Papers of the British Iron and Steel Federation

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Committee papers consisting mainly of minutes, some with agenda, correspondence, reports and related papers: Air and River Pollution Committee, 1954-1963; Accident Prevention Committees, 1952-1967; Advisory Committee, 1957-1966; Advisory Committee on Manpower Policy, 1957-1965; Benson Committee, 1966; Committee reviews, 1959-1967; Costs Committees and sub-committees, 1950-1967; Dead Committees papers, 1937-1953; Development Committees, 1946-1967; Dissolution Committee, 1967-1973; Executive Committee, 1935-1967; Federation Fellowship's Committee, 1965-1967; Finance Committees, 1935-1967; International trade Relations Committee, 1948-1957; Iron and Steel Prices Fund Committee, 1941-1945; Midland Technical Committee, 1961-1968; Parliamentary and General Purpose Committee, 1935-1943 Pig Iron Committees, 1939-1964; Pig Iron Liaison Committee, 1949-1967; Post War Reconstruction Committee papers, 1941-1944; President's Committee, 1939-1946; Price Policy Committee, 1939-1964; Public Relations Committee, 1938-1966; Raw Materials Advisory Committees, 1931-1967; Scrap Committees and sub-committees, 1949-1967; Shipping Policy Ore Investments Committee, 1967; Standing Cost Committee, 1933-1942; Steel Production and Supplies Committees, 1946-1967; Taxation and rating Committee, 1940-1967; Raw Materials Committees, 1949-196; Technical and Development Committees, 1948-1961; Technical Efficiency Committee, 1962-1967; Training and Recruitment Committee, 1948-1967; Training Committee, 1966-1967; Transport Committee and sub-committee, 1934-1967; Water and Clean Air Committee and Sub-committees, 1961-1967.

Other papers: Subject files on development 1962-1967; National Association of Iron and Steel Stockholders agenda and correspondence, 1947-1967; Council agenda, minutes and papers, 1946-1967; Market Development Council and Committee papers, 1953-1966; Various Working Parties, 1962-1965; Conference papers including Affiliated organisations and commonwealth membership 1957-1967; nationalisation papers, 1965-1967; public relations papers, 1956-1967; Market Development Department papers, 1939-1952; lists of members and addresses, 1946-1968; photographs of Presidents of the British Iron & Steel Federation, c 1930s; General group on Steel Demand, 1962-1967. 'Old Series' secretariat files relating to: Development and Overseas, 1940-1954; Conference papers, 1945-1965; Finance papers, 1941-1948; Labour Accident Prevention and Training papers, 1947-1951; Raw Materials papers, 1944-1955; papers re Prices and Costs, 1939-1955; papers re Europe, 1961-1962; Public relations, 1946-1961.

British Iron and Steel Federation Post-War Housing Technical Committee and British Iron and Steel Federation House papers, 1943-1953; Steel Framed Flats papers, 1946-1947; British Iron and Steel Federation House papers, 1947-1955.

Microfilm including: records relating to Transport, 1920s-1946; Market Development, 1934-1939; Export, 1935-1949; International Relations, 1923-1942; Public Relations, 1927-1952; Labour and Training, 1924-1934; Secretariat, 1938-1960.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1934, as a condition of substantial tariff protection for the British steel industry, the government caused the industry to form the British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF). After the war, during which the industry's output was tightly controlled by government, the Federation re-emerged with the task of making a development plan for the post war industry, a plan which was in fact implemented very substantially over the next ten years. It remained a federation of mostly quite small, often local, associations which conducted the day-to-day affairs of their sections of the industry with significant independence, but with advice from a large central federation staff on technical matters including research and standards, statistics, training, market development, exports, procurement of raw materials for virtually the whole industry and policy towards government. The Federation survived the nugatory nationalisation of 1951 but then had to adapt itself, following denationalisation in 1953, to a new statutory control regime principally consisting of an Iron and Steel Board, which had powers to set maximum prices for steel and to control the industry's plant development.

Reference: Ian Blakely OBE, A History of UK Steel Industry Associations (


The collection forms part of the British Steel Archive (MSS.365) and is currently uncatalogued.

Conditions Governing Access

A 30 year closure rule applies to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre in a series of deposits from 1995-1999.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this collection-level is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom,

An authority record exists for the British Iron and Steel Federation (GB 152 AAR1895).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.


Further deposits are expected.

Related Material

Papers of the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers are located in the Modern Records Centre at MSS.365NFI. Some papers of the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers and the British Iron and Steel Federation remain with the UK Steel Association: Council minutes, 1918-1967; General Meetings, 1919-1943; Executive Committee minutes, 1918-1967.

Papers of the Iron and Steel Board, the Iron and Steel Trades Employers Association and predecessors are located in the Modern Records Centre MSS.365. Papers of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation are located in the Modern Records Centre at MSS.036. Papers of the UK Steel Association and some predecessors are located in the Modern Records Centre at MSS.383.