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Raymond Streat Papers

Date range: 1920-1978

Medium: Archive

(Edward) Raymond Streat (1897-1979) was a Manchester businessman and public servant, who spent almost his entire career involved with the Lancashire cotton industry.

Streat was secretary of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce from 1920 to 1940, a body which very active in lobbying for the interests of cotton manufacturers and merchants. He was heavily involved in campaigns against cheap foreign imports of cotton into imperial markets. Streat was also active in supporting the rationalisation of the cotton industry during the Depression, and helped establish the Lancashire Industrial Development Council in 1931.

In 1940 Streat was appointed Chairman of the Cotton Board, a joint body of employers and trades unions, which promoted good industrial relations, improved productivity and export promotion within the industry. In 1947 the Board was reorganised on a statutory basis, and Streat continued to promote modernisation of the cotton industry until his retirement in 1957.

The most significant part of Streat's papers are his typescript diaries which run from 1931 to 1958. These provide a detailed record of his work for the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Cotton Board. The diaries give a remarkable insight into the relationships between government and industrialists, and the internal politics of the cotton industry as it entered a period of disruption and eventual decline. An edited version of the diaries has been published, Lancashire and Whitehall: the Diary of Sir Raymond Streat, edited by Marguerite Dupree (Manchester University Press, 1987), which contains most, if not all, of the contents of these diaries.

The collection contains off-prints of Streat's articles and various cuttings relating to his career. There are also audio-tapes of interviews with Sir Raymond made in connection with the published edition of his diaries.

Further information:

  • Collection description available online via ELGAR. Otherwise uncatalogued.
  • Marguerite Dupree, ed., Lancashire and Whitehall: the Diary of Sir Raymond Streat 1931-1957 (Manchester University Press, 1987).


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