These tiny majorities sharpened his political antenna as to what mattered for Scottish opinion and, later, contributed to his influence in Cabinet.Patrick Jenkin, his colleague and member of Conservative cabinets, remembers how Younger handled Margaret Thatcher with considerable skill and was adept at confronting his fellow cabinet ministers with the dire things that would overtake the party in Scotland, at the hands of the SNP in particular, if money was not found for the Scottish Office.The second Viscount Younger, James, worked in the family brewery at Alloa, fought at Gallipoli, was severely wounded on the Somme and won the DSO.He had two sons, one of whom was George Younger's father, Edward, distinguished in the public life of Scotland, while the second, Kenneth, went off in a completely different direction.At the age of 28, in 1959, he stood for Parliament in the Labour seat of North Lanarkshire.Conservatives in the House of Commons heard from Margaret Herbison, who defeated him by 21,152 votes to 14,883, what an excellent Tory candidate he had been.To no Scot of recent years have accrued so many honours; and no one carried honours with such good-humour and self-deprecating charm.The first Viscount Younger of Leckie, also George, left college at the age of 17 on his father's death to run the family brewery.
Labour was confident of winning, but on an 83 per cent turnout Younger held the seat by 20,047 to 18,346 – a majority of 1,701.
The grudging respect of Ross marked out Younger for the most important of the Under-Secretaries' jobs in the Scottish Office, that of Economic Development, when the Heath government came to power in 1970.
Taylor remembers working with Younger in the Scottish Office as "a real delight" because, George always appeared to be relaxed, and practical, and established a record for solving problems.
None of the honours which were later to come his way gave him such pleasure as being Warden of Winchester.
After National Service in Germany and Korea with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, he went up to New College, where he read Modern History.