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Comment , 1948-1963

PUB 202/1-2

  • Request
  1. PUB 202/1 - Comment, Easter 1948-Oct/Nov 1952;
  2. PUB 202/2 - Four documents on the history of Comment, 1951-1952, 1963.


  • 1948-1963


1 box (2 volumes)

Language of Materials

  • English


PUB 202/1-2

Biographical / Historical

In October 1946 a new Federation magazine, Comment was started, appearing once a term for 4 years with a format of between 4-6 pages. It was edited by John Lowe in the Conservative Research Department (although elsewhere it is stated that in fact the CPC was formally responsible for publishing it, only relinquishing it in 1950 when the FUCUA attempted to make it self-financing).

In March 1950 it was decided that the expense involved in producing Comment was not justified, and at the FUCUA's AGM it was proposed that it should cease. However, this was rejected at the AGM which agreed to put Comment into the hands of an Editorial Board composed of undergraduates. This turned Comment into a monthly, rather than a termly magazine, designed to appeal to an audience outside the universities as well as to undergraduates.

The editorial of the re-launched Comment in December 1950 (Vol. 1, No. 1) states, 'This is a new magazine. Like all new magazines it has a specific purpose and policy; and like all good magazines it will no doubt develop further purposes in the course of its career. But for the moment our aim is twofold: to provide a forum and clearing-house for the opinions and discussions of that great body of Right-wing Undergraduates throughout every British University, and secondly, by publishing these opinions, to enable all those readers whose job or interest it is, to evaluate the significance and prejudices of the present generation at the Universities. We hope always to be able to balance the freshness of youth by the maturity of two or three articles in each issue from already established writers; but we intend Comment to be essentially and Undergraduate magazine – a theatre wherein the Undergraduates themselves may act what parts they like, and wherein all those interested in the coming generation can see their first manoeuvrings on the stage – impetuous and self-important as they may be, but marked, we hope, with a sincerity and tolerance which many of our political opponents would do well to emulate.'

In March 1951 it was decided that a limited liability company should be set up to take over publication of Comment, which would help it to appear as if it was an independent publication free of Party control, thereby boosting sales and advertising revenue. The FUCUA's Chairman and Secretary would be co-opted onto Comment's Board of Directors, and the FUCUA would also elect two Undergraduate Assistant Editors at its AGM.

Unfortunately the limited liability company failed to get off the ground, despite a notice to the contrary in the final, Oct/Nov 1952 edition (Vol. 2, No. 20) which stated that, 'A company is being formed, Fair Comment Ltd, to take over the ownership and management of this magazine.'

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom