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Back to CHAR 2 Public and political: general

CHAR 2/402 Public and Political: General: correspondence concerning the Conservative and Unionist Party.

  Reference Description Date range  
CHAR 2/402/2

Letter from [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain (Privy Council Office, Whitehall [London]) to WSC, on the leadership of the Conservative Party. Chamberlain thanks WSC for his letter, and says that he understands his view that as Prime Minister in a Government embracing all three political parties, WSC felt it inappropriate to be the leader of just one party. Chamberlain therefore agrees to retain the leadership himself, as the best way of helping WSC in serving the cause of national unity, which was so important to them both. Signed typescript.

1 folio
18 May 1940
CHAR 2/402/28

Letter from [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain (Highfield Park, Heckfield, Basingstoke [Hampshire]) to WSC, stating that for the past ten years he had been Chairman of the Conservative Research Department (independent of Party Headquarters), which had been set up under his chairmanship by the Business Committee following defeat in the 1929 Election. Chamberlain explains that his experience as Chairman and also Party Leader convinced him that the Party should never be without such an organization. He had closed it down for the duration of the war, but feels that the framework should be kept ready to start again when required. Chamberlain explains that in the circumstances he could no longer stay on as Chairman, and asks WSC to accept his resignation, while noting that he didn't imagine WSC would want to become Chairman himself at the present time. He adds that he thought it important that someone should be appointed now, who should be a senior Cabinet Minister with keen political insight, and suggests Sir Kingsley Wood [Chancellor of the Exchequer] as being most suitable. In a postscript, Chamberlain tells WSC that his thoughts were constantly with him, and hopes that he was taking care of his own health. Signed typescript.

1 folio
19 Oct 1940
CHAR 2/402/25

Copy of a letter from WSC to Sir Kingsley Wood asking him to become Chairman of the Conservative Research Department in the light of Neville Chamberlain's resignation. WSC explains that the work of the department was suspended so that the staff could undertake war work, that the framework of the organisation needs to remain and that political insight is needed for the role of chairman.

Carbon typescript signed in pencil.

1 folio
31 Oct 1940