Ministry of Fuel and Power

Prior to the Second World War the responsibility for overseeing and securing the future development of the fuel and power industries had been situated in various government departments. On the 11th September 1941 the powers of the Ministry of Transport concerning electricity were transferred to the Board of Trade. A further Order on the 11th June 1942 saw the functions of the Board of Trade in relation to the fuel and power industries transferred to the Minister of Fuel and Power. The first Minister Gwilyn Lloyd-George, was responsible for coal production, allocation of supplies of solid fuels, control of all energy prices and petrol rationing.

These functions were further defined with the introduction of the Ministry of Fuel and Power Act 1954. The Act charged the Minister with “the general duty of securing effective and co-ordinated development of coal, petroleum and other minerals and sources of fuel and power in Great Britain, of maintaining and improving the safety, health and welfare of persons employed in or about mines and quarries therein and of promoting economy and efficiency in the supply, distribution, use and consumption of fuel and power, whether produced in Great Britain, or not”.

The style of the Minister was changed to The Minister of Power in January 1957, at the same time the Minister assumed responsibilities for iron and steel industries, previously carried out by the Board of Trade. In October 1969 further changes saw the Minister of Power become part of the Ministry of Technology (Mintech) eventually Mintech merged with the Board of Trade to form the Department of Trade and Industry in October 1970.