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Papers relating to the official Agricultural Research Council enquiry into the Animal Breeding and Genetics Research Organisation, 1950-1952

Identifier: Coll-1391/2

Scope and Contents

Contains chiefly correspondence between Sang and individuals within the Agricultural Research Council (ARC); namely the chairman, Lord Victor Rothschild, the secretary, Sir William K. Slater and a senior official, W.G Alexander. Also contains correspondence with colleagues at the genetics section of the Animal Breeding and Genetics Research Organisation, chiefly Cecil Gordon and C.H Waddington as well as the Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Edward Appleton. The papers chiefly concern Sang's details of various grievances within the Organisation and his unhappiness with the conducting of the enquiry and its aftermath.

There are also substantial numbers of Sang's drafts of letters (some marked 'Not Sent'), memoranda and notes. Also present are several copies of Sang's 'Memorandum on the affairs of the Genetics Laboratory of the Animal Breeding and Genetics Research Organisation during the period July 1948 to September 1950'. Later correspondence between Sang and the ARC concerns accommodation and equipment issues in the Poultry Research Centre, and arrangements with Sang's students and colleagues.


  • Creation: 1950-1952


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Some material is restricted and cannot be produced.

Biographical / Historical

On 18 July 1950, Sang and several colleagues wrote a letter to C.H Waddington, outlining their concerns about perceived bias or favouritism in matters of staff promotions and various administrative malpractices within the genetics section of the Animal Breeding and Genetics Research Organisation. W.K Slater, secretary of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), met with those concerned, after which he requested Sang and his colleagues to apologise to Waddington for their lack of faith in his direction and to tear up the letter which they had written. Sang agreed to this. However, by September he had written to W.G Alexander of the ARC complaining of the 'malpractices, maladministration and misuse of public property which has occurred in the Genetics Laboratory' and requesting that an 'official, and quasi-judicial enquiry' be carried out. He subsequently composed a memorandum, dated 14 September 1950, addressed to the ARC detailing the entire situation and again requesting a judicial enquiry. The resulting ARC enquiry 'into certain administrative matters connected with the Genetics Laboratory', took place in St Andrew's House, Edinburgh, from 11-13 October 1950 and was chaired by Slater. The outcome of the enquiry was that the Genetics Laboratory was 'reorganised', with Sang moving to a laboratory within the Poultry Research Centre under the directorship of Alan Greenwood. Waddington ceased to be employed by the ARC but instead became a full-time employee of the University, maintaining a dual position as Buchanan Professor and director of the Department of Animal Genetics.


2 folders