Public and Political: General, 1945 - 1965
Scope and Contents
The files assigned to this series fall naturally into sub-series or groups, most of which derive from an original classification, as follows:.Political.P(rivate) and P(ersonal).Visits.Patronage.Gifts.Greetings.Various.Even where there are original series the lines of distinction between them, as between this class and others, could not be made rigid and there are consequently doubtful cases and inconsistencies.POLITICAL The Political series (CHUR 2/1-139 and CHUR 2/506-517) consists of papers dealing with matters of current political moment though similar papers may also be found in the P and P series. The basic structure of the group is chronological, with an alphabetically arranged main series of correspondence for each chronological period, followed by a number of additional files. These additional files are mainly subject arrangements and are placed chronologically by their earliest date. In some cases the files are formed into sub-series and are then placed according to the date of the earliest file in the sub-series (e.g. the whole of the sub-series relating to defence appears under 1946). Some of these additional files were separated from the alphabetical series because of their bulk at a particular time, and it should be noted that papers under the same head may be found at other dates within the alphabetical series. From 1951 this group is less comprehensive than formerly. For the period 1951-1955 parallel papers were presumably in the Prime Minister's Private Office where they could not be listed, and after WSC's retirement the bulk is naturally less.PRIVATE AND PERSONAL The exact definition of the Private and Personal series (CHUR 2/140-221 and CHUR 2/518-538) is not easy to determine and there are indications that in practice there were difficulties in applying the classification scheme. It is a continuation of the Personal Office series in the Chartwell Trust papers and similarly straddles the dividing line between the Personal (CHAR 1 and CHUR 1) and Public and Political: General (CHAR 2 and CHUR 2) series. A major part of its significance appears to be that it consists of correspondence with individuals personally known to WSC, though where, as is frequently the case, such correspondence concerns subjects for which there is separate filing provision inconsistencies in allocation arise. For the period in office 1951-1955 this group can be more simply defined as non-official, though some confusion is caused by the existence of a "Personal" file which does not appear to differ significantly from the P. and P. group and has been placed with it. The group consists of straight alphabetical runs of files for successive periods with a number of individual files placed alongside them. Its dating is particularly liable to complexities described at the beginning of this introduction.VISITS The Visits (CHUR 2/222-300) sub-series contains papers relating to visits made by, or invitations offered to WSC as a public figure, to receive awards in recognition of his wartime services, as a world statesman, as leader of the Conservative Party, and as Prime Minister. The files are arranged in the order in which the visits took place, and invitations are put at the end of each year. A few visits, for example to Switzerland and Belgium in 1946, were made in part privately but, as public engagements were also carried out during them, the papers have been included in this series. Some papers however relating to WSC's visit to the Council of Europe at Strasbourg in August 1949, which was made during a private stay in Italy, remain with the papers for that visit.A few files include material supplied for information similar to the background material found in Speeches (CHUR 5).The Visits sub-series also contains general public correspondence received during or after each visit. The order within the larger files is alphabetical, within the smaller, chronological. The papers showing the detailed timetable made for each visit are generally placed first within each file.PATRONAGE The Patronage sub-series (CHUR 2/301-370 and CHUR 2/539-589) contains papers arising from WSC's activities as a patron of various bodies and, by extension, as a freeman of various places, recipient of degrees and other honours, and, in general, as a member of any association. This series does not include recommendations for Honours. There are alphabetical runs of files for various periods with individual files alongside them. The existence of the latter, for example for freedoms, does not preclude the presence of similar papers in the alphabetical series, and the dating of the group is particularly liable to the complexities described in the beginning of this introduction.GIFTS The bulk of correspondence concerning gifts made to WSC (CHUR 2/371-447 and CHUR 2/591-597) is with members of the public, though the personal element becomes larger in the later years. There are alphabetical runs of files for successive periods with some separate files for Golden Wedding, Christmas and birthday gifts, notably for the 80th birthday fund and trust.GREETINGS The papers assembled under the general title of Greetings (CHUR 2/448-493 and CHUR 2/598-616) consist of messages sent to WSC by friends and members of the general public on particular occasions, such as birthdays, illnesses, elections and honours. They are arranged in chronological order of the events which occasioned them.VARIOUS The papers in the Various sub-series (CHUR 2/494-505 and CHUR 2/616-620) are those assigned to this class which do not fit into the other classifications.
- Creation: 1945 - 1965
Conditions Governing Access
The Churchill Papers are made available to researchers using Churchill Archives Centre and worldwide in digital format. The digital edition of the Churchill Papers is published by Bloomsbury Academic and is available online to subscribing institutions at churchillarchive.com. The Churchill archive is freely available in our reading rooms and onsite at Churchill College (via the Churchill College wireless network). Researchers can download images of documents directly from churchillarchive.com and so are encouraged to consider bringing a laptop or other device for this purpose. For conservation reasons, the fragile originals are no longer issued to researchers.
This digital edition is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue. Some material has been closed by the Cabinet Office or by Churchill Archives Centre in accordance with data protection legislation.
Language of Materials