A Rhodes Scholarship led to a BA and MA at Oxford with emphasis on philosophy, politics and economics. A fellow of Trinity College, Oxford from 1927-50, he lectured in economics and applied economics. In 1939 he was seconded to the new Ministry of Supply at Whitehall and spent 1942-44 based in Washington. From 1943 his work largely involved postwar economic planning. From 1951-63 he was economic advisor to successive Chancellors of the Exchequer in the Parliament of Great Britain. In 1969 on being made a life peer, he assumed the title of Lord Roberthall.