Catalogue description Ministry of Labour and Predecessors: Correspondence

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Details of LAB 2
Reference: LAB 2
Title: Ministry of Labour and Predecessors: Correspondence
Description:

This series contains over 30,000 files of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Labour and National Service, together with files inherited from earlier departments dealing with labour problems, notably the Board of Trade. The series includes material which would otherwise be found among the records of the Board of Trade (BT) division, Records of the Commercial, Companies, Labour, Railways and Statistics Departments. A few papers later in date than 1933 are included in the series, together with a few files added after the original assembly.

The files cover a whole range of labour and employment subjects.

Note: Catalogue descriptions for this series were enhanced as part of a project financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, 2003-2004.
Date: 1886-1955
Arrangement:

Before 1934 departmental files set aside for permanent preservation were allocated numbers in one of four preservation series, namely:

  • Preservation 'A' series (1916-1933): The files in this series are departmental files of matters of general policy, including some of a date earlier than 1916 taken over from the Board of Trade. Included in this series are 'Industrial Relations' files (formerly Preservation Series 'I.R.') for the period 1918 to 1933, which relate to conciliation machinery, arbitration awards, the Industrial Court and similar subjects.
  • Preservation 'B' series (1912-1933): The files in this series are classified under two sub-series: (1) 'General' sub-series files (1912-1917, with a few papers earlier than 1912) relating to labour exchanges, casual employment schemes, committees, tribunals and general employment policy; and (2) 'T.B.I.' sub-series files (1922-1933) relating to the Trade Boards Inspectorate, investigations and prosecutions.
  • Preservation 'C' series (1922-1933): The files in this series are Establishment Branch papers.
  • Preservation 'E' (OTB) series (1932-1933): The files in this series are papers relating to the Office of Trade Boards.

A file placed into a preservation series was allocated a number. The number consisted of the series lettercode, A, B, C, D etc. followed by a running number, 1, 2, 3 etc. followed by the year it was assigned to the preservation series, e.g. A132/1916. The number is now given in the former reference (Department) field for each item. It is worth noting the following:

  • further files on the same subject were allocated the same number
  • the date given as part of the number is the date that the first file on that subject was assigned to the preservation series, not necessarily the date of that file or any subsequent files on the same subject given the same number
  • Given all the above, it is worth entering the preservation number of a relevant file (found in the former reference (Department) field) into the Go to Reference box as this may bring up other items with the same preservation number (and therefore on the same subject)

Related material:

All files are listed on the Catalogue but nominal and subject docket book indexes to the correspondence are in LAB 7

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Creator:

Board of Trade, 1786-1970

Ministry of Labour, 1916-1939

Ministry of Labour and National Service, 1939-1959

Physical description: 2191 boxes and files
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Accruals: Series is not accruing.

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