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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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38th Congress, 1983

38th Congress, 1983

From box CP/CENT/CONG/21. FILE 05: Published congress material: EC report, congress report ('Focus'), draft resolutions, resolutions and amendments from party organisations, report-back guide and newspaper reports of conference, 12-15 Nov 1983.... (more...)

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39th (special) Congress, 1985

39th (special) Congress, 1985

From box CP/CENT/CONG/22. FILE 05: Published congress materials: congress report in 'Focus' and as separate brochure, draft resolution 'Unite the Party Behind the British Road to Socialism', four booklets of amendments... (more...)

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40th Congress, 1987

40th Congress, 1987

From box CP/CENT/CONG/23. FILE 07: Published congress materials: EC resolutions, amendments and resolutions from party organisations, EC report, congress report, congress appeals committee brochure, etc., 14-17 Nov 1987. -- FILE 08:... (more...)

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41st Congress, 1989

41st Congress, 1989

From box CP/CENT/CONG/23. FILE 14: Published congress documents: congress report ('News and Views'), 'Manifesto for New Times' draft, amendments and resolutions from party organisations, EC report, etc., 25-28 Nov 1989. --... (more...)

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42nd Congress, 1990

42nd Congress, 1990

From box CP/CENT/CONG/24. FILE 07: Published congress materials: draft resolution, amendments from party organisations and corrections to this document, EC candidates election statements, document on Marxism Today, before 8 - 9... (more...)

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43rd Congress, 1991

43rd Congress, 1991

From box CP/CENT/CONG/25. FILE 01: Materials for delegates: draft Democratic Left constitution, correspondence re amendments thereto and to existing rules and standing orders from party organisations and members, EC election statements,... (more...)

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Miscellaneous, 1920-1985

Miscellaneous, 1920-1985

From box CP/CENT/CONG/25. FILE 10: Lists of National Congresses, dates and venues from 1920-1985 [n.d.]. -- FILE 11: Various materials including reports, minutes and recommended lists re work of the Elections... (more...)

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