Ministry of Reconstruction

By | 10 November 2014

Allied representatives, Compiègne, 1918

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we pause in silence to remember those who died in military service. The commemoration marks the date and time that the armistice between the Allies and Germany took effect at the end of the Great War of 1914-18. The text of the agreement signed in Compiègne (in French) can be found here.

In the latter stages of the war the government set up the Ministry of Reconstruction to consider the rebuilding of the country. Its remit included demobilisation, industrial relations, housing and the role of women. The ministry was led by Christopher Addison, whose papers are held by the Department of Special Collections at the Bodleian Library. A biography of Addison and a catalogue of his papers can be found here. If you are a within the domain you can find a complete record of Addison’s Parliamentary work here (outside of the domain you can login using your Single Sign On here first).

NPG x67932; Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison by Walter Stoneman

Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison by Walter Stoneman

The progress of the New Ministries Bill through the House of Lords is freely available from Hansard; here you can read the transcripts of debates. They discuss the remit of the ministry, who should coordinate all the different aspects, how it should interact with existing departments, the problems that were likely to arise, and whether in fact one ought to concentrate on winning the war before dealing with its aftermath.

The Bodleian Law Library is home to Official Papers which includes the publications of the Ministry of Reconstruction. Library catalogue records can be found here.