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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleExecutive Committee and Lectures
DescriptionPapers relating to that part of the Society's work and activities for which the Executive Committee did not delegate responsibility to any other major committee. A very large number of subjects in which the Society had an interest is covered by this section of the papers.
Approximately one half of the section consists of the minute books and unbound minutes of the Executive Committee from 1885 to 1970:
C/1-35, together with the numbered committee papers, and of ad hoc sub-committees such as that for the Fabian Common Room and the Organising and Propaganda Committee of 1907-16,
C/36-42. After 1938 the records of the annual general meetings and the reports made to them by the General Secretary were included in the minutes of the Executive Committee as numbered committee papers.
C/43-46. Separate minute books were also preserved of the lecture and business meetings of the Society from 1883 to 1938
C/47-48 annual reports and administrative papers of the annual general meetings with incomplete series of reports, minutes and some correspondence, C47 and C48. Reports on lectures were, for long periods, included in the 'Fabian News'
C/49-51 relate to the Executive Committee's responsibility for the annual election of its membership, though most of the actual work was done by the office staff. much of the material is correspondence concerned with nomination of candidates, publication of their biographical notes and records of previous committee attendance, the issuing of ballot papers, the duties of scrutineers on their return and notification of those who had been elected or co-opted into the Committee. In 1956 an Election Enquiry Committee was appointed to inquire into the rules governing membership of the Executive Committee and elections; its papers are in C51.
C/52 The Basis and Rules of the Society were reviewed from time to time by the Executive Committee, usually at the instigation of some section of the general membership. It nominated sub-committees on three separate occasions to examine the constitution of the Society: first in 1887 when the increased membership was having second thoughts about the clauses of the original Basis and Rules drawn up by the founder-members, secondly in 1938 when the Fabian Society was contemplating amalgamation with the New Fabian Research Bureau and thirdly in 1948 when the post-war developments within the various spheres of interest of the Society demanded a fresh look at its means and methods of carrying out its work. Papers of all three sub-committees are in C/52 although the minutes of meetings of the officers responsible for administering the details of amalgamation of the Bureau with the Society are in C59.
C/53-54 Notices of all kinds were constantly issued in the name of the Executive Committee to members of the Society, to the press and to other bodies similarly interested in political, social and economic problems. A considerable collection can be found in C53 and C54; it provides a broad view of the many subjects considered by the Fabians.
C/55 Although card indexes of members were compiled by the staff for use in the office, providing information on length of membership and the publications to which each member subscribed, in the period up to 1906 several manuscript lists of members were made and between 1890 and 1906 the Executive Committee issued printed lists. They are now in box C55 while the membership card indexes can be found in section M. Through the officers responsible for working with the local societies periodic membership questionnaires were circulated from 1942; the completed forms can be found in the section devoted to the local Societies in boxes F 23-38.
C/56-58 are the Registers of attendance at committee meetings between 1907 and 1915.
C/59 holds the papers concerned with the appointment of officers to the Society, including the president and the General Secretary, and with running the office after amalgamation with the New Fabian Research Bureau.
C/60 consists of a file of prospectuses, curricula and reports on the London School of Economics and Political Science, originally founded with a large grant from the Hutchinson Trust, A legacy to the Fabian Society intended to be spent on advancing its propaganda and other purposes and its socialism.
C/61 Papers concerned with visits by delegations of the Executive Committee to Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and Bonn between 1951 and 1971.
C/62-70, are devoted to the lectures which have been a constant and important part of the Society's work since its inception. At times there has been a formal lecture committee responsible for drawing up the programme for the autumn lectures of the main Society for a particular year, but more often one of two members of the executive committee have been delegated to discuss the programme informally between themselves, the General Secretary has been responsible for asking people on their advice to speak in the series and his assistant has dealt with the routine administrative details. Series of spring lectures have also been given occasionally. Often lectures have been published, sometimes under different titles; papers concerning publication of lectures can be found in Section E and have been so described in the list.
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