List of commissions and officials: 1930-1939 (nos. 202-217)

Pages 79-84

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 10, Officials of Royal Commissions of Inquiry 1870-1939. Originally published by University of London, London, 1995.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section

202. Unemployment Insurance 1930-32

App. 9 Dec 1930. Rep. (1) 1 June 1931: 1930-31, Cmd.3872, xvii, 885; (2) 27 Oct 1932: 1931-32, Cmd.4185, xiii, 393. Evidence: Non P.P., Min. of Labour, 1931; 1932; 1933. Est. cost £14,091.

H.H. Gregory; W. Asbury; H. Clay; H.J.W. Hetherington; E.C.P. Lascelles; Mrs C.D. Rackham; H.M. Trouncer.

Secretary: H.C. Emmerson. Asst. Sec: H.R. Hodges.

To enquire into the provisions and working of the Unemployment Insurance Scheme and to make recommendations with regard to (1) its future scope, the provisions which it should contain and the means by which it may be made solvent and self-supporting, and, (2) the arrangements which should be made outside the scheme for the unemployed who are capable of and available for work. (In full.)

The first report was signed by Gregory, Clay, Hetherington, Lascelles and Trouncer, subject to a note by Clay and Trouncer. A minority report was issued by Asbury and Mrs Rackham, with a note by Asbury expressing agreement with the majority on the position of married women under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, but with a further note by Mrs Rackham recording her disagreement with her colleagues in this matter. The final report was also split: Clay and Trouncer signed the majority report subject to a note and a reservation respectively; and Asbury and Mrs Rackham produced a minority report.

203. Malta 1931-32

App. 7 Apr 1931. Rep. 29 Jan 1932: 1931-32, Cmd.3993, vi, 819. Costs from Malta Funds.

Lord Askwith; Sir W. Egerton; Count de Salis.

Secretary: A.J. Dawe. (Colonial Office)

To make full and diligent enquiry into the existing political situation in the Island of Malta and to put forward recommendations as to the steps which can and should be taken for its amelioration. (In full.)

204. Lotteries 1932-33

App. 4 June 1932. Rep. (1) 5 Jan 1933, Cmd.4234, xiv, 349; (2) 1 June 1933: 1932-33, Cmd.4341, xiv, 349. Evidence: Non P.P., 1932; 1933. Est. cost £3,400. Sir S.A.T. Rowlatt; Lady Emmott; Sir F.S. Jackson; C.T. Cramp; R.F. Graham-Campbell; W.L. Hichens; Sir J. Leishman; A. Maitland; Sir D.J. Owen; A. Shaw; Sir S.M. Skinner; Mrs M.D. Stocks.

Secretary: E.E. Bridges (Treasury). Asst. Sec: A. Johnston. (HO)

To enquire into the existing law and the practice thereunder relating to lotteries, betting, gambling and cognate matters, and to report what changes, if any, are desirable and practicable. (In full.)

205. Newfoundland 1933

App. 17 Feb 1933. Rep. 4 Oct 1933: 1933-34, Cmd.4480, xiv, 357. Related papers: Cmd.4479, same vol., 661. Est. cost of U.K. share £2,345.

Lord Amulree; C.A. Magrath; Sir W.E. Stavert.

Secretary: P.A. Clutterbuck. (Dominions Office; named in Warr.)

To examine into the future of Newfoundland and in particular to report on the financial situation and prospects therein.

206. University of Durham 1934-35

App. 16 March 1934. Rep. 22 Jan 1935: 1934-35, Cmd.4815, viii, 489. Est. cost £1,868.

Lord Moyne; Countess Grey; Sir W.R. Barker; A.G. Church; H.R. Dean; F.H. Dudden; T.F. Sibly; W. Spens.

Secretary: S.H. Wood.

To enquire into the organisation and work of the University of Durham and its constituent colleges and into the relation of the University to those colleges, and to report on any desirable changes or improvements.

207. Tithe Rentcharge in England and Wales 1934-36

App. 27 Aug 1934. Rep. 26 Nov 1935: 1935-36, Cmd.5095, xiv, 859. Evidence: Non P.P., 1935; 1936. Est. cost £1,652.

Sir J.F. Williams; Lord Cornwallis (d. 26 Sept 1935); Sir E.R. Peacock; Sir L.J. Coates; Sir J.E. Lloyd.

Secretary: E.L. Mitchell. Asst. Sec: A.S. Allen.

To enquire into and report upon the whole question of tithe rentcharge in England and Wales and its incidence.

The majority report was signed by Williams and Lloyd and subject to a reservation by Peacock. Coates issued a minority report. Cmd.5102 was printed with the report and sets out government proposals to revise and amend the tithe rentcharge scheme.

208. Common Law 1934-36

App. 5 Dec 1934. Rep. 20 Jan 1936: 1935-36, Cmd.5065, viii, 105. Evidence: Non P.P., 1935. Est. cost £564.

Earl Peel; Lord Hanworth; Sir C. Schuster; J.G. Archibald; E.C. Davies; W.T. Monckton; H.L. Murphy.

Joint Secretaries: J. Foster and G.P. Humphreys-Davies. Asst. Sec: Miss A. M. Fletcher. (The first woman to be appointed in this position.)

To enquire into the state of business in the King's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice and to report whether, with a view to greater despatch, any reforms should be adopted.

The report was signed subject to notes by Hanworth and Schuster; and a memorandum by Davies.

209. Arms Trade 1935-36

App. 19 Feb 1935. Rep. 24 Sept 1936: 1935-36, Cmd.5292, vii, 483. Evidence: Non P.P., 1935; 1936. Est. cost £7,341.

Sir J.E. Bankes; Sir P.H. Gibbs; Dame R.E. Crowdy; Sir T.W. Allen; Sir K. Lee; H.C. Gutteridge; J.A. Spender.

Secretary: E. Twentyman. Asst. Sec: D. Haigh.

The commission was reissued following the accession of Edward VIII, 10 Feb 1936 under a composite Warrant 'ratifying and confirming the terms of various commissions of enquiry issued in the reign of his late Majesty'.

To consider and report upon the practicability and desirability of a prohibition of the private manufacture of, and trade in, arms; and the institution of a state monopoly; and to examine present United Kingdom arrangements.

210. Local Government in Tyneside 1935-37

App. 1 May 1935. Rep. 23 Feb 1937: 1936-37, Cmd.5402, xiii,117. Est. cost £1,470.

Sir S.A.T. Rowlatt; Sir A.N. Scott; C.H. Roberts.

Secretary: A.S. Charlton.

Rowland resigned and a Warrant of 12 Dec 1935 appointed Scott as Chairman, and W.B. Couchman; Lord Merthyr; G. Clark and H. Barrow to the Commission. Further warrants of 10 Feb 1936 and 17 Dec 1936 reappointed the Commission following the accession and subsequent abdication of Edward VIII. This led to considerable delays in the Commission's work and they did not hold their first meeting until 18 Feb 1936. PRO.HLG.11/3 records the detailed correspondence between the Secretary and the members of the Commission on this and other matters.

To examine the system of local government in the areas north and south of the River Tyne, and to consider and recommend any changes necessary to secure greater economy and efficiency.

Roberts issued a minority report.

211. Merthyr Tydfil 1935

App. 1 May 1935. Rep. 12 Nov 1935: 1935-36, Cmd.5039, xiv. Est. cost £497.

Sir A.B. Lowry; J.T. Richards.

Secretary: P.F.G. Robinson. (Min. of Health)

To investigate and report whether Merthyr Tydfil should continue to hold the status of a county borough, and if not, to recommend alternative arrangements.

212. Safety in Coal Mines 1935-38

App. 14 Dec 1935. Rep. 2 Dec 1938: 1938-39, Cmd.5890, xiii, 263. Evidence: Non P.P., 1936; 1937; 1938. Est. cost £14,940.

Lord Rockley; Sir M. Delevingne; Sir H. Walker; D.R. Grenfell; G.C. Allsebrook; E.O.F. Brown; E. Edwards; W.T. Miller; W.H. Telfer; J. Walker.

Secretary: E.W. Ravenshear. Asst. Sec: G.B. Brown.

Warrants of 10 Feb 1936 and 17 Dec 1936 reappointed the Commission following the accession and subsequent abdication of Edward VIII.

To inquire whether the safety and health of mine workers could be better ensured by extending or modifying the principles or general provisions of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, and to make recommendations.

The report was signed subject to reservations by Brown, Edwards, Telfer and Walker.

213. Palestine 1936-37

App. 7 Aug 1936. Rep. 22 June 1937: 1936-37, Cmd.5479, xiv, 231. Evidence: Non P.P., Colonial Office, 1937. Est. cost £4,050.

Earl Peel; Sir H.G.M. Rumbold; Sir E.L.L. Hammond; Sir W.M. Carter; Sir H. Morris; R. Coupland.

Secretary: J.M. Martin. (Colonial Office)

The Commission was reappointed by Warrant of 17 Dec 1936 following the accession of George VI.

To ascertain the underlying causes of the disturbances which broke out in Palestine in the middle of April 1936; to enquire into the manner in which the Mandate for Palestine was being implemented, and to make recommendations.

The Arab Higher Committee boycotted the proceedings of the Commission which had no power to compel their co-operation. Cmd.5513, published with the report, is a Statement of Policy by the UK Government.

214. Distribution of the Industrial Population 1937-39

App. 8 July 1937. Rep. pres. 16 Jan 1940: 1939-40, Cmd.6153, iv, 263 (fn. 1).

Evidence: Non P.P., 1937; 1938; 1939. Est. cost £10,627.

Sir M. Barlow; Sir W.A. Robinson; Sir F. L'Estrange Joseph; Sir W.E. Whyte; L.P. Abercrombie; E. Bevin; F. D'Arcy Cooper; Mrs H. Hichens; Mrs M.N. Hill; J.H. Jones; G.P. Morris; S.A. Smith; G.W. Thomson.

Secretary: J. Leader. Asst. Sec: N.C. Rowland.

A warrant of 23 June 1938 appointed H.H. Elvin in place of Bevin who had resigned.

To inquire into the causes which had influenced the present geographical distribution of the industrial population of Great Britain and the probable direction of any future changes; its social, economic, or strategic disadvantages, and to report on any remedial measures that should be taken in the national interest.

The majority report was signed subject to reservations by Whyte, Jones and Thomson. The minority report was signed by Abercrombie, Elvin and Mrs Hichens, with a further dissentient note related to the majority report by Abercrombie.

Statistical data was supplied by Manchester University.

215. Rhodesia and Nyasaland 1938-39

App. 9 March 1938. Rep. 1 March 1939: 1938-39, Cmd.5949, xv, 211. Est. cost £5,015.

Viscount Bledisloe; P.A. Cooper; E. Evans; T. Fitzgerald; W.H. Mainwaring; I.L. Orr-Ewing.

Secretary: G.F. Seel. (Named in Warr.) Asst. Sec: N. Pritchard.

To enquire and report whether any, and if so, what, form of closer co-operation or association between Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland was desirable and feasible, with due regard to the interest of all the inhabitants, irrespective of race.

The report was signed by all the members, but each of them added notes.

216. West Indies 1938-39

App. 5 Aug 1938. Rep. 16 Feb 1940: 1939-40, Cmd.6174, v, 561; 21 Dec 1939: 1944-45, Cmd.6607, vi, 245. Cmd.6608, same vol., is a separate report by Professor Engledow on Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Veterinary Matters.

Est. UK cost £13,454.

Lord Moyne; Sir R.E. Stubbs; Dame R.E. Crowdy; Sir W.M. Citrine; Sir P.G. Mackinnon; R. Assheton; Dr M.G. Blacklock; F.L. Engledow; H.D. Henderson; M. Jones (d. 23 Apr 1939).

Secretary: T.I.K. Lloyd. Asst. Sec: C.Y. Carstairs. (Both named in Warr.)

Assheton resigned when he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service, 6 Sept 1939.

To investigate social and economic conditions in Barbados, British Guiana, British Honduras, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands, and matters connected therewith, and to make recommendations. (In full.)

The full report was not published until 1945: Cmd.6174 contains only the recommendations of the Commission. M. MacDonald, Secretary of State for the Colonies, informed Lord Moyne (13 Feb 1940) that the report submitted to His Majesty on 21 Dec 1939 was not be published at the present time but the government wished to carry out its major recommendations. To this end MacDonald asked the Commission to prepare a statement of these to serve as a guide for those involved in West Indian affairs until the full report could be published. The statement was sent to the Secretary of State on 16 Feb 1940.

Some parts of the Commission's enquiries were more than usually public: the report includes photographs of crowds in Queen's Park, Bridgetown, Barbados where the proceedings of Commission were broadcast.

217. Workmen's Compensation 1938-44

App. 22 Dec 1938. Rep. 22 Dec 1944: 1944-45, Cmd.6588, vi, 779. Evidence: Non P.P., 1939; 1940. Est. cost £8,459.

Sir H.J.W. Hetherington; W. Stewart; R.R. Bannatyne; E. Hackforth; C.T.A. Sadd; R.C. Elmslie (d. 24 July 1940); J.S. Boyd; A.B. Cauty; Miss G. Drysdale; G.A. Isaacs; W. Lawther; J.A. Lillie; J.L. Smyth; F.J. Williams; W.D. Woolley; Mrs B.F. Wootton.

Secretary: F. Popplewell.

To inquire into and report on the operation and effects of the system of workmen's compensation for injuries due to employment and the working and scope of the law relating thereto.

The Commission suspended its work in early 1940 and the reports were amalgamated with those of various other committees between 1938 and 1945, in particular the Inter-Departmental Committee into Social Insurance appointed in June 1941 (Chairman Sir William Beveridge). Cmd.6588 refers to these and contains only a brief summary report of the Commission's activities. The Commission was requested by the Secretary of State to remain in being until a satisfactory scheme for compensation had been worked out. Following the publication of the White Papers on Social Insurance and the report of the Committee on Social Insurance (Chairman Sir Walter Monckton) the Royal Commission was terminated.


  • 1. The report was completed in August 1939 but was not printed and signed until December 1939.