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MILLER, Millie (1923-1977) (MP)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4427
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/ ›
Full title: MILLER, Millie (1923-1977) (MP)
Date(s): 1930-1977
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.06 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Miller | Millie | 1923-1977 | politician and social worker

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

Mrs Millie Miller was born in April 1923 in Shoreditch. At the age of seven she moved to Stoke Newington and attended Princess May School. She won a scholarship to Owen's School, but left at the age of sixteen. Her political interest and social conscience was stimulated during the Second World War, when she joined and took a leading role in local girl's clubs (which later became the Stamford Hill Associated Clubs). The club work involved visiting girls' homes. In 1959, Millie Miller stated: 'I felt that a lot of the things that I could see were not right with their lives had some connection with the social circumstances in which they lived.'

Her career began as a social worker, and she studied for a Social Science Diploma at London University. She became Mayor of Stoke Newington, from 1957 to 1958, and later Camden, from 1967 to 1968. In 1959, she was chairman of the Housing Committee for the Borough of Stoke Newington, vice-chairman of the governors of Woodberry Down Comprehensive School, president of the Stoke Newington International Baden-Powell Guild, leader of women's organisations of the Labour Party, and chair of the Area Advisory Committee and London Advisory Council. During the time she was Mayor of Stoke Newington, she set up a voluntary committee of local organisations concerned with visiting the elderly and disabled.

She was the first Labour woman to lead a London borough, in Camden, from 1971 to 1973. She was elected to Parliament in February 1974 and won her seat in the general election in October 1974 as the Labour MP for Ilford North (succeeded by Linda Perham in 1977). She also held the office of PPS to Minister of State, Department of Prices and Consumer Protection, from 1976 to 1977. She died on 29 October 1977.

By the time of her death, she had become a popular and well-loved Member of Parliament. Ken Livingstone wrote the following in his book, If Voting Changed Anything, They'd Abolish It; 'the Camden Council Labour Group, led by Frank Dobson . . . decided to convene a London-wide meeting to oppose the new housing expenditure controls which had been imposed on all councils by the Labour Government . . . Between 1971 and 1975 first Millie Miller and then Frank Dobson had provided strong leadership with a clear sense of direction.' Up to 2002, an annual memorial lecture has been held in the constituency to Millie Millers' memory. Among those who have paid tribute to her include Members for Chesterfield, Tony Benn, and for Livingston, Robin Cook, the Member for West Ham, Tony Banks, and the former Member for Barking, champion of women's rights, Jo Richardson.

Millie Miller was married to Monty Miller with two children, and during her period of office she lived in Highgate, Camden.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Personal papers of Millie Miller, Member of Parliament. The collection consists mostly of official parliamentary incoming and outgoing correspondence when Miller held office as MP for Ilford North. There are also maps, plans, brochures, and newspaper cuttings relating to housing in Stoke Newington from the 1930s, and during the late 1950s when Miller chaired the Housing Committee. The correspondence files are varied. Letters include those from; interest groups, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Socialist Medical Association, the Married Women's Association, the Association of Jewish Women's Organisations in the UK, and National Council of Women of Great Britain; local authorities, including Camden and Redbridge Borough Councils and Waltham Forest Area Health Authority; businesses local to the Ilford North constituency, including Thorn Electrical Industries Limited; Ilford North constituents; and letters from other MPs and Ministers.

The material reflects Millie Miller's keen interest in the promotion of women's rights, her membership on various committees and councils, delivery of speeches to women's associations, and her campaigns against girl slavery in the sex industry, battered wives, and sex discrimination. The material also details Miller's involvement in the World Conference of International Women's Year 1975. The correspondence touches on the Government's relations with Israel and the difficulties facing ethnic minorities, particularly Jewish communities. A large proportion of letters relate to Miller's constituency in Ilford North, Redbridge LB, with particular reference to housing, immigrants, and the views of constituents on local and national issues.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English

System of arrangement:

The collection has been arranged by 'MM' numbers, which have, at some time, been written at the top on each document or bundle of correspondence. Although there does not appear to be a subject or date order to the numbering system, bundles of correspondence often relate to adjacent ones, and for this reason it was felt that the original order should be maintained. It is important to note, however, that because of the system of arrangement, most files contain information on a variety of subjects. The papers were found loose and have been artificially split into manageable bundles.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm

Archival Information

Archival history:

The collection was deposited with the Museum of Labour History at Limehouse around 1979.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Gifted to the Archive in August 2002.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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