War Cabinet, Anti U-Boat Warfare Committee, 1942-1945
War Cabinet, Battle of Atlantic Committee, 1942-1944
Immediate source of acquisition:
Cabinet Office , from 1969
No future accruals expected
Administrative / biographical background:
The Battle of the Atlantic Committee was a specially constituted War Cabinet Committee which evolved out of two ministerial meetings of the Import Executive in February 1941 (the two unnumbered meetings in CAB 86/1), with the first meeting of the Committee being held on 19 March 1941. Initially, the Committee dealt with operational matters, but later began to deal with everything which had a bearing on imports, including protection of convoys, measures for quicker turnaround of ships, ship repairs, and progress with inland sorting depots. From May 1941 it took over many of the functions of the Import Executive, and continued to meet until July 1942.
The Anti U-Boat Warfare Committee was set-up in November 1942 as a series of weekly meetings designed to give the same impulse to anti U-boat warfare as had been applied to the Battle of the Atlantic. The Committee met between November 1942 and July 1945.
Both Committees were prime ministerial military committees, being chaired by Winston Churchill, and both tended to have flexible membership. The Battle of the Atlantic Committee was attended by representatives from the service departments and ministries, and also on occasions by foreign representatives, including those of the US Navy and Air Force, the South African Prime Minister, and in particular by Averell Harriman (President Roosevelt's special envoy in the UK). The Anti U-Boat Warfare Committee comprised various ministers and secretaries of state, including the Minister of Labour, Minister of Food, Minister of Agriculture and Fish, Minister of Supply, Minister of War Transport, the President of the Board of Trade, the Lord Privy Seal, the Secretary of State for Air, and the Secretary for Petroleum.
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