from 2013 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Selection and destruction information:
3.1.4 Regulation and support of economic activity by government, including
industry, services, agriculture, transport, energy, trade, and employment and
This series is not accruing.
Administrative / biographical background:
The post of government chemist was created, responsible to the chancellor of the Exchequer as minister, and the laboratory was constituted as a separate Government Chemist's Department under the Treasury, though it was still frequently referred to as the Government Laboratory. The government chemist acquired statutory functions as an analyst or as a referee in cases of disputed analysis under such legislation as the Food and Drugs Acts and acts concerned with the use of chemically dangerous materials at work. Its headquarters were in central London, but it also maintained either a branch laboratory or a chemical station in a number of major ports.
The laboratory ceased to be a separate department in July 1959 when, following the recommendations of a committee under Sir Patrick Linstead, it was transferred to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research as the Laboratory of the Government Chemist. It later passed under the control of the Ministry of Technology in 1965, of the Department of Trade and Industry in 1970, of the Department of Industry in 1974 and the second Department of Trade and Industry in 1983, becoming an executive agency in 1989. The modern laboratory of the Government Chemist provided analytical, investigatory, and advisory services and policy support to government departments, public institutions, local authorities and other organisations. These services were concerned with revenue protection environmental protection, public health and consumer protection. The Laboratory also carried out research and development programmes for government and industry.
The Government Chemist continued to hold statutory functions as official referee analyst under various acts of Parliament, and co-ordinated government activity in analytical science.
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