The Technical Personnel Committee was set up by the Minister of Labour, Alfred Robens, in July 1951, and was a re-constitution of a committee of the same name that had dealt with questions of scientific and technical manpower during and immediately after World War II. Like its predecessor, the Committee was chaired by Lord Hankey. Solly Zuckerman was nominated to the Committee's membership by the Lord President of the Council.
The Committee's terms of reference were:To consider, make recommendations and deal with questions relating to the home and overseas demand for the available supply of scientific and technical personnel of professional or approximately professional standards, including the making of recommendations on its economic use and the need for increasing the available supply. In connection with the overseas demand for such personnel; (a) To make recommendations upon appropriate steps to promote the recruitment from the United Kingdom of persons required to assist the economic development of under-developed countries.(b) To consider any special steps which are required to provide opportunities for training in the United Kingdom of persons from under-developed countries.