Consumer Council Papers

Scope and Content

The papers comprise minutes and correspondence relating to the Central Classification Committee for Supplementary Rations; fruit, soft & dried; general papers; jam; meat & bacon; sugar; milk production & distribution; national kitchens; potatoes; printed papers, circulated to Consumer Council; rationing; Sub-committee on Reforms.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Consumer Council was established as a consultative body in January 1918 by Lord Rhondda, former Food Controller, in conjunction with his successor, J. R. Clynes, to enlist the co-operation of the organised working classes and the co-operative movement in the gigantic task which lay before the Ministry, [of Food]. Representatives were invited from: Parliamentary Committee of Co-operative Congress, Parliamentary Committee T.U.C., War Emergency Workers National Committee, Standing Joint Committee of Industrial Women's Organisations (SJCIWO). In addition to the bodies listed above, there were three representatives of unorganised consumers on the Consumer Council.

Dr Marion Phillips represented the Standing Joint Committee of Industrial Women's Organisations (SJCIWO) on the Consumer Council, and the eight boxes of Consumer Council papers would appear to be hers. It seems likely that no main group of Consumers Council records has survived amongst the public records (Class MAF.), so that this set, although incomplete, probably has greater significance than merely as the papers of one Council member.

The problems with which the Council had to deal, essentially the control of increasingly scarce foodstuffs, are amongst those with which the Labour movement's War Emergency Workers' National Committee (ref. LP/WNC.) was concerned.


Minutes and Correspondence has been arranged chronologically by topic.

Access Information

Access by appointment. For preservation reasons the microfilm edition will be issued to readers.

Acquisition Information

The date when the Consumer Council papers were given to the Labour Party Library is not known. In 1990 the Labour Party deposited its archive and library at the People's History Museum (formerly National Museum of Labour History) in Manchester. The collection is now held at the Labour History Archive and Study Centre inside the People's History Museum, Manchester.


Collection level description created for the Archives Hub by Janette Martin

Other Finding Aids

Printed lists are available in the archive search room.

Alternative Form Available

The Consumer Council papers are also available on microfilm. Primary Sources Media (Gale Group).

Conditions Governing Use

Standard reprography conditions apply and are available on request from the archive.

Appraisal Information

No appraisal or destruction has taken place.


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

Some other papers of Dr Marion Phillips (Chief Woman Officer of the Labour Party), relating to her Sunderland constituency, are also held at the Labour History Archive and Study Centre (ref. LP/MP).

There is a close relationship between certain parts of the Consumer Council records and War Emergency Workers' National Committee (ref. LP/WNC).

Relevant materials will also be found in the Chief Women's Officers Papers (ref. LP/CWO).