National Archives 2012-02-23

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Arrived at National Archives at 12.25 PM. They found T 162/660, which I had requested two weeks ago and which has only just now turned up.

T 162/660

This is a Treasury establishment file, consisting of a box with seven tagged files within. Aside from a misfiled Admiralty file, these all concern appointments at the Ministry of Transport and have covering dates from about 1920 to about 1943. Five of the six Ministry files concern the appointments of specific engineers (whose CVs are described in some detail in some of the correspondence) as well as the grades and levels of pay the Treasury would authorize. It appears that an engineer in upper middle-level management within the Roads Department of the Ministry of Transport could expect around £400 to £650 in salary plus allowances. These various files are photographable only to the extent that they contain CVs and career descriptions of engineers who figure prominently in MT files. This material will be photographed now so that this box can be sent back to the repositories--I suspect it was held back because there was no room for it in the cubbyhole with the RAIL 418 bound minutes and other bulky materials.

A significant proportion of the correspondence in the first Ministry file deals with H.E. Aldington, who was retained in 1924 on a temporary basis to carry out a survey of the roads in Inverness-shire. The Treasury resisted his appointment on the basis that such a survey should be the financial responsibility of Inverness council, but eventually caved. Aldington was paid £1000 (annualized) with no ability to claim subsistence, but later claimed for (and got) reimbursement for lodging for overnight trips to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and other cities, on the basis of 25/- per night.

Question: what was a "Whitley committee"? Every department seems to have had one. (Checked--Wikipedia knows.)

There is more material on Aldington on E.9774 (Treasury file reference--interwar registry coding). It will be worth searching under this, though the files may possibly not have been preserved. Now searched; not found. It may not be in the catalogue at all if it is a letter number rather than a file code (but I don't think this is actually the case).

T 228/556

Omitted from photography--an early day motion on road modernization (proposed by G.A. Partiger, MP for Southall), 1953-11-27. "Commitments" charts in this file (consisting of listings down to program and scheme level, on very large sheets of paper) are being left generally unphotographed because detailed analysis is unlikely to be undertaken in the future. It is noted here, however, that they are there. Alan Lennox-Boyd's funding announcement of 1953-12-08 is also not photographed, as is another Hansard extract from 1953-12-18.