Collection MAYHEW - MAYHEW, Rt Hon Christopher Paget (1915-1997)

Key Information

Reference code



MAYHEW, Rt Hon Christopher Paget (1915-1997)


  • 1939-1997 (Creation)

Level of description



c0.4 cubic metres (c40 boxes)

Scope and content

Papers, 1939-1997, of the Rt Hon Christopher Paget Mayhew, Baron Mayhew of Wimbledon in Greater London, relating to his life and career. The collection includes wartime letters from Mayhew to his family and other letters to Mayhew, 1939-1945; appointment and desk diaries, 1949-1995; files giving details of individuals and organisations relating to his work as an MP; a file on his introduction to the House of Lords, 1981; address books; notebooks, papers and correspondence relating to his work as a politician and peer, 1945-1997. The papers reflect his interests in domestic issues and foreign affairs, with material on broadcasting, commercial and public service television, including the minute book, 1953-1954, of the National Television Council, a pro-public service broadcasting body; relations with the Soviet Union from the late 1940s to the 1960s; international affairs, defence issues and the armed forces up to the 1990s, including press cuttings on his resignation in 1966; Palestine and Israel, the Middle East, and Arab-British relations, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. Much of the collection comprises printed material, reports, typescripts and press cuttings, some - for instance, broadcasts and interviews - by Mayhew himself, but much by other authors.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born, 1915; educated at Haileybury College, and Christ Church, Oxford; President, Oxford Union, 1937; employed by the Fabian Bureau; served in Territorial Army; served in World War Two in Surrey Yeomanry, Royal Artillery, Territorial Army, 1939-1945; service in British Expeditionary Force (BEF), Belgium and France, 1939-1940; served with British North African Forces, 1943, and Central Mediterranean Forces, 1943-1944; service with SOE (Special Operations Executive); Maj, 1944; served with British Liberation Army, North West Europe, 1944; Labour Party MP for South Norfolk, 1945-1950; Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Herbert Stanley Morrison, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, 1945-1946; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1946-1950; broadcaster on current affairs, BBC Television, from 1950; Labour MP for Woolwich East (later renamed Greenwich, Woolwich East), 1951-1974; Minister of Defence (Royal Navy), 1964-1966; resigned in protest at cuts in the RN aircraft carrier programme, 1966; joined Liberal Party, 1974; Liberal MP for Greenwich, Woolwich East, Jul-Sep 1974; Liberal Party candidate for Bath, Oct 1974 and 1979; Vice Chairman, Liberal Action Group for Electoral Reform, 1974-1980; Chairman, Liverpool Victoria Staff Pensions Trustee Companies, 1976-1995; contested Surrey for election to European Parliament, 1979; contested London South West for European Parliament, Sep 1979; Liberal Party Spokesman on Defence, 1980-1997; President, Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Co-operation, 1980-1997; author of books on national and international politics; created Life Peer, 1981; President, Arab Non-Arab Friendship Foundation, 1992; President, Middle East International (Publishers), 1992-1997; Chairman of MIND (National Association for Mental Health); died, 1997. Publications: Planned Investment: the Case for a National Investment Board (Fabian Society, London, 1939); Socialist Economic Planning: the overall picture (Fabian Publications. Victor Gollancz, London, 1946); What is Titoism? , with Cicely Mayhew (Batchworth Press, London, 1951); 'Those in favour'... (television play, 1951); Dear Viewer... (television play, 1953); Men Seeking God (George Allen and Unwin, London, 1955); Commercial television: what is to be done? (Fabian Society, London, 1959); Coexistence plus: a positive approach to world peace (Bodley Head, London, 1962); Britain's role tomorrow (Hutchinson, London, 1967); Party games (Hutchinson, London, 1969); with various other authors, Europe: the case for going in (published for the European Movement, British Council, by Harrap, London, 1971); Publish it not...: the Middle East cover up , with Michael Adams (Longman, London, 1975); The disillusioned voter's guide to electoral reform (Arrow Books, London, 1976); Time to explain: an autobiography (Hutchinson, London, 1987).

Custodial history

Placed in the Centre by Mayhew's family in 1998.

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied from open material for research purposes only.

Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, via the Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Finding aids

This collection level description. Further finding aids may be available in the Reading Room.

Related materials

King's College London, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, holds papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, including correspondence with Mayhew, 1950-1961 (Ref: LH 1/502), papers relating to Mayhew's involvement in recommending Liddell Hart for a peerage, 1951 (Ref: LH 13/48), article by Mayhew entitled 'Must there be war with Russia?' from Picture Post , 30 Sep 1950 (Ref: LH 15/5/329), articles relating to Mayhew (Ref: LH 15/6/5/13), correspondence relating to German Gen Anton Freiherr von Bechtolsheim (Ref: LH 9/24/51), and correspondence between Mayhew and Flight Lt Aidan Merivale Crawley, MP, concerning German Gen Baron Leo Dietrich Franz Freiherr von Geyr von Schweppenburg (Ref: LH 9/24/61). A detailed catalogue of the Liddell Hart papers is available online at

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Archivist's note

Compiled by Iain Mutch; revised by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Accession area