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British Library of Political and Economic Science

SHINWELL, Emanuel, 1884-1986, Baron Shinwell, politician


Reference code(s): GB 0097 SHINWELL

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: SHINWELL, Emanuel, 1884-1986, Baron Shinwell, politician

Date(s): 1900-1985

Level of description: collection

Extent: 40 boxes

Name of creator(s): Shinwell | Emanuel | 1884-1986 | Baron Shinwell | politician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Emanuel Shinwell, 1884-1986, was born in Spitalfields, London, but began work at the Scottish Wholesale Co-operative Society in 1909. By 1912, he had become chairman of the Glasgow Trades Council, a position that he held again from 1916 to 1919. His involvement with the 40 hours strike committee in 1919 led to his imprisonment for 5 months. Shinwell entered politics in 1922, becoming the Labour MP for Linlithgow, and rising to become Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of Mines in 1924, Financial Secretary for the War Office, 1929-1930, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of Mines, 1930-1931. In 1935, he defeated J Ramsey Macdonald in the election for Seaham. Lord Shinwell declined to serve in Churchill's wartime government, preferring to remain an independent backbencher, active in broadcasting and opposing ship production policy. During this time he was chairman of the Central Committee for Reconstruction. He joined the post-war Labour government as Minister of Fuel and Power, and was given the task of nationalising the mines. The difficulties and failures of this task led to his demotion from the cabinet and transfer to Defence as Secretary of State for War, 1947-1950. He returned to the cabinet as Minister of Defence, 1950-1951, and maintained an interest in defence issues for the rest of his career. He was also chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party 1964-1967.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to Lord Shinwell's time as a backbench MP and peer; correspondence; publications by and collected by Shinwell; family papers; and photographs. Unfortunately, no papers survive to document Lord Shinwell's early trade union and Labour Party career and relatively few survive from his period in office in the 1945 Labour government.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

This collection is arranged in 6 sections:
1. House of Commons Papers, 1924-1970.
2. House of Lords Papers, 1970-1984.
3. Correspondence, 1924-1985.
4. Publications, 1894-1981.
5. Family and Miscellaneous Papers, 1902-1982.
6. Photographs, 1900-1974.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:


Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Printed handlist and online catalogue available.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on May 29, 2002

Date(s) of descriptions: May 29, 2002

Coal mining | Mining
Defence | State security
International relations

Personal names
Shinwell | Emanuel | 1884-1986 | Baron Shinwell | politician x Shinwell | Baron

Corporate names
Labour Party