MT 39/1

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IMPROVEMENT AND NEW CONSTRUCTION: War Cabinet and Treasury £10,000,000 Road and Bridge Programme

Date range1918-1920
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 39

Context

This file covers the efforts made immediately after the end of the First World War to find work for demobbed soldiers. Huge numbers of men had to be returned to work as they came back from Europe, and there was a concerted effort made to ensure that there was gainful employment for them. As part of that effort, it was decided that more than 150,000 ex-soldiers would be absorbed by local authorities to do road work, catching up on the maintenance backlog that had built up during the war, and for that reason the Road Board was set to get a large amount of money from the government to pay for all that work.

What's here is, in the main, administrative detail from the Road Board's point of view, enquiring of county councils and boroughs across Britain and Ireland how much work they had to do, how much could realistically be done with a corps of men, and what money they would need to finance it. There are breakdowns of how much of the funding would go to each council, with new roads costed as "hypothetical" with very round figures for their cost.

There is a long discussion about whether roadbuilding plant that had been taken to France and used during the war would be given to the Road Board for free or whether they would have to pay for it out of their grant.

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.