Special Collections Department
Records of the
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
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.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
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.
Sources: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.
Mattausch, John. A Commitment to campaign: a sociological study of CND. New York: Manchester University
Thayer, George. The British political fringe: a profile. London: Anthony Blond Ltd., 1965.
Scope and Content Note
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.
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
1 Series I. Files of the CND and the Committee of 100, 1958-1972. 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, 1967 - 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 conferences F30 Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament regarding mailings 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 1 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 2 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 Publications 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 Party" 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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