War Cabinet, Survey of Economic and Financial Plans and Central Economic Information Service, 1939-1941
Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:
Treasury , from 1976
Records were transferred from Cabinet Office to Treasury in November 1953
No further accruals expected
Administrative / biographical background:
In November 1939, following a report by Lord Stamp on priority policy, the Interdepartmental Committee on Economic Policy approved proposals for the establishment of a Central Economic Information Service. This unit was to provide Lord Stamp's Survey of Economic and Financial Plans with economic and statistical material on which to base its work.
This unit, formed in December 1939, was a small organisation of economists and statisticians, from the universities, recruited by and forming part of the War Cabinet Office, and later known as the Economic Section. In June 1940 it acquired the new duties of advising ministerial committees dealing with economic and related subjects, providing digests of statistics on various aspects of the war effort and preparing progress reports on the departmental fulfilment of ministerial decisions.
In 1941 the newly created Central Statistical Office took over the statistical work hitherto performed by the Economic Section. The Economic Section remained with the War Cabinet secretariat to prepare such special reports as were required for the Lord President's Committee.
In November 1953 the Economic Section of the Cabinet Office was transferred (without loss of identity or change of duties) to the Treasury. Its Director was given the title of Economic Adviser to the Government. The Economic Advisory Section was staffed by a small group of professional economists charged with the duty of keeping watch on economic developments as a whole (e.g. the general pattern of supply and demand, changes in the disposition of resources of manpower, materials and capital). Their work involved contact with all departments concerned with economic policy and they were in constant and close touch with the Central Economic Planning Staff.
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