Conservative Party Archive: Whip's Office
The archive contains only a limited amount of Whips' Office papers, mainly memoranda written on a wide range of contemporary political issues. There is very little held relating to the disciplining of MPs or the use of the ultimate sanction – withdrawal of the Party whip.
The subjects covered include:- (1930s) electoral reform, General Elections, Party political broadcasts, old age pensions; (1940s) Sir Joseph Ball's proposals for Party re-organisation, food and agriculture, structure of the National Union, trade union vote, Party political broadcasts, National Liberal reflections, civilian clothing, BBC Charter, women and the war effort; (1970s) Party leadership.
- Creation: 1923-1951
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Access to this material requires written permission from The Chief Whip.
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. WHIP 1/2].
Full range of shelfmarks:
Collection ID (for staff)
CPA Whip 1-2
Papers of the Conservative Whip's Office, 1923-1951.
Biographical / Historical
The activities of the parliamentary party and its committees in the House of Commons are managed by the Chief Whip, assisted by a number of Junior Whips appointed by the leader of the Party (although by tradition nobody is appointed a Whip without the agreement of the other Whips). The Chief Whip attends the Cabinet/Shadow Cabinet and reports on the state of opinion of back-bench Members, and is also responsible for mobilising the voting strength of Conservative MPs in the House of Commons. The Whips are each given responsibility for certain subjects and attend the relevant Parliamentary committee, working through this to try and persuade Members to support the official Party view on an issue. The Whips are also each given responsibility for a regional area. Prior to the creation of the post of Party Chairman in 1911, the Chief Whip was also responsible for Conservative Central Office.
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
Conservative Party Archive
- Conservative Party (Organisation)
- House of Commons | Conservative Whips' Office (Government) (Organisation)
- House of Commons | Conservative Whips' Office (Opposition) (Organisation)
- Whip's Office
- Finding aid prepared by Emily Tarrant
- Language of description
- Script of description