Catalogue descriptionRecords of Divisional Offices
Details of Division within MAF
Division within MAF
Records of Divisional Offices
Records of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF)'s divisional offices, covering local areas. The files include those dealing with improvement of land, returning airfields to agricultural use, safeguarding commoners rights, opencast coal mining and many other topics of local significance, together with representative files illustrating the divisional offices' work.
In 1954 the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Sir Arton Wilson to review the provincial and local organisation and work of the ministry and also, in view of the impending amalgamation of the two departments, that of the Ministry of Food. The committee reported in 1956 and recommended that the existing sixty county units should be replaced by about thirty-five to forty divisional offices covering one or more counties each and providing approximately optimum and equal workloads. These divisional offices were grouped together and administered by the relevant regional office. Later reorganisations at the local level resulted in the creation of 25 divisional offices in England and five in Wales. Counties which contained no divisional office had an area office, while larger counties had area offices as well as a divisional office.
The executive, field and clerical staff were headed by a Divisional Executive Officer (DEO) responsible to the regional controller for administering the various agricultural grants and subsidies dealt with locally. The DEO was also the Chief Officer of the County Agricultural Executive Committee (CAEC) in his division and supplied the committee with all the information necessary to discharge its functions. The CAECs were established under the Agriculture Act 1947, and were abolished by the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1972. These were later replaced by seven Regional Panels in England and two in Wales.
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