Presidential address. The position of the organic chemical industry

William Henry Perkin
1915 Journal of the Chemical Society Transactions  
Posit ion of the Orga.lzic CIL L' mic a 1 In du s t ~y . THE subject which I have chosen for my Address on this occasion must always be regarded as of the highest importance, not only to this Society, but also to the country a t large, because of its intimate connexion with the prosperity of so many of our largest and most successful industries. It is a subject which has been discussed over and over again a t scientific societies, in scientific journals, and particularly in the newspapers by
more » ... he newspapers by chemists, manufacturers, politicians, and the general public. I n his valuable presidential address t o this dociety in 1907, entitled "The Position and Prospects of Chemical Research in Great Britain," Professor Meldola had much t o say about the bearing of research on the position of industry, and, in 1909, the same writer discussed very fully the question of the value of education and research in connesion with applied chemistry in his presidential address to the Society of Chemical Iiidustry. T t would therefore seem scarcely necessary t h a t I should take up your time by bringing these matters t o your notice again. I do not propose, however, t o apologise, partly because I am of the opinion that. a summary of the position of t h s organic chemical industry in as few words as possible will not be out of place and may be useful, but more particularly because, in spite of the large amount of literature bearing on the subject, I feel convinced that the causes of the decadence of this industry in this country are still imperfectly understood. The seriousness of the position is readily grasped when i t is borne in mind t h a t the value of the colouring matters consumed in this country is a t least 22,000,000 per annum, and t h a t more than 90 per cent. of this quantity comes from Germany, and, when it is remembered that these dyes are essential to textile industries representing a t least ~200,000,000 per annum, and employing more than 1,500,000 workers, it is easy to see to what an alarming extent these great industries are in the grip and power of the Germans. There are, of course, many other industries which depend on colouring matters for their existence, such as, for 0 0 2
doi:10.1039/ct9150700557 fatcat:aj5zkcvr4zdfxasqdeikkgffbu