Tariff Commission

Scope and Content

Tariff Commission reports and memoranda; agendas and minutes for meetings of the Commission and its committees; evidence presented by witnesses; questionnaires distributed to the industrial and agricultural sectors; indices to the reports and evidence; correspondence received by the Commission; unpublished reports and papers; notes, drafts, rough papers, statistics and lectures arising from the Reports and investigations of the Commission and used as reference material; financial and legal papers; published material other than that produced by the Commission, including books and articles by W A S Hewins; and minute books and financial papers of the Tariff Reform League.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Tariff Commission was an unofficial body set up in 1903 under the auspices of the Tariff Reform League. W A S Hewins (at that time Director of the London School of Economics) was Secretary and Sir Robert Herbert was Chairman, by invitation of Joseph Chamberlain. The aims of the Commission were to examine and report on Chamberlain's proposals for tariff reform and their probable effects on British trade and industries; to suggest the best ways to harmonise the various conflicting interests involved and to work out what import duties should be recommended. The Commission collected extensive data from British business through interviews and questionnaires. It was the intention of the Commission to publish reports on every industry that they investigated and bring these together into a final report that would lay out a full tariff scheme. Seven volumes were published, but lack of funds caused the eventual abandonment of publishing. The Commission was a pioneer in the use of indexing methodology in economic research, but intending users should note that the long interval between the winding up of the Commission's activities and the deposit of its papers has caused significant losses particularly to the indices.


This collection is arranged in 11 sections:
TC1. Publications of the Tariff Commission, 1904-1922.
TC2. Proceedings of the Tariff Commission, 1904-1905.
TC3. Evidence presented to the Commission, 1904-1905.
TC4. Questionnaires and statistical analysis, 1904-1905.
TC5. Indices, nd.
TC6. Correspondence files, 1903-1922.
TC7. Unpublished reports, nd.
TC8. Reference and general working papers, 1846-1931.
TC9. Financial and legal papers, 1904-1925.
TC10. Other publications, 1865-1927.
TC11. Tariff Reform League papers, 1909-1925.

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

Printed handlist available.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on May 29, 2002

Conditions Governing Use