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Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party minutes
The minutes of the Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party. From the minutes of Mar 1964 onwards the Party changed its name to the Colne Valley Constituency Labour Party. The records also include the minutes of Annual General Meetings, Half Yearly General Meetings and numerous committees. Balance sheets and political fund statements are also included in many of the files.
  • CVL/GV/1/1/1891

    Colne Valley Divisional Labour Union minute book Item

    1891-1900
    The minutes record the formation of the Colne Valley Division of Labour Union on 21 July 1891 through to the the first General Council Meeting of the Colne Valley Labour League on 23 June 1900. The motion to form the Union was proposed by Mr George Hy Cotton, seconded by Mr Saville Hirst and supported by Mr George Garside, with the intention of forming 'a Labour Union on the lines of the Bradford Labour Union. To be called the Colne Valley Divisional Labour Union.' The minutes record the actions taken at each committee and council meeting.

    The minutes record: the names and personnel changes of the Union's Executive Committee members; the setting up of the membership subscription scheme; the organisation of public demonstrations and events; the Union's interaction with other Labour organsiations and trade unions; the creation of a constitution for the Colne Valley Labour Union; finances and the candidacy of Tom Mann as an Independent Labour Party candidate for the Colne Valley Division and his defeat in the general election of 1895. They also indicate a decline in the membership and activities of the Colne Valley Labour Union after 1895.
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1900

    Colne Valley Labour League minute book Item

    1900-1910
    The minutes record the first General Council Meeting of the Colne Valley Labour League at Slaithwaite on 23 June 1900 through to a Committee meeting on 12 March 1910. The minutes also record: the decisions to invite notable speakers to visit the Colne Valley including, Robert Blatchford, Bruce Glasier, Victor Grayson, Keir Hardie, Ramsay McDonald, Miss C[hristabel?] Pankhurst, and Philip Snowden; the 1904 County Council Election result in which the Labour candidate George Gaiside won; the 1907 County Council Election result in which the Liberal candidate Mr Goodall beat the Labour candidate Mr Farrington; the League's endorsement of candidates for and interaction with the Independent Labour Party's National Administrative Council (NAC); the adoption of Victor Grayson as Parliamentary candidate for the Colne Valley on 19 Jan 1907, his victory in the 1907 by-election (brought about by the sitting Liberal MP, Sir James Kitson, being elevated to the peerage), the criticism he received from the NAC regarding his poor attendance record in the House of Commons, and his indecision regarding standing for re-election in the 1910 and his subsequent defeat in the 1910 general election. The minutes also record the change in name of the party to the Colne Valley Socialist League.
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1910

    Colne Valley Socialist League minute book Item

    1910-1928
    The minutes record the readoption of Victor Grayson as socialist candidate for the Colne Valley in April 1911 and his resignation in 1915. The minutes also record: the secession of the League from the Independent Labour Party and its affiliation to the British Socialist Party; the decisions to invite notable speakers to visit the Colne Valley including Leonard Hall and Henry Mayers Hyndman; the League's protest at the arrests of trade unionists and the treatment of strikers by the government in 1912; Victor Grayson's letter of resignation as the Colne Valley Parliamentary candidate in May 1915; the events of conferences held on 20 Jan 1917 and 14 Apr 1917 in which it was agreed that a Divisional Labour Party for the Colne Valley should be formed; on 19 May 1917 the party agreed to send the secretary as a delegate to the Leeds conference on the Russian Revolution; the selection of Wilfred Whiteley as the Labour candidate for the 1918 election; the decision to reform the League in Oct 1918. The minute book also includes the minutes of the Slaithwaite County Council Election Committee (1919), minutes of the Golcar County Council Election Committee (1925), and minutes of the ILP Federation (1919-1928). At the back of the volume the details of the Executive Committee members are given.

    Regarding the First World War, at an Annual Council Meeting on 8 Apr 1916 the minutes record that the League 'reaffirms its belief in the principles of International Socialism, and, in our opinion, the only war with which the workers are concerned is the Class War, which affects workers in every civilised country, irrespective of race, colour or creed.' and the Council resolved that 'the Colne Valley Socialist League organise a "Stop the War Campaign" throughout the constituency'. On 14 Sep 1918 the minutes record that 'a resolution of protest be sent to the Prime Minister and Secretary [of the] Labour Party against the Allied forces going to Russia.'
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1917

    Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party minute book Item

    1917-1925
    The minutes include a summary of the events leading to the formation of the Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party in April 1917 and the first delegate meeting of the Party on 9 Jun 1917. The volume includes minutes of the Party's Executive Committee Meetings, Annual Meetings, Special General Meetings and Election Committee Meetings. The minutes record; the selection of Wilfred Whitely as Parliamentary candidate for the Colne Valley in 1918, his defeat in the 1918 general election and his resignation in 1920; and the adoption of Phillip Snowden as Parliamentary candidate for the Colne Valley and his electoral victories in 1922, 1923 and 1924. The mintes also record the Committee's attitudes and opinions towards contemporary issues and events, for example on 2 Nov 1918, the minutes record that the Committee 'strongly disapprove(s) of a voluntary fund for service men, of the continued imprisonment on conscientious objectors, of the raid on the Socialist Labour Press...'

    The volume also includes the minutes of the conference for elected persons, the rules and constitution of the Colne Valley Co-operative Council and the minutes of the Colne Valley Federation of Women's Sections.
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1922

    Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party Bazaar Committee minute book Item

    1922-1933
    The first meeting of the Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party Bazaar Committee was held on 29 Jul 1922, the minutes state that 'the objects of the Bazaar was to improve the finances and organisation work of the Divisional Labour Party. The minutes record the Committee work in organising the Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party Bazaars that took place in 1923, 1929, 1930, 1932 and 1933.
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1926

    Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party minute book Item

    1926-1932
    The volume includes minutes of the Party's Executive Committee Meetings, Annual Meetings, Special General Meetings and Election Committee Meetings. The minutes record the readoption of Phillip Snowden as Parliamentary candidate in 1929, despite indications of growing dissatisfaction amongst members with his performance; his re-election to Parliament in 1929 and his resignation in 1931. The minutes also record: the adoption of Ernest Marklew and his defeat in the 1931 general election; the Party's decisions to send resolutions of protest regarding events or policy decisions considered to negatively affect socialists in Russia and eastern Europe; the Party's decisions to send letters of support for cases or incidents involving members, such as the case of Mr Morris Lumb requesting a full pension from the War Office due to wounds he sustained during the First World War; and the Party's attitudes and resolutions regarding the country's 'economic and political crisis' from 1930 onwards (the Great Depression).

    The volume also includes the minutes of the meetings of: the Executive Committee of the Federation of Women's Sections; the Excursion Sub-Committee, the Sports Sub-Committee; the Christmas Prize Draw Sub-Committee; the Elected Persons Conferences; the May Day Sub-Committee; the League of Youth and Rules Sub-Committee.
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1932

    Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party minute book Item

    1932-1939
    The volume includes minutes of the Party's Executive Committee Meetings, Annual General Meetings, Election Committee Meetings, Rally Arrangement Committee Meetings and Meetings of the Prize Draw Sub-Committee. The minutes record: the Party's adoption of the Victory for Socialism Scheme; the Party's adoption of the policy to raise the age of compulsory education up to 15; the emergence of an Anti-War policy in the constituency; the Party facing financial difficulties in 1935; and the election of Ernest Marklew as Labour MP for the Colne Valley on 14 Nov 1935 (defeating the sitting Liberal Party MP, Lance Mallalieu).

    The minutes also record the Executive Committee's attitudes and opinions towards international issues and events: on 24 Feb 1934 the minutes record the Committee's reaction to the events of The Austrian Civil War in Feb 1934, 'this meeting extends to our Austrian comrades our deep sympathy in the distress and loss of life caused by the brutal (Engelbert) Dollfuss and his followers. At the same time we congratulate our comrades on the gallant, but unsuccessful, defense of their freedom and liberty'; on 8 Jul 1934 the minutes record the Party's reaction to the arrest of political prisoners in Nazi Germany, as it was agreed that 'letters be sent to the "Reichschancellor, Berlin" and to the German Ambassador urging that (Ernst) Thälmann (leader of the Communist Party of Germany, KPD) and all other political prisoners should be released or promptly brought to public trial before a proper legal tribunal'; regarding the Spanish Civil War, on 2 Aug 1936 the Executive Committee agreed to send a circular 'to affiliated societies etc. appealing for help for the Spanish Workers, who are suffering hunger and poverty, through the war caused by the capitalist classes in their efforts to upset the present government of Spain; on 13 Mar 1938 the Executive Committee thoroughly condemns the actions of the current government over its handling of 'foreign affairs and calls for all democratic powers to restrain the fascist powers aggression in Spain and Austria';
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1939

    Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party minute book Item

    1939-1945
    The volume includes minutes of the Party's Executive Committee Meetings, Special Executive Committee Meetings, Annual General Meetings, Meetings of the Jubilee Sub-Committee, Meetings of the Redistribution of Seats Sub-Committee and a Meetings of Representatives of Co-operative Societies and the Divisional Party to Make Arrangements of a Joint Conference. The minutes record: the Party's refusal to align itself with The Popular Front Movement (the alliance between politicians on the left and centre-left in the late 1930s that came together to challenge the Nazi/fascist appeasement policies of Neville Chamberlain's Government); the death of Ernest Marklew on 14 Jun 1939 (the minutes of the 20 Jun 1939 record the Executive Committee's reaction to the news and contain a short list of potential successors); the adoption of William George Glenvil Hall as the Party's Parliamentary candidate on 29 Jun 1939, his election in the 1939 By-Election and re-election in the 1945 General Election; the Party's participation in setting up the Local Voluntary Information Committee, along with Liberal and Conservative agents, under the Ministry of Information in 1939; the Party celebrating its 50th anniversary on 21 Jul 1941; on 7 Feb 1943 the minutes record the total number of members as 463 which was an increase of 54 compared with 1941; on 30 Mar 1941, the Party marked the death of Tom Mann. The back of the volume also includes some circulars that were sent to Party members regarding the 1945 General Election and the appoinment of a Part-time Secretary for the Party.

    The minutes also record the Party's reaction to and involvement in the events of the Second World War, including: on 10 Feb 1940, the Party protests the inadequate allowances provided to dependents of men serving in the armed forces and the proposals to institute a means test as a basis for the suggested increase to the Old Age Pension; on 15 Feb 1941, the Party states that 'the war effort is being retarded by vested interests, and believes that in order to get the maximum production for the war effort, it is essential that the Government should assume national ownership of all essential industries and services'; on 13 Jul 1941, the Party states 'that full support be given by the Government to Russia in her effort to dispel the German army in its unwarrantable and discreditable attach on the Russian people'; during 1941 the Party was involved in collecting over £500 for the 'Help for Russia' fund; on 20 Feb 1943 the Party 'emphatically protests' against the opposition to the Beveridge Report (a very influential document in the founding of the welfare state) and states that 'if the whole population can be conscripted for war, justice demands that the conscription of wealth from the moneyed classes be made to implement such moderate proposals as are envisaged in the Beveridge Report'; on 5 Sep 1943 Anna Fidler, a Polish refugee, gave an address to the Executive Committee on the conditions she experienced in Poland; on 23 Sep 1943 the minutes record the events of the conference held in Holmfirth on the topic of 'Post War Local Government' (several conferences on this topic were arranged throughout the war years).
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1945

    Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party Executive Committee minutes Item

    4 Nov 1945-29 Dec 1945
    Includes a letter, dated 29 Dec 1945, from the Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party to the local Labour Parties (that comprise the CVDLP) concerning the reccomendations that the CVDLP's Finance Committee proposed in order to address the Party's worrying financial position.
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  • CVL/GV/1/1/1946

    Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party Executive Committee minutes Item

    1946
    Includes minutes of the Finance and Emergency Committee, the Annual General Meeting and the Half Yearly General Meeting.
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