The Albert Sloman Library
The University of Essex

George Thomson, Baron Thomson of Monifieth Papers

Boxes 1 & 2

Diaries and notebooks

Box 3

Book: first draft

Box 4

Wartime writings

Boxes 5 & 6


Box 7

Foreign & Commonwealth 1968-2003

Box 8

Rhodesia 1967-1978

Boxes 9 & 10


Box 11

Shadow Cabinet resignation 1971-1972

Box 12

Press cuttings

Boxes 13 & 14


Box 15


Box 1

Diaries.  1969-2007

Box 2

Notebooks.  Notes on overseas visits [mostly not dated]

Box 3

Book: manuscript and typescript, including the following chapters:

Early days, 1921-37

Political apprenticeship, 1946-1952

Parliament, 1952-57

[Colonial and Commonwealth affairs] 1957-1964

Early ministerial years, 1964-66

The first few years [Britain and Europe]

Regional policy


Article by Lord Thomson on Dundee and his apprentice years in journalism.

Box 4

War time writings.  Articles written by 1559103 Cpl. G. M. Thomson when serving with the R.A.F., including Wild life on a bomber 'drone

The provincials

In search of Yorkshire

Newspaper cuttings and extracts containing articles written by George Thomson.

Box 5


File A  speeches in Lord Thomson's handwriting, mostly undated.

(a) Europe and International (17 speeches)

(b) Various (10 speeches)

File B1  Typescripts of speeches, all undated:

Europe and the future of the British economy

Why Britain should join the Common market

The British Labour scene and Europe

The political case for Britain joining the EEC

Parliament, the Labour conference, and the EEC

[Britain's application to join the European Economic Community]

[Britain and the EEC]: speech delivered at a Rank Organisation lunch

Britain and the new European order

Britain, the EEC and Western defence

Defence: an opposition view

[Brussels and the EEC]


After empire: a new role?

Join in gratitude to Noble Lord, Lord Home

Various, all undated, (14 speeches)

File B2

House of Commons inaugural speech, 10.11.1952

[Closer association with Europe] Mansion House, 20.4.1966

[Relations with Europe], Daily Mirror Conference, 25.4.1966

[Britain's relations with other countries in Europe], WEU Assembly, Paris, 13-17 June 1966

Britain's role in Europe, Hamburg, 24.11.1966

Relations between Great Britain and the EEC, WEU Council, Bonn, 20.12.1966

The future of United Nations peacekeeping forces, Oslo, 31.7.1967

Address to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 12.3.1969

A British foreign policy for the future, 22.3.1969

[The Common Market], 11.7.[1969?]

[Local government reform], 1.8.1969

Balfour Day dinner speech, Tel Aviv, 1.11.1969

[The Arab-Israel dispute], London, 6.11.1969

Towards a greater Europe, Brussels, 15.12.1969

[Negotiations in Brussels for UK full membership of the EEC], Dundee, 25.1.1970

[Negotiations in Brussels for UK full membership of the EEC], 27.1.1970

[Anglo-French friendship], French Chamber of Commerce, 20.2.1970

Debate on the White Paper [re: Britain's application to join the EEC], 24.2.1970

[Anglo-Irish relations], 17(?).3.1970

[The Russian threat in the Indian Ocean], Gloucester, 28.3.1970

[Negotiations for the British entry into the EEC], Dundee, 2.4.1970

[The Government's European policy], 16.4.1970(?)

[The forthcoming General Election], Falkirk, 24.4.1970

The European Atlantic Group meeting in the House of Commons, 4.5.1970

European policy, 5.5.1970

[The legal system and European negotiations], Lincoln's Inn, 6.5.1970

Chatman House speech on the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Robert Schuman, 7.5.1970

Europe: the British position and point of view, St. Gallen, 12.5.1970

[Conservative Government policy and the Commonwealth], Dundee, October 1970

[The United Nations], Dundee, 23.10.1970

[The Save the Children Fund], Dundee, 27.10.1970

[South Africa and the Conservative Government's policy]. January 1971

[Wage increases and price increases], Broughty Ferry, 15.1.1971

[Scotland and the Common Market], Gorebridge, 16.1.1971

[Britain's starting share of the Community budget], London, 6.2.1971

Britain and the Common Market, 15.2.1971

The technological implications of the Common Market, Dundee, 20.2.1971

After empire: a new role?, West Point, March 1971

Marking time in the Gulf, 5.3.1971

[Scotland and the Common Market], Edinburgh, 11.3.1971

The prospects for peace: a British view, Indiana, 6.4.1971

The prospects for peace: a British view, San Francisco, 16.4. (1971)

Education and training for leadership in Europe, Edinburgh, 9.7.1971

[Britain and Europe]: Chatham House lecture, 20.7.1971

[The terms for entry into the EEC], Wolverhampton, 7.9.1971

Europe and the future of the British economy, Hamburg, 16.9.1971

[Joining the EEC], Edinburgh, 24.9.1971(?)

[Common Market negotiations], Birmingham, 1972(?)

The case against a referendum, House of Commons, 18.4.1972

[The EEC and the Labour Party], Manchester, 8.7.1972

International investment for the regions, Milan, 28.9.1972

[The Common Market], Dundee, 20.11.1971

Taking the financial resources to the human resources, 1972(?)

[Socialists and a united Western Europe], Paris 30.1.1972

[Conservative housing policy], Kingston, 11.3.(1972?)

[Europe], London, 8.4.1972

The future of Europe, Amsterdam, 7.12.1972

The British Labour scene and Europe, London, 14.12.1972

Report of a conversation between Mr Thomson and M. Guichard, Paris, 12.4.1973

My disagreement with Donat Cattin more apparent than reral, [Brindisi], 6.8.1973

[Regional policy], London, 2.12.1975

European Management Symposium, opening speech, Davos, 26.1.1978

Address at the Andrew Carnegie 150th anniversary conference, Dunfermline, 15.8.1985

Opening speech at the I.B.A. World Members conference, Edinburgh, 2.9.1986

The financial services in an integrated European Market, Edinburgh, 27.5.`988

A modern Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe, 1989(?)

Opening address to a conference of the European Association of Advertising Agencies, 1989(?)

Address given at Marketing Week conference, Monte Carlo, 24.2.1989

[Television broadcasting in the UK]. Aberdeen, 13.6.1989(?)

Address given at a dinner of the Scottish European Movement, Perth, 5.11.(1989?)

Europe: a journey to an unknown destination, Foreign & Commonwealth Office Lecture, 27.10.1999

Box 6

Newspaper reports on speeches, and speech materials [not listed]

Box 7

Foreign and Commonwealth material

Lord Thomson of Monifieth, Memories of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office merger, Password, May 2005

A small file of miscellaneous papers and correspondence including:

Cabinet paper, 12.2.1968, by Lord Thomson on immigration legislation

Copy of letter, 16.6.1969, to Harold Wilson.

Transcript of interview at B.B.C. TV., March 1970.

Letter of the editor of The Times, 9.2.2003, re: the U.N. and Iraq

Foreign & Commonwealth Office correspondence, 2003, re: Zimbabwe public service pensions

A file of papers and correspondence, 1998-2002, re: the political situation in Southern Cameroons

A file of photographs, mostly of Commonwealth political figures

Box 8

Material relating to the Rhodesian oil sanctions, 1967-1978

A file of notes prepared by Lord Thomson [undated], including outline chronologies of events, 1965- and a resume on allegations relating to evasion of oil sanctions

A file of papers including the following:

Record of a meeting between the Rt. Hon. George Thomson and representatives of Shell and British Petroleum Companies, 6 February 1969 (typescript)

Record of a meeting between the Commonwealth Secretary and representatives of Shell and British Petroleum, 21 February [1969]

Rhodesia: oil sanctions.  An historical account of the Commonwealth Secretary's meetings with British oil company representatives during December 1967 - February 1968.  Research Department, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, December 1977.  Annex A, attached, together with a Note of a meeting between the Commonwealth Secretary and representatives of Shell and BP, 11 December 1967; Annex C, a brief chronology; Annex D, The problem of foreign subsidiaries of British companies, and records of meetings, 6.2.1969, and 21.2. (1969) with representatives of Shell and British Petroleum.

Press statement, 6.9.1978, issued by Lord Thomson on the Rhodesian oil sanctions controversy (first draft, and statement).

Manuscript and typescript of a speech by Lord Thomson on Rhodesian oil sanctions.  (House of Lords, 1979?)

House of Commons Official reports on Rhodesian oil sanction debates (7 and 8 November 1978; 1 February 1979)

File of press cuttings relating to the H.M.S. Fearless talks with Ian Smith, October 1968.

A file of newspaper cuttings and photographs (not listed)

Box 9

The European Community

File A:   The first few years [as Britain's first European Commissioner to the EEC].  Typescript, [n.d.], 97 pages.

File B:   Europe, 1966-1974.  Mss., [incomplete], [n.d.]

File C:   Regional policy; Renegotiation [of entry terms].  Typescripts, [incomplete], [n.d.].

File D:  Papers relating to Regional Development Fund negotiations.

The Commission's proposals on regional policy: a commentary prepared by M.R.H. Jenkins with amendments by Mr Thomson [n.d.].

Background note [n.d.].

Reporting telegrams on the 17/18 December Council meeting, 17/18.12.1973.

Correspondence between the British and German Councils on Regional Policy, 20.12.1973.

Points to make to M. Ortoli, 8.1.1974

Telegrams, Regional Development Fund, 9.1.1974 and 14.1.1974.

Mr Thomson's speaking note, 15.1. (1974).

Possible elements for a compromise, 16.1.1974.

The unbridgeable gap in the RDF negotiations, 21.1.1974.

Record of telephone conversation between State Secretary Hans Apel and George Thomson, 23.1.1974.

Note from the British Embassy in Rome, 25.2.1974.

Size and distribution of the Regional Development Fund.

[Notes prepared by M.R.H.J.], 28.1.1974.

Thomson between Labour and Europe [Translation of an article from] Die Welt, February 1974.

RDF: Models at 1620 and 1450mna, 18.2.1974.

Two notes prepared by M.R.H. Jenkins of meetings, 18.3.1974, between Mr Thomson and members of the Labour Government.

Transcript of interview with Mr James Callaghan, BBC Television, 1.4.1976.

File E:   Publications and notes written by George Thomson, including

The political case for joining the Common Market, Diplomat's world, vol. 1(1),  [n.d.]

European regional policy is not a myth, [n.d.]

Scotland and the European Community: questions and answers … [n.d.]

What joining the Common Market would mean to Scottish industry [n.d.]

Press statement on British entry to the Common Market [n.d.]

Community regional policy [n.d.]

Where does the Labour Party go after last night's vote?

Transcript of a speech, Aberdeen, 29.10.?

These terms are acceptable, Europe left, 5(2), July 1971

Britain and the European Common Market, Christian Science Monitor, 6.7.1971

The Regional Development Fund, April 1974.

Text of an interview which Mr Thomson gave to Handelsblatt, 2.11.1971.

Re-examination in depth of the problems connected with the Common Agricultural Policy, 4.6.1973.

Three sets of handwritten outline notes [n.d.]

The following publications:

Article in a quarterly review, British Steel Corporation, January 1973.

Britain and the Common Market: the political case, The World Today, July 1971.

These terms are acceptable, Europe Left, July 1971.

"This Week" / "A time for greatness".  Transcript of a broadcast on Thames Television, 24.6.1971; letter to Maurice Schumann, 6.5.1971, attached, with reply 10.5.1971, letter to Willy Brandt, 6.5.1971.

File F:   Further notes and transcripts of speeches by George Thomson, including:

Typescript notes (incomplete) [n.d.]

Press statement concerning Mr Thomson's vote (in House of Commons) for British entry into the Common Market [n.d.]

Notes relating to East Dundee constituency.

Extracts from H of C speech.

Various mss. notes.

Press notice, 6.6.?

Community goodwill for new British government, 8.3.1974.

Labour Party Conference speech, 17.7.1971, [transcript and draft].

Draft speech, Orpington, 26.5.1975

Box 10

Material relating to negotiations for UK entry into the European Community

File A1: Correspondence 1971 to 1974, including:

14.7.1971.  Letter from William Rodgers.

26.7. [1971].  Letter from George Thomson to Harold [Wilson]

5.10.1972.  Letter (draft and typed copy) from George Thomson to [Harold Wilson] re: his decision to accept a post of Commissioner to the EEC; replies from Marcia Williams, 14.11.1972, and Harold Wilson, 16.11.1972.

1.3.1974.  Letter from George Thomson to James Callaghan.

[1974?]  Letter from George Thomson to [James Callaghan?].

File A2: Correspondence 1970 to 1971, mainly relating to Lord Thomson's views on the terms of entry to the Common Market, and his stand when voting in the House of Commons.  (Labour Party House of Commons Voting Codes of Conduct enclosed, 1968-1971).  Correspondence mostly from members of the public [not listed].

Files B1 and B2:  Newspaper cuttings [not listed].

File C:   Transcripts of speeches by Harold Wilson (1971), James Callaghan (1967-1974). Peter Shore (1974), Roy Jenkins (1977), Sir Christopher Soames (1973-1974), Lord Rippon, (1988); and transcript of an interview of Harold Wilson by Robin Day (Panorama, 10.5.1971).

Guide notes for speakers taking part in meetings, prepared by Labour Campaign for Britain in Europe [n.d.]

A Labour Britain in Europe, issued by the Labour Committee for Europe [n.d.]

Copies (4) of other speeches and publications, 1972-1974.

File D:   Various publications in connection with negotiations / renegotiations for entry into the EEC, including:

Report on the negotiations for entry into the European Community, June 1970 - January 1972, by Sir Con O'Neill [1972].

File E:   A miscellany of papers, including notes on Labour Party committee elections, 1971/72, extracts from Hansard, and paper by [UK] Head of [EU] Mission, [n.d.].

Box 11

Resignations from the Shadow Cabinet, April 1972

File A:   Correspondence, including:

Draft letter of resignation, 8.4.1972 from Roy Jenkins, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, to Harold Wilson, typed copy, 10.4.1972.

Draft letter of resignation, 10.4.1972, from George Thomson to Harold Wilson; final copy 10.4.1972.  Reply, 10.4.1972, from Harold Wilson.

Letter of resignation, 10.4.1972, from Harold Lever to Harold Wilson.

Copy of letter, 11.4.1972, from Roy Hattersley to Harold Wilson.

Letter, 9.6.1972, from William Rodgers to George Thomson.

Letter, 26.7.1972, from John P. Mackintosh to George Thomson.

Letter, 30.10.1972, from Edward Heath to George Thomson.

Various notes [n.d.] prepared by George Thomson.

File B:   Letters of support, April - May 1972, following George Thomson's resignation.  (Not listed)

File C:   Further letters of support, April - May 1972.  File includes the following letter, critical of George Thomson's stand on supporting entry into the EC: On behalf of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, 9.5.1972.

Copy of letter, 16.8.1972 to Mr Alf Stewart, Dundee City Labour Party, following on from a resolution demanding that Mr Thomson pledges his support to the Party, or resigns his seat.

File D:   Press cuttings and publications, including:

Why we were right to resign.  Article, 16.4.1972, by George Thomson, The Observer.

Letters by George Thomson, 27.4.1972 and 28.4.1972, in The Listener and New Statesman.

Extracts from Hansard 18.4.1972.

Box 12

Press cuttings, 1964 - c.2003 arranged broadly by date categories but unsorted

Box 13


File A:   Correspondence:

Letter from Margaret Thatcher, 27.10.1989, appointing Lord Thomson to serve on the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.

Letters, 7.2.1992, and two undated, to The Times.

Letter, 24.5.2004, from Shirley Williams to Gavyn Davies (former Chairman of the BBC).

File B:   Speeches

Notes for two [undated] speeches

Does public service broadcasting have a future? …  The Macmillen Lecture, 11.3.1986.

The 1988 Robert Fraser Lecture, 24.11.1988.

Speech given at the awards ceremony for educational and training programmes, Glasgow, 17.5.[1989?].

Strathclyde Town and Gown Lecture, Glasgow, 3.12.[1989?].

A coherent audiovisual policy for Europe, Luxembourg, 5.12.1989.

Summary of paper for Conference of State Broadcasting Authority of North Rhine Westphalia [1989?].

Broadcasting in the 'eighties: a dramatic decade [1989?].

The IBA and the saga of satellite broadcasting [1989?].

Financial Times conference, opening speech [1989?].

The first annual CIRCOM lecture [1989?].

Investment opportunities in British broadcasting, Financial Times conference, 9.10.1990.

Paper for the Marketing Week TV '91 conference, Monte Carlo, [1991].

Paper for the Broadcast Europe, 1992 conference.  Mss. notes, 30.1.1992.

Paper for the Voice of the Listener and Viewer meeting, 20.2.[1992?].

Commercial broadcasting among the British experience; the Monifieth lecture, Lisbon, 27.2.1992.

File C:   Published articles, including:

Thomson seeks 'tranquillity' for ITV and a boost for ILR, Broadcast, 21.9.81.

How light is light?, Broadcast, 26 August 1988.

From ITV to Channel 3: the British franchise affair 1991.

Article for ePolitix, mss., July 2003.

Newspaper cuttings.

File D:   File of papers and publications concerning the television programme 'Death on the Rock', including: Brief of the [IBA] Chairman re: World at One programme, 28 and 29.4.1988.

Note of a meeting at the Home Office, 26.4.1988.

Letter from the Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 4.5.1988 to Lord Thomson; reply 11.5.1988.

Diary of events re: 'This Week': Gibraltar, [3.6.1988]/

'Death on the Rock': note by Mr Glencross [IBA Secretary], 11.10.1988. 

Notes on a meeting between Lord Thomson, John Whitney, David Windlesham and Richard Rampton, 13.10.1988.

Letter from the Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to Lord Windlesham, 14.10.1988.

Windlesham Inquiry into 'Death on the Rock': Notes by the [IBA] Secretary, D. Glencross, 18.10.1988 and 19.10.1988.

'Death on the Rock': Note by the Secretary, K.W.B., 24.10.1988.

Letter from Lord Thomson to Lord Windlesham, 4.11.1988, with attachments.

Note from DT to DG, 4.1.1989, re: The Windlesham report;

Note attached from John Whitney, 27.4.1988, to Lord Thomson, with reply 27.4.1988.

File E:   Press cuttings re: retirement of Lord Thomson as Chairman of the IBA.

Box 14


A collection of publications relating to broadcasting [not listed].

The file includes a speech by Lord Thomson, The global market place, in Media Summit Luxembourg Report [n.d.].

Box 15

Miscellaneous, including:

Entries in the Dictionary of National Biography for the following persons:

Lord Aylestone

Lord Bottomley

Lord Cledwyn

Lord Harris

Lord Rippon (brief note)

Lord Walston

Proceedings in order to make affirmation as a Privy Counsellor, April 1966.

Menu lists (signed by Harold Wilson and W. Averell Harriman)

A file of photographs, personal and on official duties.