Dora Greene founded Calculating And Statistical Services (C&SS) in Belfast in 1924, with her cousin Everard Greene and friend Sam Haughton as partners. The company won the contract to analyse the Northern Irish census of 1926. A second office opened in Dublin in 1929 and in 1930 C&SS began work on the Irish Hospitals Sweepstake, that was to be a major earner for the company throughout the 1930s. In 1933-34 C&SS had an office in Florence, from where Dora organised a sweepstake for the Roman International Charities. This led to Dora’s private audience with Pope Pius XI in November 1933.
In 1934, C&SS’s London office was absorbed into BTM, with Dora founding and directing the Service Bureaux Division. Further offices opened around the UK in the 1930s. In 1940 C&SS officially became BTM’s Agent in Ireland. During the Second World War, BTM built 210 bombe machines for the Bletchley Park codebreakers. No records remain of exactly what Dora’s role was at this time, but since BP was known at BTM as ‘Bureau B’ I have assumed that Dora was involved in managing the contract.
Dora resigned from BTM in 1954 but continued to run C&SS in Ireland until she retired at the end of 1962. Between 1953 and 1962 C&SS revenue in Ireland rose from £107,000 to over £500,000.
This is a summary of the company’s activities and accounts 1924-44:
Towards the end of 1931 Dora wrote up the somewhat fraught negotiations that had been going on between C&SS and BTM regarding the arrangements for the new London office:
C&SS v BTM Co, London Office, 1931.
In December 1930 the question of opening a C&SS London office was discussed with the Board. I myself was present and also the Chairman. A decision was made to open the London office on the same basis as the Irish offices. It was agreed that the use of the BTM offices (or part of them) in General Buildings should be given C&SS free of charge for one year, in lieu of a cash subsidy.
CAEG (Everard Greene) went to India directly after this and no letter confirming the Board’s decision was written to the C&SS. The Board minute no. 1821 reads “It was resolved to support the formation of the C&SS London, the company providing the necessary set of machines etc., the basis of division of profits to be on the lines already obtaining in Ireland: details to be arranged with the Management Committee.
Towards the end of December DSG (Dora) asked for some confirmation of the Board’s decision and some information as to how things stood with regard to the General Buildings offices, for which sub-letting negotiations had arisen in another direction.
DSG came over for the BTM Annual Dinner on Jan 10th, 1931. The very same day the other sub-let for the General Buildings offices went through. It was then decided verbally between DSG and Max Browne (BTM director) that in view of the increasing pressure of the Irish Sweep contract, it would be better to postpone the opening of the London office.
January 10th – DSG fully occupied with Grand National Sweep.
March 23rd – Mr Haworth (BTM Financial Director), who had returned from America, came over to Ireland to fix up the C&SS accounts and Balance Sheet for 1930. Two questions arose:
(a) The treatment of the £350 contributed by the BTM Co to Dublin during 1930
(b) Whether the service fee paid to C&SS by Hospitals Trust should be included in Revenue or omitted as in the case of the N Ireland census.
DSG developed duodenal ulcer and was ordered to take a long rest. Started on sea voyage April 21st (this is when Dora met John Metcalf) and did not return to work until May 26th. During my absence CAEG and Mr Haughton agreed with Max Browne to include our Hospitals Trust service fees in Revenue divisible for half profits – and to start London office after my return.
May 28th – the BTM Co Board (vide minute no. 1889) “The Board approved a loan of £500 to the C&SS London, to be repaid by half profits as set forth in minute no. 1821.”
No written confirmation of this was sent to the C&SS – Sam Haughton agitates for a firm statement, both with regard to London and subsidy, and also with regard to the points (a) and (b) above so that the 1930 accounts (for which the income tax people are calling) can be completed and signed.
DSG writes to Max towards the end of June outlining the conclusions arrived at verbally during many discussions and asking him to confirm these in writing. No reply to letter. Sam Haughton getting rather annoyed.
July 1st – 13th – DSG in London and opens London office. Max Browne and almost everybody else away on holidays etc. Certain points settled up which enable Mr Haworth to proceed with the closing of the 1930 accounts (signed August 5th).
July 31st – CAEG visits Dublin. DSG tells him of SGH’s (Sam Haughton’s) annoyance that no confirmation of 1931 basis for London yet received. CAEG promises to get this matter definitely settled up as soon as he returns to London.
August 8th – DSG returns to London. From then till the end of the month interminable discussions between Messrs Browne, Cranfield, Haworth, Crawford etc. (BTM management) re financial basis between C&SS and BTM Co. Complete departure from the original basis as already sanctioned by the Board. Mr Chadwyck-Healey (BTM Board Director) is of the opinion that the matter can be best settled by the formation of a small Limited Company in which both C&SS and BTM Co have a joint interest. Letter received from him to this effect dated August 31st.
Sept 2nd – SGH in London and dictates letter and memorandum to the Board. He offers on behalf of C&SS voluntary departure from the original basis, expresses our willingness to accept any arguable ruling with regard to the £500 sanctioned by the Board for London and our express wish to share Hospitals Trust service fees. He suggests that on this basis a balance sheet from Jan-June 1931 be drawn up and the accounts closed to that date. From July 1st (i.e. when London comes into the picture) he suggests that the moment is not quite ripe for the formation of a joint Limited Company but puts forward a suggestion which will form a basis for the formation of such a company later.
A fortnight elapses. CAEG promises that the matter will be settled at the next Board meeting.
Sept 15th – Board meeting. Chairman ill. Mr Chadwyck-Healey puts forward suggestion for the formation of a Company. No decisive result.
Sept 25th – SGH writes very disgruntled letter to DSG.