PLANT, Sir Arnold, 1898-1978, Knight, Professor, economist

Scope and Content

Papers of Professor Sir Arnold Plant, 1918-1972, comprising the following: Papers concerning Plant's education, 1919-1923, mainly comprising lecture notes taken during his studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and examination papers for the London BCommerce. Material concerning Plant's teaching career, 1918-1969, notably at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1918-1931, including lecture notes on subjects including banking, economics and statistics, notes for the Commerce degree, and correspondence from former students relating to their professional work; papers relating to the LSE, 1928-1969, notably Plant's work in the Department of Business Administration, including administrative papers, lists of students, seminars and test results, material concerning the teaching of the Commerce degree including lecture notes and examination papers, papers concerning research projects, research material into higher education training for business and management, and material concerning the formation of a Central Institute of Management; minutes, correspondence and papers of the Commerce Degree Bureau, 1937-1972; material concerning the University of London Council for External Students, 1961-1972, including reports, minutes and papers. Material concerning lectures, writings and publications, 1924-1964, notably working papers and drafts for talks on various subjects including patent law, modern industry, copyright of publications, transport economics, marketing and economic conditions in South Africa; background material, notes and drafts for BBC broadcasts, 1931-1961, notably on pay as you view television, trade and industry and South Africa; correspondence, drafts, notes and offprints of various published articles, lectures and reports, 1925-1964, mainly relating to commerce and business, copyright and nuclear energy. Correspondence, 1921-1972, mainly relating to the teaching of business and commerce, with correspondents including Sir John Carruthers Beattie, Sir William Henry Beveridge, Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders, Sir Henry Clay, William Harold Hutt, Eric Anderson Walker, Professor Lilian Knowles, Professor Lionel Robbins and Professor Richard Henry Tawney. Personal material, 1950-1972, concerning employment, salary, pensions and stays in hospital. Papers concerning Plant's work on the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission, 1948-1959, comprising memoranda, reports, minutes and agenda, evidence and correspondence relating to electrical machinery, industrial gases, linoleum, copper semis, tea, tyres, timber, calico printing, electric batteries, radio valves and street lighting, as well as general reference materials, press cuttings, and correspondence concerning membership of the Commission. Material concerning Plant's work on the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAD), 1954-1967, including minutes, reports and papers of the Council, 1950-1967; minutes and working papers of the Industrial Diseases Sub-Committee, 1955-1967, especially concerning byssinosis, teeth erosion, lung cancer, vibration syndrome (Raynaud's Syndrome), industrial deafness, cadmium poisoning and respiratory diseases; papers of the Industrial Health Advisory Committee (Ministry of Labour), 1955-1966; Secretary's correspondence with Plant, 1966-1968; general IIAC correspondence, 1954-1959, mainly relating to meetings and expert opinion on industrial health. Papers concerning Plant's work on the Cinematograph Films Council, 1938-1968, including minutes, agenda and working papers of the Council, 1938-1968; material relating to the Committee on Film Distribution and Exhibition (Portal Committee), 1943-1949, including minutes and working papers, evidence, reports and drafts of the final report; papers relating to the Plant Report into Distribution and Exhibition of Cinematograph Films, 1945-1951, including press cuttings, parliamentary reports, and expert views; correspondence and papers, 1946-1965, including letters from Sir (Alexander) Frederick Whyte and J(oseph) Arthur Rank; papers of the Advisory Committee on Amendments to Cinematograph Films Acts, 1957-1958; minutes of the Structure and Trading Practices Sub-Committee, 1962-1963. Material concerning Plant's work on other committees, societies and bodies, 1932-1972, notably minutes, reports, bulletins and research papers of the London and Cambridge Economic Service, 1932-1966; papers relating to the Council for National Academic Awards, 1964-1968, including minutes and working papers, minutes of the Arts and Social Studies Committee and the Economics and Business Studies Board, and applications for recognition from higher education institutions; reports, minutes and correspondence relating to the Advertising Standards Authority, 1962-1967; papers of the Naval Education Advisory Committee, 1946-1970, notably course outlines, minutes and reports; annual reports and publication notices of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, 1966-1971; correspondence, circulars and Council minutes of the Royal Economic Society, 1970-1972; reports, press cuttings and correspondence of the Committee on Fowl Pest Policy, 1962-1964; and minutes and working papers of the Board of Management of Athlone Press, 1969-1972.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born 1898; educated Strand School and London School of Economics and Political Science; Gerstenberg Scholar in Economics and Political Science, 1921; previously a manager in the engineering industry; Professor of Commerce and Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, 1924-1930; Professor of Commerce, LSE, 1930-1965; Knight, 1947; Vice-President of the Council, Royal Economic Society; Member, Cinematograph Films Council, 1938-1969; Chairman, Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, 1955-1967; Chairman, Advertising Standards Authority, 1962-1965; Chairman, Colonial Social Science Research Council, 1955-1962; Member, Overseas Research Council, 1959-1964; Organiser for Ministry of Information, and first Director of Wartime Social Survey, 1940; Chairman, National Service Deferment Committee for the Cinematograph Industry, Ministry of Labour, 1942-1945; temporary civil servant, 1940-1946, as Adviser to Ministerial Chairman of Interdepartmental Materials Committee and Central Priority Committee under Production Council (1940), Production Executive (1941), Ministry of Production (1942-1945), and on special duties in Cabinet Office, 1945-1946; Member, Board of Trade Committee on a Central Institute of Management, 1945-1946; Member, Ministry of Works Committee on Distribution of Building Materials, 1946; Member, Ministry of Education Committee on Commercial Education, 1946; Member, Board of Trade Committee on Film Distribution, 1949 (Chairman); Member, Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission, 1953-1956; Chairman, Ministry of Agriculture Committee on Fowl Pest Policy, 1960-1962; retired 1965; died 1978.


The collection is arranged in sections as outlined in the Scope and Content.

Access Information

Apply to Archivist.

Acquisition Information

Given by the family in 1989.

Other Finding Aids

Listing in progress. Interim handlist and on-line catalogue available.

Archivist's Note

Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science Archives catalogue. Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996). Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright retained by donor and their heirs.

Related Material

The British Library of Political and Economic Science also holds material relating to Arnold Plant in the papers of Professor Edwin Cannan (Ref: Cannan/1029-30, 33); Professor James Edward Meade (Ref: Meade 16/2), the Royal Economic Society (Ref: RES 5/2/1, 16/10, 13, 14, 18, 17/13); Professor Morris Ginsberg (Ref: Ginsberg 1/5), Colonial Research (Ref: Colonial Research) and the LSE (Ref: LSE Small Deposits 12 and Unregistered School files 25/6/78). Plant also deposited papers relating to operating costs of department stores (Ref: Coll Misc 0330).