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Note:Francis Bennion sadly died on 28 January 2015.

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FB's writings on Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) etc.


Introduction to FBs writings on the RICS etc.


FB's Message to RICS members on his appointment in 1965


1966 Presidential World Tour

1966.002 RICS Presidential World Tour - FB's diary (unpublished)

Newspaper report and photograph (50.3)


FB's membership of the estate Agents Council (EAC)


FBs writings on the World of Property Housing Trust (WPHT)


5.4.1.Introduction to FB's writings on the RICS etc.

Francis Bennion's connection with professionalism began in 1965 when he was appointed Secretary (now called Chief Executive) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the leading professional body in the field of surveying, land agency and estate agency. As Secretary of the RICS he took a leading role in seeking to obtain statutory registration of estate agents, and was a member of the short-lived Estates Agents Council and a governor of the College of Estate Management.

On his appointment Bennion published a message to members in the RICS journal for October 1965, part of which reads as follows:-

'My appointment, as you will know, marks a break with recent practice, since my background is in the field of government and parliamentary activity as seen from the viewpoint of the Civil Service. In dealing with an important aspect of the Institution's functions, namely that of bringing to bear on the development of government policy and legislation the expertise possessed by the profession of the land, I have no doubt this experience will be of help.'

This gives the clue to why he was chosen to head the RICS staff of some two hundred, and why he accepted the appointment. While in the Parliamentary Counsel Office he had drafted an Estate Agents Bill presented to Parliament by Arthur Jones M.P.

The message also said:-

'I was somewhat dismayed when it was brought home to me just how many different national bodies there are which concern themselves with the profession of the land. This proliferation, for which there are no doubt good reasons, must have a weakening effect and I am glad to know that methods of securing increased co-operation within the profession are the constant concern of the Council of the Institution and of the kindred societies. Here, as elsewhere, the Institution must take the lead . . .'

The RICS did take the lead, and Bennion was closely involved in this. It bore fruit when in June 1970 the two other leading bodies, the Chartered Land Agents' Society and the Chartered Auctioneers' and Estate Agents' Institute, amalgamated with the RICS.

The history of the RICS is recounted in Chartered Surveyors: The growth of a profession by F. M. L. Thompson (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968). Of Bennion, Thompson says (p. 356) he was 'Prominent in negotiations for establishing Estate Agents Council, and for discussing possible merger of the three chartered societies'. He also mentions (p. 276) the 1966 world tour in which Bennion accompanied the then President of the RICS, Guy Biscoe, on a visit to many of the numerous RICS branches overseas.

Bennion resigned from the RICS in 1968. See further Slippery Customers: Estate agents, the public and regulation by Clarke, Smith and McConville (Blackstone Press, 1994)