[ Sir Eric Ashton Carpenter, President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. ] 77 speeches and papers by him, with related material, on industrial and economic topics, including material relating to a 1952 Trade Mission to South Africa and Rhodesia.

Sir Eric A. Carpenter [ Sir Eric Ashton Carpenter ] (1896-1973), President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, banker and industrialist [ Williams Deacon's Bank; South Africa; Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) ]
Publication details: 
Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Lancashire, and other organisations. Almost all 1944 and 1956.
SKU: 20281

Carpenter, who was knighted in 1951, 'For services as President, Manchester Chamber of Commerce', was a leading Manchester industrialist and banker. Among the numerous positions listed in his entry in Who Was Who, he was for 40 years the chairman and managing director of the Manchester cotton manufacturers Greg Brothers & Co., and for 21 years a director of Williams Deacon's Bank (serving as chairman for 12 years), a leading member of the Cotton and Rayon Merchants' Association, the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, and the International Chamber of Commerce. Carpenter held the 'Chamber of Commerce movement' in the highest regard. In his view it sought 'to emulate and preserve the highest traditions on which our commercial reputation has been built up and, so long as free enterprise provides the backbone of the economy of this country, […] a potent influence', depending 'for fulfilment of its mission on the willingness of men to give voluntarily of their time, knowledge and experience for the common good backed always by efficient and painstaking staffs'. The present collection of Carpenter's speeches, papers and related material, covering a wide range of topics, is a significant resource, providing the informed view of a leading industrialist on the economic and industrial climate in the north of England in the immediate post-war period, as well as casting valuable light on the workings of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and other trade bodies at the time. Manchester was, Carpenter informed a group of American journalists in 1954 (see 'Dollar Export Council' below), 'the centre of the largest concentration of industry in our country, if not in the world. […] We like you to think of us as a provider of cotton goods and also the more recently developed materials, such as rayon and other synthetic fibres. But at the same time, Manchester is the provider of a great variety of manufactured goods, including generators, turbines, locomotives, heavy commercial vehicles and a host of other engineering products.' The material in this collection relating to the 1952 Evan S. Macpherson Trade Mission to South Africa and Southern Rhodesia by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce (Section Three below), of which Carpenter was the Leader, is of particular interest. The 77 items in the collection are in good overall condition, lightly aged and worn. The following description is divided into six sections. ONE: 27 speeches by EAC (ranging in length between 4 and 19pp.), each with text typed onto 16.5 x 20 cm leaves, and attached at one corner with a metal-tipped string fastener, with 21 of the speeches in card wraps with the title typed on the front cover; some with autograph emendation. These 27 speeches date from between 10 February 1948 (remarks at a Manchester Chamber of Commerce Reform Club dinner on 'Visit of Their Excellencies the Chilean and Mexican Ambassadors and the Colombian Charge d'Affaires') to 27 April 1951 (speech on 'The Dollar Problem and the Work of the International Chamber of Commerce in the Promotion of World Trade' at a luncheon meeting of the Incorporated Sales Managers' Association (Hull Branch). The other events and speeches among the 26 speeches are: The Manchester Steamship Owners' Association Dinner; Manchester Publicity Association ('City and Commerce of Manchester'); Manchester Junior Chamber of Commerce Inaugural Meeting; The American Cotton Textile Mission; Meeting in Rochdale Town Hall ('to consider the Formation of a Chamber of Commerce'); Visit of Mr. J. K. Knowles (General Secretary, National Farmers' Union) ('Agriculture and Industry'); The Cotton Board: Exhibition of Domestic Textiles, 1951 (opening speech on 'Domestic Textiles'); Visit of His Excellency the American Ambassador (Mr. Lewis W. Douglas); Visit of Mr. Thomas K. Finletter Administrator in this Country of the U.S.A. Economic Co-operation Administration; Corporation of Insurance Brokers Annual Dinner; Stockport Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon; Exhibition of Cotton in Fashion. (Cotton Board Colour, Design and Style Centre) ('in opening the Exhibition'); Manchester Chartered Accountants' Students' Society; Chartered Institute of Secretaries (Manchester and District Branch) ('City of Manchester – Its Industry and Commerce'); “Meet South Africa” Exhibition ('at the Opening of the Exhibition'); Beck & Pollitzer Export Packing Works ('In performing the Opening Ceremony'); Manchester Rotary Club ('International Trade and its Influence on World Peace'); Visit of Empire Parliamentary Delegation; Incorporated Accountants' Society of Manchester and District; English-Speaking Union Appeal Luncheon ('Trade and Goodwill') ; 'Luncheon to the “Maid of Cotton.”'; The Allied Ironfounders' Exhibition Train ('Speech from the Chair […] at the Opening Ceremony by the Lord Mayor of Manchester'); and at dinners given for 'Sir John Balfour, K.C.M.G., H.M. Ambassador at Buenos Aires', 'Mr. W. L. Jones, J.P.', and 'Hon. J. S. Maclay, C.M.G., M.P.' TWO: 15 typed speeches by EAC in a variety of formats. Topics: 'Chambers of Commerce, National and International'; 'Business Administration and Management' (National Association for the Advancement of Education for Commerce (North-Western Branch)); 'The Structure of the Cotton Industry and Present Tendencies to change'; 'Our Task and our Ability to achieve it' (Bolton Chamber of Commerce); presidential addresses to annual meetings of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, 1955 and 1956, the former in two versions, one of them headed 'That part of this address prior to the 6th paragraph on page 4, […] must not be published in any form, either wholly or in part'; 'proposing the health of the City and Trade of Sheffield' (Institute of Bankers, Sheffield and District Local Centre); 'Remarks […] when Opening the Exhibition' (Overall Manufacturers' Association Exhibition, Manchester); address at the Cotton Mills' Institute; at Congress of International Junior Chambers of Commerce, Edinburgh; at Newcastle Chamber of Commerce; at the 'Annual Banquet. A.B.C.C.', 1954; 'Reply following my election as President' and 'Proposal of T. Gray Hill as Vice-President'; 'in church' (speech on 'Christianity and Industry', lacking conclusion). THREE: 17 items relating to the Evan S. Macpherson Trade Mission to South Africa and Southern Rhodesia by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, 1952, with EAC as Leader. These comprise: A press release from the MCC, 21 April 1952 ('Authorised - | James Ainsley, | Secretary.'), which gives a 'preliminary report' on the mission by EAC and F. H. Beckett, its objects said to have been 'To study trading conditions […] and, by discussions with representatives of Government, Chambers of Commerce, Chambers of Industry, Trade Associations and traders generally, assess the present and prospective needs of these markets in goods supplied by the United Kingdom – particularly cotton and rayon textiles and engineering products.' Typed preliminary 'Impressions of Southern Rhodesia and South Africa', evidently by EAC (6pp., 4to). Typed notes on the mission (11pp., 16mo), again evidently by EAC, in a more digested form, and beginning 'Impressions are quickly submerged; diligent digging has resulted in a product rather disjointed but I hope of interest.' Two typed drafts of report on the economic conditions in South Africa (6pp., 12mo; and 2pp., 4to), again without doubt by EAC. 'Notes for use by the leader Sir Eric Carpenter, O.B.E., J.P., at the Rotary Club, Bulawayo, Friday, 7th March, 1952 (6pp., folio), with 'not used' in autograph at head of first page, and accompanied by six pages of typed drafts. Typed summary (2pp., 12mo), headed 'Commonwealth Trade', with reference to 'Sir Eric's theme'; accompanied by autograph list of speakers at the 'Chamber of Commerce Banquet Salisbury'. Three radio broadcasts by EAC: 'Text of Broadcast for Recording in Southern Rhodesia' (6pp., folio), 6 March 1952; 'Broadcast Recording at Cape town', no date, accompanied by 'Proposed Broadcast Message from Cape Town' (2pp., folio), marked 'not used'; 'Broadcast at Gatooma [now Kadoma, Zimbabwe]'. Press release of 'Statement' by EAC, 29 February 1952. Speech (6pp., folio) by 'The Hon. G. A. Davenport M.P. Minister of Mines & Transport' to 'Mr. President, Sir Eric Carpenter and Gentlemen'. 'Address to the Manchester Chamber of Commerce Mission', 'On behalf of the Salisbury Chamber of Industries'. Duplicated 'Notes on the Public Health Area of Edendale' by D. R. Donaldson, Secretary, Local Health Commission, 3 March 1952 (3pp., folio), with Autograph Note by EAC on the 'many problems' involved in 'Clearance of slum area'. FOUR: Miscellaneous items by EAC, comprising: CV (4pp., 4to) of 'Sir Eric Ashton Carpenter, O.B.E., J.P.', in two columns ('Company or Organisation' and 'Position: And Date of Appointment'), with autograph corrections; printed address (6pp., 4to) to the AGM of Members of the Cotton and Rayon Merchants Association, 28 July 1944; 'message of goodwill' (5pp., 4to, for publication), as 'a member of the Dollar Exports Council', regarding 'the welcome which the City of Manchester extended to fourteen representatives of the American Press on their arrival on the first British Overseas Airways Corporation direct flight from New York to Manchester Airport' in May 1954, with 'List of Representatives of the America Press visiting Manchester' and 'Programme to cover visit of Representatives of the United States Press to Manchester'. FIVE: Three items in autograph: first, a speech (7pp., 12mo) to 'Mr. Mayor and to the City Council of Zurich'; second, draft (6pp., folio) of an economic forecast [for 1954], with reference to 'The Coronation of our beloved Queen'; third, 'Summary of Address delivered by Sir E. A. Carpenter (President of the A.B.C.C.) at the Newcastle & Gateshead C of C | February 29th. 1956', with typed copy of the same, as well as associated autograph notes, typed corrected draft of whole speech (6pp., 12mo), and copy of TLS to Lord Aldenham. SIX: Material not by EAC. Comprising: 'Notes [2pp., 4to] for Sir Eric Carpenter at the Newcastle and Gateshead Chamber of Commerce'; commendatory ALS from representative of the English-Speaking Union, 16 March 1948; press release (5pp., 4to) for Beck & Pollitzer Ltd, Shipping Forwarding & Insurance Agents, London ('B & P strike two new blows for export'); two TLsS from Lt. Col. P.G.R. Burford, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, both 1950, with carbon of letter to Burford from EAC; TLS from Bertram Nelson, Secretary, Manufacturers' Association of Great Britain (with typed list 'O[verall]. M[anufacturers]. A[ssociation]. Exhibition 1956 | List of Exhibitors'); press release by the Association of British Chambers of Commerce ('The Pernicious System of “Cost Plus”'); printed programme of the Rotary Club of Manchester, October and September 1948.