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Item of the Month – February 2013

Archive item of the month

The Labour Party Annual Report 1963 – Report of the 62nd Annual Conference

The reason for this month’s selection is that on 14February 1963, the Labour Party elected Harold Wilson as its new leader and Leader of the Opposition.  This annual report contains Wilson’s first speech as leader where he introduced the Party’s policy statement Labour and the Scientific Revolution (p.133), generally known as Wilson’s ‘white heat of technology’ speech in which he discussed the future implications of scientific and technological change in Britain.

Following the Labour Party’s success at the 1964 general election, Wilson became Prime Minister (until 1970 when the Labour Party was defeated by the Conservatives), and again between 1974-1976.  Wilson resigned on 16 March 1976.

The Labour History Archive and Study Centre holds the national Labour Party archive and has a complete set of Labour Party annual reports from 1900 – 2005, available for research in the archive.  Reports since 2007 are only available in audio format.  The reports give a detailed background to the Party’s policies, organisation, and membership, as well as the debates and issues of the conference.