Catalogue description Board of Trade and Ministry of Transport and Successor Bodies: Consultative Marine (M, CB, and CM Series) Files

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Details of MT 15
Reference: MT 15
Title: Board of Trade and Ministry of Transport and Successor Bodies: Consultative Marine (M, CB, and CM Series) Files
Description:

This series contains correspondence and other papers of the Marine Survey Service and the Consultative Marine Branch of the Board of Trade and its successors relating to survey and inspection of ships, engines, boilers, wireless, etc., in the interest of safety. Some files contain plans of ships.

Until 1922, the technical papers dealing with survey work were registered in the Marine Department's comprehensive series (M. Files).

PLEASE NOTE: A selection of records within this series are available to download free of charge as part of the Digital Microfilm project.

Date: 1867-1990
Related material:

Board of Trade and successors M series files are in MT 9 and MT 15

Board of Trade Marine Establishment files are in BT 235

Board of Trade and successors Marine Consultative Branch files are in MT 15 and MT 146

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: M, CB, and CM
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Creator:

Board of Trade, Marine Department, 1850-1921

Board of Trade, Mercantile Marine Department, Consultative Marine Branch, 1921-1939

Ministry of Shipping, Mercantile Marine Department, Consultative Marine Branch, 1939-1941

Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Mercantile Marine Department, Consultative Marine Branch, 1953-1959

Ministry of Transport, Mercantile Marine Department, Consultative Marine Branch, 1946-1953

Ministry of War Transport, Mercantile Marine Department, Consultative Marine Branch, 1941-1946

Physical description: 1605 file(s)
Access conditions: Open
Immediate source of acquisition:

Ministry of Transport , from 1965

Administrative / biographical background:

The comprehensive control of ships for which the Ministry of Transport is now responsible, dates from the setting up of the Mercantile Marine Department in the Board of Trade after the passing of the Mercantile Marine Act of 1850. In 1851 the Steam Navigation Act authorised the establishment of the Marine Survey Service, while the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854 introduced new and more stringent features into the Survey of passenger steamships. Except for a short period during the 1914-1918 war, this Marine Survey Service continued to be a part of the Mercantile Marine Department of the Board of Trade until 1940 when first the Ministry of Shipping, later the Ministry of War Transport and finally the Ministry of Transport exercised responsibility for it.

With the industry fast developing as a result of the technical progress of the steam engine and the tendency of vessels to become larger owing to the substitution of iron for wood in their construction, it became necessary to impose higher standards of sea-worthiness and to require more frequent and closer inspections. To meet these needs the Marine Department in 1876 introduced a series of examinations for the appointment of additional surveyors to be based at the principal ports in the United Kingdom to conduct the actual survey of ships. Simultaneously a Consultative Marine Branch comprising specialists in particular fields of ship survey work was created in the Mercantile Marine Department of the Board of Trade.

The Surveyors are now divided into three grades, Engineer, Ship and Nautical. They are primarily concerned with the operation of the "Principal" Act (Merchant Shipping Act, 1894) and its various subsequent amending Acts in so far as these Acts relate to the safety of ships at sea, involving hull construction, machinery and equipment.

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