chairman of Messrs. Vickers Limited."

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