Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 10, Officials of Royal Commissions of Inquiry 1870-1939. Originally published by University of London, London, 1995.
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38. Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act 1880-81
39. City of London Livery Companies 1880-84
App. 29 July 1880. Rep. 28 May 1884, C.4073-i-iv, xxxix, Pts. I-V. Cost £2,775. Earl of Derby; Duke of Bedford; Viscount Sherbrooke; Lord Coleridge; Sir R.A. Cross; Sir N.M. de Rothschild; Sir S.H. Waterlow; W.J.R. Cotton; A. Pell; W.H. James; J.F.B. Firth; T. Burt.
To inquire into the circumstances and administration, and to report on desirable changes in the constitution and administration, of all companies named in the Second Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into Municipal Corporations in England and Wales.
Firth and Burt signed subject to separate memoranda and observations. A dissenting report was signed by Cross, Rothschild and Cotton, with a further Protest by Cotton both against the Majority Report generally and against specific points of the Dissenting Report.
40. Measurement of Tonnage 1880-81
To inquire into and report on the present law for the measurement of tonnage; and whether any changes were necessary having regard to just principles of taxation; the furtherance of trade; international arrangements; and, above all, safety.
Stokes signed but attached a note to the report pointing out what he believed to be certain misapprehensions on the part of Rothery and Glover. The latter, and Waymouth, did not sign, appending their reasons.
41. Inland Navigation (Ireland) 1880-82
42. Transvaal 1881-82
The Commission included detailed instructions from the Earl of Kimberley (Secretary of State for the Colonies). The Commissioners had wide powers and on 3 Aug 1881 executed a convention with the representatives of the Transvaal burghers (S.J.P. Kruger, M.W. Pretorius and P.J. Joubert), granting selfgovernment to the inhabitants of the Transvaal in accordance with the principles and conditions expressed in the Commission's report.
43. Medical Degrees 1881-82
App. 30 Apr 1881. Rep. pres. 22 June 1882, C.3259-i, xxix, 489. Cost £1,948. Earl of Camperdown; Bishop of Peterborough; W.H.F. Cogan; Sir G. Jessel; G. Sclater-Booth; Sir W. Jenner; J. Simon; T.H. Huxley; R. McDonnell; W. Turner; J. Bryce.
To inquire into the grant of medical degrees and other diplomas; and the courses of education necessary to acquire the skill and knowledge to attain them; and also to inquire into conditions for registration as medical practitioners; and into the result of the Medical Act of 1858 and its amendments.
44. Ecclesiastical Courts 1881-83
Archbishop of Canterbury (A.C. Tait: d. 1 Dec 1882); Archbishop of York (fn. 1); Marquess of Bath; Earl of Devon (fn. 1); Earl of Chichester (fn. 1); Bishop of Winchester (fn. 1); Bishop of Oxford (fn. 1); Bishop of Truro (subsq. Archbishop of Canterbury); Lord Penzance; Lord Blachford; Lord Coleridge (fn. 1); Sir R.J. Phillimore (fn. 1); Sir R.A. Cross; Sir W.C. James (fn. 1); W.C. Lake (fn. 1); J.J.S. Perowne (fn. 1); B.F. Westcott; W. Stubbs; J.P. Deane (fn. 1); E.A. Freeman (fn. 1); T.E. Espin (fn. 1); A.C. Ainslie; A. Charles; F.H. Jeune (fn. 1); S. Whitbread.
To inquire into the constitution and working of the Ecclesiastical Courts, as created or modified under the Reformation Statutes of the 24th and 25th years of Henry VIII and any subsequent acts. (In full.)
45. Technical Instruction Abroad 1881-84
To inquire into the instruction of the industrial classes of certain foreign countries in technical and other subjects, to compare them with corresponding classes in this country; and into the influence of such instruction on manufacturing and other industries at home and abroad.
The Commission's foreign visits gave rise to Treasury suspicions: an entry in the T.108 index for 1882 notes 'Comm. wants sharply looking after. Members have been taking a holiday at public expense'. (Entry no. 15762 - the file itself has been destroyed.)
46. Smallpox Hospitals 1881-82
47. Reformatories & Industrial Schools 1882-84
Lord Aberdare; Earl of Dalhousie; Lord Norton; Hon. E. Stanhope; Sir M.E. Hicks-Beach; C.O. O'Conor; Sir U.J. Kay-Shuttleworth; D.La T. Colthurst; G. Woodyatt-Hastings; F.H.N. Glossop; C. Dalrymple; H. Broadhurst; W. Ewart; W.E. Hubbard, Jnr.
To inquire into and report upon the operation, management, control, inspection, financial arrangements and condition generally of Certified Reformatories, Certified Industrial Schools and Certified Day Industrial Schools in the United Kingdom; and to suggest any amendments to increase their efficiency.
Liddell resigned 28 July 1883 as he had taken up the post of Revising Barrister for the West Riding of York and could no longer hold an office of profit under the Crown. However he informed the Home Office that he wished to continue as unpaid Secretary to the Commission until its report was completed. In addition to this work he prepared a detailed memorandum setting out the Commission's recommendations and suggesting means by which they could be incorporated in legislation. There is no record of Treasury sanction for the outof-pocket expenses he had also requested, but a file note of 7 Dec 1883 records that he was to be sent a 'very civil letter of thanks'. (PRO.HO.45/9617/A.13312)
48. Metropolitan Sewage 1882-84
To inquire and report upon the system under which sewage is discharged into the Thames by the Metropolitan Board of Works, whether any evil effects result therefrom, and in that case what measures can be applied for remedying or preventing the same. (In full.)
Benson Maxwell attached a letter to the first report stating his agreement with it. He was unable sign it due to his absence from England on public duty in Egypt. Coode was out of the country when the final report was signed but authorised the Secretary to sign for him.
49. Educational Endowments (Scotland) Act 1882-89
App. 26 Aug 1882. Rep. 31 Dec annually 1883-89 (1) 1884, C.3995, xxvii; (2) 1884-5, C.4329, xxvii; (3) 1886, C.4664, xxviii; (4) 1887, C.4981, xxxiii; (5) 1888, C.5312, xli, 841; (6) 1889, C.5641, xxxii, 569; (7) 1890, C.5957, xxxi, 763. Cost £14,429.
50. West Indian Finance 1882-83
51. Irish Prisons 1882-83
52. Crofters and Cottars in Highlands and Islands of Scotland 1883-84
App. 17 March 1883, and sealed in Edinburgh 22 March 1883. Rep. pres. 4 Apr 1884, C.3980, xxxii. Other papers: C3980-i-iv, in vols. xxxiii-vi. Cost £5,961. (LPGS) Lord Napier; Sir K.S. Mackenzie; D. Cameron; C. Fraser-Mackintosh; A. Nicolson; D. MacKinnon.
53. Trawling 1883-85
To inquire into the complaints of line and drift-net fishermen owing to the use of the trawl-net and beam trawl in the Territorial waters of the United Kingdom, whether such complaints were well founded and whether any, and what, legislative remedy could be adopted without interfering with the cheap and plentiful supply of fish.
54. Housing of the Working Classes 1884-85
Sir C.W. Dilke; Prince of Wales; Cardinal Archbishop Manning; Marquess of Salisbury; Earl Brownlow; Lord Carrington; G.J. Goschen; Sir R.A. Cross; Bishop Suffragan of Bedford; Hon. E.L. Stanley; W.T.M. Torrens; H. Broadhurst; J. Collings; G. Godwin; S. Morley.
The drawing up of the Warrant for this Commission raised some difficult matters of protocol since it involved the appointment of Manning who was not only a Roman Catholic archbishop but 'a Cardinal Prince of a State which we do not recognise' (Harcourt [Secretary of State] to the Lord Chancellor [the Earl of Selborne], 26 Feb 1884). According to this correspondence no-one had thought of the difficulties this would produce. There were precedents for the appointment of Roman Catholic Archbishops in both the Royal Commission upon Charitable Donations of 1844 and the Royal Charter of the University of Ireland, where they took precedence over Earls but not Archbishops of the Church of England, but no record could be found of the appointment of a Cardinal. It was resolved that Manning should rank next after the Prince of Wales, whose agreement to this was noted, but that there should be no 'distinctive epithets such as "Eminence" nor any allusion to the territorial titles of his See'. It was also necessary for the Home Office to obtain a legal opinion as to the rank and precedence of Suffragan Bishops relative to the appointment of Bishop Walsham. The Law Officers ruled (8 March 1884) that 'We are of opinion that Suffragan Bishops appointed under the Act of Henry VIII are not by virtue of their offices, entitled to any precedence outside their dioceses ...'. (PRO.H0.45/9641/A34692)
All signed the first report: Salisbury, Goschen and Cross subject to reservations. A supplementary report was signed by Manning, Carrington, Harrison, Stanley, Gray, Torrens, Broadhurst, Collings, Godwin and Morley. A number of individual and joint memoranda were produced, with various combinations of Commissioners expressing support for some or all of the views expressed in them. Jesse Collings did not sign the second report and attached a memorandum explaining his reasons. This was also signed by Dwyer Gray and Broadhurst, although they had signed the main report. All Commissioners signed the third report: Cross, Brownlow, Dwyer Gray and Collings subject to reservations.
55. Loss of Life at Sea 1884-87
The first Commission was revoked and a new one issued on 4 March 1884 naming Sir A.C. Key in addition to those members appointed under the previous Warrants. The terms of the Warrant remained the same.
To inquire into the extent and cause of loss of ships and lives at sea since the report of the Commission on Unseaworthy Ships; and to report on remedies especially laws regarding insurance and liability; the functions and administration of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade, and of Courts dealing with Wreck Inquiries; and the condition and efficiency of Merchant Officers and Seamen.
Royden, Green, Watson Parker and Warrack attached a note disagreeing with some of the Report's conclusions, which was followed by a shorter note by Wakefield and Smith with some additional reservations. Laws did not sign and produced a separate report. PRO.H0.45/9648/A37324 contains correspondence regarding the duties of the Secretary.
56. Blind, Deaf and Dumb 1885-89
This was revoked by a Warrant of 20 Jan 1886 and a new Commission was appointed: Lord Egerton; Bishop of London; Sir L. Playfair; Mundella; Sir H.J. Selwin-Ibbetson; Sotheby; B. St. J. Ackers; Armitage; Arrol; Campbell; Johnson; McDonnell and Robertson. Black remained Secretary. The scope of the Commission was enlarged to include the Deaf and Dumb and others in need of exceptional methods of education.
A number of further Warrants were issued: 4 March 1886 appointing C. Few and W. Woodall; 27 Apr 1886, W.B. Sleight; 28 June 1886, C.M. Owen; 11 June 1887 L. Van Oven in place of Few who died 4 Apr 1887. McDonnell died 6 May 1889 and was not replaced.
57. Depression of Trade and Industry 1885-86
Earl of Iddesleigh; Earl of Dunraven & Mount-Earl; G. Sclater-Booth; Sir J.J. Allport; J. Aird; T. Birtwistle; L.L. Cohen; J.P. Corry; D. Dale; C.J. Drummond; W.F. Ecroyd; H.H. Gibbs; W.H. Houldsworth; W.L. Jackson; G.A. Jamieson; N. Lubbock; P.A. Muntz; A. O'Connor; R.H.I. Palgrave; C.M. Palmer; W. Pearce; B. Price; S. Storey.
To inquire and report upon the extent, nature, and probable causes of the depression now or recently prevailing in various branches of trade and industry, and whether it can be alleviated by legislative or other measures. (In full.)
It was originally proposed that the terms of reference be drawn up so as to enable the Commissioners to travel abroad thus avoiding the necessity of obtaining a separate sanction from the Treasury, but this course was resisted by both the Treasury and the Foreign Office and the Warrant did not contain the empowering clause. (PRO.HO.45/9656/A40724)
The Chairman circulated a memorandum for the Commission (P.P., 1885, (348), lxxi, 139) dated 12 Aug 1885 discussing the terms of reference, which are quoted in full above, and cautioning the Commission against too wide an inquiry. The proposed parameters for the inquiry are set out in two accompanying papers.
The first report consisted of the results of oral and written inquiries with no conclusions or recommendations. The third report was not signed by O'Connor, who added a dissent. The final report was signed with reservations by Sclater-Booth, Birtwistle, Cohen, Corry, Gibbs, Houldsworth, Jamieson, Palgrave, Palmer, Price and Storey. A minority report was signed by Ecroyd, Muntz, Lubbock and Dunraven, the latter subject to a reservation. Gibbs and Sclater-Booth also attached a note agreeing with some portions of this Report. O'Connor issued a separate minority report.
58. Elementary Education Acts 1886-88
App. 15 Jan 1886. Rep. (1) pres. 19 Aug 1886, C.4863, xxv; (2) 6 Apr 1887, C.5056, xxix; (3) 26 July 1887, C.5158, xxx; (4) 27 June (Majority) and 12 July (Dissenting), 1888, C.5485-i, xxxv; C.5485ii-iv, xxxvi; C.5329-i, xxxvii. Cost £6,357.
Sir R.A. Cross; Cardinal Archbishop Manning; Earl of Harrowby; Earl Beauchamp; Bishop of London; Lord Norton; A.J. Mundella; Sir F.R. Sandford; Sir J. Lubbock; Sir B. Samuelson; J.H. Rigg; R.W. Dale; R. Gregory; B.F. Smith; T.D.C. Morse; C.H. Alderson; J.G. Talbot; S.C. Buxton; T.E. Heller; B.C. Molloy; S. Rathbone; H. Richard; G. Shipton.
The first Warrant was revoked and reissued on 10 March 1886, replacing Mundella with the Hon. E.L. Stanley. A third Commission was issued on 15 June 1887 appointing the Duke of Norfolk in place of Molloy who had resigned.
The final majority report included reservations by Manning, Norton, Sandford, Smith and Alderson. Stanley, Lubbock, Samuelson, Dale, Buxton, Heller, Richard and Shipton issued a dissenting report, with a reservation by Buxton. This was followed by a further report discussing the evidence taken by the Commission and the general state of elementary education which was signed by Stanley, Dale, Heller (with a reservation), Richard and Shipton.
59. Civil Establishments 1886-87
Sir M.W. Ridley; Earl Brownlow; Lord Rothschild; Lord Lingen; G. Sclater-Booth (cr. Baron Basing, 1887); H.H. Fowler; Sir E.C. Guinness; A.B. Freeman-Mitford; J. Cleghorn; A.S. Harvey; C.E. Lewis; A. O'Connor; P. Rylands (d. 8 Feb 1887).
A further Commission of 30 Nov 1887 appointed R.W. Hanbury, H.L.W. Lawson and J.W. Maclure to replace Rylands; O'Connor, who according to the first report 'decline[d] his further co-operation ... for reasons entirely unconnected with the Commission'; and Guinness who resigned.
This Commission was initiated by the Treasury and PRO.T.1/8248C gives details of its appointment which was formalised by Memorandum, C.4883, and presented to the House in Sept 1886. PRO.HO.45/9760/B661 is one of the most complete of all the surviving Home Office files on Royal Commissions, with only one piece missing (B.661.38). In addition to details about the submission of the various reports it also contains documentation regarding the Commission's inquiries into the Home Office itself, registering the reluctance of Home Office staff to appear before the Commission, or even to make written submissions.
Lingen did not sign the first report and noted that although he agreed substantially with its conclusions he felt that it should not have been presented without further discussion. The second report was signed by all members, but with dissenting notes from Rothschild, Lewis and Freeman Mitford. The third report was signed with a note of disagreement by Lewis. Lawson did not sign and attached his objections. The final report was signed subject to reservations by Hanbury, Lawson and Maclure. Lingen did not sign the main report, but signed under his note of reservation.
60. Relative Values of Gold and Silver 1886-88
Balfour became Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1887 and on 6 May 1887 the Warrant was revoked and reissued with Lord Herschell as Chairman, although Balfour remained on the Commission. With the exception of Bullen Smith the other members were reappointed and were joined by Sir L. Mallet and H. Chaplin. A further Warrant of 26 July 1887 appointed S. Montagu in the place of Cohen who had died. Chamberlain resigned in Sept 1887 and was not replaced.
To investigate the causes of recent changes in relative values of precious metals and especially to inquire whether these were due to (1) depreciation of silver; (2) depreciation of gold; (3) both. Further to inquire upon the bearing of these changes on practical business matters in India and the United Kingdom; if there had been serious effects to recommend ways of alleviating them. The Warrant is very detailed.
The final report has three parts, reflecting the divergent conclusions of the Commissioners: Part I was signed by all; Part II was signed by Herschell, Fremantle, Lubbock, Farrer, Birch and Courtney. Lubbock and Birch appended a note dissenting to some sections; Farrer attached a note clarifying one of the conclusions. Part III was signed by the remaining members, with a lengthy note by Mallet giving reasons for his adoption of Part III and for his dissent from Part II. Barbour wrote a similar note with 2 appendices, while Montagu attached a brief explanation of his views.
61. Mauritius 1886-87
App. 25 Sept 1886. Rep. 7 Jan 1887. Not presented to Parliament, but summarized in a Despatch written by H.T. Holland (Secretary of State for the Colonies), dated 12 July 1887, C.5101, lviii, 347. The costs were met from colonial funds.
Sir H.G.R. Robinson was appointed to inquire into the affairs of the Colony of Mauritius. (Taken from the London Gazette, 1 Oct 1886; the Warrant was not reprinted in full either in the Gazette or the Parliamentary Papers.)
Secretary: F.R. Round (Colonial Office); was appointed Colonial Secretary in 1887 and replaced by F.J. Newton, private secretary to Robinson. (PRO.T.1/1679) The enquiry was mainly concerned with charges of maladministration on the part of the governor, Sir J. Pope Hennessy. On the basis of the Commission's report Holland concluded that although mistakes had been made, there was not sufficient cause to justify his removal from office.
62. Warlike Stores 1886-88
To inquire into the system under which patterns of warlike stores were adopted and the stores obtained and passed for the service and whether any improvements could be made, also to investigate complaints or defects since 1 July 1881 to date of Warrant.
A series of letters between Stephen and the Secretary of State for War, H.C.E. Childers, is included in the final report. Childers felt that the Commission had done him an injustice in stating that he took a decision on technical matters on which he was not qualified to judge. This interpretation was denied by Stephen, and as the matter was not resolved, the correspondence was printed in the Commission's papers.
63. Irish Land Laws 1886-87
To inquire and report to what extent the operation of the Land Law (Ireland) Act of 1881 was affected either by combinations to resist the enforcement of legal obligations or by an exceptional fall in the price of produce; and on the extent to which tenants had availed themselves of provisions of the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act of 1885, and whether it might be improved or modified.
Milltown attached a reservation to the report. Knipe did not sign and attached a letter explaining that he did not agree with many of the Commission's suggestions; and that as a tenant farmer he was unable and could not be expected to fully understand the meaning of the proposed legal changes. He issued a separate report dated 17 March 1887.
64. Irish Public Works 1886-88
65. Market Rights 1887-91
App. 5 July 1887. Rep. (1) 9 Aug 1888, C.5550, liii; (2) 15 Jan 1891: 1890-91, C.6268, xxxvii. Other papers: 1888, C.5550-i-iii, in liii-lv; 1889, C.5888-i, xxxviii; 1890-91, C.6268-i-vii in vols. xxxvii-xli inc. Cost £11,909.
Two further Warrants of 2 Jan 1888 and 18 Apr 1888 appointed J.A. Picton and P. Mahony respectively in place of Broadhurst and McCarthy, both of whom had resigned. Before the first report was signed Cockerton was replaced as Secretary by H.A.P. Rooke. Five Assistant Commissioners were appointed: B.F.C. Costelloe; A.J. Ashton; C.M. Chapman; C.W. Black; J.J. O'Meara.
To inquire into the holding of Market Rights and Tolls; how and under what authority they were exercised; and to report on any desirable legislative changes. The final report was signed by all the Commissioners but subject to reservations by Balfour, Childers, Corry, Martineau, Little, Picton and Mahony which they set out in a series of Supplementary Reports. Corry authorised the Secretary to sign for him as he had left England before the report was ready for signature.
66. Malta 1887-88
67. Metropolitan Board of Works 1888-89
This Commission was given additional powers to compel the attendance of witnesses under the Metropolitan Board (Commission) Act 1888, 51 Vict. c.6. Following publication of the first report the Home Office sought an Opinion from the Treasury Solicitor as to whether proceedings should be brought against certain named officials of the Board who had already resigned their positions, but it was recommended (10 Nov 1888) that no further action should be taken. (PRO.HO.45/9776/B1926; B1926C)
68. University for London 1888-89
69. Administration in the Army and Navy 1888-90
To inquire into the civil and professional administration of the Naval and Military Departments, and their relation to each other and to the Treasury; and to report on what changes would lead to efficiency and economy in the Public Service.
All signed the first, preliminary, report subject to various dissensions and reservations from Churchill, Temple, Richards, Brackenbury and Ismay. The final report was signed by all with reservations from Campbell-Bannerman, Temple, Brackenbury and Ismay.
PRO.HO.45/9791/B4267 gives details of the disposal of the Commission's papers; some papers were sent to the Record Office, where their receipt was acknowledged on 17 Nov 1892. Those papers which were judged to be less important were sent to the Stationery Office to be confidentially destroyed. (File note of 14 Nov 1892.)
70. Welsh Sunday Closing 1889-90
PRO.HO.45/9806/B6168A contains correspondence between the Home Office and Treasury about the Welsh translation of the report which it was agreed should be undertaken by Professor Rhys for a fee of no more than £50. The completed translation was received by the Home Office on 28 May 1890, but it was recommended that it should not be laid before Parliament as it would be unintelligible to most of the members.
71. Vaccination 1889-97
App. 29 May 1889. Rep. (1) 12 Aug 1889, C.5845, xxxix, 657; (2) 29 May 1890, C.6066; (3) 7 Aug 1890, C.6192, xxxix, 367; (4) 28 July 1891: 1890-91, C.6527, xliv, 735; (5) 21 Apr 1892, C.6666, xlvii, 547; (6) 14 Feb 1896, C.7993, xlvii; (7) pres. 14 Aug 1896, C.8270, xlvii, 889. Appendices: 1897, C.8609-15, xlv-xlvii. Cost £13,040.
Lord Herschell; Sir J. Paget; Sir C. Dalrymple; Sir W.G. Hunter; Sir E.H. Galsworthy; W.S. Savory (d. 4 March 1895); C. Bradlaugh; J.S. Bristowe (d. 20 Aug 1895); W.J. Collins; J.S. Dugdale; M. Foster; J. Hutchinson; J.A. Picton; S. Whitbread; F.M. White.
To inquire and report as to the effects of vaccination in reducing death from smallpox; alternatives to vaccination for reducing the disease; and alterations in the provisions under the Vaccination Acts.
Collins and Picton did not sign the final report, appending a lengthy statement of the grounds for their dissent; they also signed a note of dissension with Whitbread and Bright (who had both signed the report). Hunter and Hutchinson signed subject to a note of dissent.
PRO.HO.45/9810/B6619 contains documentation of a number of cases where legal action was taken against persons who failed to comply with the Vaccination Acts, as well as correspondence relating to the premature publication of the report. It was decided to amend the instructions to Secretaries so as to stress their responsibility for keeping the contents of the report confidential until it had been sent to the Queen and presented to Parliament.