Catalogue description War Cabinet and Cabinet: Radio Board and successors: Minutes and Papers

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of CAB 125
Reference: CAB 125
Title: War Cabinet and Cabinet: Radio Board and successors: Minutes and Papers

This series contains Lord Justice du Parcq's inquiry into inter-service radio co-operation; minutes and papers of the Radio Board (in its various guises) and various sub-committees and panels appointed by the Board; correspondence files of the Secretary of the Board; and the Report by Lord Strang into Military and Civil Operational Use and Control of Radio in War.

Date: 1941-1957

Subject and chronological

Related material:

For papers of the Royal Radar Establishment see AVIA 7

For papers of Sir Robert Watson-Watt, deputy chairman of the Radio Board see AVIA 10

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

Cabinet, Frequency Committee, 1951-1952

Cabinet, Operations and Technical Radio Committee, 1942-1946

Cabinet, Radar Board, 1945-

Cabinet, Radio and Cable Board, 1946-1951

Cabinet, Radio Board, 1942-1945

War Cabinet, Operations and Technical Radio Committee, 1945-

War Cabinet, Radar Board, 1940-

War Cabinet, Radio Board, 1942-1945

War Cabinet, Radio Direction Finding Board, 1940-

Physical description: 195 file(s)
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1975 Cabinet Office

Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

Following representations by a number of Members of Parliament on the state of inter-service wireless co-ordination and the supply of wireless components, Clement Attlee (the Deputy Prime Minster) invited Lord Justice du Parcq to hold an independent inquiry to determine whether there was full co-ordination between the armed services on communication on the battlefield and whether the production and supply situation was satisfactory [see CAB 118/77: letter from Clement Attlee to Lord Justice du Parcq dated 2 May 1942]. At the same time, an inquiry was to be made by the Minister of Production to determine priorities for radio production. In his report [see CAB 66/27 (WP(42)352) and CAB 125/109], Lord Justice du Parcq endorsed the Minister of Production's proposal for the establishment of a Radio Board, which was then set-up on 22 September 1942 [see CAB 66/28 (WP(42)415) and CAB 125/109].

The Radio Board took over the functions of the Radio Policy Sub-committee of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, which was merged with the Board, and was to be responsible generally to the Minster of Production and to the Chiefs of Staff Committee on matters of service policy. The chair was to be Colonel J J Llewellin (Minister of Aircraft Production), with representatives from the Admiralty, War Office, Air Ministry, Ministry of Supply, Ministry of Aircraft Production, and the General Post Office (GPO). It was to be a committee of the Cabinet, with secretariat provided by the Air Ministry. The Board was to be responsible for a co-ordinated policy of development, production and research, to promote standardisation of equipment and to act as the channel of communication with the Dominion and Allied governments [see CAB 125/109]. Much of the work of the Board was to be carried out by two main working committees: the Production, Planning and Personnel Committee [see CAB 125/28], and the Operations and Technical Radio Committee [see CAB 125/11], supported by numerous sub-committees and panels.

In October 1945, the Woking Party on a Proposed Radio and Cable Board was appointed [see CAB 125/6] and recommended that the Radio Board and the Imperial Communications Committee should be replaced by a single Cabinet committee to be called the Radio and Cable Board. A further working party [see CAB 125/7] met in October 1946 to discuss proposals for the reorganisation of all inter-departmental committees on radio and signalling.

The Radio and Cable Board, chaired by Sir Stafford Cripps (President of the Board of Trade), held its first meeting on 9 October 1946 [see CAB 125/8], and acted as a co-ordinating committee supported by three main committees: the Research, Development and Production (Radio and Cable) Committee, with secretariat provided by the Ministry of Supply; the Services (Operational) Radio and Cable Committee, with secretariat provided in rotation by the Service departments; and the Civilian Communications Committee, with secretariat provided by the GPO. Its terms of reference were similar to those of the Radio Board and were extended to include cables and visual signalling.

In December 1949, a working party was set-up to review the arrangements for inter-departmental co-ordination of radio and cable activities and its report [see CAB 129/46 (CP(51)157)] recommended that the Radio and Cable Board should be dissolved and the Frequency Committee be set-up.

The Frequency Committee first met in August 1951 [see CAB 125/10]. Its terms of reference were to formulate the policy governing the regulation of radio frequency usage and the planning and allocation of frequencies.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research