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Trades Advisory Council

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0103 TAC
Held at: University College London
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Full title: Trades Advisory Council
Date(s): 1936-1983
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 27 volumes, 14 box files, 4 loose pamphlets
Name of creator(s): Board of Deputies of British Jews | Defence Committee | Trades Advisory Council
Trades Advisory Council of British Jewry
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

In order to try and counter the activities of the British Union of Fascists and other bodies in the 1930s, in 1936 the Board of Deputies of British Jews, representing the Anglo-Jewish community, created a Co-ordinating Committee (for defence measures), which became the Defence Committee, concerning itself with social, political and economic matters in which anti-Semitism played a part. As well as addressing defamatory statements, its work included investigating periodic complaints about economic discrimination. In 1938 an ad hoc committee, known as the Trades Advisory Council, was set up to advise the Defence Committee on trade practices and related matters. It met infrequently until the outbreak of war in 1939. In 1940 it was reconstituted and a Secretariat appointed. It continued as an ad hoc committee, but in 1941 adopted a constitution as a democratic organisation based on a membership encompassing Jewish traders, industrialists and professional men. This Trades Advisory Council of British Jewry, generally known as the Trades Advisory Council (TAC), continued under the auspices of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The TAC aimed to strengthen goodwill in industry and commerce and to maintain standards of commercial integrity, and dealt with all questions involving Jews in trade and industry, concerning itself especially with removing the causes of friction between Jewish and non-Jewish manufacturers, merchants and traders, and also with relations between employer and employees, labour conditions and opportunities, refugees, discrimination against Jews by employers, insurance companies or trade organisations, and irregularities and complaints involving Jews and non-Jews, including misrepresentation in trade advertisements and defamatory statements in newspapers. It collected and disseminated information, studied legislation and administrative measures affecting its concerns, liaised with other trade organisations, and arbitrated in commercial disputes where one or both parties were Jews. The TAC comprised a Secretariat; a National Administrative Council and Area Councils; Sections for various trades; and Committees including Statistical, Financial, Membership, Disciplinary, and Refugee Traders. It had premises initially at 148 Leadenhall Street, London, and later its head office was at 280 Euston Road, London NW1. From 1940 its General Secretary was the Labour politician Maurice Orbach.


Scope and content/abstract:

Archives, 1936-1983, of the Trades Advisory Council (TAC), comprising papers created by the organisation and also much printed material relating to its concerns collected by it, some of which countered its aims and objectives, for example anti-Semitic literature, but some in sympathy with them, for example anti-fascist literature. The collection includes volumes of minutes of the National Executive Council, 1943-1978, Textile Industry, Drapery and Fashion Trade Section, 1941-1951, Fur Trade Section, 1941-1951, Insurance Section, 1942-1950, Publications and Editorial Committee, 1945-1949, Investigations Committee, 1945-1949, Finance and General Purpose Committee, 1945-1960, London Administrative Committee, 1941-1952, and Glasgow Branch, 1943-1949; file on the Labour Relations Advisory and Conciliation Committee, 1945, including loose typescript minutes and correspondence; volume of printed material, 1940-1949, on the establishment, policies and work of the TAC, including its constitution, publicity material and reports; file on food traders, 1941-1948, including correspondence and other papers on cases investigated; copy of the printed TAC constitution [1945]; file of Secretariat Instruction Memoranda, containing typescripts dating from 1947 on the organisation, membership and activities of the TAC, including 'The Trades Advisory Council: What It Is and Its History' (1947); file of papers of the Sub-Committee on Prejudice and Discrimination, dating from the 1940s to the 1960s, including cuttings and correspondence on discrimination against Jews in the economic sphere and on fascism, mainly relating to Britain but also referring to the issues in other countries including the USA; file of typescript TAC circulars, 1963-1977, reporting on its activities; undated case book containing typescripts on Jewish issues, including cases of discrimination against Jews. Material in albums or files collected from various sources, mainly but not exclusively British and including daily newspapers, the Jewish Chronicle, specialist publications, and some pamphlets, comprises volumes of press cuttings from the British press, 1936-1942 but dating largely from 1937-1938, on fascism in Britain; files of press cuttings and other printed material, 1936-1971 but dating largely from the 1940s to the 1960s, on fascism in Britain, including reports on racist attacks, fascist organisations, anti-Semitism, examples of anti-Jewish literature, and also anti-fascist material and papers relating to the Holocaust; an album of press cuttings, 1940-1948, on the TAC's work and related issues; a file of press cuttings from the British press on Nazi atrocities against the Jews in World War Two, 1943-1945; an album of press cuttings on Stockport relating to the TAC, 1962-1968; file of papers dating from the 1940s containing printed material and some correspondence, pertaining mostly to anti-Semitism, race relations and related issues in the USA, also including some anti-communist literature; file of publications on Jewish affairs, 1962-1969, some by the Institute of Jewish Affairs and the Jewish Chronicle, including events in Israel and Palestine and Arab relations; file including typescript Survey of Anti-Semitic Events, 1981-1982, listing incidents against Jews, and other printed material dating from the 1960s and 1970s relating to anti-Semitism, including examples of anti-Jewish literature; file of printed material on Israel and related matters, 1978-1983, including Arab-Jewish relations. The collection therefore pertains mainly to Britain but includes some material on Jewish affairs overseas; it also extends beyond economic affairs to wider issues.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Certain restrictions apply. The collection is not catalogued and certain restrictions may apply to sections of the collection under data protection legislation. Please contact Special Collections for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner..

Finding aids:


Archival Information

Archival history:

Formerly held with other Jewish collections in the Mocatta Library of University College London.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from the Mocatta Library (subsequently the Jewish Studies Library) of University College London.

Allied Materials

Related material:

London Metropolitan Archives holds records of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, 1830-1995 (Ref: Acc/3121).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: the archives themselves, particularly the TAC constitution and the typescript 'The Trades Advisory Council: What It Is and Its History' (1947); Who's Who; National Register of Archives. Compiled by Rachel Kemsley 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:
Apr 2001, revised Jan 2002

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