Conservative Party Archive: Steering Committee
Papers of the Steering Committee, 1957-1979, comprising:
- Minutes, 1957-1979
- Correspondence, 1962-4, 1970-1
- Working papers and drafts, 1957-1979.
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
General access conditions apply to this material.
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. SC 1.]
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Collection ID (for staff)
Papers of the Steering Committee, 1957-1979
Biographical / Historical
The main purpose of the Steering Committee was to draft the Party's general election manifesto, and it was usually reconstituted 1-2 years before an impending election and was chaired by the Party Leader: ‘Both before the 1955 and 1959 elections, and indeed in a less orderly way for the 1950 and 1951 elections, we have had the same system of first generating thoughts about future policy, then bringing them together in various drafts for the election manifesto, and finally supervising them by a senior committee under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. This seems a very good recipe and, except in detail, I should like to suggest that we follow it again. It involves the setting up of two committees or groups: 1) The Steering Committee. This on the last two occasions was under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister assisted by four or five senior Ministers with Michael Fraser as Secretary….2) The Policy Study Group. I have always been Chairman of this….I would propose to set up the Policy Study Group almost at once…’ [Source: Letter from Iain Macleod to Harold Macmillan, 26/10/1961, Shelfmark: CCO 20/31/1]
The Conservative Party Archive (CPA) 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 and financial responsibility for the CPA has been vested in the Conservative Party Archive Trust. The CPA preserves the records of all three areas of Party organisation: parliamentary, voluntary and professional. It is recognised by the Conservative Party as the official repository for its historic records and those of affiliated organisations, and receives new material on a regular basis.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Conservative Party.
- Conservative Party Archive: Steering Committee
- Finding aid prepared by Emily Tarrant
- Language of description
- Script of description