|Description||These letters largely comprise correspondence to officials of and others connected with the Midland Union of Conservative Associations. These include John C. Shaw, who served as Honorary Secretary and Central Office Agent for the Midland Area until his retirement in 1912; [Alan] Clayton Barker, who served under Shaw from 1896, becoming Assistant Secretary and then Secretary; and Harry Pratt, Honorary Organising Secretary in the 1920s. The bulk of the correspondence is to Barker and a small amount of these letters relate to his other political and personal activities. He was involved in the foundation of the West Midlands Federation of the Junior Imperial League in 1926 and became its first Honorary Secretary and then Chairman; he was elected a member of the Midland Association of Conservative and Unionist Agents in 1907 and served as its Vice-Chairman and Chairman; and he was also one of the founders and the first Chairman of the Midland Agents Unemployment Insurance Fund.|
Correspondents include Lord Austin, Stanley Baldwin, Anne Chamberlain, Sir Austen Chamberlain, Joseph Chamberlain, Neville Chamberlain, Lord George Hamilton, Sidney Law, Lord Plymouth and Lord Windsor.
|Administrative History||The National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations was founded in 1867. The Midland Union was one of a number of area organisations (which also included the North Western and Southern Areas) which made up the National Union organisation. Between 1886 and 1930 the Midland Union covered most of the counties in the West and East Midlands. Separate provincial Areas were established in 1930, after which the name Midland Union continued to be used for the West Midlands Area only. However, by the 1950s the Midland Union only comprised 58 constituencies in the West Midlands. As a result this provincial Area decided to adopt the name used for it by Conservative Central Office since 1931- the West Midlands Area.|
References: Bodleian Library's web page about the CPA (http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/cpa/), accessed April 2002; items in the archive, including a typescript biography of Clayton Barker.