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WILLIAMS, Juliet Evangeline Rhys, 1898-1964, Baroness Rhys Williams, public servant

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0097 RHYS WILLIAMS J
Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science
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Full title: WILLIAMS, Juliet Evangeline Rhys, 1898-1964, Baroness Rhys Williams, public servant
Date(s): 1908-1978
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 76 boxes
Name of creator(s): Williams | Juliet Evangeline Rhys | 1898-1964 | Baroness Rhys Williams | public servant


Administrative/Biographical history:

Lady Juliet Rhys Williams, 1898-1964, began her political career as private secretary to the Director of Training and Staff Duties at the Admiralty in 1918, becoming private secretary to the Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport, 1919-1920. As a member of the Liberal Party, she contested Pontypridd (1938) and Ilford North (1945), holding the post of Honorary Secretary of the Women's Liberal Federation in 1943. Her ideas on income tax reform were taken up by the Liberal Party and published as a Liberal Party Yellow Book. She left the Liberals in 1945 and joined the Conservative Party, becoming an influential member of the Monday Club. During this time she corresponded with many politicians including Harold MacMillan about political and economic issues.

Following World War Two, Lady Rhys Williams became Honorary Secretary of the Economic Section, Congress of Europe and the Hague in 1948, Honorary Secretary of the United Europe Movement, 1947-1958, and Chairman from 1958. She believed in uniting and strengthening Europe through trade and joined the European League for Economic Co-operation in 1948 . However she was against signing the Treaty of Rome and campaigned vigorously against joining the Common Market, which she thought would hand over British sovereignty to Europe and betray the Commonwealth. She also corresponded with a variety of people about the economic and political issues relating to Europe and European Union.

Lady Rhys Williams was a governor of the BBC, 1952-1956. During this time she joined discussions on the breaking of the BBC's monopoly and the setting up of a new commercial channel. She also experimented on systems for colour television and broadcast on Women's Hour. She was also interested in film. Together with her husband Sir Rhys Rhys Williams she formed a company that filmed her mother, Elinor Glyn's, books. She was also involved in the development of colour film. Lady Rhys Williams was also concerned with health issues. She was Honorary Treasurer of Queen Charlotte's Hospital Anaesthetic Fund, 1928-1939, Honorary Secretary of the Joint Council of Midwifery, 1934-1939, and a member of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Abortion, 1937-1938. She was also a member of the National Birthday Trust Fund. As her husband's estates were in Wales, Lady Rhys Williams spent much time there, and became involved with Welsh issues. She was a member of Bishop Llandaff's committee, which sought ways to alleviate poverty in the Rhondda valley in the 1930s, and she was also chairman of the Cwmbran Development Corporation 1955-1960. She also wrote articles and books on politics, economics, philosophy and religion and had novels and plays published.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to Juliet Rhys Williams' work on economics, taxation reforms, wages policy, and Commonwealth trade; her membership of the European League for Economic Co-operation, the United Europe Movement, the European Movement, and other European groups; correspondence, articles and pamphlets relating to European issues; correspondence, speeches, conference papers and pamphlets from the Liberal Party; material concerning Rhys Williams' involvement in the Conservative Party, mostly relating to the Monday Club and elections; papers relating to commercial television, and film making; documents relating to the building and administration of Cwmbran New Town; papers relating to Rhys Williams' time as Churchwarden of St Anne's, Soho, and as vice-president of the St Anne's Society; material relating to the publishing and winding up of the 'European Review' and the 'Economic Digest'; minutes of the Bishop of Llandaff's Committee on hardship in the Rhondda Valley; Rhys Williams' collected writings, correspondence, and pamphlet and newsletter collections; papers relating to projects and societies in which Rhys Williams was involved; and family papers relating to property owned by the Rhys Williams family, family finances, photographs, Elspeth Rhys Williams (her daughter) and Sir Rhys Rhys Williams (her husband).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

This collection is arranged in 29 sections:
1. Economics, 1952-1964.
2. Taxation Reforms, 1938-1956.
3. Wages Policy, 1948-1964.
4. Commonwealth Trade, 1947-1964.
5. European League For Economic Co-operation, 1949-1963.
6. United Europe Movement, 1946-1960.
7. European Movement, 1949-1964.
8. Other European Groups, 1949-1960.
9. Miscellaneous European Materials, 1945-1965.
10. Liberal Party, 1936-1953.
11. Conservative Party, 1932-1964.
12. Television, 1947-1964.
13. Cwmbran New Town, 1955-1960.
14. St Anne's Soho, 1954-1963.
15. Publishing, 1950-1957.
16. Film Making, 1929-1934.
17. Bishop of Llandaff's Committee, 1935-1943.
18. Family Property, 1946-1964.
19. Family Finance, 1908-1964.
20. Collected Writings, 1925-1964.
21. Correspondence, 1927-1964.
22. Pamphlets, 1917-1964.
23. Newsletters, 1952-1964.
24. Projects, 1932-1964.
25. Societies, 1953-1964.
26. Photographs, 1930-1963.
27. Miscellaneous, 1939-1964.
28. Elspeth Rhys Williams, 1965-1978.
29. Sir Rhys Rhys Williams, 1947-1950.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:


Finding aids:

Printed handlist and online catalogue available.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Wellcome Library holds papers of Lady Rhys Williams relating to the National Birthday Trust Fund and health issues.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

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

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
May 29, 2002

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