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National Library of Wales
White, Eirene, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 EIRITE

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Eirene White Papers

Short Title: White, Eirene, papers

Creation date(s): 1859-1999

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 1.49 cubic metres (149 boxes, 1 vol., 1 roll)

Name of creator(s): Eirene White

CONTEXT

Administrative/Biographical history: Eirene White was a journalist and civil servant who served as the Labour MP for East Flintshire, 1950-1970, and subsequently became the Baroness White of Rhymney.
She was born at Belfast on 7 November 1909, the daughter of Dr Thomas Jones CH (1870-1955) who was to serve as the distinguished Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, 1916-1930, rendering loyal service to four successive prime ministers: Lloyd George, Bonar Law, Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay MacDonald.
She was educated at St Paul's Girls' School and then read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Somerville College, Oxford. She travelled widely in Europe and the United States, taking an absorbing interest in housing and the problems of the homeless, and in 1939 she became Welsh Regional Secretary of the Women's Voluntary Service. Subsequently, she was recruited by the Ministry of Labour to assist with the training of workers for the war effort. In 1945 she stood for parliament unsuccessfully for Flintshire in the Labour interest. Thereafter she turned to journalism, representing the Manc hester Evening News and the BBC at the House of Commons. Eirene Jones was elected to the Labour Party's National Executive in 1947. In 1948 she married John Cameron White, a fellow lobby correspondent at the Commons. He predeceased her in 1968. There were no children of the marriage. Finally, in 1950, she entered the House of Commons as Labour MP for East Flintshire, holding on to this highly marginal constituency for twenty years.
Very early in her parliamentary career, Eirene White became interested in the law of marriage and divorce. Had Hugh Gaitskell survived, she would probably have been given Cabinet office. When the Labour Party came into government in 1964, she was appointed parliamentary private secretary at the Colonial Office, and in 1966 she became Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. Only a year later, Harold Wilson moved her to the rather more mundane Welsh Office where she remained, serving mainly under George Thomas, until she decided to retire from the Commons in 1970. She was also Chairman of the Labour Party, 1968-1969. In 1970 she entered the House of Lords as Baroness White of Rhymney.
Baroness White's energy did not diminish in the Lords. She held a rich array of public offices, many of them in Wales. These included chairman of Coleg Harlech, 1974-1984, and chairman of the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, 1983-1888. She was also Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, 1979-1989. She died in 1999.

CONTENT

Scope and content/abstract: The fonds comprises letters, 1928-1999, to Lady White, diaries, 1936-1984, papers, 1907-1994, reflecting her career as a Labour politician, papers, 1859-1994, concerning her outside interests and activities, records, 1950-1996, deriving from Lady White's involvement in Welsh political and public life, and material, 1960-1990, concerning her activities in educational matters. There are also family papers, 1892-1992, including some relating to Lady White's father Dr Thomas Jones CH (1870-1955) and to her husband John Cameron White (1911-1968). There is also a substantial group of press cuttings and other printed material, 1919-1997.

ACCESS AND USE

Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW into seven sections: personal papers, 1920-1999; political papers, 1907-1994; papers deriving from Lady White's non-political interests and activities, 1859-1994; papers concerning Welsh politics and affairs, 1950-1996; material reflecting Lady White's interests in educational life, 1960-1990; family papers, 1892-1992; and acquired printed material, 1919-1997. Much of the archive arrived at the Library in labelled files; these have been retained. Others were in great disorder and have been sorted and arranged in files at NLW.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Copyright in papers written by Lady White owned by National Library of Wales; otherwise, usual copyright laws apply

Finding aids: A hard copy of this list is available at NLW and at the Parliamentary Archive, House of Lords, London.

ARCHIVAL INFORMATION

Accruals: Accruals are unlikely.

Archival history: Most of Lady White's papers were eventually retained at her London home. Some of her papers, however, found their way to the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where they were sorted and listed, whilst a substantial group was left at the House of Lords.

Immediate source of acquisition: Bequeathed by Lady White in March 2000, together with supplementary groups from the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, November 2000, and the House of Lords per Mr D. L. Jones, Librarian, March 2001. In April 2003 a further group was donated by Mrs Mala Murton, West Sussex, Lady White's niece.

ALLIED MATERIALS

Related material: A substantial group of photographs and snapshots are in NLW, Special Collections, and four cassettes of interviews with Lady White during June and July 1996 are in NLW, The National Screen and Sound Image of Wales, CM 10610-10613. See also series level description F2.

DESCRIPTION NOTES

Note: 1928-1999

Archivist's note: Compiled by J. Graham Jones.
The following sources were used in the compilation of the catalogue: Who's Who 2000 ; The Times , 24 December 1999; The Guardian , 27 December 1999; The Daily Telegraph , 24 December 1999.

Rules or conventions: This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2002; updated April 2004.


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects
Great Britain | Politics and government | 20th century
Wales | Politics and government | 20th century
White, Eirene | Archives

Personal names
White , Eirene Lloyd , 1909-1999 , Baroness

Corporate names

Places

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