Conservative Party Archive: 1922 Committee
Comprises minutes of the 1922 Committee, 1923-2010; minutes of the 1922 Executive Committee, 1979-2010; correspondence, 1969-1979; miscellaneous papers, 1968-2003; and Points Raised in Meetings, 1979-87.
- Creation: 1923-2010
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Material which is less than 50 years' old is closed unless permission is obtained from the Chairman of the 1922 Committee.
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. 1922/1].
Full range of shelfmarks:
Collection ID (for staff)
Papers of the 1922 Committee, 1923-2010, including minutes and correspondence.
Biographical / Historical
This committee was "formed [in 1923] of Conservative Private Members who were elected for the first time in 1922, for the purpose of mutual co-operation and assistance in dealing political and parliamentary questions and in order to enable new Members to take a more active interest and part in parliamentary life..." (CPA, 1922/1). The name is often mistakenly thought to refer to the meeting at the Carlton Club in 1922 which ended Lloyd George's Coalition Government.
Since 1926, every Conservative back-bench MP is a member of the committee, although it did not take up a position within the formal Party structure until as late as 1965. It provides a sounding board of Conservative opinion in the House of Commons, and allows MPs to put forward ideas, views and concerns through a process of dialogue, rather than through confrontation with the leadership. As such, it has been involved in all the major issues of the twentieth century.
In 2015, the five policy committees of the 1922 Committee played a significant part in drafting the Party's general election manifesto, along with the No. 10 Policy Unit and the MPs on the Downing Street Policy Board. The Policy Unit's working groups match the structure of the 1922's policy committees, which are: Economy, Foreign Affairs, Environment and Local Government, Home Affairs and the Constitution, and Public Services.
Following the June 2017 General Election, when the Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority, representation of the 1922 Committee's policy committees on the Downing Street Policy Board, and approval by them of any proposals made by the Downing Street Policy Unit, were amongst the concessions demanded in return for continued support for Theresa May by the parliamentary party.
The archive of the Conservative Party was established as a source for academic study at the Bodleian Library in 1978 by an agreement made between the University of Oxford and the Conservative Party, and brought together surviving historic papers of the Party previously held in various locations including Newcastle University Library and the former Conservative Central Office in Smith Square, London. Since 1996, ownership of the archive has been vested in the Conservative Party Archive Trust. The archive includes records from all three areas of Party organisation: parliamentary, voluntary and professional.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Conservative Party
- Conservative Party Archive: 1922 Committee
- Finding aid prepared by Emily Tarrant
- Language of description
- Script of description