AND GENERALLY The earliest British chambers of commerce were formed in Jersey in 1768, in Glasgow in 1783, in Dublin in 1785 and in Edin burgh in 1786, the year in which the Board of Trade was re established by the order in council which is still the statutory authority for that body's existence. It was not until 1794 that a similar body, the "Commercial Society" of Manchester was founded in England. This society had the definite objects of pre venting "the depredations committed on mercantile property in foreign parts"; of obtaining increased safety for trade and more regular payments, and of co-operating jointly in all applications to Government. (Chapters in the History of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce by Elijah Helm.) It at once engaged in active correspondence with the Government in regard to difficulties arising out of the war with France. Other Commercial Societies soon came into existence at Birmingham, Leeds and elsewhere, and joint meetings of delegates from these several bodies were held in London. The Manchester society, however, ceased to hold meet ings after 1801 and was not revived until 1820, then as "the Man chester chamber of commerce." Meanwhile chambers had been established at Belfast (1796), Birmingham (1813) and Newcastle upon-Tyne (1818). The subsequent chambers of outstanding im portance were those established at Liverpool (1851), Sheffield (1857), Bradford and Cardiff. The London chamber, which was not founded until as late as 1881, has a direct membership of over 8,000, apart from 52 affiliated associations (covering thus an in direct membership of 5o.000). The requisites for the merchant, apart from the main material need for money-credit are integrity and the reputation for integrity; knowledge and judgment; also a general state of lawfulness with stable and liberal economic con ditions. Similarly the main functions of the typical British cham ber of commerce may be analysed as follows : (a) Maintenance of a high standard of integrity and commercial conduct among their members.
(b) Provision of information in the shape, e.g., of trade statistics, foreign tariffs and regulations, exhibitions of foreign samples.
(c) Provision of advice: (i.) general as to business methods and overseas markets (ii.) particular, as regards individual difficulties (iii.) legal, e.g., as to shipment of goods and contract conditions (iv.) expert opinions on values and qualities, e.g., through testing houses such as those at Bradford and Manchester (d) Provision of assistance, legal, e.g., for contesting issues of general importance to merchants and for recovery of individual debts, also in regard to difficulties encountered in dealing with foreign administrations in regard to which Government assistance will fre quently have to be sought.
(e) Performance of administrative service, e.g., certificates of origin and other documents necessary to foreign trade.
(f) Arbitration and settlement of disputes.
(g) Formulation of policy and representations to Governments, in regard, e.g., to (i.) domestic legislation affecting commerce (ii.) foreign tariffs and regulations (iii.) other matters of common interest to their members.
In the typical chamber of commerce the merchant is predomi nant, but the manufacturer or industrialist who, to a large and in creasing extent, is also the merchant for his own goods is also strongly represented. An analysis of the membership of the Lon don chamber (1928) gives out of a total of 8,061 members, merchants (to which may be added 376 brokers and agents) and 2,906 manufacturers; other groups illustrative of the diverse in terests included in commerce are banking (214) insurance (I7o) and transport (144).