Foreign Office: Commercial and Sanitary Department: General Correspondence from 1906

FO 368
Foreign Office: Commercial and Sanitary Department: General Correspondence from 1906

This series contains correspondence, etc, of the Commercial Department.

Related Material:
The records of the Commercial Department before 1906 are in the various country series of general correspondence, where they are usually bound separately, and distinguished in the description by the wording 'Commercial'; from 1883 they include sanitary correspondence. Some commercial correspondence is also included in the confidential print.
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Foreign Office, Commercial and Sanitary Department, 1882-1920
Physical description:
2269 volume(s)
Unpublished finding aids:
Reference is by the card index and registers in FO 566 and FO 662
Administrative / biographical background:

A separate Commercial Department was formed in 1865 to conduct correspondence on commercial matters with missions and consulates, with the Board of Trade and with other bodies and individuals concerned. In October 1866 it merged with the Consular Department in a combined Consular and Commercial Department. In 1872 it became independent again, not only resuming its original functions but also taking over the negotiation of commercial treaties from the Commercial Department of the Board of Trade.

In 1882 responsibility for sanitary matters, that is cattle plague, quarantine and pilgrims, formerly dealt with in the Slave Trade Department, passed to the department, which was renamed the Commercial and Sanitary Department. From 1917 the new Department of Overseas Trade took over more and more of the functions of the Commercial Department, which was wound up in 1920, sanitary and health matters passing to the Western (Political) Department until 1938 when they were transferred to the Library.

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