Skip to main content

Conservative Party Archive: Conservative Central Office - Labour/Industrial/Trade Union Department


  • How to

Papers of the Labour/Industrial/Trade Union Department at Conservative Central Office, including records of the Conservative Trade Unionists' National Advisory Committee.


  1. Committee on Trade Union Policy and Organisation, 1952
  2. Trade Unionists' National Advisory Commitee (TUNAC), 1947-1984
  3. Trade Union Department, 1947-1959
  4. Industrial Organisers, personal files, 1951-1969


  • Creation: 1947-1984, n.d.


144 shelfmarks

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. CCO 503/1/1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

CCO 503/1/1-33; 503/2/1-59; 503/3/1-26; 503/4/1-25

Collection ID (for staff)



Papers of the Labour/Industrial/Trade Union Department, 1947-1984

Biographical / Historical

The Labour Department was established at Conservative Central Office in March 1946, primarily to service and support the Trade Union National Advisory Committee of the National Union.

Following the Keatinge Report of 1952 [for which, see series below 'Committee on Trade Union Policy and Organisation'], the Labour Department was reconstituted as the Industrial Department, with a Divisional Council of Trade Unionists (DCTUs) to be set up in each constituency to deal with and advise on trade union matters and provide a structure for the Area Trade Union Advisory Committees and the national organisation. By 1962 a survey conducted by the Industrial Department returned 167 DCTUs in existence out of a total of 547 constituencies. On 6th March, 1964, a further reform abolished the DCTUs and replaced them with a constituency trade unionists’ advisory committee as an integral part of the constituency organisation.

Falling into decline in the 1960s the trade union work of Central Office was revived by Lord Thorneycroft, then Party Chairman, and the Industrial Department was reconstituted as the Trade Union Department in 1975. National Organisers and field agents were appointed, and encouragement given to set up Conservative Trade Union groups in the constituencies.

Custodial History

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.

Related Materials

Publications of the Trade Union Department and the Trade Unionists' National Advisory Committee 1948-1989 are catalogued separately, see shelfmarks: PUB 520-521 in catalogue PUB/B: Conservative Party Pamphlets

Conservative Party Archive: Labour/Industrial/Trade Unions Department
Finding aid prepared by Jeremy McIlwaine
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom