1st April 1923
First published: 1st April 1923
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The evidence which has been given before the Royal Commission on London Government by representatives of the Metropolitan Borough Councils and by the Metropolitan Boroughs Standing Joint Committee, is of more than passing interest to the Engineer and Architect engaged in practice in the London area, and it should be carefully watched, in order that the present system, dealing with the control of the erection or alteration of buildings, is not made more dificult or confusing.
The present membership of the Institution of Structural Engineers, and its comparison
with the figures for the two previous years (as the Concrete Institute) is shown in the
following table :-
The distinction between civil and military engineering has frequently been pointed out, and no one with any pretensions to a knowledge of the engineering profession has any excuse for failure to realise that the Institution of Civil Engineers represents civil as distinct from military engineering, and is not in any way exclusively concerned with dock and harbour construction and similar work of the class which is usually referred to as civil. The Institution of Civil Engineers, which was founded in 1818, is the great parent institution which represents every type of non-military engineering activity, Its roll of members and its proceedings carry clear evidence of the wide scope of its interests. Since its founding, other great, but specialised, institutions have grown up, making no attempt to compete with the catholicity of the parent body, but concerning themselves with some one branch of work. The chief of these are the Institutions of Mechanical Engineers, Naval Architects and Electrical Engineers. These each deal with one of the important branches into which the whole field covered by the Institution of Civil Engineers may be divided. A branch of work already dealt with by the Institution of Civil Engineers, but which so far has not been taken up by any specialised Institution of the standing of the Institution of the
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, or the Institution of Naval Architects is that of
structural engineering, but the newly-formed Institution of Structural Engineers evidently hopes to occupy this position. This body, in its original form of the Concrete Institute, dates from 1908, but it can hardly yet claim to standing and prestige which will put it on a level with the other leading specialised institutions. Its particular line of work, however, lies in an important field which is possibly large enough to carry an institution of its own, and there given wise management and the maintenance of a good standard of membership, there is no reason why the Institution of Structural Engineers should not in due course take its place alongside the other leading specialised bodies. The first presidential address of the new institution, which was delivered by Mr. E. Fiander Etchells in the hall of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 19th inst., certainly set a good standard. In view of the special nature of the occasion, Mr. Etchells naturally dealt with the formation of the body he represents. His address was a remarkable sketch of the growth of engineering institutions and associations from the earliest times, and showed that even in the dawn of history the builders, surveyors and artificers who were the engineers of those days tended to band together in crafts and associations. Doubtless the, bodies of an earlier day had a more political or trades-union aspect than have the professional institutions with which we are familiar, but Mr. Etchells' address none the less established a line of continuity