Skip to main content

Memoranda to Speakers , Aug 1948-Sep 1951


  • How to


  • Aug 1948-Sep 1951

Language of Materials

  • English

Full range of shelfmarks:

PUB 189/35

Biographical / Historical

This was a very different publication to Hints for Speakers and the various other incarnations and usually consisted of between 1-4 pages, but occasionally up to 15, A5-size. It was prepared by the Conservative Research Department and issued by the Speakers' Department of Conservative Central Office.

Only Memoranda no's 37 (23rd Aug 1948)-101 (4th Sep 1951) survive, although a note part-way through the volume into which they were bound, states: 'These were issued by Speakers' Department. Nos 1-36 were duplicated memos. This set was bound from No. 43 onwards. Nos. 37-42 were missing then, but have now been inserted inside front cover.'

A list of the Memoranda titles for No's 1-87 are included with the minutes of the Memoranda to Speakers Committee [see Shelfmark: CCO 4/2/19]. Those prior to No. 37 appear to have been existing documents which were re-circulated as part of the Memoranda series.

No consistent publication programme appears to have been followed, and frequency varies from weekly to bi-monthly. The Memoranda provide background information to current issues before Parliament – mostly focusing on single topics - and sourced facts and figures with which to rebut Opposition arguments.

Related Materials

The Memoranda to Speakers Committee was set up in November 1948 in order to regularise the system for producing speakers' memoranda and 'by-election briefs' which had proven to be out-of-date during the recent Edmonton by-election. A memorandum from the General Director contained within the minutes, states: 'It seems to me that the amalgamation of the Secretariat, Research Department and the Library should provide the occasion for the establishment of a little Standing Committee meeting regularly and responsible for revising and re-issuing Speakers' Memoranda. It should perhaps include a representative of what is now the Secretariat, the Library, the Speakers' Department and the Publicity Department.' [15 Oct 1948]. The committee appears also to have had some oversight of articles for inclusion in Notes on Current Politics.

A list of the 16 'By-Election Briefs' then in existence, and in need of revision in conjunction with their merger with the Memoranda series, is given in a memorandum to the General Director dated 8 Nov 1948. The intention was to provide something for a candidate during elections of 'two or three sentences on a particular subject for the purposes of a reply on the platform' and that the present policy briefs were 'too journalistic and diffuse'.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom