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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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Early unity conventions, rules and policy conferences, and congresses, 1920-1925

Early unity conventions, rules and policy conferences, and congresses, 1920-1925

From box CP/CENT/CONG/01. Comprises files, reports, etc., for: the First Unity Convention (1st Congress), 1920; the Second (Leeds) Unity Convention (2nd Congress), 1921; the Rules Conference at Manchester (3rd Congress), 1921;... (more...)

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8th Congress, 1926 (incl. suppl. materials on 8th-10th congresses)

8th Congress, 1926 (incl. suppl. materials on 8th-10th congresses)

CP/CENT/CONG/01/08: Notes on the 8th congress from three separate delegates, including R. Palme Dutt, 16-17 Oct 1926. -- CP/CENT/CONG/02/01: Supplementary materials from the 8th, 9th and 10th congresses, including some handwritten... (more...)

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9th Congress, 1927

9th Congress, 1927

From box CP/CENT/CONG/02. FILE 02: Printed congress materials: congress report, CC political and organising reports, resolutions on the Labour Party, the YCL, imperialism, theses on the International and National Battle Fronts,... (more...)

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10th Congress, 1929

10th Congress, 1929

From box CP/CENT/CONG/02. FILE 06: Printed congress materials: congress report 'The New Line', CC organising and political reports, draft theses: Party Trade Union Policy, The Present Situation and the Tasks of... (more...)

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12th Congress, 1932

12th Congress, 1932

From box CP/CENT/CONG/03. FILE 01: Printed congress materials, 12-15 Nov 1932. -- FILE 02: Duplicated congress materials: draft resolutions on the lessons of economic struggles, the capitalist offensive, the 12th Plenum... (more...)

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13th Congress, 1935

13th Congress, 1935

From box CP/CENT/CONG/03. FILE 04: Printed congress materials, 2 - 5 Feb 1935. -- FILE 05: Duplicated congress materials: guide to the discussion, credentials report, comments on the draft resolutions from... (more...)

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14th Congress, 1937

14th Congress, 1937

From box CP/CENT/CONG/03. FILE 07: Congress materials and reports: 'It Can Be Done', draft resolution, CC report, 'A Congress of Unity' (delegates' report-back guide), 29-31 May 1937. -- FILE 08: Press... (more...)

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15th Congress, 1938

15th Congress, 1938

From box CP/CENT/CONG/04. FILE 01: Published congress materials: 'For Peace and Plenty' (congress report), report of the CC, agenda and draft resolutions, card in memoriam of fallen International Brigadiers, study guide... (more...)

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16th Congress, 1943 (incl. cancelled congress, 1939, & nat. conf., 1942)

16th Congress, 1943 (incl. cancelled congress, 1939, & nat. conf., 1942)

From box CP/CENT/CONG/04. FILE 12: The cancelled 16th Congress, 1939: Printed congress materials: draft constitution, CC report, draft programme; Harry Pollitt's first draft of report to congress, along with his notes... (more...)

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17th Congress, 1944

17th Congress, 1944

From box CP/CENT/CONG/04. FILE 15: Published congress documents: 'Victory Peace Security' (congress report), discussion statement, agenda and resolutions, documents for congress, EC report, post-congress EC memorandum, 28-29 Oct 1944. -- FILE... (more...)

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