Reference numberPB/5/2
Previous numbersE.24-E.34
TitleThe 'Gaitskell Group'
DescriptionThis was a group of scientists and politicians who met occasionally 'with the aim of evolving a scientific and technological policy for the country'. The meetings were organised and hosted by R.M Brumwell, who also acted as secretary. When the group began meeting in july 1956, H. Gaitskell was the leader of the Labour Party and attended the meetings. Later he was represented by H. Wilson. Even after Wilson succeeded Gaitskell as Leader, Blackett continued to refer to it as the 'Gaitskell Group', and this description has been used in the entries.

In 1959 a set of 'Cabinet Papers' was prepared for Gaitskell (see E.27 and E.28). Blackett often used or commented on these papers during the next several years - see especially E.39 and E.54. In July 1963 another set of 'Cabinet Papers' was prepared, this time for Harold Wilson and R.H.S. Crossman. See E.41, E.44, E.45 and E.50 for copies of, or comments on these papers.

The composition of the group varied over the years but it included on occasion (in addition to Hugh Gaitskell and Harold Wilson) James Callaghan, A. Robens, R.H.S. Crossman, John Desmond Bernal, Jacob Bronowski, G. Dickson, R.G. Forrester, D. Glass, B. Lockspeiser, P.M. Newitt, C.P. Snow, B.R. Williams, P. Shore and G. Mitchison. Blackett was a senior member of the group from its inception and one of its most senior scientists. The note sent along with the letter to Gaitskell in November 1962 (E. 33) provides a useful summary of the group's activities. After Crossman became Shadow Minister for Education, he initiated more official conferences, several of which were held in the Bonnington Hotel, London. (See E.42, E.56, F.33, F.34).

Material consists of 11 folders, arranged in chronological order.
Extent11 folders
Access statusOpen
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