Zuckerman Archive: Committee on Industrial Productivity

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1187 SZ/CIP
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      12 boxes; nine files; six linear feet

Scope and Content

The series is chiefly concerned with the business of the Imports Substitution Panel (File SZ/ACSP/4) and the fertilisers and animal feedstuffs and grassland production study groups.

The correspondence (File SZ/CIP/2) is arranged chronologically and spans virtually the full range of the Committee's business. It also includes references to the Midlands Advisory Council [on productivity] with which both Zuckerman and Sir George Schuster, Chairman of the Human Factors Panel, were associated.

The file of papers of the Human Factors Panel (SZ/CIP/5) consists of the minutes of the fourth, fifth, and sixth meetings, 23 June 1949, 28 July 1949, and 18 October 1949, a paper on medical statistics, 24 November 1948, and related correspondence. This Panel dealt with such issues as productivity and technical education and training.

The minutes and papers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries' Agricultural Output Committee (SZ/CIP/6) complement those of the Imports Substitution Panel, with the emphasis on the economics of food supplies and agriculture and the system of agricultural subsidy.

The small number of minutes and papers of the Economic Planning Board (SZ/CIP/7) relate to fertilisers and grassland production.

The papers of the Cabinet Investment Programmes Committee (SZ/CIP/8) consist of the minutes of the 11th meeting, 20 January 1949, a paper by the Ministry of Fuel and Power on the oil investment programme, 18 December 1948, and a report on capital investment in 1951 and 1952, 24 April 1950.SZ addressed the Scottish Economic Conference, his main theme being grassland productivity. File SZ/CIP/9 consists chiefly of background papers used in preparing his speech, and press-cuttings reporting the Conference.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Committee on Industrial Productivity (CIP) was established in December 1947 to supplement the work of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy [statement to Parliament by Herbert Morrison, Lord President of the Council, 18 December 1947]. Specifically, it was to advise the Lord President ... and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the form and scale of research effort in the natural and social sciences, which will best assist an early increase in industrial productivity and further to advise on the manner in which the results of such research can be best applied.

The background to the establishment of the Committee was the post-war stirling crisis and the need to reduce substantially Britain's dependence on imported goods and raw materials, particularly those that had to be paid for in dollars, while at the same time accelerating the rate of post-war reconstruction. The Committee was chaired by Sir Henry Tizard and operated by means of a series of panels established ad hoc. Solly Zuckerman was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Committee and also chaired its Panel on Imports Substitution. Other panels dealt with technical and operational research, human factors, industrial electronics, and technical information services (a member of which was J.D. Bernal). The Committee was wound up in July 1950.

The task of the Imports Substitution Panel was to identify ways of substituting indigenous products, or products derived from indigenous sources, for imports. Two study groups were set up, one dealing with the manufacture and use of fertilisers, and the other with animal feedstuffs and grassland production (including grass-drying and leaf protein). In addition to the investigations carried out by the study groups, and the question of food supplies and agricultural productivity generally, the Panel looked at: paper-production and alternatives to imported wood-pulp; non-ferrous metals, including the Cornish tin-mining industry; recovering sulphur from industrial processes, and the supply of sulphuric acid; carbon black; the use of rayon as an alternative to various imported textiles and fibres; tanning materials; land reclamation and the effective use of marginal land; timber production and forestry (with particular reference to the supply of pit-props and pulp production); unconventional foodstuffs, including chlorella and fresh-water fish-farming (in ponds); new and alternative building materials; substitutes for structural steel; pest-control, including control of rabbits; plastics; and alginates.

On the dissolution of the CIP in 1950 the work of the Imports Substitution Panel was continued by the Natural Resources (Technical) Committee, which Zuckerman chaired and to which Series SZ/NRTC relates.


  • SZ/CIP/1 Agenda and minutes, 1948-1950
  • SZ/CIP/2 Correspondence, 1947-1950 [in three sub-files]
  • SZ/CIP/3 Documents, 1948-1950 [in three sub-files]
  • SZ/CIP/4 Panel on Imports Substitution, 1948-1950 [in five sub-files]
  • SZ/CIP/5 Human Factors Panel, 1949 [in two sub-files]
  • SZ/CIP/6 Agricultural Output Committee, 1949-1952 [in two sub-files]
  • SZ/CIP/7 Economic Planning Board, 1948, 1950 [in two sub-files]
  • SZ/CIP/8 Cabinet Investment Programme Papers, 1949-1950
  • SZ/CIP/9 Scottish Economic Conference, 1949

Access Information

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.



Conditions Governing Use

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.

Geographical Names