The papers of Baron Fraser of Kilmorack in the Hoover Institution Archives document a career spent in the higher echelons of the British Conservative Party during the three decades following World War II. In his work as a party official, including a term as Deputy Chair, Fraser participated in nearly every aspect of Conservative politics, including the devising of campaign strategies, the selection of party leaders, the management of public relations, and the choice of day-to-day tactics in parliamentary debate. The Fraser papers provide a view of the internal and external workings of the Conservative Party both in opposition and in government during a period of considerable change in British politics.
A detailed record of Conservative Party life is contained in the LETTERBOOKS series of the papers, which consists largely of correspondence sent by Fraser to various party officials and politicians over a 30-year period. Much of this is concerned with administrative matters, but larger issues of power and policy are also addressed, as is the question of influencing British public opinion. The ALPHABETICAL CORRESPONDENCE series contains additional letters sent to and received from party leaders, including R. A. Butler, as well as correspondence with the Conservative prime ministers of the period, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, and, in particular, Edward Heath.
The Fraser papers include the minutes of proceedings of various Conservative Party bodies, both those taking place in the public arena, such as party conferences, and others involving private deliberations of the party leadership, such as the Leader's Consultative Committee and Steering Committee (see CONSERVATIVE PARTY MEETINGS FILE). There is also material in this section relating to the evolution of British policy toward the European Community.
Among other activities, the work of the Conservative Research Department involved the sampling of public opinion as a guide to the formulation of party policy. Both poll results and political position papers can be found in the CONSERVATIVE RESEARCH DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE FILE of the Fraser papers. There is additional material concerning Conservative electoral strategies in the SUBJECT FILE, which also contains documents assessing the domestic impact of the British role in the Suez crisis of 1956. As a whole, the Fraser papers represent a significant record of Conservative politics in the time between the Churchill era and the realignment of the party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher.
This catalogue was prepared by David Jacobs.
- Creation: 1930-1976
Language of Materials