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British Library of Political and Economic Science

PLANT, Sir Arnold, 1898-1978, Knight, Professor, economist


Reference code(s): GB 0097 PLANT

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: PLANT, Sir Arnold, 1898-1978, Knight, Professor, economist

Date(s): 1918-1972

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 116 boxes

Name of creator(s): Plant | Sir | Arnold | 1898-1978 | Knight | Professor | economist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1898; educated Strand School and London School of Economics and Political Science; Gerstenberg Scholar in Economics and Political Science, 1921; previously a manager in the engineering industry; Professor of Commerce and Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, 1924-1930; Professor of Commerce, LSE, 1930-1965; Knight, 1947; Vice-President of the Council, Royal Economic Society; Member, Cinematograph Films Council, 1938-1969; Chairman, Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, 1955-1967; Chairman, Advertising Standards Authority, 1962-1965; Chairman, Colonial Social Science Research Council, 1955-1962; Member, Overseas Research Council, 1959-1964; Organiser for Ministry of Information, and first Director of Wartime Social Survey, 1940; Chairman, National Service Deferment Committee for the Cinematograph Industry, Ministry of Labour, 1942-1945; temporary civil servant, 1940-1946, as Adviser to Ministerial Chairman of Interdepartmental Materials Committee and Central Priority Committee under Production Council (1940), Production Executive (1941), Ministry of Production (1942-1945), and on special duties in Cabinet Office, 1945-1946; Member, Board of Trade Committee on a Central Institute of Management, 1945-1946; Member, Ministry of Works Committee on Distribution of Building Materials, 1946; Member, Ministry of Education Committee on Commercial Education, 1946; Member, Board of Trade Committee on Film Distribution, 1949 (Chairman); Member, Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission, 1953-1956; Chairman, Ministry of Agriculture Committee on Fowl Pest Policy, 1960-1962; retired 1965; died 1978.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Professor Sir Arnold Plant, 1918-1972, comprising the following: Papers concerning Plant's education, 1919-1923, mainly comprising lecture notes taken during his studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and examination papers for the London BCommerce. Material concerning Plant's teaching career, 1918-1969, notably at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1918-1931, including lecture notes on subjects including banking, economics and statistics, notes for the Commerce degree, and correspondence from former students relating to their professional work; papers relating to the LSE, 1928-1969, notably Plant's work in the Department of Business Administration, including administrative papers, lists of students, seminars and test results, material concerning the teaching of the Commerce degree including lecture notes and examination papers, papers concerning research projects, research material into higher education training for business and management, and material concerning the formation of a Central Institute of Management; minutes, correspondence and papers of the Commerce Degree Bureau, 1937-1972; material concerning the University of London Council for External Students, 1961-1972, including reports, minutes and papers. Material concerning lectures, writings and publications, 1924-1964, notably working papers and drafts for talks on various subjects including patent law, modern industry, copyright of publications, transport economics, marketing and economic conditions in South Africa; background material, notes and drafts for BBC broadcasts, 1931-1961, notably on pay as you view television, trade and industry and South Africa; correspondence, drafts, notes and offprints of various published articles, lectures and reports, 1925-1964, mainly relating to commerce and business, copyright and nuclear energy. Correspondence, 1921-1972, mainly relating to the teaching of business and commerce, with correspondents including Sir John Carruthers Beattie, Sir William Henry Beveridge, Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders, Sir Henry Clay, William Harold Hutt, Eric Anderson Walker, Professor Lilian Knowles, Professor Lionel Robbins and Professor Richard Henry Tawney. Personal material, 1950-1972, concerning employment, salary, pensions and stays in hospital. Papers concerning Plant's work on the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission, 1948-1959, comprising memoranda, reports, minutes and agenda, evidence and correspondence relating to electrical machinery, industrial gases, linoleum, copper semis, tea, tyres, timber, calico printing, electric batteries, radio valves and street lighting, as well as general reference materials, press cuttings, and correspondence concerning membership of the Commission. Material concerning Plant's work on the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAD), 1954-1967, including minutes, reports and papers of the Council, 1950-1967; minutes and working papers of the Industrial Diseases Sub-Committee, 1955-1967, especially concerning byssinosis, teeth erosion, lung cancer, vibration syndrome (Raynaud's Syndrome), industrial deafness, cadmium poisoning and respiratory diseases; papers of the Industrial Health Advisory Committee (Ministry of Labour), 1955-1966; Secretary's correspondence with Plant, 1966-1968; general IIAC correspondence, 1954-1959, mainly relating to meetings and expert opinion on industrial health. Papers concerning Plant's work on the Cinematograph Films Council, 1938-1968, including minutes, agenda and working papers of the Council, 1938-1968; material relating to the Committee on Film Distribution and Exhibition (Portal Committee), 1943-1949, including minutes and working papers, evidence, reports and drafts of the final report; papers relating to the Plant Report into Distribution and Exhibition of Cinematograph Films, 1945-1951, including press cuttings, parliamentary reports, and expert views; correspondence and papers, 1946-1965, including letters from Sir (Alexander) Frederick Whyte and J(oseph) Arthur Rank; papers of the Advisory Committee on Amendments to Cinematograph Films Acts, 1957-1958; minutes of the Structure and Trading Practices Sub-Committee, 1962-1963. Material concerning Plant's work on other committees, societies and bodies, 1932-1972, notably minutes, reports, bulletins and research papers of the London and Cambridge Economic Service, 1932-1966; papers relating to the Council for National Academic Awards, 1964-1968, including minutes and working papers, minutes of the Arts and Social Studies Committee and the Economics and Business Studies Board, and applications for recognition from higher education institutions; reports, minutes and correspondence relating to the Advertising Standards Authority, 1962-1967; papers of the Naval Education Advisory Committee, 1946-1970, notably course outlines, minutes and reports; annual reports and publication notices of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, 1966-1971; correspondence, circulars and Council minutes of the Royal Economic Society, 1970-1972; reports, press cuttings and correspondence of the Committee on Fowl Pest Policy, 1962-1964; and minutes and working papers of the Board of Management of Athlone Press, 1969-1972.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The collection is arranged in sections as outlined in the Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Apply to Archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright retained by donor and their heirs.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Listing in progress. Interim handlist and on-line catalogue available.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Given by the family in 1989.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The British Library of Political and Economic Science also holds material relating to Arnold Plant in the papers of Professor Edwin Cannan (Ref: Cannan/1029-30, 33); Professor James Edward Meade (Ref: Meade 16/2), the Royal Economic Society (Ref: RES 5/2/1, 16/10, 13, 14, 18, 17/13); Professor Morris Ginsberg (Ref: Ginsberg 1/5), Colonial Research (Ref: Colonial Research) and the LSE (Ref: LSE Small Deposits 12 and Unregistered School files 25/6/78). Plant also deposited papers relating to operating costs of department stores (Ref: Coll Misc 0330).

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science Archives catalogue. Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996). Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2001

Business management | Management
Film industry | Cinema
Monopolies | Economic integration | Economic cooperation | Economic policy
Occupational diseases | Diseases | Pathology
Surgery | Medical sciences
Industrial economics

Personal names
Beattie | Sir | John Carruthers | 1866-1946 | Knight | physicist
Beveridge | William Henry | 1879-1963 | 1st Baron Beveridge of Tuggall | economist x Beveridge of Tuggall | 1st Baron
Clay | Sir | Henry | 1883-1954 | Knight | economist
Hutt | William Harold | 1899-1988 | Professor | economist
Knowles | Lilian Charlotte Anne | 1870-1926 | née Tomn | economic historian x Tomn | Lilian Charlotte Anne
Plant | Sir | Arnold | 1898-1978 | Knight | Professor | economist
Rank | Joseph Arthur | 1888-1972 | 1st Baron Rank | English film magnate x Rank | 1st Baron
Robbins | Lionel Charles | 1898-1984 | Baron Robbins of Clare Market | Professor | economist x Robbins of Clare Market | Baron
Saunders | Sir | Alexander Morris | Carr- | 1886-1966 | Knight | economist and educationist x Carr-Saunders | Sir | Alexander Morris
Tawney | Richard Henry | 1880-1962 | historian
Walker | Eric Anderson | 1886-1976 | historian
Whyte | Sir | Alexander Frederick | 1883-1970 | Knight | politician and diplomat

Corporate names
Advertising Standards Authority
Athlone Press
BBC | British Broadcasting Corporation x British Broadcasting Corporation
Cinematograph Films Council
CNAA | Council for National Academic Awards x Council for National Academic Awards
Committee on Film Distribution and Exhibition (Portal Committee)
Committee on Fowl Pest Policy
Industrial Injuries Advisory Council | Industrial Diseases Sub-Committee
London and Cambridge Economic Society
LSE | London School of Economics and Political Science x London School of Economics and Political Science
Ministry of Labour | Industrial Health Advisory Committee
Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission
National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Naval Education Advisory Committee
Royal Economic Society
University of Cape Town | South Africa x Cape Town University
University of London | Council for External Students

South Africa | Southern Africa
Western Europe | Europe