Macmillan Cabinet Papers, 1957-1963, sourced exclusively from The National Archives, the UK government's official archive, enables students and researchers better to understand the workings of British Government.

The resource casts new light on Britain's relationship with the EEC, Anglo-American ties, the Cold War, decolonisation, and issues of public and political morality.

For a downloadable list of all documents in the resource, please click here.

Coverage includes:

  • The 'Wind of Change' speech, February 1960, and independence for Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and Zanzibar
  • The Sharpeville Massacre, March 1960, and apartheid in South Africa
  • The Berlin Crisis, 1958-1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1962
  • The aftermath of the Suez Crisis and a new Middle East policy, 1957-1963
  • The foundation of the EEC by the Treaty of Rome, 1957

This collection consists of CAB 128 (Cabinet Conclusions) and CAB 129 (Cabinet Memoranda) files, which are fundamental sources for the understanding of high-level government policy and touch on all areas discussed by the Cabinet. A natural complement to these records are the papers of the Prime Minister's Private Office (PREM 11).

Two volumes from file class CAB 134 (Cabinet Committees) are also included, featuring minutes and memoranda of the Colonial Policy Committee (1957) and of a committee convened to discuss 'Future Policy' (1959-60). These are essential sources for the study of decolonisation, Commonwealth affairs, nuclear policy and foreign and defence policy.


Nature and Scope

The collection encompasses:

  • Records of meetings between Macmillan and other key Government figures with leading international statesmen. These include briefs, original minutes and finalised reports. Notable examples include meetings in Bonn with Adenauer (1957, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1962); the Bermuda Conference with Eisenhower (1957); meetings with de Gaulle in Paris, Chateau de Champs and Rambouillet (1958, 1960 and 1962); Macmillan's visits to the USA and Canada (1957-58 and 1962); Eisenhower's visits to Europe (1959 and 1960); the Moscow meeting with Khrushchev (1959); the Geneva talks (between 1959 and 1963); the meeting of foreign ministers in Washington DC (1959); de Gaulle's London visit (1960); Welensky's London visit (1960); Macmillan's tour of Africa (1960); de Gaulle's visit to Birch Grove (1961); Yoshida's visits to London (1961 and 1962); the Bermuda Conference with Kennedy (1961); Four Power discussions concerning Berlin (1962); the Nassau meeting with Kennedy and Diefenbaker (1962); Rusk's UK visits (1962 and 1963); and Kennedy's UK visit (1963).
  • Correspondence with and memoranda from Government advisors. These include Philip de Zulueta, Burke Trend, Norman Brook and Timothy Bligh (Whitehall or Private Office staff), Robert Hall and Alec Cairncross (Government Economic Advisors), Roy Harrod (also on economic policy) and Solly Zuckerman (on nuclear affairs).
  • More detail on key policies, such as the working papers on defence organisation that led to the 1957 Defence White Paper, drafts of Macmillan's 'Grand Design' on European and foreign policy, essays by Douglas-Home and Macleod on colonial policy in Africa, views on 'The Future of Anglo-American Relations', and the drafting of Macmillan's 'Wind of Change' speech.
  • Discussions of the annual Budget, including extensive correspondence with successive Chancellors of the Exchequer and with Treasury staff.
  • Files on 'Ministers' which help to explain Cabinet reshuffles and illuminate crises such as the Vassall and Profumo scandals.
  • Views from Conservative Party Central Office on image and presentation, and ways of making policies attractive to the electorate.
  • Records of unofficial Cabinet Meetings, such as weekend sessions at Chequers to discuss Europe and the Commonwealth.
  • Macmillan's correspondence with Khrushchev (1957-63), Eisenhower (1957-60) and Kennedy (1961-63).


Government Ministers and Officials

(The use of upper-case type indicates that an individual was a member of the Cabinet)

Prime Minister
HAROLD MACMILLAN January 1957-October 1963
SIR ALEC DOUGLAS-HOME October 1963-October 1964

Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State
RICHARD A. BUTLER July 1962-October 1963

Lord President of the Council
MARQUESS OF SALISBURY November 1952-January 1957
LORD HOME (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) March 1957-September 1957
LORD HAILSHAM September 1957-October 1959
LORD HOME (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) October 1959-July 1960
LORD HAILSHAM July 1960-October 1964

Lord Chancellor
VISCOUNT KILMUIR (Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe) October 1954-July 1962
BARON DILHORNE (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller) July 1962-October 1964

Lord Privy Seal
RICHARD A. BUTLER December 1955-October 1959
LORD HAILSHAM October 1959-July 1960
EDWARD HEATH July 1960-October 1963
SELWYN LLOYD October 1963-October 1964

Chancellor of the Exchequer
PETER THORNEYCROFT January 1957-January 1958
DERICK HEATHCOAT-AMORY January 1958-July 1960
SELWYN LLOYD July 1960-July 1962
REGINALD MAUDLING July 1962-October 1964

Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Enoch Powell January 1957-January 1958
Jocelyn Simon January 1958-October 1959
Sir Edward Boyle October 1959-July 1962
Anthony Barber July 1962-October 1963
Alan Green October 1963-October 1964

Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Nigel Birch January 1957-January 1958
(vacant) January 1958-October 1958
Frederic Erroll October 1958-October 1959
Anthony Barber October 1959-October 1962
Edward Du Cann July 1962-October 1963
Maurice Macmillan October 1963-October 1964

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
SELWYN LLOYD December 1955-July 1960
LORD HOME (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) July 1960-October 1963
RICHARD A. BUTLER October 1963-October 1964

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
Allan Noble November 1956-January 1959
David Ormsby-Gore January 1957-June 1961
John Profumo January 1959-July 1960
Joseph Godber June 1961-June 1963
Earl of Dundee October 1961-October 1964
Peter Thomas June 1963-October 1964

Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Earl of Gosford January 1957-October 1958
Ian Harvey January 1957-November 1958
Marquess of Lansdowne October 1958-April 1962
John Profumo November 1958-January 1959
Robert Allan January 1959-October 1960
Joseph Godber October 1960-June 1961
Peter Thomas June 1961-June 1963
Peter Smithers July 1962-January 1964
Robert Mathew January 1964-October 1964

Secretary of State for the Home Department
RICHARD A. BUTLER January 1957-July 1962
HENRY BROOKE July 1962-October 1964

Minister of State for Home Affairs
Dennis Vosper October 1960-June 1961
David Renton June 1961-July 1962
Earl Jellicoe July 1962-October 1963
Lord Derwent October 1963-October 1964

Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs
Patricia Hornsby-Smith January 1957-October 1959
Jocelyn Simon January 1957-January 1958
David Renton January 1958-June 1961
Dennis Vosper October 1959-October 1960
Earl Bathurst February 1961-July 1962
Charles Fletcher-Cooke June 1961-February 1963
Christopher Woodhouse July 1962-October 1964
Mervyn Pike March 1963-October 1964

First Lord of the Admiralty
Lord Selkirk January 1957-October 1959
Lord Carrington October 1959-October 1963
Earl Jellicoe October 1963-April 1964
(then reorganised under the Ministry of Defence)

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
DERICK HEATHCOAT-AMORY April 1955-January 1958
JOHN HARE January 1958-July 1960
CHRISTOPHER SOAMES July 1960-October 1964

Secretary of State for Air
George Ward January 1957-October 1960
Julian Amery October 1960-July 1962
Hugh Fraser July 1962-April 1964
(then reorganised under the Ministry of Defence)

Minister of Aviation
DUNCAN SANDYS October 1959-July 1960
PETER THORNEYCROFT July 1960-July 1962
Julian Amery July 1962-October 1964

Minister Responsible for Central African Federation
RICHARD A. BUTLER March 1962-October 1963

Secretary of State for the Colonies
ALAN LENNOX-BOYD July 1954-October 1959
IAIN MACLEOD October 1959-October 1961
REGINALD MAUDLING October 1961-July 1962
DUNCAN SANDYS July 1962-October 1964

Minister of State for Colonial Affairs
Earl of Perth January 1957-April 1962
Marquess of Lansdowne April 1962-October 1964

Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
John Profumo January 1957-November 1958
Julian Amery November 1958-October 1960
Hugh Fraser October 1960-July 1962
Nigel Fisher July 1962-October 1964
Richard Hornby October 1963-October 1964 (jointly with Commonwealth Relations Office)

Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
LORD HOME (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) April 1955-July 1960
DUNCAN SANDYS July 1960-October 1964

Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations
Cuthbert Alport October 1959-February 1961

John Hobson February 1961-February 1962
Duke of Devonshire September 1962-October 1964

Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
Cuthbert Alport January 1957-October 1959
Richard Thompson October 1959-October 1960
Duke of Devonshire October 1960-September 1962
Bernard Braine February 1961-July 1962
John Tilney July 1962-October 1964 (jointly with Colonial Office)

Secretary of State for Defence
DUNCAN SANDYS January 1957-October 1959
HAROLD WATKINSON October 1959-July 1962
PETER THORNEYCROFT July 1962-October 1964

Minister of State for the Air Force
Hugh Fraser April 1964-October 1964

Minister of State for the Army
James Ramsden April 1964-October 1964

Minister of State for the Navy
Earl Jellicoe April 1964-October 1964

Secretary of State for Education
LORD HAILSHAM January 1957-September 1957
GEOFFREY LLOYD September 1957-October 1959
SIR DAVID ECCLES October 1959-July 1962
SIR EDWARD BOYLE July 1962-April 1964
LORD HAILSHAM April 1964-October 1964

Minister of State for Education
Sir Edward Boyle April 1964-October 1964

Secretary of State for Health
Dennis Vosper January 1957-September 1957

Derek Walker-Smith September 1957-July 1960
Enoch Powell July 1960-July 1962
ENOCH POWELL July 1962-October 1963
ANTHONY BARBER October 1963-October 1964

Minister of Housing, Local Government and Welsh Affairs
HENRY BROOKE January 1957-October 1961
CHARLES HILL October 1961-July 1962
KEITH JOSEPH July 1962-October 1964

Minister of State for Welsh Affairs
Lord Brecon December 1957-October 1964

Minister of Labour and National Service
IAIN MACLEOD December 1955-October 1959
EDWARD HEATH October 1959-July 1960
JOHN HARE July 1960-October 1963
JOSEPH GODBER October 1963-October 1964

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
CHARLES HILL January 1957-October 1961
IAIN MACLEOD October 1961-October 1963
VISCOUNT BLAKENHAM (John Hare) October 1963-October 1964

Paymaster-General (and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from October 1961)
REGINALD MAUDLING January 1957-October 1959
LORD MILLS October 1959-October 1961
HENRY BROOKE October 1961-July 1962
JOHN BOYD-CARPENTER July 1962-October 1964

Minister of Pensions and National Insurance
John Boyd-Carpenter December 1955-July 1962
Niall Macpherson July 1962-October 1963
Richard Wood October 1963-October 1964

Ministers without portfolio
Earl of Munster January 1957-October 1964
Lord Mancroft June 1957-October 1964
Earl of Dundee October 1958-October 1964
LORD MILLS October 1961-July 1962
WILLIAM DEEDES July 1962-October 1964
LORD CARRINGTON October 1963-October 1964

Ernest Marples January 1957-October 1959
Reginald Bevins October 1959-October 1964

Minister of Power
LORD MILLS January 1957- October 1959
Richard Wood October 1959-October 1963
FREDERICK ERROLL October 1963-October 1964

Minister of Science
LORD HAILSHAM October 1959-April 1964

Secretary of State for Scotland
JOHN MACLAY January 1957-July 1962
MICHAEL NOBLE July 1962-October 1964

Minister of State for Scottish Affairs
Lord Strathclyde January 1957-October 1958
Lord Forbes October 1958-October 1959
Lord Craigton October 1959-October 1964

Minister of Supply
Aubrey Jones January 1957-October 1959
(office abolished October 1959)

Minister for Technical Co-operation
Dennis Vosper June 1961-May 1963
R. Carr May 1963-October 1964

President of the Board of Trade
SIR DAVID ECCLES January 1957-October 1959
REGINALD MAUDLING October 1959-October 1961
FREDERICK ERROLL October 1961-October 1963
EDWARD HEATH October 1963-October 1964

Minister of State for Trade
Derek Walker-Smith January 1957-September 1957
J. Vaughan-Morgan September 1957-October 1959
Frederick Erroll October 1959-October 1961
Keith Joseph October 1961-July 1962
A. Green July 1962-October 1963
Lord Derwent September 1962-October 1963
Lord Drumalbyn October 1963-October 1964
Edward Du Cann October 1963-October 1964

Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
HAROLD WATKINSON December 1955-October 1959

Minister of Transport
ERNEST MARPLES October 1959-October 1964

Secretary of State for War
John Hare October 1956-January 1958
Christopher Soames January 1958-July 1960
John Profumo July 1960-June 1963
Joseph Godber June 1963-October 1963
James Ramsden October 1963-April 1964
(then reorganised under Ministry of Defence)

Minister of Works
Hugh Molson January 1957-October 1959
Lord John Hope October 1959-July 1962

Minister of Public Building and Works
Geoffrey Rippon July 1962-October 1963
GEOFFREY RIPPON October 1963-October 1964


Law Officers

Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller October 1954-July 1962
John Hobson July 1962-October 1964
Sir H. Hylton-Foster January 1957-October 1959
Sir Jocelyn Simon October 1959-February 1962
John Hobson February 1962-July 1962
Sir Peter Rawlinson July 1962-October 1964

Lord Advocate
William R. Milligan December 1954-April 1960
William Grant April 1960-August 1962
I. Shearer October 1962-October 1964

Solicitor-General for Scotland
William Grant January 1957-May 1960
D. Anderson May 1960-April 1964
N. Wylie April 1964-October 1964


Parliamentary Officers

Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)
Edward Heath December 1955-October 1959
Martin Redmayne October 1959-October 1964

Leader of the House of Commons
Richard A. Butler April 1955-October 1961
Iain Macleod October 1961-October 1963
Selwyn Lloyd October 1963-October 1964

Chief Whip in the House of Lords
Earl Fortescue November 1951-June 1958
Earl St Aldwyn June 1958-October 1964

Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Home (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) March 1957-September 1960
Lord Hailsham September 1960-October 1963
Lord Carrington October 1963-October 1964


Party Officials

Chairman of the Conservative Party
Lord Hailsham September 1957-October 1959
Richard A. Butler October 1959-October 1961
Iain Macleod October 1961-April 1963
Iain Macleod & Lord Poole (joint) April 1963-October 1963
Viscount Blakenham (John Hare) October 1963-January 1965

Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party
Lord Poole September 1957-October 1959
Sir T. Low October 1959-October 1963

Chairman of Executive Committee of Conservative Party
Sir E. Edwards February 1957-September 1965

Chairman of Conservative Party Research Department
Richard A. Butler 1945-1964

Director of Conservative Party Research Department
P. Cohen & Michael Fraser (joint) 1948-1959
Michael Fraser 1951-1964

Chairman of 1922 Committee
John Morrison November 1955-November 1964


Prime Minister's Office

Parliamentary Private Secretary to Prime Minister
R. Allan 1955-1958
Anthony Barber 1958-1959
K. Cunningham 1959-1963
F. Pearson 1963-1964

Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister
Frank Bishop 1956-1959
Timothy Bligh 1959-1964

Private Secretary to Prime Minister (Foreign Policy)
Philip de Zulueta 1957-1963

Political Secretary and Advisor
John Wyndham 1957-1963

Advisor on Public Relations
S. Evans 1957-1964


Civil Servants

Secretary to the Cabinet
Norman Brook 1947-1963
Burke Trend 1963-1973

Head of Home Civil Service
Norman Brook 1956-1963
Sir L. Helsby 1963-1968

Director-General, Central Office of Information
Sir T. Fife Clark 1954-1971

Economic Advisor to the Government
Robert Hall 1953-1961
Alec Cairncross 1961-1964

Chief Scientific Advisor
Solly Zuckerman 1964

Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty
J. Lang 1947-1961
C. Jarret 1961-1964

Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
A. Hitchman 1952-1959
J. Winnifrith 1959-1968

Permanent Secretary for Air
M. Dean 1955-1963
M. Flett 1963-1964

Permanent Secretary for Aviation
W. Strath 1959-1960
H. Hardman 1960-1963
R. Way 1963-1966

Permanent Secretary to the Colonial Office
J. Macpherson 1956-1959
H. Poynton 1959-1966

Permanent Secretary to the Commonwealth Relations Office
G. Laithwaite 1955-1959
A. Clutterbuck 1959-1962
S. Garner 1962-1966

Permanent Secretary for Defence
R. Powell 1956-1960
E. Playfair 1960-1961
R. Scott 1961-1964

Permanent Secretary for Education
G. Flemming 1952-1959
Dame M. Smieton 1959-1967

Permanent Secretary to the Foreign Office
F. Hoyer Millar 1957-1962
H. Caccia 1962-1965

Permanent Secretary for Fuel and Power
J. Maud 1952-1958
D. Proctor 1958-1965

Permanent Secretary for Health
J. Hawton 1951-1960
B. Fraser 1960-1964

Permanent Secretary to the Home Office
C. Cunningham 1957-1966

Permanent Secretary for Housing and Local Government
Dame E. Sharp 1955-1966

Permanent Secretary for Labour
H. Emmerson 1956-1959
L. Helsby 1959-1962
J. Dunnett 1962-1966

Permanent Secretary for Pensions
E. Bowyer 1955-1965

Permanent Secretary to the Department of Trade
Frank Lee 1951-1960
R. Powell 1960-1968

Permanent Secretary for Transport
J. Dunnett 1959-1962
T. Padmore 1962-1968

Permanent Secretary to the Treasury
Norman Brook & R. Makins (joint) 1956-1959
Norman Brook 1959-1960
Norman Brook & Frank Lee (joint) 1960-1962
W. Armstrong & L. Helsby (joint) 1962-1963
W. Armstrong 1963-1968

Permanent Secretary to the War Office
E. Playfair 1956-1960
R. Way 1960-1963
A. Drew 1963-1964