In 1938 when World War II was looming, the National Council of Social Service in London suggested to the government that an Advice and Information Service should be set up to advise the public on war related matters such as air-raid casualties, dispersed families, homelessness and other matters arising from war-time regulations and restrictions. With Government assistance Citizens' Advice Bureaux were set up in many areas in 1939.
Glasgow had the City of Glasgow Society of Social Service with its headquarters at 212 Bath Street. It took on the additional function of a Citizens' Advice Service as the Local Authority refused financial support. This service officially opened on 15 January 1939 and was the first Citizens' Advice Bureau in Scotland.
During the war years there was much co-operation with other voluntary organisations, particularly the Red Cross, in tracing missing service personnel. The bureau, at the request of the London Authorities, assisted in forwarding parcels from Australia to serving personnel under the South East Asia Command. Much of the work then was to help trace prisoners of war, missing civilians and the immediate problems of rationing, housing, service matters, food parcels and civil defence.
Training, education and budgeting were always an important part of the service. Two free Legal Dispensaries were formed in the Society's Eastern and Western District Offices.
Some CABs closed at the end of the war but the Glasgow bureau continued under the auspices of the City of Glasgow Society of Social Services.
By 1967/8 the Society's district offices merged into one in Bath Street. The CAB service continued to develop as a voluntary and volunteer led organisation. The media and many publications were by now encouraging the public to use their CAB. General information was, however, scant compared to the modern information system we have now. But, by the late 1960s a monthly updated information pack came from the umbrella association, the National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux in London, now known as Citizens' Advice. This bureau, like others, is a member of the Scottish Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux, trading as Citizens' Advice Scotland.
Throughout the years the bureau has had many homes including Bath Street, Sauchiehall Street, Albion Street and Bell Street.
The bureau now operates from 3rd Floor, Mitchell Library, 201 North Street, Glasgow, (entry by Granville Street).
"I must say many thanks and praise for the hard work done to relieve my debts and stress"
"Excellent manner, great attitude and very helpful and supportive advice"
"I received a very helpful and knowledgeable service and would not hesitate to contact in the future to further support my position"