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British Library of Political and Economic Science

Committee of Inquiry into Statutory Smallholdings


Reference code(s): GB 0097 SMALLHOLDINGS

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: Committee of Inquiry into Statutory Smallholdings

Date(s): 1964-1967

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 12 boxes and map roll

Name of creator(s): Committee of Inquiry into Statutory Smallholdings
Wise | Michael John | b 1918 | geographer


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Committee of Inquiry into Statutory Smallholdings was established by the Ministry of Agriculture in July 1963. Its members were: Professor Michael Wise (chairman), Professor of Geography at the London School of Economics, Alfred W H Allen, General Secretary of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, D Ll Carey Evans, farmer and member of the National Farmers' Union County Executive, Major D J Cowen, land agent, W A Shail, Treasurer of the Metropolitan Borough of Paddington and Hugh T Williams, Vice-Principal and Bursar of the Seale-Hayne Agriculture College, Devon. H W Durrant was appointed as Secretary, D J Palmer as Assistant Secretary and D A Hole as Assessor. The Committee's terms of reference were to report on the working of existing legislation relating to smallholdings provided by County Councils and other smallholdings authorities and to investigate the economic position of smallholdings estates. It was also asked to advise on the future provision that should be made for smallholdings, on the form of future financial support and on the division of administrative responsibility between central and local government or other smallholdings authorities. The Committee's enquiry included an investigation of the origins of smallholdings policies and the results of smallholdings legislation; a study of the financial position of the smallholdings authorities based mainly on questionnaires; a study of the management costs of smallholdings estates; a survey of the social and economic position of smallholders; a study of the geographical distribution of the smallholdings estates; visits to the smallholdings estates of 14 local authorities; a critical review of written and oral evidence submitted.

The Committee's First Report (First Report: Statutory smallholdings provided by local authorities in England and Wales, HMSO, Cmnd 2936, 1966) dealt with statutory smallholdings managed by the County Councils. Their Second Report (Final Report Statutory Smallholdings provided by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, HMSO, Cmnd 3303, 1967) was concerned with the cooperative smallholdings of the Land Settlement Association.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to the Ministry of Agriculture's Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Statutory Smallholdings, 1964-1967, collected by Michael Wise, including papers relating to the appointment of the Committee; papers circulated to members of the Committee by the Secretary; papers prepared by Committee members; written and oral evidence submitted to the Committee by a variety of organisations and individuals; papers written by the Committee commenting on evidence submitted to them; papers relating to the Committee's visits to local authority and Land Settlement Association smallholdings estates around England and Wales; maps and slides relating to the Committee's investigations; copies of legislation relating to smallholdings; pamphlets and other publications relating to smallholdings; press cuttings relating to the Committee's reports. Most of the papers are either carbon or typescript copies, rather than original documents.

Subjects covered include the origins of smallholdings policy; smallholdings legislation; the financial position of smallholdings authorities; the management costs of smallholdings estates; the social and economic position of smallholders; the geographical distribution of smallholdings estates.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The papers are arranged in the following sections:
1. Establishment papers;
2. Secretariat papers;
3. Chairman's papers;
4. Members' papers;
5. Evidence;
6. Notes and comments on evidence submitted;
7. Visits;
8. Meetings;
9. Publications;
10. Maps and slides;
11. Reports;
12. Miscellaneous.

This arrangement is based on the original file series, as indicated by file titles and reference numbers. Files and papers which did not fit into any of the original sections have either been added into appropriate existing series or grouped together to form new sections.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Most items can be photocopied, subject to handling and copyright restrictions. No material may be published without the prior permission of both the copyright holder and the Library. All applications for publication must be made to the Archivist in the first instance, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue available from Archives staff.



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by Professor Michael Wise


Related material:

Publication note:


Archivist's note: Sources: Copied from LSE Archives CALM database by Anna Towlson.

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: Feb 2008

Economic history | Economics
Land use
Social policy

Personal names

Corporate names
Committee of Inquiry into Statutory Smallholdings
Ministry of Agriculture