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Encyclopedia > President of the Board of Trade

The President of the Board of Trade the title of a cabinet position in the United Kingdom government. It is the secondary title of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.


The idea of a Board of Trade was first translated into action by Oliver Cromwell in 1655 when he appointed his son Richard Cromwell to head a body of Lords of the Privy Council, Judges and merchants to consider measures to promote trade. Charles II established a Council of Trade on November 7, 1660 followed by a Council of Foreign Plantations on December 1 that year. The two were united on September 16, 1672 as the Board of Trade and Plantations.


After the Board was re-established in 1696, there were 15 (and later 16) members of the Board - 7 (later 8) Great officers of state, and 8 unofficial members, who did the majority of the work. The senior unofficial member of the board was the President of the Board, commonly known as the First Lord of Trade. The board was abolished on July 11, 1782, but a Committee of the Privy Council was established on March 5, 1784 for the same purposes. On August 23, 1786 a new Committee was set up, more strongly focused on commercial functions than the previous boards of trade. At first the President of the Board of Trade only occasionally sat in the cabinet, but from the early 19th century it was usually a cabinet level position.


During the government of Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the then President of the Board of Trade Edward Heath was given in addition the job of Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development. This title was not continued under Harold Wilson, but when Heath became Prime Minister in 1970 he decided to merge the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Technology to create the Department of Trade and Industry. The head of this department became known as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade.


Following a Labour Party victory in the general election of October 1974 the office was split into the Department of Trade, the Department of Industry and the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection. The title President of the Board of Trade became the secondary title of the Secretary of State for Trade. In 1983 the offices of trade and industry were remerged and the title of Secretary of State for Trade and Industry was recreated. When Michael Heseltine held this office, he preferred to be known by the older title of President of the Board of Trade, and this practice was also followed by Ian Lang and Margaret Beckett. Heseltine's decision to reuse the old title caused some comment and it was discovered that the Board of Trade had not in fact met since the mid-nineteenth century.

Contents

First Lord of Trade, 1672-1782

President of the Committee on Trade and Foreign Plantations 1784-1786

President of the Board of Trade 1786-Present

Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development and President of the Board of Trade (1963-1964)

President of the Board of Trade (1964-1970)

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade (1970-1974)

Secretary of State for Trade and President of the Board of Trade (1974-1983)

Secretary of State for Industry (1974-1983)

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade (1983-)


  Results from FactBites:
 
Board of Trade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (296 words)
The Board of Trade is a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, originating as a committee of inquiry in the 17th century and evolving gradually into a government department with a diverse range of functions.
This department has been known as the Department of Trade and Industry since 1970, headed by a Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, who is also President of the Board of Trade.
In 1621, King James I directed the Privy Council to establish a temporary committee to investigate the causes of a decline in trade and consequent financial difficulties.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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