Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)NCLAdd/183
TitleLetter from Neville Chamberlain to Major John Waller Hills
Extent1 item
DescriptionTyped letter signed with Neville Chamberlain's autograph salutation and postscript to 'My dear Jack' [Major John Waller HILLS, 1868-1938, Liberal Unionist and Conservative Politician] saying that 'on the Second Reading of the Rating of Machinery Bill I announced the intention of the Government to appoint a Departmental Committee to inquire into this vexed question. The subject is one which raises issues of great importance both to manufacturers and to Rating Authorities and it has occurred to me that perhaps you would be willing to conduct the necessary inquiry'.

Chamberlain asks Hills to become Chairman of the Committee which 'would be largely directed to the possibility of removing existing inequalities as between England and Scotland and promoting uniformity of practice in the two countries'. He continues to outline the terms of reference he has in mind and says that 'in addition to representatives of Local Authorities and manufacturing interests, I propose that there should be an expert element on the Committee to facilitate the practical inquiry [...] I should be glad to discuss the terms of reference and constitution of the Committee as soon as we can arrange a meeting'. With an autograph postscript that he hopes he 'may be successful in securing your services this time as I see you are in England again'.

Written on Ministry of Health headed paper, dated 27 July 1923.

In 1918 Chamberlain followed his father, Joseph Chamberlain, and older half-brother, Austen Chamberlain, to become a member of parliament. He declined a junior ministerial position, remaining a backbencher until 1922. He was rapidly promoted in 1923 to Minister of Health and then Chancellor of the Exchequer. After a short Labour-led government, he returned as Minister of Health, introducing a range of reform measures from 1924 to 1929.
Access StatusOpen


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