The Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners' Association, Papers

Scope and Content

Papers created by or concerning the The Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners' Association kept on file by the National Coal Board. The material relates to areas such as wages, scientific research, meetings, legal proceedings and regulation of the coal industry. Also includes a set of press digests covering the period immediately before the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners' Association was guided and managed by a group of officers, comprising a Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the Association and each of its three districts, Chairmen for the Sliding Scale and Finance Committees, and a Solicitor, as well as a succession of Secretaries including Alexander Dalziel (1874-1884), W. Gascoyne Dalziel (1884-1916), Finlay A. Gibson (1916-1946) and Iestyn R. Williams (1947-1950). The Association's activities were overseen by committees (Joint Sliding Scale Committee, Finance Committee, Conciliation Board, District Boards, Commercial Committee, Disputes Committee and Coal Cutters and Conveyers Committee, among others), and its members were organised into three districts: Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. While the workers formed trade unions, the Association represented the owners of the mines. Its main purpose was the presentation of a common front in their dealings with the miners and their labour issues, achieving higher productivity, and opposing wage increases. The Association established the Sliding Scale, a system which regulated wages across the industry, based on the selling price of coal; the administration of this scheme resulted in a large body of casework arising from disputes between members. The Association fiercely opposed the introduction of safety legislation, reductions in working hours, and recognition of trade unions, and was involved in a series of labour disputes arising from these issues. The Association also represented the coal owners in responding to proposed legislation and in court cases arising from disputes. With the nationalisation of the industry in 1947, the Association gradually came to an end, remaining active until 1955. [Source: National Library of Wales, Catalogue, Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association Records, MSWION.]


An artificial arrangement has been imposed on this series.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the National Coal Board between 1957 and 1982 and by the British Coal Corporation in 1991.

Custodial History

This series is made up of material deposited by the National Coal Board and the British Coal Corporation. This series has been brought together from the following accessions: DNCB/16 (acc. no: U1957/1078), DNCB/17 (acc. no: U1957/1117), DNCB/26/R568 (acc. no: U1968/2448) , DNCB/32 (acc. no: 1978/17), DNCB/36 (acc. no: 1982/132) and 1991/548. The previous reference number for each item is listed in its individual catalogue entry.

Related Material

Related material is held at the National Library of Wales, see collection reference MSWION, Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association Records.