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Archives of the Parliamentary Labour Party

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About this Collection

Introduction: Archives of the Parliamentary Labour Party

Introduction: Archives of the Parliamentary Labour Party


This microfiche collection comprises the Minutes and Recordsof the Administration Committee, 1941-1945, Executive Committee 1923-1937,Liaison Committee, 1945-1968, Parliamentary Committee, 1951-1964, and of theParliamentary Labour Party, 1906-1968.


The Administrative Committee was a response to the inclusionof various key Labour men in Churchill's wartime Coalition government. Somefresh arrangement had to be made for running the parliamentary party. Theresult was a committee consisting of members who were not ministers. Attlee andother Labour ministers still had access to meetings of the AdministrativeCommittee, but they did not attend on a regular basis.


The Executive Committee minutes provide a day by day insightinto parliamentary business with Smillie, MacDonald, Lansbury and Webb playingan important role in the 1920s. By the 1930s regular attenders are Attlee,Greenwood, Lees-Smith, Williams, Pritt, Pethwick-Lawrence, Dalton and Buxton.


The Liaison Committee, as the Executive Committee becameknown after the Second World War, again provides minutes giving a day by dayaccount of parliamentary business and arrangements. From 1951 to 1964 thiscommittee was known as the Parliamentary Committee. It reverted to being calledthe Liaison Committee once again in November 1964. This section of minutes isof particular interest for the periods of Government 1945-1951 and from 1964onwards as well as giving a useful picture of the organization of the Labouropposition 1951-1964.


The Minutes of Parliamentary Labour Party Meetings areperhaps of even greater importance for the researcher. The Parliamentary LabourParty, of course, comprises Labour members of both Houses of Parliament. Itsmeetings provided the greatest opportunity for discussion and a forum forindividual members to raise questions and debate the issues of the day withtheir colleagues on the front bench.


The records of the Parliamentary Labour Party allow aremarkable insight into the structure and strategies of the Labour Party atWestminster.


This microfiche collection of minutes and memoranda providesan unparalleled opportunity to study the nature of the Parliamentary LabourParty and its developing relationship with the grass-roots of the Party over afull sixty-two years.