Treasury Control and Public Expenditure in Scotland 1885-1979

ISBN : 9780197265796

Ian Levitt
300 Pages
162 x 240 mm
Pub date
Sep 2014
Records of Social and Economic History
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The book sets out to establish the Treasury view of Scottish claims for public expenditure from the establishment of the Scottish Office in 1885 to the failed referendum on political devolution in 1979. Drawn largely from previously unresearched (and partly uncatalogued) Treasury documents held at The National Archives (UK) it provides a unique appreciation whether its ministers and officials viewed public investment north of the border as economically 'productive', designed to ensure equivalence in public investment between Scotland and England, or otherwise to placate Scottish interests. The book begins with a selection of documents drawn from the period between 1885 and 1914: a time of limited government, but which saw consistent Scottish claims for additional expenditure to alleviate Highland distress, to support Scottish fisheries, and fund an expansion of its four ancient universities, as well as securing a formula that ensured equivalence in educational expenditure. It then reproduces documents covering the inter-war years when government policy aspired to reconcile demands for collective provision with its belief in a free market. It locates Scottish claims within the Treasury's desire to secure an appropriate balance between English and Scottish public expenditure. Finally, the book draws on documents from 1940 until 1979, when the primary goal of government was to manage collective provision within a mixed economy. In doing so it illustrates Treasury concerns on the directions of the Scottish economy, and on seeking more devolved responsibility for the choices on investment that Scottish ministers sought. Throughout it considers the changes in the Treasury's administrative structure as it impacted on Scottish claims.


Editor's introduction
1. The Vote and the Scottish Interest, 1885-1915
2. Public expenditure and the Anglo-Scottish balance, 1916-39
3. Public investment, the Scottish economy and the Block Vote, 1940-79
Appendix: Dramatis Personae

About the author: 

The author has published widely on 19th and 20th century Scottish Economic and Social History, including the Poor Law, housing and health provision, Highland economic development, the administration of the Scottish Office, and on public investment generally. Hon Secretary, Social Policy Committee of Joint University Council for Social and Public Administration and Member of Executive Committee of Joint University Council for Social and Public Administration, 1986-90; Member, Editorial Board, Journal of the History of Social Medicine, 1993-6; Elected Fellow, Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, 1997; Member, then Chairman, the Council, Scottish Records Association, 1998-2009; Trustee, National (UK) Council on Archives, 2001-2006; Member, Scottish Council on Archives, 2002-2006; Member, (the Scottish Executive's) The Scottish Records Advisory Council: Sub-Group on Retention of Public Records, 2004-8

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