Catalogue description Records of Regional Organisation

Details of Division within POWE
Reference: Division within POWE
Title: Records of Regional Organisation

Records relating to the regional organisation of the fuel and power industries, including wartime civil defence controls.

Regional Liaison registered files are in POWE 55, with a selection of files from the Welsh regional office in POWE 73

Date: 1946-1972
Related material:

Records of the same district selling schemes are in COAL 4

Records of solid fuel control and rationing in the northern and Welsh regions and the London regional group are in POWE 3

Some papers on regional coal organisation are in POWE 10

Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Ministry of Fuel and Power, Regional Organisation, 1942-1957

Ministry of Power, Regional Organisation, 1957-1969

Physical description: 2 series
Administrative / biographical background:

By the autumn of 1941 there was some need to co-ordinate the numerous organisations which had been set up in the first two years of the war to handle questions of fuel and power for the purposes of civil defence. Apart from the complex system of local controls set up by the Mines Department, the Petroleum Department had created divisional petroleum officers and regional managers of the Petroleum Board. A number of advisors concerned with gas and electricity were also operating on the civil defence regions. In the autumn of 1941 the President of the Board of Trade, under whose control fuel and power functions were at that time indirectly gathered, created fuel and power controllers in every civil defence region.

This organisation was divided into eight coal-producing and four non-coal-producing regions, all under regional controllers. The newly formed Ministry of Fuel and Power delegated many of its powers to a Regional Control which supervised this system. Each regional controller was endowed with full responsibility for the policy and general conduct of mining operations in his region. In some districts there was one controller for the purposes of coal production and another to cope with other matters. In coal-producing districts the controller was assisted by a regional production director, a regional labour director and a services director. Apart from their responsibilities in relation to coal, the regional controllers generally co-ordinated the work of existing officers and, for the duration of hostilities, organised emergency plans for fuel and power services in the event of an invasion or air attack.

The Ministry of Fuel and Power also took over the central and district selling schemes and the committees of investigation associated with them, which had been established by the Mines Department under the Coal Act 1930. When the coal industry was nationalised in 1946 the functions and property of the selling schemes passed to the National Coal Board. After nationalisation (of not only coal but also gas and electricity) and the ending of wartime controls, the work of the regional organisation became less important. In 1958 coal rationing and domestic price controls ended; the following year the Ministry's regional offices in England and Wales closed. A Scottish and a Welsh office were retained. Responsibility for the Welsh regional office was transferred to the Welsh Office in 1974.

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