Runciman, Walter Runciman, 1st Viscount (rŭnˈsĭmən) [key], 1870–1949, British shipping magnate and public official. He inherited his father's large shipping business. As a Liberal he served in Parliament, with two interruptions, from 1899 to 1937 and held a number of governmental administrative positions, including the presidency of the Board of Trade (1914–16, 1931–37). He was made viscount in 1937. In July, 1938, he was sent to Czechoslovakia to mediate between the Czech government and the Sudeten Germans. The unsuccessful mission was a prelude to the Munich Pact.