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NATIONAL CONGRESSES AND SIMILAR CONFERENCES

National congresses and similar conferences

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National congresses and similar conferences

CP/CENT/CONG. According to the rules adopted in 1943, the National Congress was the 'supreme authority' of the party and responsible for laying down the 'general lines' of its work. Delegates' notes on party congresses, like those of its leading committees, can again provide a useful source of supplementary information, although the more open character of these events and their occasional nature meant that it was often feasible and acceptable to provide full stenographic reports. Along with a mass of related documentation, there are full reports of all congresses from the 20th (1948) to the 28th (1963). For all earlier congresses, beginning with the First Unity Convention in 1920, printed materials are variously supplemented by circulated reports and congress materials, delegates' and observers' notes and press cuttings. There are also full proceedings for the CP's 15th and last pre-war congress, held as a symbolic protest in Chamberlain's home city of Birmingham in September 1938. From 1973, proceedings were tape-recorded and the tapes, along with other sound materials formerly in the CPGB archives, are now deposited with the National Sound Archive. Stenograms of earlier congresses will be found in the Moscow archives. In between the more turbulent affairs of the 1920s and the 1980s, one could have wished that party congresses had been less meticulously choreographed. There were, however, moments of tension, as in 1945, 1956-1957 and increasingly from 1968 as party unity ebbed. For the values, the rituals, the language and the political culture of British communism, as well as insights into a wide spread of party activities, the congress materials provide an important source.

Description drawn from Kevin Morgan's introduction.

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18th Congress, 1945

18th Congress, 1945

From box CP/CENT/CONG/05. FILE 01: Printed reports and resolutions: EC report, 'Communist Policy For Britain' (congress report), resolutions and agenda pamphlet, individual resolutions as leaflets, report-back guide etc., 24-26 Nov 1945.... (more...)

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19th Congress, 1947

19th Congress, 1947

From box CP/CENT/CONG/05. FILE 03: Published congress documents, 22-24 Feb 1947. -- FILE 04: Contributions to the pre-congress debate on 'a mass party' from individuals and party organisations, 22-24 Feb 1947.... (more...)

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20th Congress, 1948

20th Congress, 1948

From box CP/CENT/CONG/05. FILE 08: Published congress documents: resolutions and proceedings, EC report, six speeches, reports by Harry Pollitt, J.R. Campbell and Emile Burns, 21-23 Feb 1948. -- FILE 09: Delegates'... (more...)

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21st Congress, 1949

21st Congress, 1949

From box CP/CENT/CONG/06. FILE 04: Published congress materials: 'Communist Policy to Meet the Crisis' (congress report), 'The Socialist Road for Britain' (draft and adopted versions), EC report, Harry Pollitt's political report,... (more...)

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22nd Congress, 1952

22nd Congress, 1952

From box CP/CENT/CONG/08. FILE 01: Published congress materials, 11-14 April 1952. -- FILE 02: George Matthews' file, including notes, materials of the Panels Committee and other congress bodies, preparatory circulars, press... (more...)

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23rd Congress, 1954

23rd Congress, 1954

From box CP/CENT/CONG/08. FILE 06: Published and duplicated documents, including 'The Challenge to Labour' (Harry Pollitt's political report), resolutions and proceedings, EC report, draft of Harry Pollitt's report, preparatory circulars, some... (more...)

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24th Congress, 1956

24th Congress, 1956

From box CP/CENT/CONG/09. FILE 02: Published congress documents, 30 March-2 April 1956. -- FILE 03: Preparation of congress speeches and documents: drafts of speeches by Arnold Kettle and Harry Bourne, notes... (more...)

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25th (special) Congress, 1957

25th (special) Congress, 1957

From box CP/CENT/CONG/10. FILE 05: Published congress materials, 19-22 April 1957. -- FILE 06: Stenographic transcript of congress proceedings, 19 April 1957. -- FILE 07: Stenogr. trans. of cong. proc., 20... (more...)

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26th Congress, 1959

26th Congress, 1959

From box CP/CENT/CONG/12. FILE 01: Printed congress documents: political report, report on rules, EC report, draft political resolution, draft standing orders, draft aims and constitution, branch resolutions, amendments to drafts and... (more...)

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27th Congress, 1961

27th Congress, 1961

From box CP/CENT/CONG/13. FILE 01: Printed congress materials: EC report, draft resolutions, amendments and resolutions from party organisations, Congress report, reports by Gordon McLennan, John Gollan, Frank Stanley, 31 March-3 April... (more...)

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