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Conservative Party Archive: Conservative Central Office - Youth Organisations


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Comprises the following papers:
  1. Junior Imperial League Central Council, Executive and Finance committee minutes
  2. Junior Imperial League Annual reports and agendas
  3. Junior Imperial League Press Cuttings and Photographs
  4. Junior Imperial League Policy and Re-organisation
  5. Junior Imperial League General Administration and Finances
  6. Young Britons - Inter War
  7. Young Britons - Post War
  8. Young Conservatives - Policy Reports
  9. Young Conservatives - Policy and Organisation
  10. Young Conservatives - National conference
  11. Young Conservatives - Miscellaneous Publicity
  12. Young Conservatives - Magazine
  13. Young Conservatives - National Advisory Committee
  14. Young Conservatives - Membership and Recruitment
  15. Young Conservatives - External Relations
  16. Young Conservatives - Publications
  17. Young Conservatives - Policy Organisation Reports
  18. Young Conservatives - Council for London
  19. Federation of University Conservative and Unionist Associations (FUCUA)/Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) - Inter University Correspondence
  20. FUCUA/FCS - Conservative Association
  21. FUCUA/FCS - Annual reports
  22. FUCUA/FCS - University Associations
  23. FUCUA/FCS - Change of officers, Universities
  24. FUCUA/FCS - Publicity
  25. FUCUA/FCS - Relations with National Union
  26. FUCUA/FCS - Minutes


  • 1905-1995, n.d.


252 shelfmarks

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Access

General access conditions apply to this material.

Conditions Governing Access

General access conditions apply to this material.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. CCO 506/1/1].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

CCO 506/1-32

Collection ID (for staff)



Archive of the Conservative Party Youth Organisations: papers of the Junior Imperial League, Young Britons, Young Conservatives and Federation of University Conservative and Unionist Associations, 1905-1995.

Biographical / Historical

The Junior Imperial and Constitutional League was formed in 1906. Its objectives were: to create a practical interest in political work and organisation among the youth by organising Junior Associations in each Parliamentary Division and throughout the Empire, to co-operate with existing Conservative and Unionist Associations in advancing the cause of Imperial unity, to uphold constitutional principles, and to further the Conservative and Unionist cause. It held its inaugural meeting in the Junior Constitutional Club at which Viscount Castlereagh MP was elected President, and Mr HH Cannell its Organising Secretary. Following suspension during the First World War, it was re-established in the 1920s, and reorganised on a constituency and area basis in 1928, with young women now being admitted also. It went into hibernation during the Second World War and was reconstituted as the Young Conservatives in 1946.

The Young Britons Organisation was formed in 1925 as the juvenile branch of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations. The organisation was closed down during the Second World War and was reformed in 1948, but never returned to its former popularity. It catered for the 6-16 age group, recruiting both boys and girls. Attempts to revitalise it were made in the 1950s and in 1954 a Young Britons Central Committee was established which included representation from the Women’s, Young Conservatives’, and Teachers’ Advisory Committees of the National Union, although the Central Committee itself was never accorded the same status as a National Advisory Committee. Under its constitution, it also had representation from each Young Britons Area Advisory Committee, three representatives appointed by the National Union’s Executive Committee, and the Party’s Vice-Chairman responsible for Women. In February 1955 it adopted the motto, ‘Learning to Serve’. In June 1965, Party Chairman Edward du Cann set up a working party chaired by Lady Silverstone to look into and re-evaluate the Young Britons Organisation in the context of the changing pattern of children’s leisure-time activities. As the result of this, it was formally closed down with effect from 31st December 1965.

The Young Conservatives evolved out of the Junior Imperial League and was more closely integrated with Party structure at every level. It was formed as a National Advisory Committee of the National Union, with Area Advisory Committees at Area level and branches in most constituencies. In its early years it proved phenomenally successful, with over 1,000 branches formed in its first 6 months, and 2,375 by its peak in December 1949. Thereafter membership dropped off, from 160,433 in 1949 to 27,500 in 1978, and 6-9,000 in 1993. It catered for the 16-30 year old age group. In 1998 it was closed and replaced by a new organisation, Conservative Future.

The Federation of University Conservative and Unionists Associations FUCUA) was set up in the late 1940s to act as a bridge between the student movement and the Conservative Party. The students were organised not in the constituency associations but in separate branches of the Federation based on universities and colleges. It was renamed the Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) following the recommendation of its General Purposes Committee on 18th February 1967. Following its controversial swing to the right, it was closed down by the then Party Chairman, Norman Tebbit for bringing the Party into disrepute, and replaced by the Conservative Collegiate Forum in 1986.

Custodial History

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: Youth Organisations
Finding aid prepared by Emily Tarrant
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom