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HMSO in 1940

by Reg Walker


Whitaker’s Almanack  was founded in 1868, The annual publication always contained details of Government and Public Offices, and the 1940 edition is no exception. Most of the Departments have long disappeared, or had their names changed. No more do we pay for the General Board of Control (Lunacy and Mental Deficiency); the Burma Office; the Office of the Director of Stamping; Queen Anne’s Bounty; the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (still sitting in 1940); the Trading with the Enemy Division of the Board of Trade; the Director of Explosives in the Ministry of Supply; the Irish Lights Commissioners.


However, we still have HM Stationery Office, albeit in much reduced circumstances. In 1940, HQ was at Storey’s Gate, London SW1, with premises at Gorse Street, Hollinwood; George Street, Edinburgh; St. Andrew’s Crescent, Cardiff; Custom House, Belfast.


‘The amount estimated to pay the salaries, wages etc. in 1939-40 was £470,859 . . . ’ of which the Controller, Sir William R Codling CB, CVO, CBE received £1953 and Deputy Controller Lt. Col. NG Scorgie £1500. Director of Publications CFS Plumbley was paid £900-£1050 and LC Dashfield, Director of Duplicating and Distributing £750-£1000.

HEOs such as G Allard, CAJ Argent, BS Baker, AC Brown, W Cox, CH Legg, RP Roberts, HG Smith, CS Walker were on a scale £550-£650. Executive Officers (L Andrew, JWE Bates, WA Beck, JJ Cherns, Miss MG Eagles, WH Glasscock, PT Hann, AJ Long, G Mann, RE Pysden, HV Roe, LG Smith, ACA Taylor, EJ Woods) were paid £150-£525 (men) and £150-£420 (women). Clerks Higher Grade — HJ Blewett, HF Bonney, WJ Crapp, WH Jameson, FG West, JL Wilkinson — were on £400-£525. Technical Staff Officers £550-£650.

There are other names listed, of course, but the only person from the ‘School of 1940’ I know to be still with us is Miss MG Eagles. It would be interesting to hear if readers know otherwise.



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