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Committees of the Parliamentary Party


The earliest committee of the parliamentary party for which records are held is the London Unionist Members' Committee [LUMC], which appears to have been formed in consequence of the Liberal victory at the 1906 General Election and lasted until 1919.

The 1920s witnessed the beginning of a number of committees of the parliamentary party, of which the 1922 Committee, became the most important. The 1922 Committee began the practice of hearing reports from the newly developing committees; reports of committee proceedings were made either verbally or in writing to the 1922 Committee and occasionally, as with the Agriculture Committee, official statements of proceedings were issued and published in The Times. By 1929 committees had been established to examine specific topics on a regular basis, such as agriculture, foreign affairs, imperial affairs, finance, the armed forces, trade and industry. By the 1980s there were 24 subject committees, the meetings of which were open to any Conservative MP, although there have also been a number of ad hoc committees created for specific, short-term purposes.

No direct deposit of records has been made by these committees to date (with the exception of the Scottish Unionist Members' Committee [SUMC]), but some incomplete series have come to the Conservative Party Archive by virtue of the fact that these committees were serviced by staff of the Conservative Research Department or in some cases, departments of Conservative Central Office, who provided secretarial services and took the minutes at meetings. As such, their surviving records in the Conservative Party Archive are often fragmentary, and dispersed amongst the records of the Conservative Research Department, with which they were catalogued.

The following is a summary of the Parliamentary Committees for which record are held, and their whereabouts within the catalogue:

Agriculture:
Agriculture Committee, 1946-1964; 1971-1972; 1988-1989 [CRD 2/11, CRD 3/2 & CRD 4/2]
                Clean Milk Sub-Committee, 1931-1940 [CRD 1/33]
Agriculture Research Committee, 1930-1933 [CRD 1/30 & CRD 1/44]

Home Affairs:
Home Affairs Committee, 1947-1964 [CRD 2/44]

Industry, Trade and the economy:
Industrial Foundations Committee, 1930-1931 [ CRD 1/32]
Fuel and Power Committee, 1947-1964 [ CRD 2/1]
                Sub-Committee on Atomic Energy, 1957-1960 [ CRD 2/1]
Committee on Science and Industry, 1957-1964 [ CRD 2/5]
Iron and Steel Committee, c late 1940s [ CRD 2/6]
Trade and Industry Committee, 1947-1964 [ CRD 2/6; CRD 2/8]
Economy Committee, 1931 [ CRD 1/45]
Labour Committee, 1954-1964 [ CRD 2/7]
Trade and Finance Committee, 1943-1945 [CRD 2/9]
Finance Committee, 1945-1964; 1977-1978; 1980-1989 [ CRD 2/9; CRD 4/4/46; CRD 4/4/156-7]
Employment Backbench Committee, 1975-1989 [CRD 4/4]
Industrial Policy Committee, 1946-1947 [CRD 2/7]
Energy Backbench Committee, 1985-1989 [CRD 4/11]
Small Business Backbench Committee, 1979-1980 [CRD 4/4/158; UNCAT]
Public Expenditure Committee, 1978-1980 [CRD 4/4/110-112]
Industry Committee [Trade & Industry from 1983], 1979-1988 [CRD 4/4/159-161]

Imperial/Foreign Affairs:
Imperial Affairs Committee (Commonwealth Affairs Committee from 1951), 1945-1963 [CCO 507/1]
Foreign Affairs Committee, 1946-1973 [CRD 2/34 & CRD 3/10]
Parliamentary Group on the Common Market, 1962-1963 [CRD 2/42]
Imperial Purposes Committee, 1937 [ CRD 1/54]
Committee on Europe (Policy Research), 1966-1968 [CRD 3/10]

Transport:
Aviation Committee, 1946-1964 [CRD 2/15]
Committee on inland waterways, 1957-1961 [CRD 2/18]
Transport [Transport Industries from 1972] Committee, 1965-1972 [CRD 3/34]

Housing:
Housing Committee, 1946-1951 [CRD 2/23]
Housing, Local Government & Works Committee, 1951-1964 [CRD 2/23]
Housing and Town & Country Planning Committee, 1946-1951 [CRD 2/25]

Health & Social Services:
Medical Committee, 1946-1964 [CRD 2/27]
                Health Sub-Committee, 1946-1964 [CRD 2/27]
Health Policy Committee, 1951 [CRD 2/27]
House of Lords Discussion Group on Health, 1969-1970 [CRD 4/7]
Health and Social Security Committee minutes, 1956-1971 [CRD 4/7]
Social Services Committee: 1948-1958 [CRD 2/29]
Health and Social Security Committee: 1951-1964 [CRD 2/30]

Education:
Education Committee, 1949-1964; 1975-1979; 1979-1988 [CRD 2/33; CRD 4/5; CRD 4/5]

Defence:
Defence Committee, 1946-1964 [CRD 2/37]
House of Lords Defence Committee [Forces Committee until Jan 1948], 1945-1957 [CRD 2/37]
Naval Committee, 1946-1951 [CRD 2/36]
Committee for Defence - Naval Sub-Committee, 1952-1964 [CRD 2/36]
Committee for the Army, 1945-1949 [CRD 2/37]
Committee for Defence - Army Sub-Committee, 1955-1958 [CRD 2/37]
Air Force Sub-Committee, 1950-1964 [CRD 2/38]
Retired Pay and Pensions Committee [relates to armed forced pensions], 1951-1955 [CRD 2/38]

Regions:
Scottish Unionist Members' Committee [SUMC]
                Sub-Committee on Rent Bill, 1956-1957 [CRD 2/24]
(see below for other records of the Scottish Unionist Members' Committee) Northern Ireland Backbench Committee, 1971-1979 [CRD 3/18 & CRD 4/15]
                Factfinding Sub-Committee, 1975-1976 [CRD 4/15]

Arts and Heritage:
Arts and Amenities Committee, 1955-1961 [CRD 2/44]
Arts Backbench Committee, 1976-1979 [CRD 4/3
Arts & Heritage Backbench Committee, 1979-1981 [CRD 4/3]
Arts Steering Committee, 1975 [CRD 4/3]

Media and Broadcasting:
Broadcasting and Communication Committee, 1945-1972 [CRD 2/20; CRD 3/20]
Broadcasting [Media from 1976]Committee, 1972-1979 [CRD 4/14/3]
Media Backbench Committee, 1986 [CRD 4/14]

Reform of the House of Lords:
House of Lords [i.e, reform of] Committee, 1930-1938 [ CRD 1/35]

Other:
Committee, 1947-1964 [CRD 2/19]
Land Committee, 1950 [CRD 2/44]
Parliamentary Business Committee, 1947-1961 [CRD 2/52]
Backbench Legal Affairs Committee, 1985-1986 [CRD 4/10]

Conservative Party Archive

Last updated: 15 March 2011, Jeremy McIlwaine