- Transport papers 1938-1948
- Electrical papers 1929-1948
- Miscellaneous notes and letterbooks 1925-1961
Papers of Sir Alexander Murray Stephen, 1892-1974, Chairman of Alexander Stephen & Sons Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Alexander Murray Stephen , son of F J Stephen and Agnes Renton Young, was born in 1892 into the family which owned Alexander Stephen & Sons , the Clyde based ship building and marine engineering business, Glasgow, Scotland. Alexander Murray Stephen graduated from Cambridge University in 1914 with first class honours in the Mechanical Science Tripos. He survived active service during the First World War. In 1919 he entered the family business and in 1922 he became a director of the company and married Katherine Paton Mitchell, the daughter of Alexander Moncrieff Mitchell, lawyer. In 1932 he succeeded his father as Chairman, a position he held until 1965 . By the time he retired, however, Alexander Stephen & Sons Ltd was in financial trouble. Their shipbuilding assets and activities were transferred to Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) in 1968 although the engineering and ship repairing side of the business remained in family hands until 1976 .
Alexander Murray Stephen , who was knighted in 1946 , had strong interests in the public utilities, such as transport and the provision of electricity within Lanarkshire, Scotland, and the Clyde Valley. His home address in February 1943 was Cleughearn Lodge, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. He was a director of the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Co , incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1901 with a registered office at 206 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. His association with the company spanned at least the years 1934-1948 . He was a director of the Kilmalcolm Electric Lighting Co Ltd from 1930 . He was involved, to some degree, in the Falls of Clyde project and was a director of the Lanarkshire Hydro-electric Power Co , which was closely associated with the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Co , and of the Clyde Valley Accessories Ltd . He was also interested in the provision of public transport, being a shareholder, and from 1947 , a director of the Scottish Motor Traction Co Ltd . In July 1938 , Lord Stamp invite him to become a member of the Scottish Committee of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway Co , one of the four main railway companies operating across Britain at that date. In 1938 , London, Midland & Scottish had a fleet of Clyde steamers, and in 1941 , he became the Chairman of the Steam Vessels sub-committee of the Scottish Committee. In 1943 , he was elected Director and member of the London Board of London, Midland & Scottish Railway Co.
During the Second World War it became clear that the major industries would be facing a challenge once the war ended. Apart from the difficulties of restoring trading patterns and re-establishing production disrupted by the war, there were moves to nationalise some of these industries. In his capacity as Chairman of Alexander Stephen & Sons Ltd and as a member of a number of committees and associations of shipbuilders and owners, Alexander Murray Stephen sought to co-operate with government and plan for the post-war future of the shipbuilding industry. But he clearly deplored the movement towards nationalisation in the various industries with which he was associated. He spoke of the process of nationalisation within the railways and the electricity companies with great regret, maintaining the need for continuing competitiveness and independence. He died in 1974 .
This material is arranged into three series as described in the scope and content note
Deposit : family member : c1975
Other Finding Aids
Digital file level list available in searchroom.
Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)431, pp49-53) and London (NRA13494)
Alternative Form Available
No known copies
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Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents
This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures
This collection consists of two deposits, formerly known as GB 248 UGD 006 and GB 248 UGD 007.
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