Catalogue description War Trade Department, Trade Clearing House, and Ministry of Blockade, War Trade Intelligence Department and Finance Section: Papers

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Details of FO 902
Reference: FO 902
Title: War Trade Department, Trade Clearing House, and Ministry of Blockade, War Trade Intelligence Department and Finance Section: Papers
Description:

This series contains weekly bulletins of the War Trade Intelligence Department of the War Trade Department and the Ministry of Blockade, some papers of the Ministry's Finance Section, and a series of printed summaries of blockade information.

Date: 1915-1919
Related material:

Further records of the Trade Clearing House and the War Trade Intelligence Department are in BT 73

For further records of the War Trade Intelligence Department see TS 14

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Creator:

Ministry of Blockade, Finance Section, 1916-1919

Ministry of Blockade, War Trade Intelligence Department, 1916-1919

War Trade Department, Trade Clearing House, 1915-1916

Physical description: 41 volume(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

The War Trade Intelligence Department was established on 1 February, 1915, as the Intelligence Branch of the War Trade Department under the title of the "Trade Clearing House". It acted at the same time as a Clearing House for all forms of Intelligence on War Trade available in the various Government Departments.

Early in 1916, when Lord Robert Cecil was appointed Minister of Blockade, the Clearing House became the Intelligence Department of the new Ministry, its name being changed to the "War Trade Intelligence Department," which title it retained until its dissolution on 31 October, 1919.

Early in 1918, the Department was for administrative purposes attached to the new Department of Overseas Trade, though still retaining its official connexion with the Ministry of Blockade.

Its functions were twofold:

  • As a clearing house, it collected, collated and distributed information received from every possible source.
  • As an Intelligence Department, it had to study every kind of War Trade problem, questions affecting the policy and operations of the Blockade, and economic resources, conditions and developments in various parts of the world.

The information received included:-

  • Reports and other communications from Government Departments
  • Intercepted communications obtained through the Censors.
  • Articles in the Foreign Press
  • Communications form British Traders and other similar material
This information was critically examined, collated and issued to the Departments interested, in the form of Reports on firms, cargoes and commodities, memoranda for the Contraband and Black List Committees, and in publications such as Daily Notes from the Foreign Press, Who's Who in War Trade, Transit Letter Bulletin, Secret Weekly Bulletin, Summary of Blockade Intelligence and economic sections of the Peace Conference Handbooks.

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