Shipowners' Parliamentary Committee

Scope and Content

The archive has two main series. The first includes a copy of the SPC constitution, along with 6 other bound volumes of minutes, 1893-1945, and a volume of annual reports, 1893-1919. Several files of correspondence and other material were found inside the 1893-1941 minute book. Under Correspondence, there is a volume of SPC circulars, 1927.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Shipowners' Parliamentary Committee (SPC) was founded in 1893. Its main aim was as a pressure group, representing the rights of the Shipowners' Association of Great Britain and Ireland, and ensuring that any legislation affecting their interests was closely monitored. Members of the SPC were taken from the Shipping Federation, the Chamber of Shipping, the Liverpool Steam Ship Owners' Association, and other local shipowners' bodies, and were elected annually. The SPC was, at its inception, the only body at which the three main industry organisations could meet on common ground. Regular meetings and Annual Meetings took place at the Chamber's offices in London.

During the 1940s, the Committee's influence lessened considerably. This was mainly due to the creation of the General Council of British Shipping in 1941. Unlike in earlier years, now the Chamber, Shipping Federation and Liverpool Association were able to meet on a more regular basis, and could communicate with Parliament more directly. As a result, the SPC was dissolved in 1945, and its place was taken by a re-organised Parliamentary department under the authority of the General Council. From then on, major questions of policy affecting the industry were determined in this way. Matters of lesser importance were dealt with by the relevant existing committees within the General Council, with local matters being dealt with in consultation with the districts concerned.

Reference: Shipowners' Parliamentary Minute Book, 1893-1941 (MSS.367/SPC/1/1/1); Chamber of Shipping Annual Reports, 1922-1923, 1942-1943, 1944-1945, 1945-1946 (MSS.367/COS/1/4/8, 28, 30, 31).

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

Other Finding Aids

Custodial History

The archive was deposited by the Chamber of Shipping in December 1995, as part of the larger British Shipping Federation deposit.