Title: Merlyn Rees correspondence and political papers
Classmark: MS 1743
Creator(s): Rees, Merlyn (1920-2006)
Main language: English
Size and medium: 10 boxes; manuscript, typescript, press-cuttings and printed material.
Comprises: (1) Papers relating to race relations, 1958-1986, including the Immigration Bill 1971; (2) Papers and correspondence relating to the Miners' Strike, 1983-1985, especially policing issues; (3) Papers relating to the campaigns for acquittal in the Guildford, Woolwich, Maguire and Birmingham terrorist cases, 1986-2000, including typescript of book by Patrick Victory (published as Justice and Truth, 2002); (4) Papers and correspondence relating to the police, 1976-1997, including speeches made at Bramshill College and to other police organisations, and the Stalker affair; (5) Papers and correspondence relating to capital punishment, 1973-1991, especially debates in the House of Commons; (6) Conference papers relating to terrorism, 1982-1996; (7) Papers relating to cable and satellite broadcasting, 1982-1987, including correspondence with Television South; (8) Papers relating to the sinking of the General Belgrano and the trial of Clive Ponting, 1983-1987; (9) Papers and correspondence relating to Chapman Pincher and the Spycatcher affair, 1984-1987; (10) Printed material relating to electoral reform, 1982-1992; (11) Papers and correspondence relating to speeches made when Home Secretary, 1976-1979.
Merlyn Rees, cabinet minister and Labour Party politician, was born at Cilfynydd, near Pontypridd, on December 18 1920, the son of a miner. He was educated at Harrow Weald Grammar School and at Goldsmiths College, where he was president of the Students' Union, 1939-1941. After wartime service in the Royal Air Force, he studied at the London School of Economics. From 1949 to 1959 he was a master at his old school, teaching economics and history; and then a member of the Institute of Education at the University of London from 1959 to 1962. He stood unsuccessfully as the Labour Party candidate for Harrow East three times, before his election for Leeds South in 1963, at a by-election following the death of the Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell. He held this seat, which was renamed Leeds South and Morley in 1983, until he stood down at the 1992 general election. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Callaghan, 1964-65. From Dec 1965 to Jun 1970 he was a junior minister at the Ministry of Defence and then at the Home Office. He became the shadow spokesman on Northern Ireland in 1972, and then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when Labour returned to government in 1974. Following the resignation of Harold Wilson, Rees became Secretary of State for the Home Office in September 1976, and remained shadow spokeman for Home Affairs after May 1979. In 1981 he became shadow spokesman on Energy. In 1992 he was made a life peer as Baron Merlyn-Rees. He was president of the Video Standards Council from 1990 and Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan, 1994-2002. He was the author of 'The public sector in the mixed economy' (1973) and 'Northern Ireland: a Personal Perspective' (1985). He died on 5 January 2006.
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