University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Records of the
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

1941 - 1972
(bulk dates 1958-1963)

Manuscript Collection Number: 263
Accessioned: Acquired from Dr. James Nathan, ca. 1980.
Extent: 4 linear ft.
Content: Correspondence, minutes, publications, clippings, and microfilm.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: May 1993 by Paul Dziewisz.

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Table of Contents

Historical Note

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), an organization formed in Great Britain in January 1958, intended to persuade the government to "renounce unconditionally the use or production of nuclear weapons and refuse to allow their use by others in its defense."

Fearing a retreat by the United States back into isolationism after World War II, Britain felt compelled to provide for its own defense. In a secretive era under the Labour Party, the British government began work on its own atomic weapons in 1947, and tested its first atomic bomb in Australia five years later. Over the next decade, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) grew in face of Soviet imperialism, and the United States and Britain pursued coordinated but independent nuclear programs.

By 1957, two groups had emerged to coordinate the anti nuclear movement in Britain. The National Committee for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Tests (NCANWT) and the Emergency Committee for Direct Action Against Nuclear War (DAC) were created to oppose the Conservative Party's White Paper on Defense (1957) which openly supported a nuclear program. The White Paper expressed the first official government support for what had been a secretive ten-year effort to produce an atomic weapon.

The formation of NATO in 1949 and eventually the Korean War prompted a NATO effort to match the nuclear weaponry of the Soviet Union. The NATO nuclear relationship progressed to the point where, in 1958, the United States based several of its nuclear fleet submarines and intermediate range nuclear missiles in Britain, thereby committing the U.S. to respond to Warsaw Pact aggression and allowing Britain to feel more confident.

It was at this point that the peace movement took its first steps toward prominence in the British political arena. Initially the peace movements were small and independent, but they forced the issue of disarmament onto the political agenda of the parties. The Labour Party, in power from 1945-51, initiated the British nuclear program. By 1957, Labour was the opposition party, torn between its left and center-left components. The left demanded Britain's unilateral nuclear disarmament to set an example for the United States and the Soviet Union. Debate raged within the Labour Party and among non-Parliamentary notables, the most influential of whom was the author J.B. Priestley.

Priestley's article in The New Statesmen in support of unilateral disarmament prompted a meeting of Britain's intelligentsia. Those attending included Bertrand Russell, Sir Julian Huxley, Kingsley Martin, Priestley, and members of NCANWT. The meeting resulted in the formation of the CND with Bertrand Russell installed as President, Canon Collins as Chairman, and Peggy Duff from NCANWT as organizing secretary. This prominent group was able to draw a large following.

The first major decision facing the newly organized CND was whether to endorse the "street politics" of the DAC or to utilize available links with Parliament to promote their agenda. The first important direct action endorsed by the CND was the DAC- organized Aldermaston march. The protest attracted 10,000 people its first year (1958), and upwards to 50,000 and 100,000 participants by the early 1960s. In addition, the CND worked through traditional channels to pressure the Labour Party Conference to adopt a unilateralist plank in their 1960 platform. They were successful in both approaches, but the CND began to split between the supporters of direct action and those who favored making use of traditional channels.

The debate became public in 1960. Bertrand Russell resigned his presidency and formed the "Committee of 100." The breakaway Committee advocated non-violent direct action (billed as civil disobedience by the English media) throughout the country. The common purpose of the Committee of 100 and the DAC brought on their merger within a year.

In the meantime, Canon Collins and the CND survived the media fiasco and loss of support created by Russell's split. The CND distanced themselves from the Committee of 100 by insisting that, unlike Russell's group, the CND was not strictly pacifist and, furthermore, believed unilateral disarmament could be pursued most effectively through the existing political system. However, lacking a formal membership until 1966, the CND found it difficult to use the political process. Their main target, the Labour Party, was not united, and the issue of unilateral nuclear disarmament became a pawn in the power game being played within the Party.

By 1963 the Labour Party under Harold Wilson had rejected unilateralism, the British Navy was equipped with polaris missiles from the United States, the world had seen through the Cuban Missile Crisis that nuclear war could be averted, and the Partial Test Ban Treaty (banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere) had been signed. That year was the last of the Aldermaston marches.

CND activity remained in decline until the debate over inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) deployment in Europe arose during the late 1970s. Even then, the strength and effectiveness of the movement could not reach the peak it achieved in the early 1960s.


Byrne, Paul. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. New York: Croom Helm, 1988.

Note: Much of the organizational information has been derived from the contents of the collection.

See also:

Mattausch, John. A Commitment to campaign: a sociological study of CND. New York: Manchester University
Press, 1989.

Thayer, George. The British political fringe: a profile. London: Anthony Blond Ltd., 1965.

Scope and Content Note

The records of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) consists of material spanning the dates 1941-1972, with the bulk of the collection spanning 1958-1963. The collection contains three linear feet of material including articles, clippings, minutes and agendas from conferences, files, microfilm, and publications.

The material surveys the issues of the nuclear disarmament movement in England beginning with the formation of the CND in 1958. Several contentious issues are documented throughout the collection. These issues include discussions of the impact of nuclear weapon strikes on Great Britain and of nuclear weapons in general, the effectiveness of unilateral disarmament as a national policy, the merits of non-violent protest vs. civil disobedience, and the ability of pressure groups to stimulate political change. To a lesser degree, the collection reflects the impact of Bertrand Russell, his political thinking, and his role in persuading public opinion.

The collection, as a record of the CND, includes official documents and publications of the organization; and reference files of published articles, newspaper clippings, and papers dealing with nuclear disarmament. The history of the CND is well documented through these materials. Highlights include the initial meeting of the CND leaders in 1957, descriptions of the annual Aldermaston march and its planning, the breakaway of Bertrand Russell and his Committee of 100, information on the creation of the CND symbol (which gained international recognition as the peace symbol) and the dependent, fragile relationship of the CND with the Labour Party. Additionally, the records provide information on the development of CND structures, strategies, and planning.

The material is divided into three distinct series. The first series, Files of the CND, contains materials from the yearly conferences, files of the regional CND organizations, and information regarding the Committee of 100. The second series, Publications of the CND, features many of CND's official periodicals from 1962-1967. These provide insight to the concerns and changing policy positions of the organization. Finally, the third series, Press Clippings and Articles, is a set of newspaper clipping files, 1960-1963, which chronicle British press coverage of significant world events, nuclear issues, and the CND. In addition, the series includes reference articles on a wide range of disarmament topics.

Series Outline

I.   Files of the CND and the Committee of 100, 1958-1972

     1.   Microfilm from the Commonwealth Library
     2.   CND files index
     3.   CND files

II.  Publications of the CND, 1963-1968

     1.   Action for Peace
     2.   Resistance
     3.   Underground
     4.   Youth Against the Bomb

III. Press Clippings and Articles, 1958-1970

     1.   Chronological clipping files
     2.   Subject clipping files
     3.   Resource articles      

Appendix: Publications of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

1         Series I.  Files of the CND and the Committee of 100,
               This series consists of minutes, agenda,
               correspondence, and leaflets of the national and
               the regional branches of the CND.  Most of the
               files exist here in original form, however some
               also appear on the microfilm of CND records from
               the Commonwealth Library.  After the microfilm,
               the series includes a CND file index and
               individual files which were removed from binders
               but retained in their original order.  The
               contents of the files reveal work accomplished at
               the various conferences and meetings, the
               evolution of issues, work done on special topics,
               and distinctions between the national and regional
               branches of CND.

     F1   Files on microfilm, 1959-1970
          The folder consists of three reels of microfilm
          chronicling material borrowed from the Commonwealth
          Library and processed by London Microfilm Ltd.  The
          films contain approximately 3,500 exposures.  The
          contents are outlined as follows:

          Film 1

          - Annual Conferences: 1959, 1960, 1964, 1965/66,
          - National Committee
          - Easter: 1963, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967,
               1968, 1968 additional material, 1969, 1970
          - Groups
          - Correspondence: 1965

          Film 2

          - Correspondence: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969,
               miscellaneous correspondence & memoranda A-Z
          - North West CND and YCND
          - YCND Executive
          - YCND Conference 1968
          - Other organizations
          - New supporters
          - Fact sheets
          - Advertising
          - Ministry of disarmament
          - Material for magazines and leaflets
          - Polaris
1         Series I.  Files (cont'd)

          Film 3

          - The Bensen Affair
          - Labour Party
          - Pre-1964 Group Files
          - Campaign Caravan and Workshops
          - Operation "Peanuts"
          - Committee of 100
          - T.U. and Factory
          - Direct Action Committee
          - Policy 1 and Policy 2
          - Executive correspondence
          - Office administration and organisation

     F2   CND file index 
          These index pages have been removed from within the
          files.  They should be used to determine the content of
          the folders in this series.

     F3   National Conference, 1959

     F4   Annual Conference, 1962

     F5   Special Conference, July 13-14, 1963

     F6   Annual Conference, October 1963

     F7   Annual Conference, 1964

     F8   Annual Conference, 1965

     F9   Annual Conference, 1968

     F10  Annual Conference, November 1969

     F11  Annual Conference, October 1970

     F12  Annual Conference, October 1971

     F13  CND councils and committees

     F14  Letters and mailings, 1958-1966

     F15  Letters and mailings

     F16  Letters and mailings
1         Series I.  Files (cont'd)

     F17  Letters and mailings

     F18  Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

     F19  Committee of 100

     F20  Peace News 

     F21  Peace Pledge Union

     F22  Miscellaneous 

     F23  London Region CND

     F24  West Midlands CND

     F25  Orpington CND

     F26  Colleges and University CND

     F27  Christian CND

     F28  Labour CND

     F29  Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament regarding

     F30  Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament regarding

     F31  Committee of 100

     F32  Committee of 100, correspondence

     F33  Committee of 100, regarding "Talking Points"

     F34  London Committee of 100

     F35  Christian Committee of 100

     F36  Hampstead Committee of 100

     F37  Committee of 100, miscellaneous

     F38  Drafts of a proposal to restructure the CND

         Series II.  Publications of the CND, 1963-1968.
               This series is an extensive collection of
               newsletters and weekly papers published by the
               CND.  The publications provide insight into issues
               of the day and cleavages which distinguished
               separate factions from one another.

     F39  Action For Peace, 1963

     F40  Resistance, 1964

     F41  Resistance, 1964

     F42  Resistance, 1965

     F43  Resistance, 1965

     F44  Resistance Shall Grow, 1967

     F45  Resistance, 1967-68

     F46  Underground, 1967

     F47  Youth Against the Bomb, 1960

     F48  Youth Against the Bomb, 1961

     F49  Youth Against the Bomb, 1962

     F50  Youth Against the Bomb, 1963-65
         Series III.  Press Clippings and Articles, 1958-1970.
               This series represents a collection of reports and
               writings chronicling current events and issues of
               the anti-nuclear movement.  There are three
               subseries.  The first includes a set of clipping
               files arranged in chronological order dealing with
               both news about the CND and nuclear affairs.  The
               second subseries, arranged in alphabetical order
               by subject, involves clipping files on several
               countries and organizations.  The final subseries
               consists of collected reference articles
               pertaining to a vast array of nuclear issues. 
               These articles are contributed from such broad
               fields as physics, ethics, and military strategy.

          Series III.1.  Chronological Clipping Files.
               This subseries consists of a collection of news
               clippings, some in their original form and some
               which have been removed and placed in folders.  

     F51  September-October 1960

     F52  October 1960

     F53  October-December 1960

     F54  September 1960-February 1961

     F55  July-November 1961

     F56  Scrapbook of pamphlets and leaflets

     F57  February-April 1962

     F58  1964-1969

     F59  News clippings on disarmament, 1965

     F60  News clippings on disarmament, 1966

     F61  News clippings on disarmament, 1967-68

     F62  News clippings regarding the CND, 1958-1970

     F63  Press clippings regarding the Committee of 100

     F64  Press clippings regarding the Polaris submarine

2         Series III.  Clipping Files (cont'd)

          Series III.2.  Subject Clipping Files.
               These articles were originally stapled to the back
               of old memos and housed in three binders.  A
               subject index file precedes the series of files
               removed from each binder.  Preservation
               photocopies have been made and the original
               clippings were discarded.  F130 and F131 contain
               samples of the old memos used for scrap pages in
               the binders.          

     F65  Index for Book 1

     F66  Reference file A

     F67  Reference file B

     F68  Reference file C

     F69  Reference file D

     F70  Reference file E-F

     F71  Reference file G

     F72  Reference file H

     F73  Reference file IJK

     F74  Reference file L

     F75  Reference file M

     F76  Reference file N-O

     F77  Reference file PQR

     F78  Reference file ST

     F79  Reference file U-V

     F80  Reference file W

     F81  Reference file XYZ

     F82  Index for Book 2 (July/August 1963)

     F83  Africa

     F84  Britain

3         Series III.  Clipping Files (cont'd)
          Series III.2.  Subject (cont'd)

     F85  Canada

     F86  China

     F87  Cuba

     F88  France

     F89  Germany and Greece

     F90  India

     F91  Iraq, Italy, and Japan

     F92  Malaysia

     F93  Pakistan, Poland, and Portugal

     F94  Red Cross, South Africa, and the Soviet Union

     F95  The United Nations and the United States

     F96  Venezuela, Vietnam

     F97  Index for Book 3 (September 1963)

     F98  Algeria and New Zealand

     F99  Britain

     F100 China

     F101 Dominican Republic

     F102 Egypt

     F103 France

     F104 Germany

     F105 India and Indonesia

     F106 Malaysia

     F107 Norway

     F108 Pakistan and Portugal

3         Series III.  Clipping Files (cont'd)
          Series III.2.  Subject (cont'd)

     F109 Soviet Union

     F110 South Africa

     F111 United Nations

     F112 United States

     F113 Yugoslavia

     F114 South Africa and Algeria

     F115 Britain

     F116 China, Czeckoslovakia, Canada, and Cuba

     F117 Formosa and France

     F118 Gambia, Greece, Germany, and Guiana

     F119 Hungary

     F120 India, Indonesia, Iraq, and Japan

     F121 Kenya

     F122 Laos and Latin America

     F123 The Middle East and NATO

     F124 Pakistan and Rhodesia

     F125 Singapore and Soviet Union
     F126 The United Nations, United States, and Vietnam

     F127 United States and South Vietnam

     F128 Western Europe

     F129 Yugoslavia

3         Series III.  Clipping Files (cont'd)
          Series III.2.  Subject (cont'd)

     F130 Scrap sheets
          This folder and the next contain the scrap pages to
          which the clippings were originally attached.  Only
          papers which were legible, unique, and displayed
          information not readily available elsewhere in the
          collection have been preserved.  The papers deal with
          an eclectic range of topics.

     F131 Scrap sheets

          Series III.3. Reference Articles
               This subseries consists of a variety of articles
               both published and unpublished.

     F132 "Research Report," Peace Research Center

     F133 Vietnam International, September 1972

     F134 "American Atrocities in Vietnam," Eric Norden

     F135 World Issues, Autumn 1972

     F136 "The Labour Party's Foreign Policy," Bertrand Russell 

     F137 "Non-violence in 1973 Newsletter"

     F138 "Power in a Post-Colonial Setting: The Why and Whither
          of Religious Confrontation in Ulster," Anne Boserup

     F139 "Britain Considers Her Weapons," Gene Sharp

     F140 Protest! vol. 1, no. 1

     F141 Peace Centre Newsletter, 1972

     F142 "Song - To the Men of England (1819)" - (poem) Percy
          Bysshe Shelley

     F143 Society for Social Responsibility in Science Newsletter

     F144 Anarchist publications

     F145 "Briefing #11," October 1969

     F146 Revolution: Violent and Non-Violent, February 1968

     F147 Assorted anti-nuclear publications

3         Series III.  Clipping Files (cont'd)
          Series III.3.  Reference (cont'd)

     F148 "Libertarian Readings: A Short Anthology"

     F149 "Studies in Nonviolence" vols. 1 and 2 published by the
          Peace Pledge Union

     F150 Leaflets and flyers of Kropotkin's Lighthouse

     F151 "Bibliography on Peace, Freedom, and Non-Violence"
          published by Kropotkin's Lighthouse Publications

     F152 "The CND: An Organization in Transition," D.L. Hagger

     F153 "Evolution and War," Stanislav Andreski

     F154 "Faith Under Fire," Canon Collins

     F155 Pacificism: An Introductory Perspective

     F156 The Partisan Press Catalogue for 1972

     F157 "Vietnam: A Voice from the Villages" and "The National
          Liberation Front," Katsuichi Honda

     F158 One World, October 1946

     F159 "Future: A Foreign Policy for the H-Bomb Age,"
          September 1956

     F160 "Bulletin of the Non-Violence Commission of the Peace
          Pledge Union," 1957

     F161 Bulletin of the Medical Association for the Prevention
          of War, June 1961

     F162 World Peace calendars and diaries

     F163 "Christians and Atomic War," an article published by
          the British Council of Churches

     F164 "Balance of Life," Jonathan Howard

     F165 "Discussing Defense and Disarmament," Tudor David

     F166 "Ruthless Realism About NATO, Nuclear Weapons, and U.S.
          Bases," Konni Zilliacus MP

3         Series III.  Clipping Files (cont'd)
          Series III.3.  Reference (cont'd)

     F167 "What a Nuclear Explosion is Like...," the Home Office
          and Scottish Home Department

     F168 "Home Defense and the Farmer" published by Her
          Majesty's Stationery Office

     F169 "Disarmament - The Way Ahead," Hugh Thomas

     F170 "Programme for General and Complete Disarmament"

     F171 "Speech to the UN General Assembly," September 18, 1959

     F172 Labour Worker, Mid-April 1965

     F173 Socialist Leader, April 24, 1965

     F174 New Statesmen, October 19 - March 1, 1963

     F175 Tribune, Labour's Independent Weekly, May 1955

     F176 Newsletter regarding the Lancaster Hoper Project and
          the Peace and Conflict Research Programme - March 1971

     F177 Now: Preview 2

     F178 Copies of Freedom Through Anarchism: October 19, 1946;
          November 2, 1946; November 16, 1946; January 4, 1947;
          and April 17, 1965

     F179 New Generation, November 1962

     F180 On Trial

     F181 Touch Paper, April/May 1968

     F182 Middle East Coexistence, Autumn 1970

     F183 "H-Bomb War: What Would It Be Like," published by Peace
          News LTD.

     F184 "Peace Research: A Perspective," Robin Jenkins

     F185 Parlimentary Debates for February 27, 1958

     F186 The Rushlight, February 1964 and Spring 1965

     F187 Peace Research, June 1970

3         Series III.  Clipping Files (cont'd)
          Series III.3.  Reference (cont'd)

     F188 "The Politics of Anti-War Coalitions: The Case of
          Britain," Frank Myers

     F189 Scientist and Citizen, 1965 and 1966

     F190 Nuclear Information, February 1964

     F191 Call to Women, 1962-1963

     F192 Win, dedicated to A.J. Muste

     F193 War/Peace Report, January 1971

     F194 Danilo Dolce Bulletin, October 1963

     F195 "When All the Beautiful People Come to the Aid of the

4    F196 "Looking for the Marches," Theodore Roszak

     F197 "Beyond the Left, Farther Than the Right"

     F198 Book review of The British General Election of 1970,
          Butler and Pinto-Duschinsky

     F199 "Non-Alignment," Conor Cruise O'Brien printed in New Statesmen

     F200 "The Anti-bomb Movement in Britain,"  Andrew Maxwell
          printed in Contemporary Issues, January 1963

     F201 Peace News, April 1958

     F202 Black Dwarf featuring "Bertrand Russell's Testament"
     F203 "Armed for Neutrality" from the Daily Telegraph
          Magazine, May 7, 1941

     F204 "The Middle Class Get Psychotherapy and the Working
          class Get Pills," Arthur Hopcraft

     F205 "What's Wrong With the World?"

     F206 "First Find the Problem," Jerome Bruner

     F207 "What Did You Do In the Cold War Daddy?"

     F208 "After Kennedy - What?," Sanity broadsheet

4         Series III.  Clipping Files (cont'd)
          Series III.3.  Reference (cont'd)

     F209 Copies of the Labour Peace Bulletin, 1960-61

     F210 Copies of Labour Peace Newsletter, 1967-71

     F211 Publications of the Labour Peace Fellowship

     F212 Labour Peace Fellowship broadsheet

     F213 Mud Pie: The CND Story, Herb Greer

     F214 "The Relationship Between the Study of International
          Relations, Peace Research, and Strategic Studies" by
          Michael Banks, a UNESCO publication

     F215 "Note on the development of Conflict Studies at the
          London School of Economics" (May 1969) and "Diplomatic
          Behavior Project"

     F216 "An Empirical Approach to Demonstrations," PhD.
          proposal by T. Hamlett

     F217 "The History, Theory, and Practice of Conflict Research
          in Great Britain"

     F218 Correspondence between CND General Secretary Dick
          Nettleton and Professor Patrick Slater

     F219 "Guide to the Common Market"

     F220 Pamphlets on Britain and the European Common Market

     F221 "The London School of Non-Violence"

     F222 International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace
          "Programme for Action"

     F223 "Richardson Institute Newsletter," May-June 1971

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