National Library of Wales
Viscount Tonypandy Papers
Reference code(s): GB 0210 VISNDY
Held at: NLW
Title: Viscount Tonypandy Papers
Short title: Tonypandy, Viscount, papers
Dates of creation: 1927-1997
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 2.578 cubic metres (264 boxes, 4 files, 1 roll)
Name of creator(s): Lord Tonypandy
Administrative and biographical history: Lord Tonypandy (1909-1997) was born Thomas George Thomas in Port Talbot, Glamorgan, one of five children of Zacharia Thomas. He attended Tonypandy Secondary School and University College, Southampton. He returned to Cardiff in 1931, where he taught at Marlborough Road Elementary School for Boys and Roath Park School. He was drawn into politics through the National Union of Teachers. Medically unfit for war service, he became a Special Constable and was elected to the union's Executive Committee in 1942. Thomas had joined the Labour Party in 1925. He was nominated with Barbara Betts (later Castle) for the dual seat of Blackburn, but stood for Cardiff Central, which he won in the Labour landslide in 1945 and, following the boundary changes in 1950, was MP for Cardiff West until 1983. As a Welsh Nonconformist, he opposed Attlee's conscription policy, and spoke against pub and cinema openings on Sundays. He also campaigned on leasehold reform. The peak of his ministerial career came between 1968-1970 when he served as Secretary of State for Wales; his other political posts were Minister of Civil Aviation, 1951; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office, 1964-1966; Minister of State at the Welsh Office, 1966-1967, and at the Commonwealth Office, 1967-1968. He was Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, 1974-1976; and Speaker of the House of Commons, 1976-1983. He was the 133rd Speaker of the House of Commons, and the first to become known to a wider public through the broadcasting of Parliament on radio. In 1983, he was created Viscount Tonypandy of Rhondda. After he took his seat in the Upper House, he began to speak out against British integration with the European Union, at a time when his party was pro European Union. In 1996 he endorsed the anti-Europe campaign of Sir James Goldsmith and his Referendum Party. He was Chairman of the Bank of Wales, 1985-1991; President of the National Children's Home, 1990-1995; and Vice-President of the Macmillan Fund for Cancer Relief, 1991-1997. He was a diligent Methodist lay preacher throughout his life. He was a strong opponent of devolution and measures to alter the legal position of the Welsh language. He campaigned against Welsh devolution in the 1979 referendum. In 1997, with the banker Sir Julian Hodge, he was a prominent patron of the Welsh "Just Say No" campaign in the second referendum. It was his last campaign. He died aged 88 on 22nd September 1997.
Scope and content: General personal and political correspondence, 1936-1997, including letters from the Royal Family, MPs and Government Ministers, such as James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher and John Major; subject files including the Labour Party, 1951-1979, the National Union of Teachers, 1963-1971, Secretary of State for Wales, 1968-1969, Devolution in Wales, 1970-1973, the Christian Heritage, 1977-1985, Aberfan Disaster Fund Bill, 1978-1979, Cardiff West Constituency Labour Party, 1981-1982, the National Children's Homes, 1981-1993, British housing, 1984-1985, GT's memoirs, 1983-1985, the College of Preceptors, 1982-1987, the House of Lords, 1985-1987, St George's House, Windsor Castle, 1985-1987, education, 1986-1987, European Union, 1990-1997, the Welsh Assembly, 1996-1997, the WDA, 1991-1992, and various medical and charitable foundations, 1982-1997; miscellaneous political and personal papers, 1927-1997, including material concerning the Cardiff City Labour Group; 1927-1958; religious interests, 1960's-1990's; Speaker's engagements and official papers, 1976-1983; general publications, 1950-1987, including The Gospel Witness, 1955-1983; Parliamentary publications, 1961-1986, The House Magazine, 1980-1991; personal papers, [c. 1940s]-[1990s]; political papers, accumulated as MP for Cardiff West, Government Minister and Member of the House of Lords, 1955-1997; and letters, 1983-1997, from Sir Julian Hodge, relating to European union and devolution.
ACCESS AND USE
System of arrangement: Arranged by date of deposit
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: Usual copyright regulations apply.
Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed on-line. The papers of Viscount Tonypandy include four folders (nos 1-4) containing indexes to files nos 5-160.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records donated to the National Library of Wales have been retained.
Accruals: Accruals are not expected.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated and bequeathed by Lord Tonypandy between 1984 and 1997.
Note: Title compiled from content of fonds.
Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used for the preparation of the description : NLW, Schedule of Viscount Tonypandy Papers.
Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2 and LCSH.
Date(s) of description: March 2003; amended September 2005