Minister of Shipping

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The Minister of Shipping was a British government post created in the First World War and again in the Second World War. In 1941 it was merged into the position of Minister of Transport which was then renamed Minister of War Transport.

Minister of Shipping (1916-21)[edit]

Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Shipping (1916-21)[edit]

As Sir Joseph Maclay was not a Member of Parliament, it was necessary to appoint a Parliamentary Secretary to represent him in the Commons. He was made Baron Maclay after he left office.

Ministers of Shipping (1939-41)[edit]

Departmental History[edit]

The responsibilities overseen by the minister included what had been the Board of Admiralty's Department of Sea Transport, and originally the Board of Transport.[1] In 1917, this was transferred to become the Ministry of Shipping, with responsibility for 'sea transport of military forces and supplies, food and raw materials for industry, Atlantic, Gibraltar and Russian convoys, shipping losses and tonnage requirements, shipbuilding and other matters relating to wartime British and allied control of merchant shipping'.[2] All but the military transport ceased soon after the end of World War I. The Military Sea Transport Division then became part of the Board of Trade, within Mercantile Marine Department.[3]

The Ministry of Shipping was reinstated with the outbreak of war in 1939, with a Sea Transport Division. The division was moved to the Ministry of War Transport in 1941. From 1946, it was a division of the Ministry of Transport; from 1965, the Shipping Division of the Board of Trade; and from 1970 of the Department of Trade and Industry.[3]


  1. ^ The National Archive, catalogue for ADM 108
  2. ^ The National Archive, catalogue for MT 25
  3. ^ a b The National Archive, catalogue for MT40