Records of the Midwives' Salaries Committee of the Royal College of Midwives

Archive Unit

Scope and Content

This collection comprises minutes, correspondence and reports of the Midwives' Panel of the Midwives' Salaries Committee held at the Royal College of Midwives (formally known as the Midwives Institute) (1941-1947), relating to the status of the midwifery profession, as well as the salaries and conditions of service, including working hours, length of holidays and pensions of midwives in England, Wales and Scotland, interspersed throughout with copies of minutes of the Nurse' Salaries Committee.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Midwives' Salaries Committee, under the chairmanship of Lord Rushcliffe, was established as although more midwives were being trained, many were choosing not to practise as salaries and conditions were so poor during the first half of the twentieth century.

The first meeting of the Midwives' Salaries Committee, which worked concurrently with the Nurses' Salaries Committee was subsequently held on 3 June 1942 at the offices of the Ministry of Health. It was attended by representatives from the Royal College of Midwives (formally known as the Midwives Institute), as well as the following professional bodies: the Association of Municipal Corporations, the British Hospital Association, the County Council Association, London County Council, Queen’s Institute of District Nursing, the Association of Supervisors of Midwives, the National Association of Local Government Officers, the Royal College of Nursing and the Trades Union Congress.

The terms of reference were to 'as speedily as possible agree scales of salaries and conditions of service', including hours of work, length of holidays and pensions, for registered midwives who worked in hospitals and maternity homes as well as domiciliary midwives, and also non-medical supervisors of midwives and midwifery students.

It was decided that representatives of midwives and the representatives of employers would meet separately as panels, each appointing one chair and one secretary. Florence R. Mitchell, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives was elected as the Secretary of the Midwives' Panel. The Midwives' Panel (or Employees') went on to formulate proposals that were then considered by the Employers' Panel. In turn the Employers' Panel either accepted or put forward alternative proposals.


The original order of material is retained, although where this is not possible the arrangement of files has been based on the functions and activities of the organisation as well as chronology, subject and the needs of users.

Conditions Governing Access

Permission is required for external access to records less than twenty years old. Also restrictions apply if material includes personal information of living individuals. All other records are open to research by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. For further information about accessing the collection and visiting the reading room, please contact:

Acquisition Information

There is no record of the source or date of acquisition before this material was deposited under the terms of a collection care agreement at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in May 2011.


Catalogued by Clare Sexton, Project Archivist in accordance with ISAD(G).

Other Finding Aids

Further details of the contents of this collection are available on request.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright belongs to the Royal College of Midwives. To reproduce this material, please apply via the College Archivist:

Custodial History

This collection was previously held at the Royal College of Midwives.