List of commissions and officials: 1890-1899 (nos. 73-102)

Pages 27-42

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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In this section

72. Mining Royalties 1889-93

App. 14 Aug 1889. Rep. (1) 31 July 1890, C.6195, xxxvi; (2) 31 March 1891, (3) 22 July 1891: 1890-91, C.6331, and C.6529, xli, 375, & 817; (4) 8 March 1893, C.6979; (5) 24 March 1893: 1893-4, C.6980, xli. Cost £6,012.

Earl of Northbrook; Lord Macnaghten; Sir W.T. Lewis; W. Abraham; A. Barnes; T. Burt; D. Dale; G.B. Forster; H.H. Gibbs; A. Hood; G.A. Jamieson; W. Kenrick; J. Knowles; J.E.C. Munro; W.C. Pendarves; C.T. Redington; F.P. Rhodes; R.C. Robertson; J. Thomas; C.A. Whitmore; N. Wood (d. 1893).

Secretary: H. Lyon.

To inquire into royalties paid on metals of United Kingdom mines subject to the Metalliferous Mines Act of 1872 and into the terms and conditions under which mining enterprise was conducted in India, the Colonies and Foreign Countries.

73. Westminster Abbey 1890-91

App. 26 Apr 1890. Rep. (1) 30 July 1890, C.6228; (2) 24 June 1891: 1890-91, C.6398, xliv, 575. Cost £988.

D.R. Plunket; Sir A.H. Layard; Sir F. Leighton; G.G. Bradley; L.J. Jennings; A. Waterhouse.

Secretary: Hon. H. Dillon.

To inquire into the present state of the Abbey of Westminster as regards space for interment and memorials.

The final report was signed by all, but with a note of dissension to the last paragraph from Layard, Leighton and Bradley.

74. Tuberculosis 1890-95

App. 21 July 1890. Rep. 3 Apr 1895, C.7703, xxxv, 615. Other papers: 1896, C.7992, xlvi. Cost £6,156.

Lord Basing; G.T. Brown; G. Buchanan (ktd. 1892); J.F. Payne; J.B. Sanderson.

Secretary: C.E.L.B. Hudson. (Physician; named in Warr.)

Basing died 22 Oct 1894 and a new Commission was warranted on 15 Nov 1894, with Buchanan as Chairman, but there were no other new appointments.

To inquire and report on the effect of food from tuberculous animals on human health.

The report was signed by all members; Brown produced a further report 10 Apr 1895.

75. Redemption of Tithe in England and Wales 1891-92

App. 31 Jan 1891. Rep. 18 Feb 1892, C.6606-i, xlvii, 341. Cost £636.

Lord Basing; G. Cubitt; H.H. Fowler; Sir H.H. Vivian; F.M. White; W.J. Beadel; C.N. Dalton.

Secretary: J. Graham. (Bd. of Agriculture; named in Warr.)

To inquire into the redemption of tithe rentcharge in England and Wales under the Tithe Commutation Act 1836 and its amendments, and to report on any changes which might be required.

PRO.HO.45/9834/B 10005 concerns the non-payment of the Secretary. The Treasury view, which prevailed, was that as Graham was already in receipt of a salary from the Board of Agriculture he was not entitled to the payment of £400 per annum which was usual for Secretaries of Royal Commissions, but they were prepared to authorise a gratuity of £250 (25 Aug 1892).

76. Explosions in Mines 1890-94

App. 9 Feb 1891. Rep. (1) 30 July 1891: 1890-91, C.6543, xxii, 555; (2) 13 June 1894, C.7401-i, xxiv, 583. Cost £1,783.

J. Chamberlain; Lord Rayleigh; Sir W.T. Lewis; H.B. Dixon; E. Bainbridge; C. Fenwick.

Secretary: J. Wilson.

To inquire into the effect of coal dust in the cause of explosions in mines and whether there were any practicable means to prevent or mitigate any dangers caused by coal dust.

77. Labour 1891-94

App. 21 Apr 1891. Rep. (1) 16 March 1892, C.6708, xxxiv; (2) 20 June 1892, C.6795, xxxvi, Pt.1; (3) 2 Feb 1893: 1893-4, C.6894, xxxii; (4) 1 June 1893: 1893-4, C.7063, xxxix, pt.1; (5) 24 May 1894, C.7421, xxxv, 9; Secretary's Report C.7421-i, 263. Other papers: 1892, C.6708-i-vi, xxxiv & xxxv; C.6795-i-xii, xxxvi, Pt.2-5; 1893-4, C.6894-i-xxv, xxxii-xxxvii; C.7063-iv-vC, xxxviii; C.7063-i-iiiA, xxxix, pt.1; C.7063-vi-xiv, xxxix, pt.2; 1894, C.7540, xxxv. Cost £31,235 (fn. 1)

Marquess of Hartington (Duke of Devonshire, Dec 1891); Earl of Derby (d. 21 Apr 1893); Sir M.E. Hicks-Beach; A.J. Mundella; H.H. Fowler; L.H. Courtney; Sir J.E. Gorst; Sir F. Pollock; Sir E.J. Harland; Sir W.T. Lewis; A. Marshall; W. Abraham; M. Austin; G.W. Balfour; J.C. Bolton; T. Burt; J. Collings; D. Dale; A. Hewlett; T.H. Ismay; G. Livesey; T. Mann; J. Mawdsley; S. Plimsoll; H. Tait; E. Trow; W. Tunstill.

Joint Secretaries: G. Drage and J. Burnett. Asst. Sec: F.V. Hornby.

Senior Asst. Commissioner: W.C. Little. Senior Lady Asst. Commissioner: Miss E. Orme. Asst. Commissioners: Miss M. Abraham; W.E. Bear; C.M. Chapman; Miss C.E. Collet; A.W. Fox; G.R. Gillespie (d. 13 Oct 1892); Miss M.H. Irwin; R. McCrea; W.P. O'Brien; R.H. Pringle; R.C. Richards; H. Rutherford; A.J. Spencer; D.L. Thomas; E. Wilkinson.

The four women named above were the first women appointed to be Assistant Commissioners. The Secretary's report also notes the appointment of women to both skilled and routine positions on the staff of the Commission, and records how successfully they had carried out their work. The total number of clerks on the Commission was twenty-seven, of whom twenty-one were women; thirteen of these were Oxbridge graduates. However Drage's public celebration of his female staff needs to be qualified by the lengthy statement of one clerk, Miss Wilson, of her claim against wrongful dismissal (PRO.HO.45/9837/B 10296/102).

To inquire into the relations between employer and employed; combinations of employers and employed; conditions of labour, which had been raised during the recent trade disputes in the United Kingdom; and to report on whether and what legislation would help to remedy any evils that may be disclosed.

The Commission formed three sub-committees to cope with its wide-reaching terms of reference, these were chaired by Dale, Derby and Mundella. The final report was split: eighteen of the Commissioners signed the majority report; Lewis, Bolton, Livesey, Devonshire, Dale, Hicks-Beach, Courtney, Pollock, Ismay, Tunstill, Collings and Trow appended various observations and minor dissensions. Two minority reports were produced: the first by Abraham, Austin, Mawdsley and Mann; the second by Gorst. Fowler and Tait did not sign.

At the end of the Commission Drage published a book entitled The Unemployed (Macmillan 1894), which was highly critical of the Board of Trade. Courtenay Boyle (Permanent Secretary, Bd. of Trade) wrote to the Home Department (24 July 1894) to record that it was 'entirely opposed to the interests of the Public Service that Secretaries of Royal Commissions should be allowed to publish documents assailing Departments of State' and 'if the precedent created by it were followed in other cases, would tend greatly to impair those Inter-Departmental courtesies and amenities upon which the administration of the affairs of the State so largely depends'. Home Office advice was that no action could be taken although such impropriety meant that Drage would no longer be considered for public office. (PRO.HO.45/9837/B 10296A) However this prohibition was not permanent and in October 1917 he took up the appointment of Director of Investigations for the Board of Agriculture. See also PRO.HO.45/9842/B11168; 9837/B10296. He also wrote a number of other publications which drew upon the work of the Commission, including The Problem of the Aged Poor (1895), and The Labour Problem (1896).

78. Metropolitan Water Supply 1892-93

App. 15 March 1892. Rep. 8 Sept 1893: 1893-4, C.7172-i, xl, Pt.1. Other papers: C.7172-ii-iv, xl, Pt.2. Cost £4,720.

Lord Balfour of Burleigh; Sir G.B. Bruce; Sir A. Geikie; J. Dewar; G.H. Hill; J. Mansergh; W. Ogle.

Secretary: F. Gaskell.

To inquire into the adequacy of quantity and quality of the metropolitan water supply.

PRO.H0.45/9864/B 13728: Files relating to petitions and correspondence, 1890-98.

79. Draft Charter for proposed Gresham University in London 1892-94

App. 30 Apr 1892. Rep. 24 Jan 1894: 1893-4, C.7259, xxxi, 807. Other papers: 1894, C.7425-i, xxxiv. Cost £2,823.

Earl Cowper; Lord Reay; Bishop Barry; Sir L. Playfair; Sir W.S. Savory; Sir G.M. Humphry; G.G. Ramsay; G.F. Browne; H. Sidgwick; J.S.B. Sanderson; J. Anstie; R.C. Palmer; G.H. Rendall.

Secretary: J.L. Goddard. (Barrister; named in Warr.)

To consider and, if necessary, amend, alter or extend the proposed Charter for the Gresham University in London.

Bishop Barry, Savory, Humphry, Palmer, Rendall, Browne, Reay, Sidgwick and Anstie attached dissenting notes and alternative recommendations. The Commission recommended that the University should apply for a new charter to enable it to become a teaching University and that if such an application was received by Her Majesty they would then make a further report. This raised a dilemma for the Home Office which had to decide whether or not the Commission could prolong its existence in this way, but after some deliberation it was decided that with the production of a report and its presentation to the Queen, a Commission was deemed to have ceased. (PRO.H0.45/9774/B1659)

80. Lighthouses 1892-98

App. 13 June 1892. Rep. (1) 8 Dec 1892: 1893-4, C.6844, xxxi; (2) pres. 9 Apr 1894, C.7338, xxxiii, 367; (3) 26 Apr 1895, C.7736, xxxv, 351; (4) 12 May 1896, C.8092, xxxiii, 35; (5) pres. 8 Feb 1898, C.8675, xxxiii, 213. Cost £3,059. Earl of Mount-Edgcumbe; Sir E. Birkbeck; Sir F.L. M'Clintock; Sir G.S. Nares; J.C. Lamb; R.C. Munro-Ferguson; E. Graves; J.A. Kempe; H.L. Mulholland.

Secretary: G. Roper. (Named in Warr.)

Subsequent Commissions of 26 Nov 1892, and 21 June 1893 appointed W.H. Preece in place of Graves who died 9 Nov 1892; and E.G. Moggridge as Secretary in place of Roper who had resigned.

To inquire and report what lighthouses and light-vessels should be connected to the telegraphic system of the United Kingdom ... without impairing the efficiency of the Light Service.

81. Highlands and Islands 1892-95

App. 6 Dec 1892. Rep. 19 March 1895, C.7681, xxxviii. Other papers: C.7668, xxxviii & C.7668i-ii, xxxix pts. 1&2. Cost £11,365. (LPGS)

D. Brand; M.H. Shaw-Stewart; A. Sutherland; J.N.M. Forsyth; G. Gordon; J.M. M'Callum; J. Macleod; H. Munro.

Secretary: W. Mackenzie.

To inquire into whether land in the counties of Argyll, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Caithness, and Orkney and Shetland currently used for deer forests, grouse moors or other sporting purposes could be used for cultivation by crofters or other small tenants.

Forsyth authorised the chairman to sign for him as he had left the country before the report was prepared. Shaw-Stewart, Forsyth, Gordon, MacCallum and Munro added various reservations.

82. Aged Poor 1893-95

App. 7 Jan 1893. Rep. 26 Feb 1895, C.7684-i, xiv; C.7684-ii, xv. Cost £2,364. Lord Aberdare; Prince of Wales; Lord Lingen; Lord Brassey; Lord Playfair; J. Chamberlain; C.T. Ritchie; Sir H.E. Maxwell; J.J. Henley; A. Pell; W.A. Hunter; J. Stuart; A.C. Humphreys-Owen; C.S. Roundell; C.S. Loch; J. Arch; C. Booth; H. Broadhurst; J.J. Stockall.

Secretary: E.A. Browne. (Barrister; named in Warr.) Asst. Sec: Viscount Morpeth. Browne was awarded a gratuity of £600, more than twice the usual amount, in recognition of the importance and difficulty of his work. (PRO.T. 13/23/507 and 560)

To consider whether any alterations in the system of Poor Law Relief are desirable, in the case of persons whose destitution is occasioned by incapacity for work, resulting from old age, or whether assistance could otherwise be afforded in those cases. (In full.)

Lord Aberdare died on 25 Feb 1895, the day before the report was ready for signature; he had been ill for some time and had been replaced as Chairman by Playfair who had been unanimously elected by his colleagues on 11 Dec 1894. Hunter was also unable to sign the report due to illness.

The Prince of Wales did not sign the report as he feared to compromise his political neutrality since the subject of the Commission had become one of party controversy. The majority report was signed by Lingen, Brassey, Playfair, Henley, Pell, Humphreys-Owen, Roundell, Loch, Arch and Stockall - all subject to appended memoranda. Stuart wrote a minority report and also signed a memorandum with Brassey, Humphreys-Owen and Arch qualifying their support for the views of the majority. Two other minority reports were produced: the first by Chamberlain, Ritchie, Maxwell, Hunter and Booth, with additional memoranda from Ritchie and Booth; and the second by Broadhurst.

83. Welsh Land 1893-96

App. 27 March 1893. Rep. (1) 29 June 1894, C.7439, xxxvi; (2) 26 Aug 1896, C.8221, xxxiv. Other papers: 1894, C.7439-i-ii, xxxvi, xxxvii; 1895, C.7661, xl; C.7757, xli; 1896, C.8242, xxxiii, 555; C.8222, xxxv. Cost £8,432.

Lord Carrington; Lord Kenyon; Sir J.T.D. Llewelyn; D.B. Jones; J. Rhys; J.M. Griffiths; E. Grove; R. Jones; F. Seebohm.

Secretary: D.L. Thomas. Asst. Sec: C.E. Owen. Thomas was unable to work for several months because of illness and Owen became co-secretary on 6 March 1895. (PRO.T.13/23/482 and H0.45 ref. below)

To inquire into the conditions and circumstances under which land in Wales and Monmouthshire is held, occupied and cultivated, and to report thereupon. (In full.)

A minority report was signed by Kenyon, Llewelyn and Seebohm.

There were several cases of alleged intimidation of witnesses to the Commission. Legal opinion was sought as to whether these could be prosecuted under the terms of the Witnesses Protection Act of 1892, but no action was taken.

The Commissioners wanted to have part of their report translated into Welsh and the files record the prolonged correspondence regarding this, which includes a list of those official papers translated into Welsh - a practice apparently only begun by the Home Office with the Metalliferous Mines Act of 1873. The practice of other government departments in this matter was given in another Home Office file, their ref. A.47143B. (PRO.H0.45/9869/B 14051)

84. Unification of London 1893-94

App. 27 March 1893. Rep. 7 Aug 1894, C.7493-i, xvii; C.7493-ii, xviii. Cost £1,299.

L.H. Courtney; Sir T.H. Farrer; R.D. Holt; H.H. Crawford; E.O. Smith.

Secretary: G.E.Y. Gleadowe (app. by a separate Warr. of 5 Apr 1893).

To consider the proper conditions under which the amalgamation of the City and the County of London can be effected, and to make specific and practical proposals for that purpose. (In full.)

Crawford did not sign the report.

85. Opium 1893-95

App. 2 Sept 1893. Rep. (1) 30 Dec 1893: 1894, C.7313, lx, 583; (2) 16 Apr 1895, C.7723-i, xlii, 31. Other papers: 1894, C.7397, C.7419, lxi; C.7471, C.7473, lxii; 1895, C.7751, xlii. Cost £18,503.

Lord Brassey; Sir J.B. Lyall; Maharajah of Darbhanga; Sir W. Roberts; R.G.C.

Mowbray; A.U. Fanshawe; A. Pease; H. Viharidas; H.J. Wilson.

Secretary: J.P. Hewett (Dept. Sec. to Govt. of India in Home Dept; named in Warr.); took up an appointment in India and was succeeded by J.A. Baines, appointed by Warrant of 28 May 1894.

To report on the effects of prohibition of the growth and sale of opium, except for medical purposes, in British India and whether this could be extended to the Native States.

The final report was signed subject to a qualifying memorandum by Singh and Veharidas. Wilson did not sign and wrote a Minute of Dissent, 18 March 1895, printed as Appendix IV of the report. C.7751 is a supplement to the report by the Maharajah of Darbhanga.

86. Agricultural Depression 1893-97

App. 14 Sept 1893. Rep. (1) 4 May 1894, C.7400, xvi, Pt.1. (2) 7 Feb 1896, C.7981, xvi, 413; (3) 25 June 1897, C.8540, xv. Other papers: 1894, C.7400-i. C.7365, C.7372, C.7334, C.7374, C.7342, xvi, Pt.1; C.7400-ii-iii, xvi Pt.2 & Pt.3. 1895, C.7728, C.7691, C.7671, C.7755, C.7623, C.7624, C.7735, xvi; C.7842, C.7871, C.7764, C.7915-i, C.7625, C.7742, xvii. 1896, C.8125, xvi, 469; C.8021 and C.8146, xvii. 1897, C.8541 and C.8300, xv. Cost £12,206.

G.J. Shaw-Lefevre; Viscount Cobham; Lord Vernon; H. Chaplin; Sir R.N.F. Kingscote; R. Giffen; C.I. Elton; O. Thomas; F.A. Channing; J. Clay; C.N. Dalton; R.L. Everett; J. Gilmour; G. Lambert; W.C. Little; W.H. Long; C. Whitehead.

Secretary: H. Lyon. (Named in Warr.) Asst. Sec: R.F. Crawford.

A Commission of 3 May 1894 appointed Lord Rendel in place of Vernon who resigned. Shaw-Lefevre resigned as Chairman on 20 Apr 1896 and on 19 May Lyon informed the Home Office that the Commissioners had elected Cobham to replace him. Lyon had previously (8 May) requested guidance from the Home Office on Shaw-Lefevre's position. He had resigned as Chairman because of his deep disagreement with his colleagues, but wanted to remain a member so that he could make his report. However the Home Office advised Lyon that to resign as Chairman implied resignation from the Commission. (PRO.H0.45/9875/B 15063)

The Commission appointed eight Assistant Commissioners: W. Fream; J. Turner; A.W. Fox; R.H. Pringle; J. Hope; R.H. Rew; A. Spencer; J. Speir. The file (ref. above) records Treasury disquiet at the number of Assistant Commissioners and the length of time for which they were employed. One of the Commissioners, Mr Clay, a tenant farmer, was paid for his attendance at meetings at the rate of two guineas a day to compensate him for loss of earnings.

To inquire into the Agricultural Depression prevailing in Great Britain, and whether it could be alleviated by legislation or other measures.

The dissent which was so marked in the affairs of this Commission surfaced over the publication of its second report, which was signed by the majority with reservations and memoranda from Cobham, Thomas, Clay and Everett. All the signatories produced a series of supplementary reports which were followed by an objection to the majority's reports by Shaw-Lefevre, Rendel, Giffen and Lambert who considered it exceptional if not unprecedented for a Commission to present as an interim report one which recorded so much disagreement between members. Shaw-Lefevere, Rendel and Giffen produced a minority report with further, separate reports by Channing and Lambert.

The final report was signed by fourteen Commissioners, ten of whom wrote a supplementary report. They all signed one or more of the nine reservations or memoranda which followed the reports. Lambert and Channing again produced separate minority reports.

The troubles of the Commission continued after their report was published: when Lyon asked for guidance from the Home Office on the disposal of the Commission's documents (16 July 1897), the file cover emphatically stated that 'The Board of Agriculture will have nothing to do with them'. It was left to him to decide which of the documents were to be destroyed and which to be sent to the Record Office, the Home Office insisting that this was not their responsibility.

87. Dominica 1893-94

App. 22 Sept 1893. Rep. 10 March 1894, C.7477, lvii, 145. Costs met from Colonial Funds. (RSM&S)

Sir Robert George Crookshank Hamilton was appointed to inquire into causes of discontent, and the working of the political constitution of Dominica.

Secretary: R.W. Hamilton. (Son of the above.)

88. Secondary Education in England 1894-96

App. 2 March 1894. Rep. 13 Aug 1895, C.7862 xliii. Other papers: 1895, C.7862-i-viii, xliv-xlix; 1896, C.8077, xlvi. Cost £5,329.

J. Bryce; Sir J.T. Hibbert; Hon. E. Lyttelton; Sir H.E. Roscoe; E.C. Maclure; A.M. Fairbairn; R.C. Jebb; R. Wormell; H. Hobhouse; M.E. Sadler; H.L. Smith; G.J. Cockburn; C. Fenwick; J.H. Yoxall; Lady F. Cavendish; Mrs S. Bryant; Mrs E.M. Sidgwick.

Secretary: Hon. W.N. Bruce. (Barrister; named in Warr.)

To consider what are the best methods of establishing a well-organised system of secondary education in England, taking into account existing deficiencies and having regard to such local sources of revenue from endowment or otherwise as are available or may be made available for this purpose, and to make recommendations accordingly. (In full.)

This Commission was the first to include women as full Commissioners. The Commission appointed fourteen Assistant Commissioners: R.E. Mitcheson; H.T. Gerrans; Mrs E.S. Armitage; F.E. and Mrs F.A. Kitchener; A.J. Butler; W. and Mrs E.P. Lee Warner; J. Headlam; J. Massie; Mrs G. Jones; A.P. Laurie; Miss C.L. Kennedy; JJ. Findlay, whose reports are in C.7862-v-vi. The Treasury authorised payment for only four - Gerrans, Kitchener, Butler and Laurie - at a rate of £10 a week for a period not exceeding four months. The appointment of an Assistant Secretary was refused but a sum of £7.10s. per week was granted to cover all clerical assistance on condition that no one was to receive more than £3 a week and that no copyist was to get more than 30s. a week. (PRO.H0.45/9880/B 15884)

89. Financial Relations between Great Britain and Ireland 1894-96

App. 26 May 1894. Rep. (1) 28 March 1895, C.7720-i, xxxvi; (2) pres. 13 Aug 1896, C.8262 xxxiii, 59. Other papers, C.7720-ii, same vol. Cost £1,968.

H.C.E. Childers; Lord Farrer; Lord Welby; C.O. O'Conor; Sir R.G.C. Hamilton (d. 22 Apr 1895); Sir T. Sutherland; Sir D.M. Barbour; Hon. E. Blake; B.W. Currie; W.A. Hunter; C.E. Martin; J.E. Redmond; T. Sexton.

Secretary: B.H. Holland. (Barrister; named in Warr.)

A Warrant of 22 June 1894 appointed H.F. Slattery and G.W. Wolff to the Commission.

Childers died 29 Jan 1896 and Holland wrote to the Home Office 30 Jan (PRO:H045/9882/B 16301) requesting advice on the procedure for appointing a new Chairman. A letter of 11 Feb notes that Lord Farrer, the second named person on the Warrant, was in Egypt and not expected to return until the end of March. Holland was advised that the Secretary of State thought it inadvisable for an outside appointment to be made at such a late stage of the Commission's proceedings and that the best course would be for them to select one of their members. The file note cites as precedent the Commission on the Aged Poor (no. 82); O'Conor was subsequently chosen as Chairman.

To inquire into the financial relations between Great Britain and Ireland and their relative taxable capacity and to report how the latter might be most equitably determined.

The final majority report was signed subject to a series of reservations and memoranda; Barbour and Sutherland produced separate minority reports. The papers also include Childers's draft report.

90. Tweed and Solway Fisheries 1895-96

App. 1 May 1895. Rep. (1) Solway, pres. 6 Aug 1896, C.8182-3, xlvi, 503; (2) Tweed, pres. 13 May 1896, C.8086-7, xlvi, 731. Cost £1,182.

E.S. Howard; R. Neville; A.D. Berrington; R.W. Cochran-Patrick; J. Cheyne; J.J. Armistead.

Secretary: T.A.C. Hampson. (Barrister; named in Warr.)

A subsequent Warrant of 9 Sept 1895 appointed J.W. Mellor to replace Neville who had resigned.

To inquire into and report upon the salmon and freshwater fisheries of the

Tweed river and the Solway Firth.

91. Military and Civil Expenditure in India 1895-1900

App. 24 May 1895. Rep. (1) 10 Aug 1896, C.8258, xv; (2) 6 Apr 1900, Cd.131, xxix, 553. Other papers: 1896, C.8259, xvi; 1900, Cd.130, xxix; Paper no. 387, Sess. 2, lvii, 431; 1902, Paper no. 169, lxx, 515. Cost £4,242 - half of which was charged to Indian Revenues.

Lord Welby; L.H. Courtney; W.L. Jackson; Hon. G.N. Curzon; Sir W. Wedderburn; Sir D.M. Stewart (d. 26 March 1900); Sir E.W. Hamilton; Sir J.B. Peile; Sir A.R. Scoble; R.H. Knox (ktd. 1895); G.L. Ryder; T.R. Buchanan; W.S. Caine; D. Naoroji.

Secretary: R.T.W. Ritchie. (Named in Warr.) He resigned and was replaced by C.G. Campbell, appointed by a Warrant of 9 Aug 1895; the file notes that a shortened form of Warrant was used for the first time. Campbell had been private secretary to the Secretary of State for India 1894-5, and Ritchie succeeded him in this post where he remained until 1902. Ritchie continued to be involved in the affairs of the Commission; the later correspondence from the Home Office about the publication of the second report was addressed to him. (See below) Curzon resigned upon his appointment as Under Secretary of State to the Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs and a Warrant 3 Feb 1896 appointed R.G.C. Mowbray in his place.

To inquire into the administration and management of the Military and Civil expenditure incurred under the authority of the Secretary of State for India in Council, or of the Government of India, and the apportionment of charge between the Governments of the United Kingdom and India for purposes in which both are interested. (In full.)

A question was put down in Parliament (16 May 1899) about the Commission's failure to report. According to Home Office records the last meeting had been held on 27 July 1897 and since no report had been produced the Commission was technically in breach of its Warrant. Ritchie was advised that the Secretary did not have power to summon members but could arrange for a meeting to be held and if there was a quorum (in this case, five) they could proceed in execution of the Commission. As an extreme step there was no doubt that the Secretary could advise the Crown to dissolve the Commission if they refused to meet and execute their Commission, although there was no recent precedent for this. There was a record of one case in 1854 in which Lord Palmerston threatened a Commission (not named) that if they did not report before a certain date he would recommend that their allowances and expenses should not be paid. This was not seen as an appropriate sanction in the present case, however, as the Commission no longer appeared in the estimates. There had been many cases in which the Home Office had had to make 'strong representations to Chairmen of Commissions with respect to the conduct of the Commission or delay in issuing or other matters connected with the Report; but these matters, so far as our records show, are dealt with semi-officially and generally through the Secretary of the Commission' (Home Office to Ritchie 16 May 1899.) (PRO.HO. 45/9898/B 18480)

The final report was signed subject to reservations by Welby, Knox, Peile, Scoble, Ryder, Buchanan and Mowbray. Wedderburn and Naoroji produced a minority report which was signed, with reservations, by Caine.

92. Laws on Intoxicating Liquor 1896-99

App. 24 Apr 1896. Rep. (1) pres. 24 Feb 1897, C.8355-6, xxxiv, 247; (2) pres. 25 June 1897, C.8523-i, xxxv; (3) pres. 8 Feb 1898, C.8693, xxxvi; (4) pres. 18 Apr 1898, C.8821-2, xxxviii; (5) pres. 3 Aug 1898, C.8979, xxxviii; (6) 22 June 1899, C.9379, xxxiv. Other papers: 1898, C.8694, xxxvi; C.8695-6, xxxvii; C.8980, xxxviii; 1899, C.9075, xxxiv, 441; C.9076, C9379-i, xxxv. Cost £8,080. Viscount Peel; Earl of Jersey; Viscount de Vesci; Bishop of London (became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1897); Sir A.E. West; Sir W.H. Houldsworth; Sir F.S. Hunt; Sir C. Cameron; H.H. Dickinson; W. Allen; W.S. Caine; A.M. Gordon; W. Graham; H. Grinling; S. Hyslop; A. Johnston; J.H. Roberts; H.R. Smith; C. Walker; J.L. Wharton; T.P. Whittaker; A.M. Wigram; S. Young; G. Younger.

Secretary: S. Peel. Asst. Sec: H. Delacombe.

Warrants of 7 May 1897 and 16 Apr 1898 respectively appointed Lord Windsor and E.N. Buxton to replace the Earl of Jersey and Hunt who had resigned.

To inquire into the operation and administration of laws relating to the sale of intoxicating liquors and to report on proposals to change the laws, having regard to the rights of individuals.

Twenty-one of the twenty-four commissioners signed the first report; the following four were signed by all without dissent. Vesci (fn. 2), Windsor, West, Dickinson (fn. 2), Allen (fn. 2), Buxton, Gordon, Graham, Grinling (fn. 2), Hyslop (fn. 2), Johnston, Riley Smith (fn. 2), Walker (fn. 2), Wharton, Wigram (fn. 2), Young (fn. 2) and Younger (fn. 2) signed the final majority report.

The minority report was signed by the Chairman, Archbishop of Canterbury (fn. 3), Houldsworth (fn. 4), Cameron (fn. 3), Dickinson (fn. 4), Allen (fn. 4), Caine (fn. 3), Roberts (fn. 3) and Whittaker (fn. 3), some of whom also signed the majority report.

PRO.H0.45/10151/B.20998 has several files relating to the legislation to be adopted as a result of the Commission's recommendations. It also contains correspondence regarding the publication of minority reports. The Secretary had asked if the Chairman's minority report should take precedence over the majority report in the printed Command paper, but the Home Office replied that a search had been made for a period of twelve years and no record could be found for a minority report being printed first. Under the terms of the Commission 'the Report which is signed by a majority of the members is, strictly speaking, the expression of the opinion of the Commission, and should appear first in the Report submitted to Her Majesty'. (Home Office to Secretary Peel, 2 June 1899)

93. Control of trade from tuberculous animals 1896-98

App. 6 July 1896. Rep. 4 Apr 1898, C.8824, xlix, 333; Evidence, C.8831. Cost £2,081.

Sir H.E. Maxwell; R.T. Thorne; G.T. Brown; H.E. Clare; S.F. Murphy; J. Speir; T. Cooke-Trench.

Secretary: T.M. Legge. (Named in Warr.)

To inquire and report what administrative procedures were available for controlling danger to man from the use of meat and milk of tuberculous animals. Maxwell, Clare and Cooke-Trench attached a Memorandum to the report.

94. Local Taxation 1896-1902

App. 15 Aug 1896. Rep. (1) 16 Dec 1898: 1899, C.9141, xxxv, 733; (2) 10 Jan 1899, C.9142, xxxv, 795; (3) 28 May 1901, Cd.638, xxiv, 413; (4) 14 Feb 1902, Cd. 973; 10 Apr 1902, Cd.1067; 11 Apr 1902, Cd.1068, xxxix. Other papers: 1898, C.8763, xli; C.8764-5, xlii; 1899, C.9150, C.9319, C.9528, xxxvi; 1900, Cd.201, Cd.383, xxxvi; 1902, Cd.1221, xxxix; 1903, Cd.1480, xxiii. Cost £7,234. Lord Balfour of Burleigh; Viscount Emlyn (became Earl Cawdor in March 1898); J.B. Balfour; Sir J.T. Hibbert; C.B. Stuart-Wortley; Sir E.W. Hamilton; Sir A. Milner; C.N. Dalton; C.A. Cripps; H.E. Clare; T.H. Elliott; A. O'Connor; E.O. Smith; J. Stuart; J.L. Wharton.

Secretary: A.W. Fox. Asst. Sec: T.L. Davies.

A second Commission of 3 Apr 1897 appointed G.H. Murray in place of Milner who resigned on his appointment as Governor and Commander in Chief of the Colony of Good Hope.

To inquire into the present system under which taxation is raised for local purposes and report whether all kinds of real and personal property contribute equitably to such taxation, and, if not, what alterations in the law are desirable in order to secure that result. (In full.)

The first report was signed subject to reservations by Stuart-Wortley and Cripps and to a memorandum by Elliott. The second was signed with addenda by Hibbert, Murray and Cripps. J.B. Balfour did not sign and attached a note of dissent. O'Connor wrote a minority report which was partially endorsed by Stuart.

The third report was signed by Balfour of Burleigh (fn. 5), Cawdor, Blair Balfour (fn. 5), Hibbert, Stuart-Wortley (fn. 5), Dalton, Cripps, Clare, Elliott, Smith (fn. 5), Stuart (fn. 5) and Wharton.

The Chairman produced a report of Separate Recommendations partially endorsed by Blair Balfour; and with Hamilton, Murray and Stuart another separate report on Urban Rating and Site Values. Minority reports were produced by Hamilton and Murray; and O'Connor. Following publication of the third report (Cd.638) which was listed as final, the Commission issued three further reports: Cd.973, Valuation in Ireland; and separate reports for Ireland, Cd.1068; and Scotland, Cd.1067. Cd.1068 was signed subject to various observations and recommendations by the Chairman, Balfour, Hamilton, Murray, O'Connor and Stuart, while the majority and minority signatories for Cd.1067 were the same as for Cd.638.

95. West India 1896-98

App. 22 Dec 1896. Rep. 25 Aug 1897: 1898, C.8655, 1. Other papers: 1898, C.8656-7, 1; 1898, C.8669, C.8799, li. Cost not recorded. (RSM&S) Sir H.W. Norman; Sir E. Grey; Sir D. Barbour.

Secretary: S. Olivier. (Named in Warr.)

To inquire into conditions and prospects of the sugar-growing West India colonies.

The chairman attached a dissent to the report.

96. Metropolitan Water Supplies 1897-1900

App. 1 May 1897. Rep. (1) 20 Dec 1898: 1899, C.9122, xli, 491; (2) 30 Dec 1899: 1900, Cd.25, xxxviii, Pt.1. Other papers: 1900, Cd.45, xxxviii, Pt.1; Cd.198, xxxviii, Pt.2; Cd.108, Cd.267, xxxix. Cost £3,299.

Viscount Llandaff; J.W. Mellor; Sir J.E. Dorington; Sir G.B. Bruce; A. de B. Porter; A. de C. Scott (d. 16 Oct 1899); H.W. Cripps (d. 14 Aug 1899); R. Lewis.

Secretary: C. Owen.

To inquire whether in regard to financial considerations and present and future water requirements it would be in the interest of ratepayers and water consumers in the metropolitan districts that the undertakings of water companies should be acquired and managed by one or several Authorities; if they are not so acquired whether local Authorities should have additional powers; the practicability of connecting any two or more of the current systems of supply, and what would be the costs of such a scheme and its legal implications.

97. Irish Land Acts 1897-99

App. 10 July 1897. Rep. 4 Feb 1898, C.8734, C.8859, xxxv. Appendices: 1899, C.9107, xxxiv. Cost £3,468.

Sir E. Fry; G. Fottrell; G. Gordon; A. Traill; R. Vigers.

Secretary: R.R. Cherry. (Named in Warr.)

To inquire into and report on the procedure, practice and methods of valuation followed by the Land Commission and the Civil Bill Courts in Ireland under the Land Law Acts.

The publication of the Commission's findings was the subject of some controversy. Normal procedure was not to make Commission reports public until they had been presented to the House; this practice was followed in the case of the actual report, but the minutes of evidence (C.8859) were published before presentation. The Secretary made enquiries of the Press Association, the printers and the Commissioners but was unable to find out how the press had obtained the documents. His letter to Cunynghame (Assistant Under Secretary at the Home Office) of 12 March 1898 points out that Dr Traill had not answered his queries directly, and refers to correspondence between Traill and the Chairman, the contents of which were never made public. It was thus inferred that Traill was responsible for sending the documents to the Press Association. The Home Office file notes a number of possible sanctions against the Press Association, but recommended no further action unless more questions were asked in the House. (PRO.H0.45/9925/B24578)

98. Sewage Disposal 1898-1915

App. 7 May 1898. Rep. (1) 12 July 1901, Cd.685-6, xxxiv, Pt.1; (2) pres. 14 July 1902, Cd.1178, xlix; (3) 2 March 1903, Cd.1486-7, xxxi; (4) 28 Dec 1903: 1904, Cd.1883, xxxvii; (5) 7 Aug 1908, Cd.4278, liii, 749; (6) 9 Feb 1909, Cd.4511, xlvi, 793; (7) 16 Feb 1911, Cd.5542-3, xli; (8) 4 Nov 1912: 1912-13, Cd.6464, xlvi, 613; (9) and (10) 11 Feb 1915: 1914-16, Cd.7819-21, xxxv, 333. Other papers: 1904, Cd.1884-5, xxxvii, Cd.l886-i-iv, xxxviii; 1908, Cd.4279-80, liv; Cd.4281-2, lv; Cd.4283-6, lvi; 1913, Cd.6943, xxxix. Cost £67,887 to 31 March 1912.

Earl of Iddesleigh; Sir R.T. Thorne (d. 18 Dec 1899); C.P. Carey (d. 7 Dec 1906); C.P. Cotton; M. Foster (d. 29 Jan 1907); T.W. Harding; T.W. Killick; W. Ramsay; J.B. Russell.

Secretary: F.J. Willis. (Named in Warr.)

Subsequent Warrants of 7 Feb 1900 appointed W.H. Power in place of Thorne; 7 May 1902, T.J. Stafford in place of Cotton who resigned; 7 Jan 1907, R.A. Tatton in place of Carey; on 20 July 1910, Willis was appointed a Commissioner, and his place as Secretary taken by R.H.H. Keenlyside. Killick resigned in Sept 1901. The Commission was reappointed in a Warrant of 26 March 1910 following the death of Edward VII.

To inquire and report on treatment and disposal of sewage, including from industrial processes, both with regard to existing law and to the duties of Local Authorities; and to make recommendations on desirable improvements.

The ninth report was signed by Iddesleigh, Harding, Stafford, Tatton and Willis and by Ramsay and Power subject to memoranda attached. It also included a list of the members of the Commission's staff and their dates of service. The tenth and final report consists of a summary of all the previous reports.

99. Sierra Leone 1898-99

App. 18 June 1898. Rep. 21 Jan 1899, C.9388, C.9391, lx. Cost not recorded. (RSM&S)

Sir D.P. Chalmers was appointed to inquire into an insurrection of natives in Sierra Leone and generally into the state of affairs in the colony. The papers also contain observations on the report by the Governor of Sierra Leone, Sir F. Cardew, dated 1 May 1899.

100. University of London Act 1898-1900

App. 12 Aug 1898. Rep. 27 Feb 1900, Cd.83, lxvi, 57. Cost £1,487.

Lord Davey; Bishop of London; Sir W. Roberts; Sir O. Roberts; R.C. Jebb; M. Foster; E.H. Busk.

Secretary: T.B. Saunders. (App. by separate Warr. of 23 Aug 1898.)

T. Barlow was appointed to the Commission 10 March 1899 in place of Sir W. Roberts who resigned.

This was a Statutory Royal Commission set up to implement the Act for the Reconstitution of the University of London (61 & 62 Vict. c.62); the Commissioners were empowered to make statutes and regulations for the University in general accordance with the scheme proposed by the Gresham Commission (no. 79) and subject to the Act, and was to continue until the end of 1899.

101. Newfoundland Treaties 1898-99 (fn. 6)

App. 31 Aug 1898. Rep. not pres.

Sir J. Bramston and Sir J.E. Erskine were appointed to enquire into the operation of certain Treaties in force in Newfoundland, and to suggest measures for giving effect to their provisions.

Secretary: Earl of Westmeath.

102. Accidents to Railway Servants 1899-1900

App. 30 May 1899. Rep. pres. 30 Jan 1900, Cd.41-2, xxvii. Cost £1,176.

Lord James of Hereford; Viscount Hampden; Hon. A.E. Fellowes; Sir G.E. Paget; Sir J.W. Wolfe-Barry; Sir G.L. Molesworth; Sir A. Hickman; Sir C. Scotter; C.S. Hutchinson; H.H.S. Cunynghame; W.M. Acworth; A.C. Elliott; J.E. Ellis; C. Fenwick; W. Hudson.

Secretary: A.H. Higgins. (Barrister; named in Warr.)

To enquire into the causes of fatal and non-fatal accidents to servants of railway companies and of truck owners; and to report on the possibility of adopting measures to reduce them.

All signed the report with the exception of Wolfe-Barry who was unable to attend the last meeting as he was in India on business.


  • 1. This was not the total cost which was estimated at £50,000.
  • 2. Subject to various reservations appended.
  • 3. With addenda.
  • 4. Subject to reservations.
  • 5. Subject to various reservations and observations.
  • 6. No report has been traced for this Commission through either Foreign and Commonwealth Office or Cabinet Office records, but the Treasury indexes show that it drew expenses for the salaries of the Secretary and a servant for the Commissioners until 1899 (PRO.T.1/4559).