Catalogue description Lord Butler of Saffron Walden: Private Office Papers

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of FO 1109
Reference: FO 1109
Title: Lord Butler of Saffron Walden: Private Office Papers

This series contains R A Butler's private office papers for the period 1956 to 1964. The subjects covered by the files in this series cover a wide range of subjects, not only those relating to the business of the ministries for which Butler was responsible, but other subjects of general concern to the government, to parliament, and to the Conservative Party. There are a few files from the period before 1956, principally relating to Butler's rĂ´les in the Conservative Party, though he was also Chancellor of the Exchequer at that time.

NOTE: private papers of R A Butler are also held by Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Conservative Party Archive and can be accessed via their online catalogues:

Trinity's Butler holdings.

Conservative Party Archive: Papers of R A Butler.

Date: 1946-1964

The arrangement of the series is according to the original private office filing system, into offices held, and then into subject files, or into types of correspondence The subject arrangement within blocks is mostly alphabetical, with the exception of a number of miscellaneous subject files at FO 1109/103-115.

The list is divided as follows:

  • 1956-1957 Home Secretary, Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House: FO 1109/1-115.
  • 1958-1960 Home Secretary, Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House: FO 1109/116-174.
  • 1956-1960 Miscellaneous ministerial correspondence: FO 1109/175-260.
  • 1961-1963 Common Market entry negotiations: FO 1109/261-270.
  • 1946-1961 Various government, parliamentary and party committees: FO 1109/271-325.
  • 1956-1961 Government business: FO 1109/326-344.
  • 1955-1961 Legislative programme: FO 1109/345-364.
  • 1955-1962 General correspondence (carbons): FO 1109/365-408.
  • 1954-1958 Miscellaneous correspondence: FO 1109/409-430.
  • 1954-1964 Supplementary papers and correspondence: FO 1109/431-470.
  • 1963-1964 Foreign Secretary: FO 1109/471-529.
  • 1961-1963 Central African Office: FO 1109/530-542.

FO 1109/423-430 comprise indexes to the miscellaneous correspondence.

The records in this series are grouped in FO because they rested in the possession of the Foreign Office following the end of Butler's period as Foreign Secretary, and no attempt was made to return, for example, files relating to home affairs to the Home Office.

Related material:

For Foreign Office Library department correspondence relating to these records see FO 370/2810

Separated material:

A small number of files relating to purely party political matters which became included in his private office filing system were identified and returned to the Chief Whip's Office at the time of the series's transfer to the Public Record Office in 1996. Butler's personal papers are held at Trinity College Library in Cambridge, and certain files from the private office system dealing exclusively with private matters were transferred there.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, 1902-1982

Physical description: 542 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

in 1996 Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Administrative / biographical background:

Richard Austen Butler (1902-1982), Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden from 1929-1965; he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1951-1955), Home Secretary (1957-1962) and Foreign Secretary (1963-1964).

In the period of the files in this record series, Butler held the following ministerial and parliamentary offices:

  • 1955-59 Lord Privy Seal;
  • 1955-61 Leader of the House of Commons;
  • 1957-62 Home Secretary;
  • 1962-63 First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister;
  • 1962-63 Minister in charge of the Central African Office;
  • 1963-64 Foreign Secretary.

During this time Butler was also chairman of the Conservative Party organisation (1959-1964).

In 1965 Butler was appointed Master of Trinity College Cambridge, and in the same year he was awarded a life peerage as Baron Butler of Saffron Walden.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research