• 1964-1975
  • Series
  • 27 files
Admin history
  • The Ministry of Technology was created on 17 October 1964 following the General Election. As Minister of Technology, Cousins, with his Parliamentary Secretary, Sir C. P. Snow, his Permanent Secretary, Sir Maurice Dean, his private secretary, Christopher Herzig and Professor Blackett, had to build the Ministry from scratch. Until Cousins' election as MP for Nuneaton on 21 January 1965, Parliamentary questions were answered for him by H. G. Boyden, an under-secretary to the Department of Education and Science. The Ministry's broad terms of reference were outlined in November 1964 by the Prime Minister as 'general responsibility for guiding and stimulating a major national effort to bring advanced technology and new processes into British industry'. One of Cousins' first acts was to appoint an Advisory Council on Technology (ATC), which drew on high-ranking external advisers from industrial and academic spheres. In January 1965 the Ministry assumed ministerial responsibility for the Atomic Energy Authority and the National Research Development Corporation and, in April, it absorbed the industrial responsibilities of the Department for Scientific and Industrial Research. On 1 December 1965 the Ministry gained new responsibilities, involving sponsorship for the mechanical and electrical engineering industries and responsibility for engineering standards and for determining standard weights and measures. In June 1966 it was announced that it would also take in the shipbuilding and aviation industries. Cousins resigned from the Ministry on 3 July 1966.
  • These papers were generally filed in files marked "personal". Their unofficial nature has tended to mean that they contain a mixture of notes, memoranda, correspondence and personalia on a variety of themes and for many there would appear to be no particular theme uniting their contents.
    For a transcript of a lecture on 'The Formation of the Ministry of Technology' given by Sir Maurice Dean, 19 May 1967, see MSS.282/3/STR/2.
Access status
  • Open
Related Material
  • For publications received by Frank Cousins as Minister of Technology see MSS.282/5/1/7.