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Conservative Political Centre (local policy discussion groups), 1946-1994


  • How to


  • Creation: 1946-1994

Language of Materials

  • English

Biographical / Historical

Political Education within the Party was encouraged from the 1920s by the establishment of Conservative training colleges at Overstone, near Northampton in 1923, and at at Ashridge, near Berkhamsted in 1929, and by an Education Committee which was set up in the 1930s and formally constituted as an Advisory Committee of the National Union from 1937. After the War, RA Butler sought to revitalise political education and encourage the discussion of policy-making at all levels within the Party by setting up the Conservative Political Centre in December 1945. The National Advisory Committee on Political Education (subsequently re-named the National Advisory Committee) was also set up to maintain liaison between the National Union and the Conservative Political Centre.

The purpose of the CPC was 'to heighten political awareness generally amongst the rank and file, and to give them the confidence to face the challenge of socialism on equal terms.' The CPC structure reflected that of the National Union, with Area and constituency level committees. Weekly discussion topics were set by the Centre, with reports back from local branches. In 1999 the CPC changed its name to the Conservative Policy Forum, but its basic purpose of facilitating discussion of policy and feeding back to the Party leadership continues.

Related Materials

For the working papers of the Conservative Political Centre, see series: CCO 150.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom