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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146. Mines and Quarries 1910-14
To inquire into and report upon the health and safety of persons employed in metalliferous mines and quarries. The work of this Commission was a continuation of the previous Royal Commission into Mines and Quarries appointed 18 May 1907 and its costs were included with those of the earlier inquiry.
147. Public Records 1910-19
App. 11 Oct 1910. Rep. (1) pres. 6 Aug 1912: 1912-13, Cd.6361, xliv, 13; (2) 18 June 1914, Cd.7544, xlvi, 189; (3) 11 Apr 1918: 1919, Cmd.367, xxviii. Other papers: 1912-13, Cd.6395-6, xliv; 1914, Cd.7545-6, xlvi; 1919, Cmd.368-9. xxviii. Cost £1,478 up to 31 March 1912.
148. Malta 1911-12
To inquire into complaints concerning the Courts in Malta; and into the economic resources of the island and means whereby they might be increased or alternatively whereby occupation might be found for the unemployed of the island in other countries.
149. Railways Conciliation 1911
To investigate the working of the Railway Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme of 6 November 1907, and to report on any desirable changes with a view to the prompt and satisfactory settlement of differences.
150. Civil Service 1912-15
App. 18 March 1912. Rep. (1) 2 May 1912: 1912-13, Cd.6209-10, xv, 109; (2) 21 Nov 1912: 1912-13, Cd.6534-5, xv, 255; (3) 14 March 1913, Cd.6739-40, xviii, 275; (4) 2 Apr 1914, Cd.7338-40, xvi; (5) 18 Dec 1914: 1914-16, Cd.7748-9, xi, 673; (6) 18 Nov 1915: 1914-16, Cd.7832, 8130, xii.
Lord MacDonnell; Duke of Devonshire (fn. 1); Bishop of Southwark (fn. 1); Sir K.A.M. Mackenzie; Sir H. Primrose; Sir D. MacAlister (fn. 1); Sir W.G. Granet; H.T. Baker; A.A. Booth (fn. 1); A. Boutwood (fn. 1); J.R. Clynes (fn. 1); S.J.G. Hoare (fn. 1); R.D. Holt (fn. 1); P.E. Matheson (fn. 1); A.E. Shipley (fn. 1); P. Snowden (fn. 1); G. Wallas (fn. 1); Miss E.S. Haldane (fn. 1); Mrs L.A.E. Streatfeild (fn. 1).
Secretary: S. Armitage-Smith (Treasury); succ. by N.E. Behrens also of the Treasury. Behrens was appointed a Commissioner of Customs and the Treasury seconded E.W.H. Millar to replace him as Secretary.
A Warrant of 17 July 1912 appointed A.C.T. Beck in place of Baker who had resigned. MacDonnell and four of his colleagues resigned after publication of the fifth report, and a new Commission of 20 Jan 1915 appointed Sir H.B. Smith as Chairman and Sir J.P. Hewett, Sir J.A. Kempe and C. Coward as new members. The names of those members of the original Commission who retained their appointment are marked (fn. 1). Further Commissions of 1 March and 18 May 1915 appointed Lord Mersey and Lord Dundas in place of Beck and Booth who had resigned; one of 25 May 1915 appointed Sir G.M. Paul an additional member.
To inquire into and report on the methods of making appointments to and promotions in the Civil Service, including the Diplomatic and Consular Services, and the legal departments; to investigate and recommend any advisable alterations in the system of competitive examination; and to consider whether the existing arrrangements met the needs of the Public Service and suggest any necessary modifications.
The fourth report was divided: the majority report was signed subject to reservations by all the signatories apart from the Chairman; the minority report was signed by Primrose, Granet and Booth. The fifth report was signed subject to reservations by Primrose, Beck, Booth, Boutwood, Clynes, Holt, Wallas Mrs Streatfeild; and a dissent from Hoare. Snowden was out of the country and thus unable to sign the report, and Granet had resigned from the Commission before the report was completed. The final report was signed subject to reservations by Southwark, Dundas, Hoare, Hewett, Boutwood, Clynes, Holt, Snowden, Wallas and Mrs Streatfeild. PRO.T. 100/1-2 contain minutes and correspondence.
151. Natural Resources 1912-17
App. 15 Apr 1912. Rep. (1) 28 Dec 1912: 1912-13, Cd.6515, xvi, 91; (2) 16 Jan 1914, Cd.7210, xviii, 137; (3) 25 June 1914, Cd.7505, xviii, 447; (4) 9 Dec 1914: 1914-16, Cd.7711, xiv; (5) 31 Jan 1917: 1917-18, Cd.8457, viii, 159; (6) 21 Feb 1917: 1917-18, Cd.8462, x. Other papers: 1912-13, Cd.6516-7, xvi; 1914, Cd. 7170-2, xvii; Cd.7173.Cd.7351, xviii; 1914-16, Cd.7706-7, Cd.7710, xiii; Cd. 7898, Cd.7971, Cd.8123, Cd.8156, xiv; 1917-18, Cd.8458, viii; Cd.8459-61, ix. Lord Inchape (resigned 22 Aug 1912 (fn. 1) ); Sir E. Vincent (cr. Baron D'Abernon of Esher 2 July 1914); Sir C.J. Owens; Sir H.R. Haggard; T. Garnett; W. Lorimer (ktd. Feb 1917): all repr. United Kingdom; Hon. G.E. Foster, repr. Canada (ktd. 22 June 1914); D. Campbell, repr. Australia; Sir J.G. Ward, repr. New Zealand; Sir D.P. de V. Graaff, repr. Union of South Africa; E.R. Bowring, repr. Newfoundland (ktd. 18 June 1915).
Further Commissions: 5 July 1912, J.R. Sinclair and Sir R. Solomon appointed to succeed Ward and de Graaff; 31 Aug 1912, A. Morley to succeed Inchape; 15 Nov 1912, J. Tatlow succ. Owens; 17 Nov 1912, Sir A.E. Bateman succ. Morley. Vincent became Chairman on 26 Nov 1912. A new Commission was issued on 24 Feb 1913 recording these changes. Solomon died 10 Nov 1913 and was replaced by Sir J.W.S. Langerman in a Commission of 12 Feb 1914.
The Commission came into being as a result of a resolution passed at the Imperial Conference of 1911 (Cd.5745, 1911, liv, 103): to enquire into and report upon the natural resources of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland; their development; facilities for production and distribution of commerce; their requirements of food and raw materials, and also of those of the United Kingdom; their trade with one another, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world; the extent to which laws other than fiscal laws affect such trade; and to suggest any methods by which such trade might be extended and improved, consistent with the existing fiscal policy of each part of the Empire.
The Commission sat for five years, largely because its proceedings were interrupted by war, and the final report was signed by D'Abernon, Rider Haggard, Garnett, Lorimer, Tatlow, Bateman, Foster, Sinclair, Langerman and Bowring.
152. Fuel and Engines 1912-14
App. 31 July 1912. Rep. (1) 27 Nov 1912; (2) 27 Feb 1913; (3) 10 Feb 1914. No Command numbers; the reports were marked 'subject to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act', stamped 'Secret', and were not presented to Parliament. Copies of the reports, evidence and other papers are held at the PRO in ADM.116/1208-9 and ADM.265/32-38.
Although the Commission reports were not made public, the Warrants were drawn up in the usual way and printed in the London Gazette. A further Warrant of 8 Sept 1912 appointed G.T. Beilby in place of Jones who died. Vice-Admiral Jellicoe was appointed Second Sea Lord and his place on the Commission was taken by Sir R.F.H. Henderson by Warrant of 18 Feb 1913.
The first and second reports were signed subject to notes of reservation by Lambert, who dissented from his colleagues over their recommendations for the minimum requirements for the storage of oil supplies. Their recommendation for the storage of four years' supply was based on peacetime consumption; Lambert wanted estimates based on war-time consumption, and also stressed the need to retain and maintain coal supplies.
153. Public Services (India) 1912-15
To examine and report on a wide range of matters connected with the Indian Civil Service and generally to consider the requirements of the Public Service, and to recommend such changes as might seem expedient.
154. Housing of Industrial Population of Scotland 1912-17
To inquire into the Housing of the Industrial Population of Scotland, rural and urban (with special reference in rural districts to the Housing of Miners and Agricultural Labourers), and to report what legislative or administrative action is, in their opinion, desirable to remedy existing defects. (In full.)
The Commission's work was suspended in Feb 1916 on the instructions of the Treasury and the Secretary for Scotland because of the War. Sittings were resumed in Jan 1917, and majority and minority reports were produced; the latter signed by Lovat, Barbour, Carlow and Mrs Kerr, and subject to reservations by Barbour and Carlow.
155. Delay in the King's Bench Division 1912-13
To enquire into the complaints of delay in the hearing of actions and appeals and Crown Cases in the King's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, and whether any reforms should be adopted, and to report thereupon. (In full.)
156. Indian Finance and Currency 1913-14
157. Railways 1913-15
To inquire into the relationship between the Railway Companies of Great Britain and the State in respect of matters other than safety of working and conditions of employment, and to report what changes, if any, are desirable in that relationship. (In full.)
The Times of 24 Oct 1913 gave brief biographies of the Commissioners, and background information on the Commission, referring to the previous inquiry in 1865 (see Collinge, no. 111), and noted that apart from Sir F. Upcott, who had previously been Chairman of the Board of Indian Railways, none of the Commissioners had any railway experience.
It seems that the Commission's activities were interrupted because of the war, and were not resumed. It continued to hear evidence until 1915; a letter to the Treasury from H.L. Smith, Permanent Secretary at the Board of Trade (3 Feb 1915) noted that fifty-eight witnesses had been examined up to that date (PRO.T.1.11833/23835). On 12 Feb 1915 the allowance to the Secretary was discontinued; and the Assistant Secretary was paid a reduced allowance of £100 per annum (PRO.T.108/4318).
158. Venereal Diseases 1913-16
Lord Sydenham of Combe; Sir D.B. Jones; Sir K.E. Digby; Sir A.W. Fitzroy; Sir M.A. Morris; SirJ. Collie; A. Newsholme; J.W. Horsley; J.S. Lidgett; F.W. Mott; Mrs M.D. Scharlieb; J.E. Lane; P. Snowden; Mrs L. Creighton; Mrs E.M. Burgwin.
To inquire into the prevalence of Venereal Diseases in the United Kingdom, their effects upon the health of the community, and the means by which those effects can be alleviated or prevented, it being understood that no return to the policy or provisions of the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864, 1866 or 1869 is to be regarded as falling within the scope of the inquiry. (In full.)
159. Meat Export Trade of Australia 1914
P.W. Street was appointed to inquire into and report as to the operations of any person, combination or trust tending to create any restraint of trade or monopoly in connexion with the export of meat from Australia. (In full.)
The Warrant was issued by Letters Patent under the Commonwealth Seal in the name of the King by the Governor General of Australia. The report is a document of the Commonwealth of Australia, but was presented to the United Kingdom Parliament as a Royal Commission.
160. Landing of Arms at Howth 1914
To enquire into and report upon the events connected with and ensuing upon the recent landing of arms at Howth, including the circumstances in which the Military were requisitioned to assist the civil power in the City of Dublin, and the origin and character of the disturbances which occurred. (In full.)
161. Sugar Supply 1914-21
The Commission was appointed by Order in Council, but Warrants were drawn up and issued in the usual way. The ministerial members (McKenna, Runciman and Montagu) resigned when the Government changed in Dec 1916 and Warrants of 24 Jan 1917 appointed Lord Devonport, G.E. May and A. Taylor. On 27 March 1916, H. Fountain was appointed to replace Barnes who had resigned; Sir J. White-Todd was appointed 25 Apr 1917; and Sir A.G. Anderson on 11 Oct 1918.
The Commission became a section of the Ministry of Food (cr. 1916) in 1917 and Lord Devonport, the Food Controller, became Chairman. Sir Charles Bathurst (cr. Baron Bledisloe 1918) was appointed Chairman by Warrant of 14 Aug 1917 after the retirement of Lord Devonport. He resigned in Nov 1920 and Primrose became Chairman. Primrose had been the effective Chairman since Lord Devonport's resignation as Food Controller as he made clear in the letter accompanying his memorandum on the status of the Royal Commission (Primrose to Ministry of Food, 30 July 1917). In a further letter to the new Food Controller, Lord Rhondda (24 Oct 1917) Primrose recorded that all the unofficial members of the Commission took strong exception to the suggestion that the work of the Royal Commission should be under the direction of the Food Controller. However this Commission, and those subsequently appointed to oversee the supplies of paper and wheat, eventually took on an administrative rather than a purely advisory role, with a number of sub-committees and a large staff. Some staff records have been retained in PRO.MAF.60/289-90. See also Appendix 2.
162. Defence of the Realm 1915-20
App. 31 March 1915. Rep. (1) 19 Sept 1916, Cd.8359, vii; (2) 20 Sept 1917: 1917-18, Cd.8751, x, 485; (3) 10 Oct 1918, Cd.9181, viii, 35; (4) 28 Oct 1919, Cmd.404, xiii, Pt.1, 905; (5) 10 Nov 1920, Cmd.1044, xiii, 861. Other papers: 1918, Cd.9048, viii.
The Commission was reconstituted by an Order in Council of 2 Aug 1915. A Warrant of 12 Sept 1916 appointed E. Shortt, with Woodhouse as Chairman in place of Duke who had resigned. Warrants of 29 Sept 1917 and 20 March 1918 appointed L. Hardy and W.F. Hamilton as additional members. The Hon. W. Watson was appointed by Warrant of 25 June 1918 to replace Shortt who resigned following his appointment as Chief Secretary for Ireland. These appointments were confirmed in a new Commission with extended terms of reference issued on 18 Dec 1918. Terrington and Hardy resigned in 1920, and the final report was signed only by Wallace, Hamilton and Watson. A Warrant of 8 Sept 1920 reconstituted the Commission as the War Compensation Court, appointing Sir A.T. Lawrence as President; and Lord Hunter as President in the case of Scottish claims. The remaining members of the original Commission were re-appointed and were joined by Sir D.P. Barton and Sir W.F.K. Taylor as additional members.
To inquire and determine, and to report what sums (in cases not otherwise provided for) ought in reason and fairness to be paid out of public funds to United Kingdom applicants in respect of substantial loss or damage through the exercise by the Crown of its rights and duties in defence of the Realm.
163. Paper Supply 1916-18
Whittaker resigned and Sir H. Birchenough took his place as Chairman by a Warrant of 2 June 1917 which appointed L. Evans to replace Partington who had also resigned. A Warrant of 8 Aug 1917 added A. Spurgeon to the Commission.
The Commission was dissolved by the King on 8 March 1918 and its work and some of its personnel incorporated into the Paper Industry Committee, chaired by Sir H.A. Vernet, the Controller of Paper. (PRO.BT.13/85/E.35411, BT.13/94/E.38389)
164. University Education in Wales 1916-18
To enquire into the organization and work of the University of Wales and its three constituent Colleges and their relations with other institutions in Wales providing post-secondary education and to consider possible improvements and changes in the constitution, functions and powers of the University and its Colleges.
165. Rebellion in Ireland 1916
To enquire into the causes of the recent outbreak of rebellion in Ireland, and into the conduct and degree of responsibility of the civil and military executive in Ireland in connection therewith. (In full.)
166. Arrest and Subsequent Treatment of Mr F.S. Skeffington, Mr T. Dickson and Mr P.J. Mclntyre 1916
167. Wheat Supplies 1916-25
An order in Council of 27 Oct 1916 and a Warrant 25 Apr 1917 extended the Commission's terms of reference, and on 1 Nov 1917 it became an administrative division of the Ministry of Food. There were many changes in membership and a complete list of all subsequent members is included in the second report. Further details of its staff and activities are given in PRO classes MAF.60 and BT.13.
To inquire into the supply of wheat and flour in the United Kingdom; to purchase, sell and control the delivery of wheat and flour on behalf of His Majesty's Government; and generally to take such steps as may seem desirable for maintaining the supply. (In full.)
A Warrant of 9 Dec 1921 restricted the terms of reference, and the personnel of the Commission was reduced to twelve: the Chairman; Saltmarsh; Royden; and Sir W. Mitchell-Thomson (Vice-Chairman); Sir H.J. Forde; Sir H. Gibson; R.A. Love; Sir W.P. Burton; Sir A.W. Holmes; F.H. Coller; A.W. Hurst; H.M. Taylor. The Secretary was G.E. Scarffe. Subsequently the numbers were further reduced to the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Coller, Hurst and Taylor, who were charged with winding up the affairs of the Commission, and who signed the second report.
168. Allegations against Sir John Jackson, Limited 1916-17
Sir J. Jackson MP was head of one of the largest public works contractors of the time, which had undertaken work for British and foreign governments. The Royal Commission had been requested by Jackson following the publication of the Public Accounts Committee report which suggested that he had abused his position by offering to erect army huts without profit in order to obtain an inordinate amount of commission for later work. The Commission's report exonerated Sir John or his company from having brought about a situation in which they could demand large payments, since the government could have placed subsequent work with another contractor, but concluded that the amount claimed for the later work was excessive and inconsistent with his earlier profession of patriotic motives.
169. Proportional Representation 1918
Appointed under sub-section (2) of section 20 of the Representation of the People Act, 1918, to prepare a scheme under which as nearly as possible one hundred members should be elected to the House of Commons at a General Election on the principle of proportional representation for constituencies in Great Britain returning three or more members.
170. Decimal Coinage 1918-20
Lord Emmott; Lord Southwark; Lord Faber (resigned at the beginning of the inquiry); Lord Ashton of Hyde; Lord Leverhulme; Sir R.V. Vassar-Smith; Sir J. Larmor; Sir G.C. Marks; Sir A.W. Watson; J.W. Cawston; S. Armitage-Smith; C. Godfrey; J. Bell; J. Burn; H. Cox; G. Hayhurst; T. McKenna; G. Marks; J.F. Mason; G.M. Smith (d. 18 Apr 1919); G.C. Vyle.
The main report was signed by thirteen Commissioners with reservations from Ashton and Godfrey. Minority reports were produced by (1) Southwark, Cox, McKenna and Vyle; (2) Leverhulme, Hayhurst and Smith.
171. Income Tax 1919-20
Lord Colwyn; Sir T.P. Whittaker (d. 9 Nov 1919); C.W. Bowerman; W. Brace; E.G. Pretyman; Sir E.E. Nott-Bower; Sir J.S. Harmwood-Banner; Sir W. Trower; R.M. Holland-Martin; N.F.W. Fisher; S. Armitage-Smith; P. Birley; W. Graham; A. Hill (d. 23 Oct 1919); D.M. Kerly; Mrs L.C.A. Knowles; H.J. Mackinder; W. McLintock; E. Manville; G. Marks; H.J. May; A.C. Pigou; N.J. Synnott.
Warrants of 1 May and 30 Aug 1919 appointed J.W. Clark and J.C. Stamp as additional members; and of 31 Oct 1919 appointed H.A. Trotter in place of Hill who resigned. Mackinder resigned upon his appointment as High Commissioner for South Russia. In Feb 1920 Armitage-Smith took up an official position in Persia and did not sign the report.
To inquire into the income-tax (including super-tax) of the United Kingdom in all its aspects, including the scope, rates and incidence of the tax; allowances and reliefs; administration, assessment, appeal and collection; and prevention of evasion; and to report what alterations of law and practice are necessary or desirable and what effect they would have on rates of tax if it were necessary to maintain the total yield. (In full.)
Only Colwyn, Trower, Holland-Martin, Birley, Kerly, Manville and Trotter signed the report unreservedly. The other members all signed subject to various reservations and memoranda. Dr Knowles signed three - the most substantial of which was to recommend the separation of husband and wife's income for tax.
172. Coal Industry 1919
The Commission was appointed under the terms of the Coal Industry Commission Act, 26 Feb 1919 (9 Geo. V c.1) to inquire into the position of, and conditions prevailing in, the coal industry. The Act lists the areas of inquiry and the powers of the Commissioners; these were incorporated into the Royal Warrants issued on 26 Apr 1919 after the Commission's first report.
173. Agricultural Industry in Great Britain 1919
Sir W.B. Peat; Sir W.J. Ashley; C.M. Douglas; G.G. Rea; W.A. Simmons; H. Overman; A.W. Ashby; A. Batchelor; H.S. Cautley; G. Dallas; J.F. Duncan; W. Edwards; F.E. Green; J.M. Henderson; T. Henderson; T.P. Jones; E.W. Langford; R.V. Lennard; G. Nicholls; E.H. Parker; R.R. Robbins; W.R. Smith; R.B. Walker. Joint Secretaries: A. Goddard and R.S. Langford.
To inquire into the economic prospects of the agricultural industry in Great Britain, with special reference to the adjustment of a balance between prices of agricultural commodities, the costs of production, the remuneration of labour, and hours of employment. (In full.)
The Commission produced a majority and a minority report. Cautley signed the former subject to a reservation, and also attached a dissent to several of its recommendations. The minority report was signed by Ashby, Dallas, Duncan, Edwards, Green, both Hendersons, Jones, Lennard, Smith and Walker.
174. Oxford and Cambridge 1919-22
H.H. Asquith; Lord Ernle; Lord Chalmers; G.W. Balfour; Sir J.A. Simon; A. Henderson; Hon. E.G. Strutt; T.B. Strong (became Bishop of Ripon 1920); Sir H. Frank; Sir W.M. Fletcher; Sir H. Darwin; Sir H.A. Miers; Sir J.H. Oakley; W.H. Bragg (ktd. 1920); G.M. Trevelyan; Miss E. Penrose; W.G.S. Adams; H.K. Anderson; Miss B.A. Clough; H.M. Cobb; M.R. James; A. Mansbridge; A. Schuster (ktd. 1920).
The Commission was divided into three sub-committees which were listed in the Warrant: (1) Oxford: Chairman, Asquith; Secretary, M.N. Tod; (2) Cambridge: Chairman, Balfour; Secretary, E. Bullough; (3) Estates Management: Chairman, Ernle; Secretary, C.B. Marshall.
To consider the applications made by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge for financial assistance from the State and for this purpose to enquire into and make recommendations upon various matters connected with their finance and administration.