Communism committee records released to The National Archives
19 October 2012
The records of a Cabinet Committee that monitored communist influence in the UK during the Cold War are being released to The National Archives.
The Cabinet Official Committee on Communism (Home), also known as AC(H), was established in June 1951 and closed in 1962. The papers released in the reading rooms today contain minutes and memoranda from the Committee's meetings in 1951 and 1952 in one bound volume, CAB 134/737. Further volumes will follow.
The first volume contains details of the establishment of the Committee, which was chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and had representation from other government departments and the Security Service. The Committee's mandate was to 'focus all available intelligence about communist activities in the United Kingdom' and to recommend to ministers how such activities should be countered. At an early Committee meeting it was also agreed that a 'Home Desk' or 'English Section' should be established in the Foreign Office's Information Research Department to collate information about communist activities on the home front.
In total 11 volumes of AC(H) minutes and memoranda, totalling around 300 papers, will be released to The National Archives. The release of these volumes provides an important new source for historians researching the British government's actions and thinking during the early years of the Cold War. It will complement records already available at The National Archives, including papers relating to the Ministerial Committee on Communism (1949 to 1951) and the Official Committee on Communism (Overseas) (1949-1956) in the CAB 21 and CAB 134 series.
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