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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175. University of Dublin & Trinity College, Dublin 1920
To consider the application made by the University of Dublin for financial assistance from the State, and to enquire into, and make recommendations upon, the financial resources, administration and constitution of the University and of Trinity College.
176. Fire Brigades 1921-23
Further Warrants of 2 Feb 1921 added F. Caldwell, C.F. De Salis, R. M'Connell, and of 11 Apr 1921 D.L. Solomon to the Commission. Caillard resigned 31 May 1921, due to lack of time to attend meetings, and was not replaced.
Treasury files contain considerable amounts of detail about this Commission, largely concerning their efforts to block it. They considered the Home Office had 'behaved very badly about the appointment of this Royal Commission'; neither the terms of reference nor the personnel, nor the estimated cost had been approved by the Treasury. The Home Office had sought to justify this omission on the grounds that the Commission had been decided upon before receipt of a Treasury Circular (F.2355, 17 Dec 1920) which required Treasury sanction for committees which were likely to involve considerable expenditure; but 'the necessity for economy did not start with this Treasury Circular and in any case the Home Office should have sought our previous approval for a Commission, the cost of which is to fall on our Vote'. (S.D. Waley to O.E. Niemeyer, 22 Feb 1921)
The Commission, through its Secretary, applied for a higher rate of expenses for its members when they were away from home, citing as precedent the Commission on Reparations (see no. 178) whose members received two guineas per head per night rather than the usual twenty-five shillings. This was refused on the grounds that the two Commissions were qualitatively different: the Reparations Commission (like the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission) was considered to be a quasi-judicial body 'expected to function for some time or to perform duties which would naturally carry some remuneration. They are not entirely parallel with an ordinary Commission appointed to do a comparatively short job, membership of which is intended to carry its own reward'. (Treasury memo., 29 June 1921) This was conveyed in the Chancellor's formal reply to the Home Secretary of 2 July 1921. (PRO.T.160/49/E3730)
177. Importation of Livestock 1921
178. Reparation Grants 1921-24
To consider cases where there was a moral claim by British Nationals for compensation for sufferings or damage arising out of the action of the enemy during the War within Annex 1 to Part 8 of the Treaty of Versailles.
PRO.T.160/88/F3243 gives details of way in which the terms of reference were drawn up; it was emphasised that moral claims were to have more weight than the extent of damage; and that the Commission should not be too legal in character.
179. London Government 1921-23
To inquire and report what, if any, alterations are needed in the local government of the administrative county of London and the surrounding districts, with a view to securing greater efficiency and economy in the administration of local government services and to reducing any inequalities which may exist in the distribution of local burdens as between different parts of the whole area. (In full.)
The majority report was signed by Ullswater, Monro and Turton, and by Gray, subject to a memorandum, and there were two minority reports: the first signed by Hiley and Talbot; and the second by Donald and Walsh.
PRO.HLG.9/2/91002 contains correspondence and papers relating to the appointment of the Commission, including copies of letters to potential members, and from people who wished to be considered as members.
180. Honours System 1922
181. Local Government 1923-29
App. 14 Feb 1923. Rep. (1) 7 Aug 1925: 1924-25, Cmd.2506, xiv, 479; (2) 9 Oct 1928: 1928-29, Cmd.3213, viii, 25; (3) 12 Nov 1929: 1929-30, Cmd.3436, xv, 593. Evidence: Non P.P., Min. of Health, 1923; 1924; 1925; 1928; 1929; 1930. Est. cost £11,982.
Earl of Onslow; Lord Strachie; Sir G.M.W. Macdonogh; Sir W.R.D. Adkins; Sir W. Middlebrook; Sir L. Beard; Sir W.P. Nicholas; W.R.B. Riddell; E.H. Lloyd; A.M. Myers (ktd. 1924); H.G. Pritchard; E.R. Turton; J.L.V.S. Williams.
Warrants of 5 March 1925 appointed S. Taylor in place of Dent Adkins who died 30 Jan 1925; of 7 June 1926 appointed J. Bond in place of Powell Nicholas who died 10 Apr 1926; of 19 Oct 1926 appointed H.C. Norman in place of Myers who died 9 Oct 1926. Lloyd resigned 14 March 1928 and Turton died 9 May 1929; neither was replaced. The terms of reference were extended to bring Parish councils and Parish meetings within the scope of the inquiry by a Warrant of 4 Aug 1926.
To enquire into existing law and procedure relating to the extension of County Boroughs and the creation of new County Boroughs in England and Wales; the effects of this on existing Councils; to investigate relations between Local Authorities and make general recommendations as to their constitution, areas and functions.
PRO.HLG.8/2/91001 records Treasury concern over the appointment of the Commission. O.E. Niemeyer to the Minister of Health (26 March 1923) pointed out that as Treasury sanction for the Commission had not been obtained before its approval by the King no provision had been made for its expenses in the 1923-24 Estate, and asked that 'the most rigid economy may be enforced in every detail of their work'. The file contains both the subsequent submissions of estimated costs from the Commission as well as Treasury responses, and includes details of their struggle to obtain Treasury approval for the use of a press cutting service at a cost not to exceed three guineas.
182. Mining Subsidence 1923-27
A Warrant of 17 March 1924 appointed Lord Blanesburgh as chairman and E. Morrell and J.C. Welsh as Commissioners in place of Napier, Adamson and Hartshorn who resigned. Powell Nicholas resigned due to ill health shortly before his death in 1926.
To consider the operation of the law relating to the support of the surface of the land by underlying or adjacent minerals ... to enquire into the extent and gravity of the damage caused by subsidence owing to the extraction of minerals, and to report what steps should be taken by legislation or otherwise to remedy any defects or hardships.
183. Superior Civil Service in India 1923-24
To enquire into and make recommendations on (1) the organisation and general conditions of service, financial and otherwise of the superior Civil Services in India; (2) the possibility of transferring any of their present duties and functions to services constituted on a provincial basis; (3) provisions under the Government of India Act for the recruitment of Europeans and Indians.
184. National Health Insurance 1924-26
Lord Lawrence of Kingsgate; Sir J. Anderson; Sir H.D. Rolleston; Sir A.W. Watson; Sir A. Worley; Sir A.R. Duncan; A.D. Besant; F. Bramley; J. Cook; J. Evans; A. Gray; W. Jones; Mrs F.N.H. Bell; Miss G.M. Tuckwell.
To inquire into the scheme of National Health Insurance established by the National Health Insurance Acts, 1911-22, and to report what, if any, alterations, extensions or developments should be made in regard to the scope of that scheme and the administrative, financial and medical arrangements set up under it. (In full.)
PRO.PIN.4/203: Misc. Papers includes typescripts of some of the evidence and statements received by the Commission with a list of names, and brief details of the letters received. Some of these are from groups and associations but many are from individual members of the public and cover a wide range of topics from suggestions about the inclusion of slaughtermen under the National Insurance Act (from J. Mortimer, 14 July 1924) to proposals for a dowry for women at marriage (from Mrs H. Blake, 1 Oct 1924).
185. Lunacy and Mental Disorder 1924-26
H.P. Macmillan; Earl Russell; Lord E.S.C. Percy; Sir H.D. Rolleston; Sir T. Hutchison (d. 12 Apr 1925); Sir E.V. Hiley; Sir D. Drummond; W.A. Jowitt; F.D. MacKinnon; H. Snell; Mrs A. Mathew; Miss M.J. Symons.
A Warrant of 13 Nov 1924 appointed N. Micklem in place of MacKinnon who had resigned on his appointment as a Justice of the High Court. Lord Percy also resigned in Nov 1924 when he was appointed President of the Board of Education, and was not replaced.
(1) To enquire as regards England and Wales into the existing law and administrative machinery in connection with the certification, detention and care of persons who are or are alleged to be of unsound mind; (2) To consider as regards England and Wales the extent to which provision is or should be made for the treatment wihtout certification of persons suffering from mental disorder; And to make recommendations. (In full.)
The Commission was established soon after the case of Harnett v. Bond and Adam when Mr Justice Lush found that Harnett had been wrongfully detained under the current lunatic laws. Following a number of questions by MPs during March and April 1924, including one from Lady Astor asking if the inquiry would include 'a capable woman' (Hansard, 3 March 1924), Treasury approval was granted on 31 May 1924. (PRO.T.160/196) The Commission was given additional powers to summon witnesses and hear evidence on oath under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, 1921.
186. Food Prices 1924-25
Sir A.C. Geddes; Sir J.L. MacLeod; Sir R.H. Rew; Sir W.H. Peat; Sir H.J. Mackinder; F.H. Coller; W.T. Layton; G.A. Powell; W.E. Dudley; W. Grant; H.F. Paul; T.H. Ryland; W.R. Smith; I. Stephenson; Dame H.C.I. Gwynne-Vaughan; Mrs E. Snowden.
To enquire into the conditions prevailing in the wholesale and retail trades in articles of food of general consumption so far as they affect prices, particularly having regard to the difference between the prices received by producers and the prices paid by consumers and to report what action, if any, can usefully be taken. (In full.)
187. Indian Currency and Finance 1925-26
Thakurdas signed subject to dissent. Warren attached a note regarding his position as a Managing Governor of the Imperial Bank of India, stressing that he had signed the report in a personal capacity and not as a representative of the Bank.
188. Coal Industry 1925-26
189. Court of Session and Office of Sheriff Principal (Scotland) 1926-27
To enquire into the constitution and jurisdiction of the Court of Session; and into the jurisdiction, powers, duties and functions of the Sheriffs Principal with a view to ascertaining what changes and improvements might be made.
190. Agriculture in India 1926-28
Joint Secretaries: J.A. Madan (Indian Civil Service) and F.W.H. Smith (India Office). Asst. Sec: J.C. McDougall (Indian Agricultural Service). Liaison Officer: Dr D. Clouston (Agricultural Adviser to Govt. of India).
To examine and report on the present conditions of agricultural and rural economy in British India, and to make recommendations for the improvement of agriculture and to promote the welfare and prosperity of the rural population.
191. Cross-River Traffic in London 1926
To survey the whole problem of cross-river traffic in London; to report what provision should be made to meet future requirements and, in particular, to consider the proposals made in connexion with Waterloo and St. Paul's Bridges. (In full.)
192. Land Drainage 1927
To enquire into the present law relating to Land Drainage in England and Wales and its administration, and to consider and report whether amendment of the law was needed, and to make recommendations having regard to all the interests concerned.
193. Museums and Galleries 1927-30
App. 1 July 1927. Rep. (1) 1 Sept 1928: 1928-29, Cmd.3192, viii, 699; (2) Pt.I, 20 Sept 1929: 1929-30, Cmd.3401, xvi, 431; Pt.II, 1 Jan 1930, Cmd.3463: 1929-30, xvi, 525. Evidence: Non P.P., Art Collections, 1928; 1929. Est. cost £2,862.
The Commission had wide ranging terms of reference: to enquire into and report on the legal position, organisation, administration, accommodation, structural condition of the buildings and general cost of the institutions containing the National Collections in London and Edinburgh and related matters.
The PRO files refer to the need to include provision in the conditions of the Warrant for the Commissioners to make overseas visits. A previous instance is cited (no. 136) where the relevant clause was omitted and it had been necessary to revoke the original Warrant and reappoint the Commission. (PRO.HO.45/13788/510789)
194. London Squares 1927-28
Marquess of Londonderry; Sir H.G. Frank; Dame C.B. Bridgeman; Sir G.H. Duckworth; Sir H.F. New; M.L. Gwyer; C.H. Bird; K.P. Vaughan-Morgan; F. Briant; F.W. Hobbs; R.C. Norman; A.G. Prichard; H. Snell; C. Thomas.
To inquire and report on the squares and similar open spaces existing in the area of the Administrative County of London with special reference to the conditions on which they are held and used and the desirability of their preservation as open spaces and to recommend whether any or all of them should be permanently safeguarded against any use detrimental to their character as open spaces and if so, by what means and on what terms and conditions. (In full.)
195. Indian Education 1927-30
This was a Statutory Commission established by the provisions of Section 84A of the Government of India Act to inquire into and report on the working of the system of Government; the growth of education and the development of representative institutions in British India.
196. Transport 1928-30
App. 4 Aug 1928. Rep. (1) 19 July 1929: 1929-30, Cmd.3365, xvii, 835; (2) 18 Oct 1929: 1929-30, Cmd.3416, xvii, 895; (3) 19 Dec 1930: 1930-31, Cmd.3751, xvii, 619. Evidence: Non P.P., Min. of Transport, 1928; 1929; 1930; 1931. Est. cost £7,950.
Sir A.S.T. Griffith-Boscawen; Marquess of Northampton; Earl of Clarendon; Hon. J.J. Astor; Sir M.G. Wallace; Sir E.V. Hiley; Sir W.G. Lobjoit; I. Salmon; H.E. Crawfurd; J. Learmonth; F. Montague; W.R. Smith.
197. Police Powers and Procedure 1928-29
To consider the general powers and duties of the police in England and Wales in the investigation of crimes and offences, including the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police respectively, and to make any necessary recommendations.
One of the primary reasons for establishing the Commission was the widespread concern over police methods of acquiring evidence. This was specifically expressed in the Minority Report of the Tribunal of Investigation (1928, Cmd.3147, xii, 87) into the Police interrogation of Miss Savidge following her arrest, together with Sir L. Money, on a charge of behaviour 'reasonably likely to offend against public decency'. The case was subsequently dismissed with costs against the Police, and questions were raised as to whether the officers concerned were guilty of perjury or a breach of duty.
198. Labour in India 1929-31
To enquire into and report on the existing conditions of labour in industrial undertakings and plantations in British India; on the health, efficiency and standard of living of the workers; and on the relations between employers and employed; and to make recommendations. (In full.)
Rahimtoola did not sign the report as he had been unable to attend the proceedings of the Commission following his election as President of the Legislative Assembly, 17 Jan 1931. The report was signed subject to minutes of reservation by Sassoon and Ahmed. The other members added comments on Sassoon's note.
199. Licensing (England and Wales) 1929-31
Lord Amulree; Sir J. Pedder; Sir E.F. Stockton; T.G. Arnold; Mrs E. Barton; W.D. Bentliff; G.A. Bryson; H. Carter; A.A.H. Findlay; J. Fitton; G.A. France; B.T. Hall (d. 10 Jan 1931); W.L. Hichens; A. Jenkins; J.J. Mallon; J. Morgan; Miss E. Neville; A. Sherwell; Mrs S.D. Simon; T. Skurray; F.P. Whitbread.
To inquire into the working of the laws relating to the sale and supply of intoxicating liquors, and into the social and economic aspects of the question, and to examine and report upon proposals that may be made for amending the law in England and Wales in the public interest. (In full.)
200. Civil Service 1929-31
Lord Tomlin; Duchess of Atholl; Sir C.T. Needham; Sir H. Sharp; Sir P.R. Jackson; Sir A. Pownall; J.B. Baillie; W. Cash; F.W. Goldstone; Mrs B.A. Gould; Miss M.A. Hamilton; Mrs E.M. Lowe; T.E. Naylor; P.J. Pybus; R. Richards; Mrs M. Wintringham.
To enquire into and report on (a) the structure and organisation of and (b) the conditions of service in and retirement from the Civil Service. The terms of reference made specific reference to the position of women civil servants.
201. Licensing Laws in Scotland 1929-31
Hon. Lord Mackay; Hon. J. Dewar (Lord Forteviot, 1929); Hon. Mrs L. Forrester-Paton; Sir A.J.W. Lewis; Sir R. Stewart; J.H. Miller; J. Fraser; P. Chalmers; A.B. Clarke; O. Coyle; Mrs A. Hardie; W. McKim; R.O. Pagan; W.E. Whyte (ktd. 1930).
Secretary: T.B. Simpson. (Advocate) Asst. Sec: W.H. Blacklock. (Scottish Office) To investigate the whole field of legislation relating to the sale and supply of exciseable liquor in Scotland, and to report what amendment in the law, if any, is desirable in the public interest. (In full.)