Catalogue description Royal Commission on the Distribution of Incomes and Wealth (Diamond Commission): Records

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Details of BS 7
Reference: BS 7
Title: Royal Commission on the Distribution of Incomes and Wealth (Diamond Commission): Records

Records of the Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth (Diamond Commission).

The series includes copies of the background papers, evidence, agenda, minutes, correspondence, files relating to appointments, finance and commissioned research, and working and domestic files of the commission.

The commission made three reports on specific matters referred to them by the Government; on income from companies and its distribution, on higher incomes from employment, and on lower incomes.The series contains the full list of formal reports:

  • No 1 Initial report on the standing reference (Cmnd. 6171), HMSO, 1975
  • No 2 Income from companies and its distribution (Cmnd. 6172), HMSO, 1975
  • No 3 Higher incomes from employment (Cmnd. 6383), HMSO, 1976
  • No 4 Second report on the standing reference (Cmnd. 6626), HMSO, 1976
  • No 5 Third report on the standing reference (Cmnd. 6999), HMSO, 1977
  • No 6 Lower income (Cmnd. 7175), HMSO, 1978
  • No 7 Fourth report on the standing reference (Cmnd. 7595), HMSO, 1979
  • No 8 Fifth report on the standing reference (Cmnd. 7679), HMSO, 1979

Other publications include four volumes of selected evidence, eight technical background papers, and finally 'An A to Z of income and wealth', a short illustrated summary of the commission's main findings.

Date: 1974-1980
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Royal Commission on the Distribution of Incomes and Wealth, 1974-1979

Physical description: 697 file(s)
Access conditions: Open
Administrative / biographical background:

The Royal Commission on the Distribution of Incomes and Wealth (Diamond Commission) was set up in August 1974 and its members appointed by Royal Warrant under the chairmanship of Lord Diamond 'to enquire into, and report on, such matters concerning the distribution of personal incomes, both earned and unearned, and wealth, as may be referred to it by the Government'. It was dissolved by Royal Warrant of 12 July 1979, following a decision announced by Mr Prior, Secretary of State for Employment, in the House of Commons on 11 June.

The terms of the standing reference on the distribution of income and wealth, on which five reports were presented between 1975 and 1979, were as follows:

'To help to secure a fairer distribution of income and wealth in the community there is a need for a thorough and comprehensive enquiry into the existing distribution of income and wealth. There is also a need for a study of past trends in that distribution and for regular assessments of the subsequent changes.

The Government therefore ask the Commission to undertake an analysis of the current distribution of personal income and wealth and of available information on past trends in their distribution and would welcome an initial report on this as early as possible during the first year of the Commission's operation, and subsequent reports from time to time.

These reports should cover personal incomes at all levels; earned income of all kinds (including fringe and non-monetary benefits); unearned income of all kinds; capital gains, and all forms of personal wealth. They should take into account the incidence of taxation and any other factor which the Commission may consider relevant.

The Commission are invited to consult with the Government Statistical Service on any changes in the official collection of statistics which would help them in their task'.

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